daily biblical sermons

We must acknowledge Christ before men if we want him to acknowledge us before the angels of God
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, Th.D.
Homily of Saturday, 28th Week of the Year, October 17, 2020
Ephesians 1:15-23, Psalm 8, Luke 12:8-12

Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version unless otherwise noted




“And I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man will also acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And every one who speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:8-12).



A Christian is expected to stand up for Christ in the world. We are living in an increasingly de-Christianized world, and even the Church herself has been infiltrated by worldly ways of thinking and worldly immoral values. This is the situation that we find ourselves in today as Christians, and today’s gospel tells us what we are supposed to do about it. We are to openly acknowledge Christ before men, many of whom will be hostile to our witness and to the morality that we stand for and witness to by our life and our words. If we do this, we will be acknowledged by Jesus before the angels of God; but if out of fear and the desire to please men and to be accepted by worldly people, we deny Christ before them, we will be denied by him before the angels of God, for “Every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9).



One way of acknowledging Christ before men is to live a moral life according to the normative biblically revealed moral law. This alone will oppose the false immoral values of many in the world today. Another way is to speak in favor of basic Christian morality and to condemn the mistaken moral values of the world. This will surely not win us many friends among the worldly, but rather enemies, opposition, hatred, and perhaps even persecution. But if out of a desire to avoid being looked down upon or opposed or even persecuted, we simply keep our mouth shut and say nothing, that is, if we deny Christ before men, he will deny us before the angels of God.



So, what does this mean for us today? Surely the greatest evil in our country (USA) today is the legal murder of children in the womb or just as they are being born (abortion). The horror is that for the last forty-seven years abortion has been legal in this country, due to a mistaken decision of our Supreme Court in 1973. Mistakes should be corrected once they are noticed. A mistake of this magnitude should most certainly be corrected. Tens of millions of children have been murdered in the womb or as they were coming out of the womb at birth in this country since 1973.



Now is a most important time to witness to this evil of our society, because in two weeks we will have a presidential election, and one candidate strongly opposes abortion and has appointed nearly 300 conservative judges throughout the land, three of whom to our Supreme Court. Since the Supreme Court legalized abortion, only the Supreme Court can correct this error and make it once again illegal. Since one presidential candidate has appointed three conservative pro-life judges to our Supreme Court and many others throughout the land and has spoken often about the evil of murdering your children in the womb or as they are being born this is an ideal opportunity to bear witness before men to Christ and to the fundamental moral values that he stands for. The candidate for the other party warmly approves of abortion and wants to make this error of the Supreme Court into law so that it will be permanent. Speaking of this evil at this time is an ideal way to witness to Christ and his values before men, because our words and witness can influence voters to vote for the candidate who strongly opposes the evil of abortion.



This is a clear-cut moral issue between good and evil, for the other candidate is all on board with abortion right up to birth. He sees nothing wrong with murdering your children in the womb! Hopefully if we witness to Christ and his values before men in this way, we can convince many people to vote in a Christian way.



Another great clear-cut moral evil today is so-called same-sex “marriage,” which is no marriage at all, but rather a sinful union of two people of the same sex to perform perverted homosexual acts that are gravely sinful and condemned by the Bible (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:22-28), by the Catholic Church, and by natural law. One of the candidates in the upcoming presidential election, who is a Catholic, has actually performed a same-sex marriage as a civil servant! So clearly, he is all on board with this perversion of human sexuality and wants it to remain legal in this country. Speaking out against this evil in this way at this time can awaken peoples’ conscience to realize what is at stake in this election so that Christian people may vote in a Christian way against this great evil.



Another great moral evil today is that people falsely think that they can change their God-given gender by taking hormones of the opposite sex, dressing like the opposite sex, and even having a physical operation so that he or she looks like someone of the opposite sex. This also must be opposed and condemned as a sinful perversion and disrespect of our God-given gender.



Other evils that are discussed as to whether they should be legal are assisted suicide and euthanasia. Euthanasia is murdering your elderly parents if they are a burden to you by having your physician give them a painless lethal injection. One way of speaking out against these abominations is to vote for those who are opposed to them and to vote against those who think these things are wonderful progressive improvements of society and civilization.



There are also evils in the Catholic Church today, for modernism and relativism have infiltrated the Catholic Church and are influencing its teachings. We need to speak out against this also in order to awaken people to this danger so that they might oppose it and not be deceived by it in a way that will harm them and even endanger their eternal salvation.



There is one great evil teaching in our own day that is undermining the whole foundation of Christian morality, namely the teaching that repentance is not always necessary in order to be justified. According to this new false teaching, all we need to do is put our faith in Christ and call out to him for salvation from our sins, and God will forgive us, and we can continue to live in a constant state of objective mortal sin, which God won’t count as mortal sin in our case, because of our difficult life situation, for he is merciful.



According to this new false teaching, all that we have to do to get a pass to enjoy living a life of grave sin is to find a pastor who will agree with us that we think we hear God’s voice in our conscience telling us that since God is merciful he does not expect us to live up to his difficult biblically revealed moral law, but rather is revealing to us in our conscience an easier, lower moral law custom-made just for us. So according to this new false teaching spreading now in the Catholic Church, we can be accompanied by our pastor to “discern” that God is telling us it’s okay for us to live in constant objective mortal sin – in adultery or fornication or in a homosexual relationship – because of our difficult life situation, and that God will count these sins as virtues in our case, because God himself, so they falsely say, in his great mercy, is inspiring us to live this way. So, since we are doing God’s will, according to this false teaching, we are growing in grace, virtue, and holiness by living in a constant state of objective mortal sin.



This teaching obviously contradicts biblical teaching and the Tradition of the Catholic Church throughout her history. It has clearly gone off the rails from authentic Catholic teaching and is not authentic magisterium, even if our highest Church leaders claim that it is, for authentic magisterium never contradicts the teaching of the Bible or of the constant Tradition of the Catholic Church.



So, these are things that we have to stand up to and speak out against. By doing so we acknowledge Christ before men, and he will acknowledge us before the angels of God. If we fail to acknowledge Christ by acknowledging these moral values that are being endangered today by false teaching, Jesus tells us today that he also will deny us before the angels of God.



So, you see the Christian life is a life of good works that will be rewarded by God on the last day, as Jesus says, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Matthew 16:27 NKJV). Speaking out against the moral evils of our day is a way of witnessing to Christ and of doing good works.



Even though we cannot justify ourselves before God by our good works, for justification only comes through faith in Christ’s atoning death for our sins on the cross, nonetheless once justified by faith, not by doing good works, we are then obliged to keep God’s normative biblically revealed moral law, and the grace of our justification will enable us to keep it; and if we keep it, we will grow in holiness, and God will reward us accordingly on the last day.

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