Summary: Are you following an Alternative Lifestyle? The term Alternative lifestyle covers a pretty diverse range of living, as Christian's we have been called to follow an alternative lifestyle, an alternative path, the narrow way.
We continue in our series on Dynamic Disciples and this month we are focussing on being called into the family of God.
Our focus for this evening is God’s Alternative Society.
The question as always to begin is: Are you following an Alternative Lifestyle?
The term Alternative lifestyle covers a pretty diverse range of living.
Wikipedia defines An alternative lifestyle like this:
An alternative lifestyle is a lifestyle diverse in respect to mainstream ones, or generally perceived to be outside the cultural norm.
It then lists some of them in no particular order:
Nudism and clothing optional lifestyles, living in unusual communities, communes, intentional communities or eco-villages, lifestyle travellers, home births, home schooling, home gardening, New Age travellers, vegetarians, vegans, meditation, hypnosis, spiritualists, feng shui, non-typical sexual lifestyles, BDSM, Swinging, fetishes, same-sex relationships. Alternative spiritual practices, Alternative medicine, herbal remedies as medication. Eastern religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism etc.or “Non-mainstream” religious minorities, such as the Amish who pursue an anti-technology lifestyle.
Where am I going with this?
We live in a Post-Modern world - and most of those alternative lifestyles are now accepted as normal mainstream lifestyles.
About.com defines Alternative Lifestyle in 3 ways:
1. A method of living one’s life that is contrary to social norms.
2. Unconventional participation within society.
3. A philosophy or way of thinking that differs from mainstream culture or society e.g. Monotheism or Abrahamic belief systems.
Abrahamic belief systems - that would include Jews, Muslims and Christians. Now you might be thinking, somehow things have been turned around and upside down. Wrong has become right, a lie has become the truth. How can being a Christian be considered an Alternative Lifestyle - outside the cultural norm?
Friends, God has always expected His people to live outside of what the world says is the cultural norm.
We have been called to live according to God’s plan and purpose, we have been chosen, set apart, forgiven and saved to live for Christ.
God calls us to live an alternative lifestyle that challenges the moral, political, economic and social structures of the world around us.
We have been called to proclaim the truth of the Gospel to a broken and sin-sick world. We are to be salt and light.
We have been called to be dynamic disciples of Christ, who live, speak and act in a way that brings honour and glory to God.
We have been called to follow an alternative lifestyle, an alternative path, the narrow way:
In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus spoke these words:
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
Sobering words, ignore God, reject Jesus as Saviour, follow the broad ways of the world to hell or obey God, accept Jesus as Saviour and be assured of salvation and a place in Heaven.
Jesus didn’t sugar coat the truth, in love He spoke to those who would listen, He explained the truth, He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
In John 14 verses 23-24 Jesus said “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.”
Jesus is the only way of salvation and we are called to follow Him and to obey His commands out of love.
We are meant to live an alternative life, a life of faith, a life of service, a life of trust, a life of faithfulness, we are called to live holy lives.
We are called to live an alternative lifestyle.
Listen to the words of 1 Peter 1:13-23
So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
17And remember that the Heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of Him during your time here as “temporary residents.”