Summary: Let’s go to the island, and find our place with God. Let’s taste and see that His word is good. Let’s seek his face, and live for Him!
I live in the Great Lakes area. It is a beautiful part of God’s world. The lakes are beautiful blue in color some days and grey and foreboding other days. In the summer, boats can be seen dotted along the horizon and along the shores. In the winter, there is a serenity and beauty as the lakes freeze and the wind whips the white snow in billows across its surface. One lake, perhaps the greatest of the great lakes is Lake Superior. Its a huge lake, hundreds of square miles wide. It is also a very deep lake, nearly six-hundred feet deep in some parts. Perhaps you recall the song by Gordon Lightfoot about the Edmund Fitzgerald. That ship went down in Lake Superior around this time of the year, off Whitefish Point, quite a few years ago. In downtown Detroit, there is an old stone church almost hidden by the Renaissance Center. It’s called the Old Mariners’ Church. The bell tolls for those lost in the stormy waters of the Great Lakes.
Off the shore of Lake Superior is an island. It’s called Isle Royale. It is a wild, primitive place, isolated from the mainland by the whipping waves of Lake Superior. Wildlife lives on the island: beaver, muskrat, moose, elk, wolf and bobcat. It is a seperated place. It is a beautiful place. It is listed as a National Park in the government registry.
If we think of Christianity, and we think of how easily we claim to be Christians, is there a group of believers who are living different than the vast majority of Christianity? Are they like Isle Royale? Seperated, preserved, showing beauty with their walk? Rugged, genuine, unspoiled and unspotted? What seperates this group. How are they seperate? Shold we seek to be more like them?
What about the folks on the mainland of Christianity? Who claim to be Christian, or who have taken the name Christian and wear it as a thin veneer? Who profess to be Christian but don’t really want to follow God’s word, don’t want to do God’s work, and reject most of the markers or characteristics of Christianity. What do we mean by being a born-again believer? Where do we fit in? Are we on the island or on the mainland with the mainstream?
Here’s what Paul says in II Timothy chapter four and verse three. He says that there will be a time, when people don’t put up with the truth. They will feel free to reject the Bible and its truths. Well folks point number one this morning is basically this:
1.The Bible must be accepted in whole, not in part. The Bible contains truth, and we must seek to live it.
The Bible will show us how God wants us to be a separate people, a preserved people, a people unto God.
God wants us to be seperated unto holiness. The Bible shows us the walk of the believer. Okay, okay already, we know that. But what is happening today, just as Paul says, we don’t read our Bibles and adhere to what it says. We take the parts we want. We accept so little of the Bible, and often, by our lifestyles and our weakness, we reject the sound teaching of the word of God. No more AWANA, no more PIONEERS, no more mid-week, and throw out Sunday night. Throw out the old hymns, throw out the rules and rights and wrongs. It’s too hard to live all that. Well, let me ask you, is the Bible true or not?
You can pick and twirl how many angels dance on the head of a pin all day and all night, but realistically you have to come down on that basic question: Is the Bible just another book, or is it a very true and special book that can be a basic instruction manual for our messed-up lives?
Going back to Isle Royale. Did you know? "In Lake Superior’s northwest corner sits a wilderness archipelago - a roadless land of wild creatures, unspoiled forests, refreshing lakes, and rugged, scenic shores - accessible only by boat or floatplane.
Wolves and moose, the wild North Woods forest, everchanging weather and a cool climate, and the crystal clear waters and rugged shoreline of Lake Superior characterize Isle Royale National Park. There is excellent fishing, historic lighthouses and shipwrecks, ancient copper mining sites, and plenty of spots to observe wildlife. Roadless Isle Royale is accessible only by boat or float plane. Isle Royale is relatively untouched by direct outside influences and serves as a living laboratory and Unites States Biosphere Reserve."
As Christians we are to be people who remain unspotted by the world. We are to have an inner beauty that people can sense and see. There should be a sense of self that shows the beauty of the soul, the serenity of the spirit and the heart that is untouched and uninfluenced by the screaming voices of the world. We’re always glad to hear when a celebrity comes to know God and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But we want a testimony that is deep, deep as Superior, a depth of the soul that is genuine and true.