Summary: This message speaks to the question of "What does it take" to REALLY care.
DO YOU REALLY CARE?
* The 1960’s were a tumultuous time in America. Riots, Rebellion and Race Relations were the issues which this country faced. In this midst of this time, teenagers became disenchanted with the institutional church as they felt the church was both hypocritical and irrelevant. It was this culture which gave birth to the “Jesus movement.” Coming largely from the hippie culture, those who identified themselves with this movement were called “Jesus people” or “Jesus freaks.” As we might guess (and even some remember) the institutional church, as a whole, frowned on the entire movement. As an aside, if given another opportunity, because of the history of these past 20-30 years the organized church might well view that movement a little differently.
* However, because of the unrest among the young people, new music began written, sung, and published. In 1967 Broadman Press released one of the first (of what would become a phenomenon) “Youth Musicals.” This musical was entitled, “Good News.” The interesting thing about this particular musical was that 8 years later the song of invitation and commitment from this musical was granted “hymn-status”. (Read words)
* So the question I ask us today is this; “What do I care about?” or “Who do I care about?” As I have prepared for this message, I read sermons of a number of preachers. One preacher offered these thoughts, “We cry when our dog gets run over, but are unmoved by our friend who is outside of Christ. Parents shed tears when their daughter comes down the aisle to be married and are insensitive about her coming down the aisle to be saved.” The question is, “Do we really care?” The Apostle Paul cared.
* Today we continue our study of Romans. We turn to Chapter 9, reading verses 1-5. Be reminded that Paul has just ended the previous section on the spiritual high of saying, “nothing has the power to separate us from the Lord of God IN Jesus Christ our Lord.” What becomes obvious is that he passionately believes that EVERYONE NEEDS JESUS, no matter what it takes. Each person, whether Jew or Gentile, needs the forgiveness. Love, justification, and life found in Jesus. And in true “Apostle Paul” form, he expresses that he is willing to do whatever it takes for others. (READ TEXT)
* Charles Colson was a tough lawyer who worked for President Nixon at the height of Watergate. He was successful, but he still felt empty.
* One afternoon a friend shared his faith in Christ with him, and a short time later Colson became a Christian. Comic strips like Doonesbury ridiculed him. Soon Colson found himself in prison because of his previous activities during Watergate. They were the worst 2 years of his life, but he kept his faith. He was appalled at the prison conditions and how prisoners came out worse than they went in. Today his organization has 15,000 volunteers who disciple prisoners for Jesus Christ.
Do You Really Care? – Pg 2
* Chuck Colson cared enough to do something for others. Because of His trek, he had a heart to help the prisoners. His heart still controls him to this day, I believe, because he has never forgotten those 2 years in jail.
* The apostle Paul never forgot his past. I believe that, until his dying day, in his mind’s eye he could see the faces of those believer whom he hunted down and persecuted. He remembered the emptiness that each experience brought Him. As he penned these words, he was continually overwhelmed by the goodness and graciousness of God toward him and he wanted all his friends, acquaintances, and fellow Jews to find the Savior. His heartbeat was, by any means he could, to reach as many people as he could, as quickly as he could. This was His HEART! He really cared!
* This morning I ask this question; “Do you do we or do I really care?” If we do, just like in the life of Paul, it is a matter of the heart. If we care truly care then we’ll have a heart for at least 3 things, let see what these are.
1. A Heart for the Truth – Paul begins in verse 1 by saying, “I am speaking the truth.” Paul was all about the truth. When he was Saul, in his heart the truth was this; ‘these people of ‘The way’ were perverting the world and religion, and thus needed to be dealt with because Jesus, the imposter, was dead.’ It was only after being confronted on the Damascus road with the eternal truth of a living Lord Jesus, he became more passionate about truth than ever before. The truth is that which Paul has just stated at the end of Chapter 8, “In Jesus there is nothing able to separate us from God’s love.” It is one thing to say God is love and another to live and believe it.