Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In a world where Satan’s disctractions are ever increasing, the Church, has become experts on how to grow the numbers of attendees, but has forgotten it’s commission to teach all that Jesus commanded them. The challenge is to be discipled and then discipl

Mark 8:34-38

Discipleship / To Be or Not to Be

As I began to prepare for chapter 9 this week, I felt like the Lord was speaking to my heart to come back to the end of chapter 8 and speak to you this morning God’s heart about a particular subject that He has burned into my heart for the past several months.

As we get closer and closer to the coming of Jesus, it should be no surprise that the devil has been, and will continue to attempt to distract the body of Christ away from things that are basic to our faith. These tactics are not new as we see Satan using them throughout history for the very same purpose he uses them today, he just seems to package these things differently for the times they are intended for. He makes them trendy, fashionable, even seemingly spiritual in order to gain a foothold in people’s lives to get their attention off of the things that matter to God and upon themselves and the worldly goals they have spent their lives pursuing.

Today even the church itself has been caught up in, distracted by, has accepted, and by and large sold out to the methods of secular personal and corporate growth, substituting the written Word of God for books authored by men whose mentors and closest confidants are, not men of God, but the growth gurus of corporate America. There are countless so called biblical teachings out there today that proclaim the worlds message of tolerance and inclusion for the sake of getting people inside the doors of the church. “If we can just get them to come” we say. “If we can just get them into the seats, then we’ve got em.”

Actually some of what those people write and teach can found within the oracles of orthodox Christianity. They dress the message up with bits and pieces of scripture, using only the context of those scriptures that fit their motive, even using paraphrase versions of the Bible that have been widely rejected by the respected leaders of the church today.

The problem, you see with these things, is not so much what they do teach, but what they don’t teach and what is left out. They say “the most effective way to minister to the homosexual, the fornicator, the idol worshipper, is to just get them into the church building and make them comfortable”, “to break down the walls that separate us” even using the small group settings like kinships as the floodgate by which sin is allowed to flow freely and openly, right into the mainstream of the church. “Let them feel the love of God’s people and hear our really stylish music and our trendy messages and they will change.” “Let them rub elbows with the Christian and that will win them over.”

Where in God’s word did we ever see Him allow that kind of activity within the community of his people? Has it ever been acceptable by God for the people of the world to continue practicing their sin while they made up their minds whether or not they wanted to be part of His body. You won’t find it. The Bible says today is the day of your salvation. To allow unregenerate people to sit and enjoy the benefits and blessings of the Lord’s body without pointing out to them that they are in a desperate situation because of their sin, is an injustice to the Word of God and His Holy Spirit. In fact the better part of the Old Testament was spent describing the absolute disgust it brought the Lord when His people mingled and mixed with the people of the world and participated in the sins they committed. He never allowed Israel to mingle or allowed them to have within their walls the peoples of the world. He knew Israel would never withstand that kind of contact and would fall prey to the tactics of Satan and his people every time, and they did.

Have we honestly lost our minds to think that we are any stronger today? The book of Judges is packed full of the trendy and fashionable temptations of those days that Israel fell prey to. The end result was the same in each case, “And AGAIN, the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.” And the same can be said of the trendy, fashionable, post-modern church of today that allows the people’s of the world to come in and comfortably practice their sin inside the church all in the name of tolerance, inclusion, for the purpose of filling up a building.

Is it any wonder we see homosexuality at the extreme levels of leadership in the organized church today. Is it any wonder we have divorce among Christians surpassing that of the world, albeit because the world has all but ceased to make the commitment of marriage in the first place. Is it any wonder we have people today in the church who come, sit and listen to the Word of God taught in all of its power, only to return home to continue living in fornication by cohabitating with a partner they aren’t even married to? Last time I checked the Bible says that isn’t suppose to happen, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Galatians 5.

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