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May 5, 2024

Life-Threatening Decisions

Whose fault is it when painful, evil, and frustrating things happen?

Luke 13:1-2 NIV

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?”

Luke 13:4 NIV

“Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?”

False beliefs in Israel in Jesus’ day:

1.      Suffering comes from sin.

2.     Tragedy is a sign of God’s judgment.

3.     “Karma” is conceptually real. Meaning: bad things happen to bad people.

4.     We can therefore know for certain who is good and who is evil by the bad things that happen.

Luke 13:3 & 5 NIV

“I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Perish = “to be utterly destroyed”

Jesus is challenging us: When you read tragic headlines, look inwardly and examine your own heart and life. And, don’t wait - do it now! Because the sudden death of someone should not be an occasion for blame but for self-examination.

Luke 13:6-7 NIV

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’”

Vineyards are a common Old Testament analogy for Israel.

Isaiah 5:1-2 NIV

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.

Isaiah 5:3-4 NIV

“Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?”

Isaiah 5:5-7 NIV

“Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the cloud not to rain on it.” The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress."

God is searching high and low for a people who love Him!

Luke 3:9 NIV

“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Romans 11:17-20a NIV

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith.

Romans 11:20b-21 NIV

Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches (Israel), he will not spare you (everyone else) either.

Romans 11:22 NIV

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

God’s kindness is revealed and delivered to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Luke 13:8-9 NIV

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

John 3:16 NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 2:3-4 NIV

So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them (other sinners) and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?


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Kingsway Christian Church
7981 E County Road 100 N | Avon, Indiana 46123