Summary: A sermon on the danger of delay in spiritual matters (Seed Thought from Todd Hunter's book, Our Favorite Sins, chapter 5; Outline and material adapted from Mark Copeland at: http://executableoutlines.com/top/waiting.htm)
Much debate about guns. Most never pull the trigger. Many people have this philosophy, “Ready, aim, aim, aim.” They aim to do this or they aim to do that, but never do.
Last week we talked about the #1 sin among Americans according to a George Barna survey in 2011. It’s anxiety and worry. What is the #2? Again it’s not pornography, overeating, or greed. It’s procrastination. Worry and procrastination almost tied for #1.
Procrastination concerning what? Top 5 things people procrastinate over: 1) Exercising 2) Cleaning out closets, drawers, and other cluttered spaces 3) Losing weight 4) Household cleaning 5) Preparing a will or other estate planning
I don’t think the people in this survey are talking about any of these earthly things. They are thinking of spiritual matters. How many people have we met that say that they need to get their relationship with God right, they need to be saved, but never get around to it? How many people have we met who say that they need to find a church home and go to church regularly, but they never get around to it? Many in my experience.
The problem here is that many people have little motivation to get spiritual things in order. The apathy caused by the flesh prevents many from ever making the effort in seeking God. When I say the flesh or the sinful nature, I am talking about all aspects of our humanity that are controlled by sinful desires and passions. Most people live to gratify the cravings of their sinful nature and follow its desires and thoughts (Ephesians 2:3). Their minds and senses have been dulled so that they do not seek Jesus Christ even when they know that it is in their best interest. Need to pray that “they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil” (2 Timothy 2:26).
Danger of delay is great. I want to talk to those who are delaying or procrastinating about spiritual matters whether it be about finding a church or about their own salvation.
Thesis: Let’s talk about various objections, excuses to people’s delay in spiritual matters and answer each one.
“I Will Later, but not now. Let me wait awhile.”
Procrastination is one of Satan’s greatest weapons. There is plenty of time. I want to sow my wild oats for a while and then get things right with God. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”--” Ecclesiastes 12:1, NIV.
Much too often, death comes unexpectedly, and then it is too late to think about God. “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,” Hebrews 9:27, NIV.
Would we delay in taking appropriate action if we knew... There was a bomb in our house that could explode at any moment? We had a terminal illness if left untreated?
We have a great concern for the body but not for the soul. How long is eternity?
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28, NIV.
Don’t delay; a soul is at stake!
“I Don’t Know Enough Yet”
A desire to learn more is commendable. There is a lot more that I would like to know! I have not arrived. Going to school to learn more even now! Take in all that we can from people who know more than us!
However, being a Christian involves a growth process. Notice that a lot of the teaching takes place after we become disciples, Christians. “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. ” Matthew 28:19, 20, NIV.
One can become a Christian with very little knowledge. How much does one need to know?
From the book of Acts we see that many became Christians after just one lesson; how many lessons or sermons have we heard?
When the Ethiopian eunuch wanted to be baptized after just one lesson, it was “faith” that was necessary, not “extensive knowledge”. “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:35-38, NIV. But what do we need to know?