Summary: God calls, and we are responsible to return His call. Yet we will only respond to that general call if God calls us specially, in a way that melts down our natural resistance to Him.
Returning Your Calls
1. I do not particularly enjoy the world of phone message recorders. I am glad they exist, and I have one at the office.
2. Sometimes people leave important messages.
3. Sometimes the message is not crucial, but it communicates a piece of information. In a day when we have so much to do and remember, getting those calls out of the way helps make our lives a little less cluttered.
4. But sometimes I get calls from a salesperson. I rarely return those calls.
5. There is nothing in the Bible that says you have to return a call if you do not want to.
6. But God’s calls are different. He expects us to respond.
7. If we respond to His call, our lives are altered. If we ignore the general call of the Gospel, we do so to our own detriment.
8. Two strangely connected events that occurred in 1865 greatly impact American lives even today.
• General William Booth founded the Salvation Army and now millions are fed, clothed and given shelter in the name of Jesus. As Booth proclaims "A heart to God and a hand to man".
• 2) The other event involved another man named Booth (a distant cousin to William) his name John Wilks Booth who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
One cousin blessed a nation the other cursed it.
The Gospel makes a difference. (from Sermon Central)
9. Alice Cooper says he loves God but doesn’t want to become a ’celebrity’ believer. The father of shock rock whose music and stage antics have outraged parents for more than 30 years told how the fear of hell turned him to God.
Although he became a Christian in the 1980s, apart from brief comments in some interviews the 54-year-old singer has always been guarded about his faith – until now. But in a frank interview with a Christian music magazine, he spoke at length publicly for the first time about his love for God and reluctance to become a "Christian celebrity."
Cooper – who legally changed his name from Vince Furnier – has been credited with paving the way for the likes of today’s outrageous performers such as Marilyn Manson. But he maintains that … he was always insulted whenever he was accused of being satanic. Raised in a Christian home, he still believed in God, although he was not committed.
That changed when alcoholism threatened his marriage. He and his wife, Sheryl, attended a church with a "hellfire pastor." Cooper said he became a Christian "initially more out of the fear of God, rather than the love of God ... I did not want to go to hell." Interviewed for HM’s March/April issue, Cooper views his faith as "an ongoing thing."
"Being a Christian is something you just progress in. You learn. You go to your Bible studies. You pray," he said.
He has avoided "celebrity Christianity," because "it’s really easy to focus on Alice Cooper and not on Christ. I’m a rock singer. I’m nothing more than that. I’m not a philosopher. I consider myself low on the totem pole of knowledgeable Christians. So, don’t look for answers from me."
Yet he has been able to speak to others in the music scene about his faith.
"I’ve had a couple of people that were friends of mine that I’ve talked to that have vocally said they have [accepted Christ]. I have talked to some big stars about this, some really horrific characters ... and you’d be surprised. The ones that you would think are the furthest gone are the ones that are more apt to listen."
Songs on Cooper’s more recent recordings have hinted at his change of heart. He sees his stage persona now as "the prophet of doom," telling people: "’Be careful! Satan is not a myth. Don’t sit around pretending like Satan is just a joke.’ I think my job is to warn about Satan."
He no longer performs some of his older repertoire. Any song promoting promiscuous sex and drinking "gets the axe," he said. "I’m very careful about what the lyrics are. I tried to write songs that were equally as good, only with a better message."
Cooper told HM he answers his critics: "’I was one thing at one time, and I’m something new. I’m a new creature now. Don’t judge Alice by what he used to be. Praise God for what I am now.’" (Source: World Net Daily)
4. We can see that God sometimes saves those we would least expect to be saved.
MAIN IDEA: God calls, and we are responsible to return His call. Yet we will only respond to that general call if God calls us specially, in a way that melts down our natural resistance to Him.