Summary: We have made Christianity into a spectator sport. We just sit back in church and listen to the music, and the sermons and never really get involved in the game. We need some Christians today to get off the sidelines and get on the front lines.
Intro: It was the first day of basketball practice at Wingate High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Coach handed a ball to each player.
“Boys,” he said, “I want you to practice shooting from the spots you might expect to be in during the game.”
One of the boys (who was pretty much there as a substitute for the star players - in fact he was substitute #12) immediately sat down on the bench and began shoot the ball toward the basket from there.
APPLY: You might say that boy didn’t expect to get to play much. And I suppose he was just trying to get a laugh out of his teammates. But, there are some people who sit the bench, because that’s where they’ve gotten used to being. They never strive to much more than that - because they don’t believe in themselves enough to put in the extra effort and practice to change their status. And because of that: they’re always going to sit the bench.
It’s as if we’ve made Christianity into a spectator sport. We just sit back in church and listen to the music, and the sermons and never really get involved in the game. We need some Christians today to get off the sidelines and get on the front lines. There is a special position that God has for all those who are in Christ, but we will never discover it as long as we watch safely from the sideline. We need to put action to our faith and get involved in the spiritual battle that is taking place all around us.
Transition: In this text we are about to read we find four friends who place themselves on the front lines and work in unity to get their lame friend to Jesus.
2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
NO ROOM LEFT: This past Thursday night I was leaving White House at about 11PM and I notice a parking lot packed full of cars much like the church parking lot was during the revival. So I slowed down to see what the attraction was, and to no surprise it was a nightclub. Now that used to upset me because I would see how people would pack out a nightclub on weeknights all the while we Christians would leave the church empty. But not this time. I was so encouraged last week at the crowded conditions we had here every night. The fact that we didn’t have some big time evangelist or special musical attraction as a drawing card and we still had people coming from all around is a testimony to true revival. The great thing about this revival is that it didn’t stop with the last meeting because the evangelist went home. The only way this revival will end is if we get complacent and stop praying and hungering for the Lord.
EVEN OUTSIDE THE DOOR: Usually outside the door would be the court or yard. It was so packed that even the court outside the door was full of people stretching their necks to try and hear Jesus.
PREACHED THE WORD: Jesus could have went around the room encouraging or healing people, or telling them of their future but of all the things He could’ve done He chose to PREACH THE WORD. Today people are advising preachers that if they want to have large crowds, love offerings, and churches they must not preach on hell, sin, and self-sacrifice. Jesus preached more about hell than He did about heaven. He also preached that it’s better to pluck out your eye, or cut off your hand than to indulge into sin.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
And anytime Jesus talked about discipleship he preached of self-sacrifice.
Mark 2:3-4 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.
CARRIED BY FOUR OF THEM…. They worked in unity. If they would’ve all picked up their friend and went in separate directions they would’ve gotten nowhere. Many churches and Christians are stagnate today because of disunity among believers. Jesus prayed for us that we would be united in our mission for God.