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Summary: We cannot just be a church that simply says we believe, we need to be ready to share what and why we believe it!

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March 10, 2013

LOVE DOES. contend pt. 1 WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?

Good morning!

Two hunters were out hunting and come upon what appeared at first as an abandoned farm. The barn was sagging, the house was in disrepair, and there were junk cars and car parts lying around. The only thing that made it a working farm were a few chickens pecking away and a goat wandering around. As they entered the yard they came across an old well. One asked the other "Wonder how deep it is." The other said, "We'll have to drop something down and listen for the splash." They look around for something to drop down the well, but the only thing close by was an old transmission. They both hauled it over to the well and dropped it in. They counted and waited a long time for the splash. It was deep, deep one all right. They turned to leave and saw the goat was charging at them, head down, horns headed straight for them. At the last moment they jumped aside, and the goat went right past them and straight over the side and down the well. They looked at each other in amazement. As they started to leave, the owner of the farm came up. They chatted for a moment and got permission to hunt on his land. The farmer asked, "Have you seen my goat?" They said, "Your goat almost killed us charging at us. You should have had that goat tied up." The farmer, "I thought I had him tied up to an old transmission." LESSON: You follow what you're tied to

Church what this comes down to today is this... What do we believe in? What are we tied too?

Are we tied to the right stuff? The right beliefs...

I know for the most part we could say the basics, but here are the true stats...

More than 60 percent of Americans can't name either half of the Ten Commandments or the four Gospels of the New Testament.

Some 80 percent including "born again" Christians believe that "God helps those who help themselves" is a direct quote from the Bible.

And 31 percent believe a good person can earn his/her way into heaven.

Less than 4 out of 10 Christians can articulate to someone else what they believe in. Even fewer can tell people why they believe in it...

Josh McDowell points this out...

“If anything is based upon truth, it’s the Christian faith,” he said. “Christians who do not know why they have faith or believe have a very difficult time expressing themselves to others.

McDowell Asked why the Bible is true and historically reliable, Christians replied that it was what they had been taught by their church or parents.

A common response that most Christians gave to both questions was that it is “what I believe.”

McDowell responded: “That’s voodoo thinking. Where did we ever get that crazy idea that something is true just because we believe it?

“If that is true, then there will never be heresy. Everybody would be right.”

On one occasion, 13 youth pastors at a large convention were unable to reasonably answer the apologist’s question.

Finally one young person stood up, walked toward him and told him he knew the answer.

The young man promptly held up his Bible and said, “Because I believe it.”

And to McDowell’s dismay, all the youth pastors applauded him.

McDowell said, “Young man, do you know the difference between you, me and the majority of Christians in the world?

“To you, it is true because you believe it. For me, I believe it because it is true.”

We don’t want to be a church that just simply has a bunch of people that believes but doesn’t know why they believe...

We want our church to be a place where answers are found and people not only believe but can explain why they believe.

This week we are going to be going over the “what” we believe and next week we are going to go over the “why” we believe it.

George Barna reports some amazing facts. Most Americans, including profession Christians, believe that people are inherently good and that there primary purpose is to enjoy life as much as possible.

a). 38% believe that it doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons.

b). 44% believed that all people will experience the same outcome after death, regardless of their religious beliefs.

c). 55% believed that if a person is generally good or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in heaven.

If this is what our culture is saying... If this is what many “believers” in our culture believe?

How can you discern whether someone is truly a Christian or not? Very often many people base their salvation off of a prayer they said when they were a kid...

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