Summary: If we don’t talk about sin, the reality of our sin nature, and it’s destructive power and it’s eternal consequences, then we, as the church, are doing perhaps the most incredible disservice to people that we could ever do with our entire lives. We water
Urban Legends #4
Well, next weekend, it all starts, the series that everybody’s been talking about. It is called “Satan’s Sex Ed,” and I am very excited. I’ve got some fresh perspective. I’ve been studying hard for that. It starts next week.
Welcome today to all of our campuses and those all over the world watching via video. We are so glad that you are with us. Today, we are concluding the series called “Urban Legends.” Let’s do this. All of our campuses, if you will, would you look to the person to your right? Everybody look to your right. Everybody now look to left. Look to the person to your left. Very good. Now look at the person behind you, maybe a couple of people behind you. Go ahead and turn around. Look at behind you. Okay, you got them? Now, I want you to point at the one that looks like the biggest sinner. [laughter] Go ahead and … go ahead and … a lot of people are pointing at each other, so it feels a bit weird to point at a person you that think would be the biggest sinner. In fact, in a lot of churches today, there are a lot of leaders who are going to say, “We don’t even call people sinners. We don’t want to make people feel bad about themselves. We don’t want to talk about sin, and we don’t want to call people sinners. We just want to encourage people. We want to uplift people. We want to make people feel better about themselves,” which in some respects is good news, because we do need encouragement, and there are a lot of people that are discouraged, and a good encouraging message is important. But, if we don’t talk about sin, the reality of our sin nature, and it’s destructive power and it’s eternal consequences, then we, as the church, are doing perhaps the most incredible disservice to people that we could ever do with our entire lives. We water this down if we pretend like it is not a big deal. We are preaching a very, very dangerous message.
Some examples. You look around today and what is really, really scary is that, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between people that are believers and people that are not believers just from the outside. You look at the actions and the lifestyles. For example, if you look at studies today, you will find that just as many, if not more, Christians divorce as do non-Christians, and it should not be that way. If you look at generosity and how much people give, studies show that non-Christians are just as generous, and some studies say more generous than those who call themselves believers. You think about it. If you look at my life from the outside, and there is little or no difference about the way I do life than say, someone who doesn’t claim Christ, and there is no difference on the outside, at some point, you are going to have to ask yourself, “Is there a real difference on the inside?” What’s the problem today in the church world? I think part of the problem is that so many people today want to add Christ to their lives, kind of like a little add-on. “Yeah, I’m still cool hip. I’m still doing everything I want to do, and yeah, Jesus is my home boy, too.” Okay. We want to add Christ without subtracting sin. We want all of the benefits of calling ourselves a believer, but we don’t want anything that Jesus teaches to really affect the way that we do everyday life. We want a, we want a revival in our hearts without repentance in our lives. We want to add Christ without subtracting sin. Spiritual maturity, what is it? What is it? Write this down. Spiritual maturity isn’t just how much we know, but how much we obey. It’s not just, “Hey, dude, I want this Bible study, you know, and I memorized all of these verses. And I’ve been to this kind of Bible study, and I know all this about Christianity and about God and about Jesus.” Spiritual maturity isn’t just how much we know up here, but how much we obey, how much we live out, and wouldn’t you agree that most people who call themselves Christians have been educated way beyond their level of obedience. We know all this stuff, but we don’t live it. Urban legends.
Today, we are going to talk about some very serious spiritual myths, urban legends about sin. There are three of them that we will study. The first urban legend about sin, and you are going to hear this all the time when you come across people is, people will say this. Number one, they will say, “I’m not a bad person. You know, there are a lot of bad people in the world, but you know, generally, I am a pretty good person. Yeah, people by nature, they are pretty good.” Are you ready for this? “You are a very, very bad person. You are a sinner!” Welcome to LifeChurch.TV, where our role is to make you feel good about yourself. Haha … I mean, I’m a sinner. You’re a sinner. We are born with a sin nature, separated and bent toward sinfulness. We are, by nature, sinful people. In fact, this is what scripture says, I John 1:8. All of our campuses, you guys help me out. The Bible says that, “If we claim to be without,” what? “If we claim to be without sin,” what do we do? “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” The Bible says that there is no one that does good. We are sinful human beings, and we have to recognize that. If we don’t, we are in great spiritual danger. I will explain it like this. There was a guy one day that was in the dessert, and he was dying of thirst, and all he wanted was a glass of water, and so he went climbing over hill after hill after hill, looking for anyone, anything that had water. And all of a sudden in the distance, he saw a guy and the guy was screaming out, “Free neckties … free neckties …” and the thirsty guy looked at him as if to say, “Why in the world would I ever want a necktie?” The necktie guy offered him, “Hey, would you like a free necktie?” and he said, “Get out of my way!” The thirsty guy climbed over another hill, and there in the distance was the most beautiful fine dining restaurant you have ever seen. [laugh] Yeah, I know. Doesn’t make sense, okay? It’s a preacher story. They don’t have to make sense. Right? So, this guy goes up to the fine dining restaurant, and there is the fancy waiter guy, server guy, outside the door, and he said, “Can I just come in? I just need a drink of water.” And the guy looked at him and said, “I’m sorry, but you can’t come in without a necktie.” Work with me, okay?