Summary: There are severe limits on human treatments to cure what ails the soul! We must turn fully to the Great Physician for what ails ourselves and our church.
PRESCIPTIONS FOR A HEALTHY & HOLY CHURCH:
A Study in 1 Corinthians Applied To The Church Today
Sunday AM, January 22, 2005 Rev. Todd G. Leupold
II. DEALING WITH THE OBVIOUS DISEASES - 1 Corinthians 1:4 - 6:20
CANCER (Divisions in the church) - 1:10 – 4:21
2.Limits of Human Treatments (reliance on Christ) - 1:18 – 2:5
Illustration (adapted from Michael Bird):
For today’s message, it is important that we begin to try to see some things from a different perspective than what we have become accustomed to. If we are to reach the unsaved, then we need to be sure that we understand them and especially how our words and message may sound to them. Therefore, I am going to ask you for a little indulgence this morning. I need you to open up your imaginations as I engage in a little role play (as written by Michael Bird).
“Hello, my name is Jose Samblanco. I have just arrived off the boat from Peru and I have come to proclaim to you and best and most important news you will ever hear! Until now I am sure that you have been living in great despair about your sins and eternal future. But I am here to tell that you need not worry anymore! You see, a beloved (and often hated) Peruvian peasant (some say criminal) by the name of Carlos Hernandez was executed in an electric chair on account of your sins. Why, I’ve even written a hymn about this wonderful deed (clear throat):
Carlos was there on that horrible chair
They tied him down with bots and then zapped him with 40,000 volts
It was for you that our saviour fried and died
Despite the fact that his chair caught on fire, this one is God’s Messiah
The wisdom of the world has been refuted because Carlos was electrocuted
He is my savior and my lamp, because he absorbed every deadly amp
Now I know that God does care, ‘cause he sent Carlos Hernandez to the electric chair.
I’ve also written other hymns such as, “In the chair of Carlos I Glory” and “When I cling to that old rugged electric chair.” Friends, I want you to know, that it has been reported that Senor Carlos has since been seen alive! He has come back, still bald and scarred, to offer you the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life in a special paradise he is building just for you. But you have to believe in him and be willing to reorder your entire life to how he has instructed.
Now, go and spread this incredible news to everybody you encounter. Shout it from the rooftops, write more hymns to honor Carlos. Advertise the symbol of his death everywhere you can. Put great big shiny or illuminated electric chairs on top of your buildings, on flags, and make big bumper stickers. Wear gold electric chairs on your necklaces and bracelets, or as earrings and even hairclips. Design new foods and desserts such as hot electric chair buns. Start new communities of worship you can call Societies of the Electric Chair, The Church of Carlos, The Hernandez Healing House or such. Before and after any important event or endeavor make a big public demonstration by drawing in the air the picture of an electric chair. Create a Pledge to the Electric Chair for every child to recite every day in school. Establish Electric Chair Institutes and schools. Produce movies and videos that help people understand the importance and glory of the Electric Chair. Exercise to the worshipful sounds of the Electric Chair. The opportunities, my friends, are endless. People’s lives and eternities depend on it! Know somebody who is drowning in addiction or depression? Just tell them to attach all their troubles to the electric chair, trust in Carlos and it will all be gone!”
Now, tell me honestly, what would be your response to Jose Samblanco and his message? “That’s the most absurd thing I have ever heard!” “No, that’s the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard!” “What kind of fools do you think we are?” “Who came up with that story, they ought to give him a Pulitzer just for creativity.” “That’s the most stupid religion I’ve ever heard of, only the most desperate and idiotic person would accept that.”
Now, you all know where I’m going with this. Perhaps it even sounds a bit over the top. But you have to understand, that to many unsaved people who did not grow up in the church, do not accept the Bible as the Word of God or presume Jesus to be the Son of God, our message sounds little if any different. WE know that there is a big difference because WE know that Jesus really is the Son of God and did die on the Cross for our sins, WE see how it has fulfilled thousands of years of prophecy, and WE have the benefit of the Holy Spirit to enlighten us so that we may understand.