6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A look at today and where we are headed, as opposed to where we should be going.

“That was then, what is it now?”

John 3:16

Until I was 27 years old God not only didn’t play a significant role in my life He basically had NO role in my life. Just like Paul, I thought Christians were weak and foolish. But at 27 years old I was confronted with the “Gospel” through a situation that I will save for another day. I began to see the relevance of the Christian faith and to feel a sneaking suspicion, that scared me more than I can say, that not only was the Christian faith true, but it was going to become a very significant part of my life. So I stand here as Val Grieve puts it “A fool for Christ”…and proud to say it. Why? One of the main reasons I am a Christian is that I believe the Christian faith is the most relevant, up to date, and verifiable, body of truth we have today, bar none…just like it has been since creation. People that knew me before ask, “what happened? Why did you become a Christian?” I can think of two easy answers. One, I have found out that Christianity is true. There is more verifying evidence outside the Bible historically, through literature and scientifically, proving the Bible true than any other piece of literature on earth. This is important to someone like me who looks at things analytically, but even more important is the common “horse sense” method of something along the lines of reasoning through the resurrection. So that is one reason, I found God’s Word and Christianity to be true. But I want to concentrate today on my second reason. I found that Christianity is the farthest thing in the world from being foolish, weak or irrelevant. As a matter of fact it is the single most relevant thing in the world that you and I live in!! How many of you know a doctor? We are in church so you must know a Pastor. How many of us have had the opportunity to know, use or to desperately need a lawyer? I like the way someone has said that the pastor the doctor and the lawyer look at life. The pastor sees you at your best, the doctor sees you at your worst and the lawyer sees you as you are. Today I want to take a look at the world we live in and see what it’s like.

(Read Text John 3:16)

My Grandma lived to be 89 years old. It’s amazing to think of all the changes that happened in her 89 years. When she was born space was what there was between your house and the neighbors not something that you traveled through to get to the moon. There have been amazing advances in science on every front. But though we live in a “digital world” now, with unimaginable speed…we lack direction. Val Grieve is a British theologian and legal expert; he tells the story of when he managed an “Approved School” to you and me that means that he was the warden of a boys home. On one occasion he asked about a dozen boys what he thought was a very basic, logical question…”why are you here?” Not “What did you do to get here?” He was trying to communicate the idea that they were there to be helped, not punished. Despite court appearances, social and probation reports, lawyers and years in boys’ homes. They were there to be helped. He was shocked to find that not one of those boys had a clue. As I think about that it makes me think that those wayward kids are typical of most people in the world today. We have careers, social calendars, church, appointments and we zoom from one to the next with tremendous speed but with little direction. Busy, busy, busy…but not effective. Now if we have speed but no direction and never stop to think about our purpose in life, we are foolish. Speed without direction is getting nowhere fast! Of course, men, we know all about that…I mean why stop and ask directions when you are making great time?

The second way I would describe the world we live in is existence without life. Just look at the advances in medicine, it’s staggering. Any doctor will tell you that most drugs used today had not even been invented 15 or 20 years ago. We are living longer than ever but one patient who recently went to visit her doctor commented, “we are prevented from dying, but we are not helped to live!” “Prevented from dying, but not helped to live.” Not only are we aimless, we are also empty.

Anyone bought a Sega or Nintendo lately? They are already working their way to being obsolete. Are your kids satisfied or do they want the newest edition? Amusement without happiness. There has never been, if you think about it, a generation that has been more amused, or amusing depending on your perspective. Televisions, cable, videos, DVD’s, pop music. People are being constantly entertained. In fact, it seems that we are constantly on the go…but are we happy, fulfilled? A Christian doctor carried out an interesting survey recently involving his patients. As they waited in the waiting-room, they were asked to fill out a little survey on themselves. One of the questions asked was “What is your number one wish?” On analyzing the answers the doctor found that the number one wish of 67% of his patients was to have peace of mind. Beneath all the amusement, entertainment and busy-ness, there is a sort of restlessness. If we have amusement without happiness, it seems to me that we are foolish indeed.

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