Summary: A decade ago we were told, “If you wanted to get to really know a kid and what’s going on their life then go look in their bedroom.” Today I’d tell you to look at their MySpace page. MySpace.com is a portal into the world of today’s student and young adul
ON-STAR SERMON SERIES
MAKING MYSPACE A SAFE PLACE
PROV. 4:23 - ©DR. LARRY L. THOMPSON (2006)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
A decade ago we had a student pastor who told us, “If you wanted to get to really know a kid and what’s going on their life then go look in their bedroom.” Today I’d tell you to look at their MySpace page. MySpace.com is a portal into the world of today’s student and young adult. The On Star question I present to you today is simple, “Should we look into this portal... or simply swim away?”
I want you to think for a moment about the NAME we use for the Internet. We call the internet “The World Wide Web.” Today in our ON STAR series we are exploring MySpace, one of the fastest growing communities on the internet today, and we are going to use the moniker, “World Wide Web,” to allow God’s word to give us guidance and direction.
Join with me for a moment to break down the World Wide Web. First of all look at the name “WORLD-WIDE.” The name is given because of its sense of all-encompassing connectivity and that connectivity is available anywhere and everywhere. Sounds great, right?
But there is a problem because the second part of the word associated with those who use the internet is the word “WEB!” WEB has another; less-friendly meaning…web is most often used to describe a trap. Our problem today is that many internet users, adults, students and children, are enjoying the access to the WORLD but not taking the necessary time and precaution to avoid the WEB.
Today, my responsibility will be to take this moniker, World-wide Web and using God’s word give biblical direction that will both help us enjoy this tremendous tool of technology while at the same time avoiding the traps that have destroyed literally tens of thousands of lives and families.
I. MY “WORLD-WIDE” SPACE (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)
“Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:18-20
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
It is important for me to revisit and establish a basic but absolutely essential command of the Christian life. We are called to go into the “WORLD” for the purpose of making people aware of Jesus. We are called to impact our world as followers of Christ and not allow the world to impact and change our lives. How important is this WORLD-WIDE charge? Remember this as a Christian…
• We have the King’s CLAIM: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
• We have the King’s COMMAND: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
• We have the King’s COMMITMENT: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Think of this charge in the terms of applying the POP strategy to this mandate. We are to “GO” and we start on our own path, our own Jerusalem, where we live. We invest in people along the way and then invite them to join us in an activity that will provide the opportunity to introduce them to Jesus Christ, the privilege of allowing them to share their profession of faith through their obedience in baptism and the joy of instructing them in His word to produce a fully devoted follower of Christ. Jesus COMMANDED HIS DISCIPLES TO ‘GO’ INTO ALL THE WORLD…WE ARE TO GO WORLD-WIDE! With the technology of the internet we have the opportunity to “go into all the world” with His witness and never leave our house! TIME magazine reports, “MySpace is no longer just "a" place to hang out...it’s THE place to hang out.” WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY BUT ARE WE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THAT PRIVILEGE?
Here is the dilemma many of us face as Christians: We have the command to go into all the world but often we are found trying to build our walls to protect us from the world. Our goal as believers is to find that balance; the balance to impact the world with the Gospel of Christ without having our witness destroyed by being entangled in the world.