Summary: Illustrated sermon: How the world has tried to change the cross of Jesus Christ so it’s easier to maneuver their way in this world instead of the Lords way.
a scholar, it principally applies to the followers of Jesus Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who, believes his doctrine, rests on his sacrifice, take in his spirit, and imitates his example
A. I believe the Church is a lot like Lot and his family, many are looking for the green valleys at any cost.
1. Many have compromised their beliefs, they turning back to the worldly things of life.
-We have changed the cross of Jesus Christ.
2. The church is trying to create and has created a more up to date modern cross.
- It’s easy to maneuver their own way, and definitely lighter to carry.
B. Lets Consider the differences in the old and the new cross.
1. The new cross has all the same language as the old but its content is not the same and its emphasis has been changed.
2. The old cross would have no compatibility or pleasure with the world.
3. The new cross is not opposed to the sins and pleasure of this world.
4. In fact the new cross allows for such sins as homosexuality, gossiping, adultery, backbiting, gambling, drinking, partying etc.
5. The new cross preaches fun and enjoyment and a higher plane of morality.
-“We should be good people, but don’t worry about being holy people”
7. The new cross does not demand that you become a new creature and break with the old life before a new life can be received.
8. The new cross seeks to attract public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands;
C. The bottom line is they want to satisfy there religious needs, without changing, without bowing, without obedience, without submision to the almight God.
1. These people that have built this new cross, they want the Pastor, Church and God to say its ok.
2. They want a cross that does not demand sacrifice, blood or death to self.
3. But contrary to what the world says, “Jesus death demands total commitment of a man.”
4. And according to my bible it says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
D. Christ gives four steps that are involved in total commitment
First, 1. A person must will to follow Christ.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me” KJV
A. The word “will” in the qreek means to desire, wish, design, purpose, resolve, determine.
1. It is a deliberate willing, a deliberate choice, a determined resolve to follow Christ.
2. The choice is voluntary; it is made by the person.
3. It is the individual who wills and chooses to follow Christ.
Second, 2. A person must deny self.
“he must deny himself”
A. The word “deny” in the greek means to disown, disregard, forsake, renounce, reject, refuse, restrain, disclaim, do without.
1. It means to disregard one’s self and one’s interest.
2. Very simply, it means to say “NO”
3. But note: the call is not to say “no” to some behavior or thing, but to say no to self.
4. A person is to deny self;
5. It means to let Christ rule and reign in our hearts and lives, to let Christ have His way completely.
6. Another meaning in the greek is,
“Let him at once begin to deny self.”
Third, A person must take up the cross
“take up his cross”.
Skit - Person walking in with small cross filled with money, converses with Pastor about having a void in his life.
Pastor ask him to try takeing up the larger cross that is heavier and tougher to handle. Pastor says, “you won’t be able to do the things you done in the world with this cross, but Jesus will you the strength to carry this one and help you make the right decisions in life. If only you put your trust in Him.”
He tries to maneuver it his way, but decides to go back to the smaller, money cross that’s easier to handle, easier to maneuver, a cross that he’s custom built for him. And walks away.
A. The cross does not mean merely bearing one’s particular hardship in life, such as poor health, abuse, unemployment, invalid parents, an unsaved spouse, a wayward child.
1. The cross is always an instrument of death, not just an object to carry or bear.
2. The Christian is to die mentally and actively.
3. He is to let the mind of Christ, the mind of humbling himself to the point of death, be in him.
Fourth, A person must follow Jesus