Summary: The cause of shallow decisions made by shallow Christians who lack depth in their relationship with Christ.


Introduction: Quite often we see people making decisions; raising their hands for prayer expressing the desire for rededication; committing to serve, or responding to conviction for something in their lives. Immediately following these decisions, they are excited, enthused, and energized. But the decisions seem all too short lived. Why? In Mark 4:1-9 Jesus gave the parable of the sower and the seed. He spoke of seed that did not last because it had no depth of soil. So it is with these Christians who lack depth in their relationship with Christ. The problem is...

I. Shallow Christians want Inspiration without any Imitation

A. People want to be stirred up, filled up, fired up, charged up, and shook up as long as they don’t have to stand up, speak up, or give up; as long as they can stay the same as they are and don’t have to change.

B. Matthew 3:1 – 2, 7 – 8 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” ….But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance…”

C. State Senator David Johnson gave the following advice about public speaking to Mark Sanborn of Leadership Resources: “Always remember that people want to be entertained. Whether you’re giving a sermon, teaching a class or giving a speech, people want to be entertained.” – The Sanborn Difference, © 1995-2006, Sanborn & Associates, Inc.

D. 2 Timothy 4:3 (NASB) “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.”

E. Many like to hear teachers who give them mere pleasure and do not offend them with truths that are grating to their ears.

F. Dr. James Orr once told about Billy Graham flying on an airplane and the attendant making a big fuss over him. "Do you want some more coffee Dr. Graham?" "Oh, my mother prays for you everyday." "I must write to her and tell her about seeing you." About that time a big old Texan up front had a little too much to drink. He started cursing and making passes at the attendant and creating a big ruckus. Finally the attendant had enough and walked up to the big Texan and said, "Sir, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to be quite. You see Dr. Billy Graham the evangelist is flying with us." The Texan responded, "Billy Graham, Billy Graham is flying with us?" The man stumbled back to where Billy was sitting and said, "Billy Graham, I’m so glad to meet you. I just want you to know how much your sermons help me to live the Christian life!" – Dr. James Orr 1981, South Carolina Baptist Evangelism Conference.

G. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

II. Shallow Christians want Deep Doctrine but without Deep Compliance to that doctrine.

A. The culture in which we live lends itself to the accumulation of knowledge. The cry is, “Preacher teach us the deeper things of God! Tell it like it is! Lay it on the line... As long as it hits someone else.

B. Someone has said, “The best sermons are the ones that hit their target –and the target is always someone else.

C. 2 Timothy 3:1 – 7 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

D. The reason they never come to the truth is that will not submit to that truth”

E. James 1:22 - 25 ... be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

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Ted Baker

commented on Apr 21, 2007

Good stories, but not much exposition.

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