Summary: Wht does the world expect from Christians?
Sermon by CH (CPT) Keith J. Andrews
All scriptures marked NKJV: The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
All scriptures marked NLT: Holy Bible: New Living Translation. 1997. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House.
The last house I lived in was next to a great big cow pasture. On that cow pasture, right next to the road, and next to us, was a tall Victorian house. The house was old and warped. The paint had long since washed away. The house had been abandoned ten or twenty years before I arrived. The house was the location of a murder 60 years before, I visited it.
I often looked at that house and noticed that the people that tried to live there were faced with tragedy, until it was abandoned. It was an interesting piece of history. Its story is still found on the Union County Sheriff’s web site.
When I look at historical places, I like to think about the people who lived there. I ask about their story and how they lived. The people have a story to tell. The murder, by the way, was solved when the guilty party drank too much, 3 years later. Apparently, he had a story to tell.
As a Christian, you have a story to tell as well. And people around you are begging to hear it. They want to hear it in the form of actions. There are enough people claiming this and that—the people around you want to see if what you say is truly want you mean.
When I look at an old house, I asked who lived there. What type of people were they? What did they do each day? And on and on.
The world is asking the same questions about the people that spend an hour a week in chapel. Who are they? What do they do each day? How do they live?
I ran across the Bible’s answer to this question, in Psalm 15. Psalm 15 is found on page 486 of the red Bible under your chair. It seems to me that what God want us to be is the same thing the world expects from us.
1 Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill? (Ps. 15: 1, NKJV)
The New Living Translation translates the verse this way;
1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? (Ps. 15:1, NLT)
The Psalmist is asking the question; Who may go to the Lord’s house? Who may enter God’s presence for worship? What do they look like? Who are these people?
The first thing we find out about these people, are that they
1. Live blamelessly.
2 He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart; (Ps. 15: 2, NKJV)
The psalmist teaches us that we are to walk uprightly and work righteousness. We are to live blamelessly. We must understand that we are an example to all of those around us. People are constantly watching to see how we react, to see how we respond, to see if what we say we are is truly what we say we are.
Panasonic recently unveiled the biggest TV ever; 103 inches and 400 pounds of plasma entertainment. The monitor dimensions are 7.5 feet wide and 4.5 high. The newspaper says that you can easily mistake it for a movie screen. On it you can see every detail in the programming. Everything would be almost life size. (Stars and Stripes, 21 April 2006)
What if the TV was used to watch your life? What kind of detail would you alow to be seen, and what would it reveal about you?
In 1998, Jim Carrey starred in a wonderful movie called “The Truman Show”. This is probably the only Jim Carrey movie I have ever wanted to watch. The movie is about “An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a TV show.” (http://www.imdb.com) Every move he makes is televised on national television, from the time he is born until he breaks away and goes to Fiji. The audience sees his first steps and his graduation. The audience sees him get a job and the audience sees him realize that his whole life is on display.
What about your life? It is on display. Not every part of it, but many parts are seen by those around you. What does it look like to them? What kind of person comes to chapel every week? What do you look like to them?
This is not to say that we make mistakes. I like the phrase my pastor uses. “If I’ve never disappointed you, just wait around a little bit—I will sooner or later.” We all make mistakes…and in this area , I’m probably the worst offender—because I should know better. But, I’m not talking about the mistakes we make as we grow through life—I’m talking about a consistent reputation. Does it represent the qualities of a Christian? Are you blameless?