Summary: Statistics of today’s church (and Christianity) says 85% claim to have a Christian faith/religion, while only 5% actually attend church regularly.
ONE MIGHTIER THAN I
Review of last week –
1. JTB is a model for us as we walk through our “wilderness”
2. Bible says each of us have gone astray from the path that God had designed (in the beginning ) for Adam and Eve.
3. The wilderness we walk in is a result of the sin a)that we were born in, and b)that we live in each day.
4. Good News is God planned a means of saving us from our sins. God has given us a plan of salvation. Mark 1:1 states in The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ… God chose to start all over. God sent His Son, Jesus, to save man from wandering in the wilderness.
5. JTB was chosen of God to introduce our Savior, Jesus. JTB’s message attracted people from all over Judea and Jerusalem. The people literally walked through the wilderness (the hot desert) to be baptized in the refreshing waters of the River Jordan.
6. JTB simply preached “repentance and the remission of (for our) sins.” There is no other direction we should be walking in other than our road to salvation.
7. In John 14:6, Jesus Christ said it clearly – I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through Me.”
Allow me to pick up where we left off last Sunday. Let’s look at the relationship that JTB had with Jesus and compare it to ourselves.
TEXT: Mark 1:7 – 8
What we see in our text is important because the world (we live in) is changing, and the church (we worship in) is also changing.
Example: (Quick lesson in U.S. history.) Many Bible Scholars and historians point to the 1960’s when these radical changes in our world and the church began to take place. The younger generation were protesting in our streets. Some were peaceful protests, while others were not. The “Peace Lovers” (of the 60’s) were protested any kind of establishment, or authority. Their actions caused many to question everything… our politics, our government, our democracy, and(especially) our religion. The anger grow out of hatred for our government and society in general. When the protesters took to the street, they said that God was dead. Many church members abandoned the church and church attendance was no longer important to our society. In the 60’s, a young musician by the name of Bob Dylan wrote a song that spoke of the tumult of those days. His raspy-folksy voice was soon recognized around the world. The song was, The Times They Are A Changin”. Dylan’s song quoted verses from the Bible (from the Book of Ecclesiastes and the Gospel of Mark), but the song was nothing close to being a Christian tune. Rather it was a song written defining the rebellion, chaos, protest marches, and the moral failure of our country. The song soon became one of the most popular songs of all times.
What does all of this have to do with us? The fact is our culture here in America has drastically changed since the 1960’s. Many of our Christian Churches have suffered greatly. To this day, many churches still struggle with church attendance, church finances, church purpose, and public’s perception of church.
The result is this - The purpose of the church in the 21st Century is in question. Statistics of today’s church (and Christianity) says 85% claim to have a Christian faith/religion, while only 5% actually attend church regularly. Generally speaking, the public is not where it belongs in the House of God. Our society is not attending church as they should. Here are 2 reasons:
1. Our society is not worshipping Jesus Christ as the Resurrected Son of God…the soon Coming King.
2. When it comes to the spirituality of our nation, America has lost it’s way “in the wilderness”.
3. Our society sees very little reason to commit themselves to the values and Biblical principles that once made our country great.
JTB has given us the model for the original purpose of our churches. It is found in verse 7 - JTB “… preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.”
My friend – here we find what is missing in the modern day New Testament church. We may have lost perspective of the reality and presence of Jesus Christ. Our culture and society is asking a lot of questions about our faith:
“Who is Jesus is? Who is this Man from Nazareth?”
Many do not know Jesus the way in which JTB knew Jesus.
JTB says: “…there comes One … Who is mightier than I…”
In other words, there is One Who is more important than I am. My whole world is Jesus. My reason for existence is Jesus.