Summary: This culture is longing for an authentic view of Christianity and God demands it. This series paints a picture of the Authentic Christian.
Authentic Christianity – #6 of 7
* In the ‘hay-day’ years of the train a young man from the country got hired as a switchman on the train. We’ll call him, Leo. As part of Leo’s training, he was taken to a switch by his supervisor. The supervisor said, “Leo, you think you understand how all this works and what your responsibility is?” Confidently Leo said, “Yes sir, I think I have it.” “Okay then Leo,” the supervisor continued, “Let’s say you have a train coming from the north at 80mph and a train coming from the south at 50mph on the SAME TRACK – and you were standing here at this switch, who do you think you would do?” Leo excitedly repeated the scenario to his supervisor to make sure he understood the gravity of the situation. Unexpectedly Leo said, “I’d run and get Uncle Jed!” The supervisor couldn’t believe his ears and responded, “You have two trains coming at each other at a cumulative speed of 140 mph, you’re standing at this switch, and you’re going to run and get ‘Uncle Jed?’” More excited than ever Leo said, “YES SIR! Because Uncle Jed has NEVER SEEN A WRECK THIS BIG!”
* Human-kind is on a collision course with Jehovah God. Every man & woman, boy & girl, is on a collision course with the God of creation. The Bible tells us that every one of us is sinful and that as sinful being we are headed toward eternal damnation in a place prepared for the devil and his demons. It is only when we respond to the call of Father God through the Holy Spirit of God to repent of our sins and turn to Jesus Christ, and then live for Him that we can avert this certain doom. Have you?
* This is called ‘Followship’ or ‘following Jesus.’ It is a decision but it’s more than a decision. To make this decision is to bring about a cascade of changes in our lives. Where at one time we would never ‘repent’ of anything (because of pride, fear, arrogance, etc), to follow Jesus in an authentic way means a lifestyle of repentance.
* Following Jesus means to live like Jesus lived which requires us to live a life which has purpose and a sense of mission to it. Jesus’ mission held little thought for preserving this world, but focused on eternal things. That is why we sing, “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
* Following Jesus also means that the concept of “love” took on a different meaning. Experiencing the unconditional love which Jesus had & has results in the giving of a love that can only come from Him. Instead of the ‘if’ or ‘because of’ types of love, we are to know and live the ‘in-spite of’ which we received from Jesus. In fact, if we only love those who love us– the Bible asks – how are we different from the pagans?
* To authentically follow Jesus means that our lives bear fruit in keeping with our repentance. People can see & hear it in our lives because the life given us by Christ produces fruit which others can see and enjoy. This is authentic Christianity.
* This world needs to see a people like this, God expects His people to live like this, and if we are HIS people, we need to live for Him in this culture.
* Today, let’s talk about another characteristic found in the life of an Authentic Christian. It is found in our text. Let’s read it. – I remind you these are Jesus’ words.
* This attribute of the Authentic Christian runs counter to this culture.
1. A Divine Command – Here we are again, using the word, “Command.” Why is it that this word or concept (which we hate) surfaces every time we look into God’s word & plan for our lives? The reason we hate the word has to do with our fallen-sinful nature. We don’t want anyone telling us what to do. What’s more – in the land that we live, we are led to believe we are in control because this is a democracy & the very definition of the word democracy is ‘people rule.’ Let debunk this concept, I don’t know about you, but presently, I don’t believe the rank & file people of this nation control anything! It is an illusion (but that’s another message). More to the point, ‘Believers in Jesus’ (Authentic followers of Christ) are not citizens of a democratic nation, we are part of the Kingdom (of God). A Kingdom is run differently than a democracy. There are no Senators or Representatives. There is no election. There is only the King. He controls the Kingdom, He makes the rules, and when those rules are broken the King has the power to make ‘heads roll.’ If you are ‘in Christ’ as a believer, you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God– He makes the rules.