Summary: In ever age and in every way biblical faith in Jesus Christ has come under attack.
The former talk show host Phil Donahue wrote in his best selling autobiography, “If God the Father is so all-loving, why didn’t He come down and go to Calvary! Then Jesus could have said, “This is My Father in whom I am well pleased.” How could an all-knowing, all-loving, God allow His Son to be murdered on a cross in order that He might redeem sin?”
In 2008, Oprah speaking on her New Earth Ministry’s website stated;
• “I am holy, my salvation comes from me, do not cling to the ‘Old Rugged Cross’”.
• “God is a feeling experience not a believing experience. If it is believing, it is not God!”
Statements such as these though shocking are not new. In fact, they are just redressed and repackaged arguments that have been around for centuries. But statements such as these, make statements like the one I am about to tell you throb in our soul;
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17
This passage is familiar to all of us and perhaps it is the most well known passage of Scripture in all of history, and it has been called into question. And yet, it is this very passage that lies at the very core of Christianity. It has been called the Gospel in a nutshell, the very essence of who God is, what He has done and why He has done it.
In ever age and in every way biblical faith in Jesus Christ has come under attack. The Apostle Paul told young Timothy, For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Tim. 4:3-4
In other words, don’t get sucked in. It has been said, “the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn anything from history”. Perhaps we as Christians are the most guilty. Throughout the years, Christians have continually found themselves getting pulled in to foolish arguments, but the Word of God is clear; don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 2 Tim. 2:23-24
We live in a day and age unlike any that most of us have every experienced. Christianity, our faith that we have held near and dear has come under attack. It no longer has the privileged place it had in our society just 25 years ago. Much of this has come from outside sources, while some of it unfortunately has come from within. According to Bill Hybels book, How to become a contagious Christian, a national survey which rated occupations placed TV evangelists below lawyers, politicians, car salesmen, prostitutes, and just slightly above organized crime bosses and drug dealers.
But again this is not new. Corruption from within and assault from without has always been the case. But Jesus calls us to a higher standard. That’s why we want you to grow as disciple and fully devoted followers of Christ and not just as a church goers. Jesus wants us to be learners and He expects us to not only follow, but to put into practice His teachings.
Now having a correct biblical theology is not only necessary, but essential. We need to know what God’s Word says. However, as Pastor Nate uncovered for us last week, we also need to have an attitude that is hungry and thirsty for the things of God. Disciples are learners who recognize their own poverty and the richness that comes from a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus wants us to be learners who do not get sidetracked, or get sucked into foolish and stupid arguments that lead nowhere.
We have seen in this study of growing in your walk how the religious leaders were beginning to breathe hard on the neck of Jesus and His disciples. They were calling into question virtually everything He was doing. But instead of retaliating, striking back, being vengeful or getting even, Jesus told His disciples to
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:27-31