North Anderson Baptist Church
Having a Party With Friends
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Today is Palm Sunday, the day our Savior and Lord rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey colt because the time was right to give His life for all mankind by dying upon a Roman cross. He would spend the next few days teaching, preaching and sharing the “Love of God” with all who would hear. He would spend quality time with His disciples because He would physically leave them soon to go back to the Father. We celebrate this day to remind all the world that Jesus is the King, the Lord God Almighty, who has come into the world to save sinners like you and me. He was willing to endure great suffering in the process of providing eternal life for those who would believe in Him.

Next week we will celebrate the death, burial and particularly the Resurrection of our Savior from the dead. We will take the Lord’s Supper and want each of you to join us, there at home, with whatever elements you might have on hand and together remember what our Lord has done for us through taking Communion. We will also be dedicating a special little boy, Drake, with his mom and dad, Trent and Taylor Arnold. Pray for them all as we present this sweet baby boy to the Lord Jesus.

Join us for our Easter Celebration at 10:30 am next Sunday morning.
Sin is so real! There are so many who believe in sin, they may not call it sin, but today they constantly act upon their belief. Yes, there is a life of sin in our culture and it doesn’t seem to be diminishing at all. Today’s culture sometimes talks about God and even Jesus with great familiarity, but when it comes to living the life that Jesus called for, that is different. You would be asking them to change their way of life and living. That kind of demand for change in one's lifestyle would not be tolerated by many.

Sin was so real in the days of Jesus, like ours today, that you would see it in every situation and among every group of people, those in public life with government officials, Roman legions and leaders, in religious leaders of their day with their hypocritical lives, with the regular people of the day as well as those who were sinners and tax-collectors, all living the sinful life, some admitting it and others denying that they were sinners but all without shame.

In today’s message we will see someone who lived his sinful life out loud and benefited from it and was not ashamed to flaunt his lifestyle. Jesus was travelling around preaching the Kingdom of God and the kind of life that would please the Lord God of Israel, when He came upon a man whose life was opposite of what God’s Word called for. We see the changing of a life from sin to sanctification.
A. Matthew the tax-collector - v. 9

A Jew who was a tax-collector! How low can you go? Tax-collectors were Jews who had sold out to the Roman government to collect taxes from their brethren. Now this was probably the excise taxes, tariffs, commerce taxes, etc… These men were independent contractors and collected the taxes that Rome demanded and for the privilege of doing so, they could then overcharge people to be able to recoup their costs and gain a great profit for themselves. They were hated by the Jews and considered traitors to Israel. In this tax-collector’s case, he had set up a tax booth in a commerce heavy area, where trade goods came through Capernaum and passed either north or south to continue the process of trading in other lands. It was true too, that this little town had good commerce in the fish trade as they were located on the Sea of Galilee business was very good.

The people who were in this profession were governed by greed, abuse and lived a life of corruption because they took advantage of the poor and the rich and anyone that came their way. They could care less of what people thought of them, or at least it looked that way from the outside. They were not only hated because of how they collected the taxes but because of how they cooperated with the hated Romans. Jews working on behalf of and for the Romans, tore out the heart of a real Jew.
Matthew the tax-collector was from Capernaum and more than likely knew the residence of that town quite well or at least they knew who he was and more than not, hated him greatly. So, you can imagine when Jesus approached Matthew and stopped as if to talk with him, his disciples, particularly the ones from the area of Galilee, cringed at the prospect of even being around this sinner.

Matthew seeing Jesus coming, probably had a great knot in the pit of his stomach because he knew who this holy man was. You can’t have lived or worked in that area and not have heard of Jesus or not know of what He was teaching and talking about. Can you just hear Matthew saying under his breath, “What does Jesus want with me?”
B. Follow Me Matthew! - v.9

Without really stopping and talking to Mathew, Jesus just walks by and calls to him, “Follow Me!” Matthew, unexpectedly to those around him, friends or others who were being taxed and particularly the disciples of Jesus, gets up from the booth where he collected taxes and follows Jesus! He left everything behind, his wealthy tax business and went after Jesus. He left all that he was doing, his job and his way to make a living to follow this itinerant preacher wherever he was going. Wow, his life was to begin to change dramatically!

There is something we need to say about Matthew. He may have been one of those who was in a class of hated people but even the hated is welcomed into God’s family. Remember “God’s grace is bigger than your sin.” You might actually think that your sin is so bad and that what you have done, nothing can change it and there is no hope of redemption for you, if so, you need to remember that no one is beyond the grace of God in Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus came to this world, to save sinners like Matthew, me and you. There is nothing that you can do that the God who created you can’t forgive and nothing can keep Him from loving you, not even yourself.

