Summary: Change we can all believe in!
REV 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
We’ve heard a lot lately about change you can believe in. I want to talk about change God can believe in. We always say "I believe in God" but did you know that God believes in you too? And whenever you confess your sins and become born again, then that’s when God wants to believe in you the most. Our text tells us that it literally sickens God whenever we can’t make up our minds. Do we want to serve God? Do we want a part-time salvation? Or will we commit to His fullness and be obedient to His word?
What does your life look like? Are you lukewarm? Are you hot, or on fire for God? Or has your desire for Him grown cold and only now and then "fires" up? I believe it all begins with genuine repentance. Are you really sorry whenever you sin? Have you changed since you were saved? Or do you just feel guilty now whenever you sin? What is the fruit of your salvation? If you’ve just recently been saved, can your friends see a difference in your life? There needs to be a change that we all can believe in!
Here’s a fact of life.....change is inevitable. That’s right, we are going to change whether we want to or not. Don’t believe me? Pull out some pictures of yourself from last Thanksgiving. Have you changed? I have! A little fatter, a little greyer. Things change even when we don’t want them to. Not all changes are good! Some changes are for the better...some are not. Some grow "hotter" in God. Some cool off and go from lukewarm to cold. So we have to be aware that change will occur and make a conscience decision to continue to grow hotter and closer to God instead of growing away from Him.
Life is like a river. There is a current constantly flowing. Usually we are going up river. We have to paddle. If we quit paddling in the middle of a current, you don’t just sit still in the same place, do you? No, you just go wherever the current takes you if you stop paddling. That’s probably what we were doing before we came to the Lord. That’s not change, that’s the same old same old. It takes determination and drive to paddle. It takes strength and faith to keep paddling for your destination. It takes the Holy Spirit of God to continue on whenever you don’t feel like paddling anymore.
The gospel is about change. A person who has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and has made a commitment to Him is going to change. A person who claims to have accepted Jesus as their Savior and who continues to be substantially what they always have been is kidding no one but themselves. If you catch on to this gospel it will change you....forever! There is a contradiction these days that comes out of a word that has become the motto of the contemporary religious scene, and that word is "acceptance." Some are saying, "You’re OK, I’m OK." Some are saying that Jesus "accepts" us just the way we are.
Now, this is true only if it is understood what the gospel is all about. Coming to Jesus just the way we are is actually like getting into the shower just the way we are. A person doesn’t take a shower before they get into the shower. They get into the shower just the way they are, literally. But when they get out of the shower, they are different, they are clean. That is because that is what showers are for. To shower is what I do to get clean and keep clean. And so a person comes to Jesus just as they are, like you or I get into the shower after a hot day of working in the yard. Whenever Gerald and I mow, you should see me before I get in the shower. Dirt from head to toe.....but whenever I get out...that’s a change you can believe in!
A person who comes to Jesus just as they are...proud, selfish, bitter and resentful, lustful and out of control...and who stays that way hasn’t really come to Jesus at all. Coming to Jesus is about being washed and being made clean. The scripture is clear, that those who are forgiven must also be cleansed from all unrighteousness. 1 JOHN 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.