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Summary: You see, sometimes we who believe in God live as though He doesn’t exist and as though He cannot change us.

This sermon is based off of a few ideas in Craig Groeshel’s book “The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist.” Zondervan, 2010. ISBN: 9780310332220

CHRISTIAN ATHEIST: CHANGE

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

INTRODUCTION I

The sermon series we are going through right now is based on a book on Christian Living by pastor Craig Groeschel. I have found this book to be fascinating because of the title and also quite applicable based on the topics he covers. I love how he describes people who “believe in God, but live as if He doesn’t exist” as “Christian Atheists.” That definition and the word “Atheist” is used differently than we are used to and it is offensive. It is offensive to us especially when we read the book or we are confronted with a sermon about these issues that perhaps we are a Christian Atheist!

In the beginning of the book, Craig Groechel recounts a conversation with a young woman in which she says, “I know my life doesn’t look like a Christian’s life should look, but I do believe in God.” The he writes, “Welcome to Christian Atheism, where people believe in God but live as if he doesn’t exist.” (page 14) I agree with him on the next page when he says, “Christian Atheists are everywhere. There has to be a better way to live.” (page 15)

Why do I mention all of this? Because when I was reading the book last year, the chapter on change is the one that convicted me the most. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. I also live as though He cannot change me. I do. I feel powerless when it comes to my sin and I have often said to God in prayer, to myself, and to my wife that God doesn’t really want to change me because He hasn’t. I read this chapter last year and I am still relying on Him to change what I think and believe about change. All I am trying to say is that I am preaching to myself this morning more than I am preaching to you. This one hits me.

INTRODUCTION II… HEARD IT ON THE NEWS

http://www.mommyish.com/2015/02/06/family-stages-kidnapping-to-scare-their-child/

I heard on the news this past week, that a family in Missouri staged a kidnapping of their six year old son because they felt he was too nice and wanted to teach him a lesson about strangers. They had a coworker lure the child into his truck and drive off with him. Once the child was in the truck he was told he would never see his family again and that he would be “nailed to the wall of a shed.” The coworker flashed a gun and bound the boy’s hands and feet, covered his face and drove him around for a while. While the boy was blindfolded, he was unknowingly taken to his home, where his aunt removed his pants and told him he could be sold into sex slavery.

Would you agree that perhaps some changes are in order for these folks?

http://www.970wfla.com/articles/local-news-124415/three-victims-suspects-named-in-moon-13237797

I heard on the news Tuesday morning that three people were killed in the Moon Lake area in West Pasco County in a shooting. It was a tragedy, but I also heard that drugs or the selling of drugs were involved somehow. I feel sorry for their families that they have to endure this loss and death.

Would you agree that perhaps some changes are in order for these folks?

http://www.970wfla.com/articles/local-news-124415/two-found-in-garbage-truck-after-13243042

I heard on the news on Wednesday morning that a couple went partying and gambling at the Hard Rock in Tampa Tuesday night and decided to sleep off their alcohol in a dumpster. Wednesday morning they were dumped along with the trash into the trash truck. The garbage truck operator heard yelling and banging coming from inside the truck. They were taken to TGH with back pain.

Would you agree that perhaps some changes are in order for these folks?

We all have things, issues, decisions, people, and habits in our lives that we want to change. A person who is at all self-aware understands that they are not perfect. As a Christian, we understand that we are not perfect and neither are the people in our lives. Sometimes we hit a point at which we realize we absolutely need to change.

We must change our attitude and our heart.

We must change our habits.

We must change the words that come out of our mouths.

We must change what our eyes see and what our ears hear.

We must change friends.

Whatever we discover we need to change in our lives, it is never easy! Jeremiah 13:23 remind us that change is a most difficult process when it says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” Change often comes with great effort and a large amount of grief.

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