Summary: Most people respond to Christ in one of two ways: casual attitude or committed action.
CASUAL ATTITUDE OR COMMITTED ACTION?
INTRO.- ILL.- A preacher was riding on a plane filled with people and cigarette smoke. (Of course, this had to be some time ago since we know that smoking is now banned on airplanes.) The preacher knew he would have to take a bath, and send his clothes to the cleaners. He felt like he had been charcoal-broiled, Burger King style.
Suddenly he turned to a woman and said, "Would you like to chew my gum for awhile?" The lady was insulted. "What in the world do you mean?" she snapped. The preacher calmly replied by saying, "I’ve been smoking your secondhand smoke ever since we left the city. I thought you might want my secondhand gum."
Brothers and sisters, that is what I call "indifference." Many people are completely indifferent to those around them. They don’t know and they don’t care. They don’t know who they are and they don’t care who they are. And they don’t care if their smoke gets in someone else’s face.
Indifference is bad. It’s a bad trait in anybody. It’s a bad attitude. If Scripture teaches us anything at all about life it teaches us that we are to be considerate of the people around us: at home, at work, at play, etc.
Rom. 12:10 "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." We are not quick to do that, but we should be.
Indifference is bad when it is aimed at people. It’s worse when it is aimed at God.
Our text deals with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The words "triumphal entry" indicate a good response to Jesus, but it wasn’t always that way.
PROP.- Most people respond to Christ in one of two ways:
1- Casual attitude
2- Committed action
I. CASUAL ATTITUDE
ILL.- Dr. Margaret Mead, distinguished anthropologist and author, made a very interesting observation in an address some time ago. She pointed out that for a long time it was the universal custom to say on parting: "Good-bye," which is a shortened form of "God be with you." Today it is quite common instead to say: "Take it easy."
Many people have the "take it easy" attitude about a lot of things in life. Don’t take it seriously. Take it easy.
This is also the attitude, the casual attitude that many people have toward God and Christ and the church. Don’t worry about it. Don’t take it seriously. Take it easy!
People did not always respond positively to Jesus. To His life, to His ministry, to His love.
John 6:66 "From this time many of his disciples (followers) turned back and no longer followed him."
Some disciples stopped following Jesus because they didn’t like or receive His teaching. It’s easy to have an indifferent or casual attitude when you don’t like what is being taught.
ILL.- The young preacher thrilled his congregation with his first sermon. But the next Sunday he preached the same message. And the third Sunday he preached it again. Finally, one of the deacons was getting concerned. He went to the young minister and asked, "That’s a great sermon you’ve been preaching, but don’t you have another sermon you could preach?"
The young preacher replied, "I’ve got quite a few sermons, and as soon as you do something with the one I’ve been preaching I’ll preach a new one!"
Brothers and sisters, I try to make my sermons as interesting and as clear as possible. I want to bless and benefit people, not blister or bust them up. I want to help people.
But even in my sermons there are things that I present for you to do, to respond to, etc. And I have noticed that many times our response is not overwhelming. In fact, often it is ho-hum. It is casual. It is "take it easy, preacher. Calm down. Cool it. We’ll do it if we want or when we get around to it."
But that is the wrong attitude to have toward the Lord and His Word, toward the presentation of His Word.
John 14:23 Jesus said, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
I say, "Come on in, Lord! Make yourself at home! Here, have my recliner! I’ll sit here before you!"
Brothers and sisters, a casual attitude is not kosher. It is not condoned in Scripture nor by the Savior.
II. COMMITTED ACTION
A few rare souls become committed in their action to a cause or a person.
ILL.- In 1873 a group of women at Hillsboro, Ohio, met and prayed and then read the 146th Psalm. Then they prayed and pleaded with the saloon keepers to give up their business. Church bells tolled simultaneously with the crusade of prayer and persuasion. On the second day one saloon keeper gave in. He gave his entire stock to the women saying, "Do as you please with it."