Summary: Too many of God’s children try hard to be something they are not. God wants us to just be christians.
JUST BE CHRISTIANS
INTRO. Generally speaking, there seems to be mainly 3 kinds of church members:
1. Those who mostly moan about what can’t be done;
2. Those who mostly brag on what has been done, in the past;
3. Those who don’t care one way or the other.
Some believe God demands too much of us;
Some believe they can meet all of God’s requirements without trying.
Some don’t really care what God wants from them.
God does not expect us to do more than we are able nor does He expect us to brag about what we have already done, but He does want us to do something! The thing Jesus asks of us all is that we JUST BE CHRISTIANS!
Now days we have Baptist, Methodist, Lutherans, etc. all calling themselves Christians. I am not ashamed to be known as a ‘conservative, fundamental, Landmark Missionary Baptist.’ But I do not and will not claim a creed as so many others. If you ask my creed I will say, "My creed is the Bible and my founder is Jesus Christ."
I will not stand up and preach that we need to do away with denominations. For that is part of the way we discern one from another. But it is interesting to note that Acts 11:26 does not name the denomination of the group meeting at Antioch. It only says, "And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch."
That is the very point of this parable. We are to strive, first and foremost, to just be Christians.
I. JUST BE CHRISTIANS IN CONFIDENCE.
II Thess. 3:4
A. The greatest danger to the church is not the woodpeckers on the outside but the termites on the inside. Slowly eating away at the confidence to do the job.
1. Many churches are only hollow shells of the powerhouse they once were because they have concluded the job is too big for them anymore.
2. And many Christians are hollow shells of what they were and what they could be if only they had the confidence to fight the good fight of faith.
B. The ‘I can’t’ Christians are those who are sure they just haven’t got the spiritual strength to win over the temptations and tricks of the devil.
1. They forget what Jesus said in Jn. 16:33 - "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
2. It is not God’s wish that we defeat Satan single-handedly...or that we even try.
3. I Jn. 4:1-4
4. Victory over sin and Satan comes only when we have learned that without Christ we can do nothing.
5. Paul was speaking to individuals and churches alike in Phil. 4:11-13 (explain).
C. We see the overwhelming power of sin and at times the whole world seems to be against us and we find ourselves ready to say with Elijah, "What’s the use?"
1. (ill.) - Bad time for revival, VBS, etc. Mon. - circus, Tues. - Garden Club, Wed. - Mini-series starts on T.V., Thurs. - Gospel singing at the Assembly of God church, Fri. - ball game.
2. Why should the church take a backseat to every side show that hits town? "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation."
3. If God’s people would just be Christians and have the confidence of Christians the devil’s crowd would soon be saying, "This is going to be a bad week for us, there’s a revival in town."
D. Be Christians in prayer.
1. Most of our prayers aren’t answered because when we say them we don’t expect an answer.
2. Expecting great things from God requires confidence in Him.
3. I Jn. 5:14-15
II. JUST BE CHRISTIANS IN SEPARATION.
A. (Rom. 12:2) - "Be not conformed to this world"
(Matt. 5:14) - "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."
1. God and the world expects us to act differently.
2. My dad’s advice about witnessing. "You are a Christian. People expect you to ask them about their soul."
3. You do not have to be a Christian plus anything. Just be Christian.
B. Being a Christian implies a difference.
1. A difference in language. "You must be from the south." "How can you tell?" "That southern drawl."
2. A difference in morals. Dirty jokes, dirty movies, dirty books and dirty association marks a dirty mind and soul.
3. A difference in association. Now Jesus ministered to sinners but it was always to lift them UP not to be dragged down to the level they were in.
4. Christians must be more than critics of the world. Many condemn sin on Sunday and live in it the rest of the week.