Hear what the Lord’s Word says from 1 Timothy 1:15-17,
And dear friends, it is time to praise Him for who He is and for that extra, unbelievable and miraculous kind of love He shares with us. Are you ready to say Amen to that? Paul’s life is a great example of how God can change a person into a follower of God.
C. Let’s Have a Party For Jesus - v. 10-13

Matthew, writing this Gospel himself, tells us that he invited not only Jesus and the disciples but all his friends, including other tax-collectors and their company of friends. Among those who have been invited, would be what most people thought were the dregs of the Capernaum society. They would not be the ones that would be invited to most of the homes in town and for sure not allowed in the synagogue. But Jesus accepted the invitation to be with Matthew and his friends! Jesus ate with them and talked with them.

I wonder, would Jesus use this opportunity to also tell Matthew’s friends of the Love of God and how their sins can be forgiven too, no matter who they were or what they had done? Or, would he eat and drink with them without ever talking of the things that were most important to Him? The reason I ask that question is because we see an event like this happen later in His ministry, when He passes through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem. There Jesus sees another tax-collector and invites Himself to Zaccheus’ home and while there explains the Gospel to him and the tax-collector is saved and changed forever. Dr. Luke adds at the end of that event, Jesus sharing His mission statement, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” I wonder, did Matthew know Zaccheus?

While we are wondering, if you or I threw a party, how many of our guests would be lost people or people who need the Lord in their lives again because they had walked away from the One who saved them?
Would you be willing to have a neighborhood party, inviting those who live close to you even though you might not know them well? You might not even know their spiritual condition but it would be a good time during that kind of event to introduce your faith to those there and encourage them in the Lord.

Back to Jesus and the party. Yes, I think Jesus used this party to share His love with them and call them to Himself. But since Matthew wrote nothing more about the event, we do not know what transpired except for the exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees.
What was that about?
Those self righteous men who were always trying to question Jesus, once again asked His disciples why Jesus would eat with sinners. Jesus knows it already, but He hears what they say and remarks to them about something they probably can’t figure out. Jesus tells them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” He is telling the Pharisees that these people with whom He is eating know they are “sick with sin” and are willing to address their problem, but those like the one who asked the question, feel that they are so righteous that they have no sin, they have no sickness. The Great Physician seeks out those who admit that they are “sin sick” of the soul and He is willing to heal them because they acknowledge that sin. Jesus goes to those with the message of redemption and love because they are willing to hear it and respond, where the Pharisees are stubborn and self-absorbed with their so called righteousness. Remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:27,
The people at the party were willing to hear about the God who loved them in spite of their sin but the self-righteous wouldn't even admit they had sin and were so dead inside. Do you know people who are self-righteous and don’t admit to themselves or anyone else that they could even have sin? You're not that way, are you?

Why don’t you become a “home missionary” who goes about telling those around you about your Savior and Lord. Maybe you could even have a neighborhood party to tell others of your love for Christ. Be a friend to the lost like Matthew and share with them what has happened to you because of Jesus.

You might get started by:
Being friendly,
be encouraging,
ask people around you how you can pray for them, maybe
get together to help others in your neighborhood who need help with their yard or grocery shopping, etc…
Jesus then says something to the Pharisees that they must study on, 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus once again speaks to the heart of the matter. Those who think they are righteous will not respond because they say they don’t sin and that they don’t need that doctor to help with their sickness. The Pharisees never understood mercy and that it was one of God’s great characteristics but they only focus on their duties of “doing the rituals of their faith.” That was more important than forgiving and loving those who were real sinners in the society. Jesus challenged them to go and learn what God truly wanted from them. Do you remember it was the religious who passed by the man who was robbed and it was the “good'' Samaritan who stopped and helped a Jew who was injured. He was the one whom Jesus called “neighbor.”
What does God truly want from you and me?

First, He wants us to love Him with all our hearts.

Second, He wants us to repent of our sins.

Third, Believe in Jesus Christ who was crucified, buried and then rose from the dead on the third day to live forever more.

Fourth, He wants us to surrender our lives to Him completely and allow Him to cleanse us of sin and give us new life.

Fifth, He wants us to “follow Him” as our Master, Lord and Savior, no matter where it leads.

Won’t you do that today?


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby