Jack Carroll - Las Vegas, New Mexico Convention - July, 1947

From the beginning of the world God has been anxious to have a fellowship of brethren in the world. He has been anxious to have shepherds and sheep, people who will be citizens in the kingdom of His dear Son. The extent of the kingdom of God depends largely upon two things. The Christ life lived and the Christ word spoken. Our greatest responsibility is to give the world something to see. Our second responsibility is to give them something to hear. I would like to learn better how to live the Christ Life, and to speak the words of Christ, not my own words.

 

The kingdom of God is an inward, spiritual kingdom, established in the hearts of men and women. This kingdom can only be entered by the new birth, John 3. It begins by Christ Himself setting up His throne in our hearts. Here is the place, and now is the time to enter this kingdom. Luke 4:18 speaks of the kind of people eligible for the kingdom of God, the poor, brokenhearted, captives, blind and bruised. John 3 was preached at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. Luke 4 a little later and Matthew 5 about a year and half later.

 

The sermon on the mount was preached to saints and servants, to shepherds and to sheep, to brethren in the family and kingdom of God. It was addressed to young converts, to those who were babes in Christ, to Peter, Andrew, James, and John who for a whole year had followed their occupations as fishermen, after beginning to follow Jesus, before forsaking all to go out to preach. These blesseds in Matthew 5 are within the reach of all who are willing to fulfill heart conditions. These are not outward conditions, but inward conditions. The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was put on the outside. The righteousness of Christ is something God puts inside. Psalms 34:18, "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a. broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psalms 51:17, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise." Isaiah 66:2, "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." The reason the Lord felt like spueing the Laodiceans out of His mouth in Revelations 3 was because there was no feeling of the their need. A tragedy had taken place, Christ was dethroned from their hearts and crowded out. He was outside, knocking, desiring to come in.

 

In Matthew 5:3-10 are given the foundation graces in the kingdom of God. These upward steps toward blessing, and toward becoming the salt of the earth and light of the world. "Blessed are they that mourn" was never intended to be a funeral text. There are two reasons for a child of God to mourn. First, he mourns over his own weakness, second, over the failures of others. One who mourns over his own weakness will be comforted of God as a result of putting away what caused that weakness. I feel sorry for a child of God who does not mourn over his own weakness, and the failure of others. Do you advertise the weakness of others? No! There is perhaps no greater comfort than that which comes to a child of God who has mourned over and helped to restore one who has failed. I would not want the day to come when I couldn't be touched with the feeling of the infirmities of others, even of those who failed. Lack of self-control is evidence of weakness of character. None can afford to be merciless toward any brother or sister. If we err in judgment let it be in mercy rather than in severity. We all owe much to the mercy of God. I'm glad He tempers justice with mercy.

 

"Blessed are the meek." The evidence of meekness is being able to treat others right when they treat us wrong. "Pure in heart," one with a single eye for God's glory. "Blessed are the peacemakers." It is much easier to be a peace breaker than a peacemaker. A sure road to becoming a peace breaker is to violate the teaching of Matthew 5. If you go down these steps, and cease to be poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty after righteousness, merciful, and pure in heart, you'll become a peace breaker, and cease to be the salt of the earth and light of the world. Salt has preserving and antiseptic qualities. We cannot be light to those who are outside unless we are salt to those who are inside. God wants to love men through us. God wants to save men through us.