Summary: Believe week 8 looks at Humanity

Believe 7 - Humanity

John 3:16-17

November 2, 2014

When I was in the first church I pastored, a young woman came back from a retreat which the church sponsored for her to attend. We asked her to talk about her experience and at the beginning of the worship she stood up and began to share. She started out talking about the same topic I was going to talk about that morning. Ah, that’s God at work! Cool!

BUT . . . She wasn’t saying what I was going to say. She was going in the opposite direction and I sat there thinking how do I say what I have to say without really contradicting her, embarrassing her and making her feel bad? My message was about temptation, and she started her talk saying — “I have never been tempted in my life!” Say what?! Maybe that was to get our attention, but it wasn’t, she believed it. She really believed she had never been tempted in her life.

The point of my message — we’ve all been tempted, but we can overcome them! In the end, all went well, I didn’t change what I had to say, and hopefully helped people see that YES, we are all tempted!

And that’s where we are in week 7 of Believe. This really isn’t a conversation on temptation, it’s a look at humanity. It’s like a typical soap opera. It all seems to start good, it started great in the garden, Adam and Eve had it all. Life was great, it couldn’t get any better. But they came to believe life could get better than it already was. You see, human nature tells us whatever we have, we always want more. We’re satisfied for a moment, but then it’s time to move on and move up. If we have one championship, we start thinking about a repeat, then a 3-peat and so on.

If we go way back, Adam and Eve knew their restrictions — and there was only one . . . don’t eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But the evil neighbor knocked on the door and offered another idea. It was more than suggestive, it was seductive. Eat the fruit from the tree! It looks good and it’ll taste good. It’s from God, it’s got to be good. Besides, what’s God really going to do to you?! Go for it. And they do!! And sin entered the world. And that sin nature has been passed on to you and I. It’s part of who we are. It’s not good news. It’s seriously terrible news! Because left on our own, we will mess things up – big time.

Just look at the news. Look at what we see every day. It’s not good.

School shootings

bullying and hazing in high schools and colleges

beatings — murder — stealing — vandalism — adultery

gossip — hatred — riots

alcohol and drug problems

families at war — countries at war

And that list goes on and on . . .

In Romans 3, Paul wrote ~ 23 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

That’s a sobering yet true statement from Paul! Note that first word, it’s not your neighbors, it’s not those other heathens, it’s not all those other people out there . . . it’s you! We can easily change that first word to I . . . and we can say I have sinned and I fall short of the glory of God.

That’s our nature! It’s not an excuse. I can’t stand when people make excuses for others, ‘well, that’s just the way they are.’ We end up justifying someone else’s sin. We’re really saying, that’s ok, God understands they’re a sinner, they can’t help it, and they’re not about to change that fact. NO WAY! We have to move away from that sin nature, from simply accepting temptation and assuming we can get out of it on our own.

I was talking to a high school football player and he was telling me about a sin issue, not his, but something we would call sin. And he said, it’s really none of his business, plus they can always just ask God to forgive them and all’s good.

I told him, if we hold to that belief, then I can do anything, I can gossip, I can commit adultery, I can do anything legal, but morally wrong, at least in my beliefs, and it would be OK to repeat that sin again and again . . . without eternal consequences. He thought about it, and agreed. But that’s a pervasive view of people, not just young folks, but so many believe, if there’s a God, then, He will forgive whatever and whenever.

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