Summary: Fear of disturbing someone with the mention of God is becoming more & more prevalent. You see, even mentioning Jesus – unless as a curse word - seems certain to offend some people. (PowerPoints Available - #336)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org & request #336
I don't know just how much you are aware of some of the turmoil that is going on in our nation, particularly this past week. No, I'm not talking about political turmoil. You have probably heard more than enough of that.
I'm talking instead about things that oftentimes don't get more than just a passing mention, if at all, depending upon what news channel you have on.
ILL. Did you notice the story last week about a veteran living in a retirement village? His mailbox is decorated with a wrap-around decal of an American flag, & the village officers are afraid that might offend someone. So they have ordered him to remove that mailbox, & they are threatening to sue him if he doesn't.
How about the college which banned & removed all American flags from their campus, including cars that display decals portraying an American flag? They believe that seeing such a flag on their campus might offend someone.
And it is not just flags that might offend. Several colleges have announced that any favorable mention of Jesus or Christianity will no longer be tolerated. And any campus groups or meetings that are considered "Christian" will no longer be allowed on college property. (Adapted from "TheBlaze" - Glen Beck)
And these aren't just isolated events. The "fear of offending" is being used more & more in seeking ways to silence any Christian witness.
ILL. As you know, in recent years, millions of people in our nation have paused to remember, on the anniversary of 9/11, those who died on that day. And in many places special services have been held so that people could comfort one another as our nation remembers that tragedy.
I mentioned this in a sermon last year, but let me remind you again that in a 9/11 Memorial Service held in Orange County, California, officials told the partici-pating High School Choir that they would not be allowed to sing “America The Beautiful” or “God Bless America” because those songs mention “God” & thus might offend someone. (From Bill O’Reilly’s TV program on FoxTV.)
“Might offend someone?” It seems to me that the song & the words, “God Bless America” have become an expression of the determination, concern, & prayers of the American people. And I’m not ashamed, or afraid, or apologetic today in proclaiming “God Bless America!”
A. But this fear of disturbing someone with the mention of God is becoming more & more prevalent. You see, even mentioning Jesus – unless as a curse word - seems certain to offend some people.
In fact, the Bible tells us that to some the death of Jesus on the cross will be considered foolishness, & to others a stumbling block.
And when Jesus says, "I am the way, & the truth, & the life. The only way to the Father is through me." (John 14:6 NCV) & the apostle Peter proclaims in Acts 4:12, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved", then some people will be offended.
B. But the problem is, even though the secular world seems to be worried about offending non-Christians, it certainly doesn't want to miss out on the opportunity to make big money off Christian holidays.
So they have come up with alternatives. At Christmas there is Santa Claus, & at Easter we have a bunny rabbit.
It's absurd, isn't it? It takes much more faith to believe in a man dressed in a red suit flying in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer - & an Easter bunny that lays eggs - than it does to believe in the real story of the birth & life & death & resurrection of Jesus.
He is my Savior & my Lord, & He is the one I want to consider this morning.
Our Scripture text is 2 Timothy 2:8. As Paul writes these words he is an old & tired soldier of the cross who has been through it all. He has been beaten, shipwrecked, & imprisoned. Now his life is nearly over, & he leaves this legacy of faith to the young preacher, Timothy.
PROP. Here's his legacy. "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel..." It is only 14 words long, but it pretty well says it all, doesn't it?
I. "REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST"
A. The apostle Paul tells Timothy to “Remember Jesus Christ” - remember who He is, & what He has done.
Our memories are impor¬tant parts of our lives, but it seems to me that as I am getting older it is becoming more & more difficult to remember things.