Summary: 1) A Disciple Emulates His Master and 2) Does not Fear the World but have confidence in a) Vindication by God b) Veneration of God c) Valuation by God
If you haven’t noticed, we are in the swing of the “Holiday” season. That’s right: not Advent or Christmas but the Holiday Season. Retailers and cultural planners are so desperate for increased sales and attendance that the day after Halloween, began with the “Holiday” advertising. The word "Christmas" is avoided nearly all public discourse-more or less.
Quote: As one commentator put it: “My sense is, though, if our social handlers and media moguls have anything to do with it, we are fast approaching the "last Noel." The "Give-A-Christmas" charity drive has become the "Holiday Fund." After Thanksgiving, we do our "holiday shopping," to fill our children’s "holiday stockings," when we get back from the office "holiday party." Peter Jones @http://theresurgence.com
The grinches who are stealing December 25 are filling the void with virtually anything. One town hosts a Polar Express Festival, replacing Christmas trees with polar bears! In schools, trees are kept but ideologically renamed Peace Trees, Cultural Trees, or Diversity Trees. With ornaments from the world’s cultural, ethnic, and religious traditions, these trees celebrate in coded language the agenda of neo-pagan unity. A teacher explains: "By acknowledging the value of all cultures, we become cohesive and accepting of each other’s diversity…we become successful at working toward the motto: ’Let there be peace on Earth.’" Obviously, featuring a Christmas tree and explaining the biblical meaning of peace is clearly not part of the "accepting of each other’s diversity."
As we watch the cultural demise of the Canadian Christmas, it is easy to become nostalgic, even discouraged. But that is not my point. This is the first Sunday in Advent. The message this morning is not about saving society by publicaly pointing out that this is the Advent season leading up to Christmas. I would encourage this but this is not my point. The real issue is what has led us up to this point and what God says we are to do about it.
In the guise of “cultural diversity” people have become paralyzed by anxiety in regards to what others think about them. Lest someone somewhere become offended, Christians have forsaken their God given mandate to make disciples and not fear what others think, say or do in regards to this.
The call of the Great Commission is the call to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19). Disciple-making is the central work of the people of Christ’s church, the work of bringing men and women to a saving relationship to Jesus Christ and of helping them grow in His knowledge and likeness.
Quote: The word “disciple” occurs 269 times in the New Testament. “Christian” is found three times, and was first introduced to refer precisely to the disciples.—
(Dallas Willard, “Discipleship: For Super Christians Only?” Christianity Today, 10 October 1980, 24.)
Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 10:5-15 led to His warning of the dangers of discipleship (vv. 16-23), which led to His teaching about the characteristics and benefits of discipleship (vv. 24-42). In Matthew 10:24-31 Jesus identifies a comprehensive definition of discipleship 1) A Disciple Emulates His Master and 2) Does not Fear the World