Summary: In the midst of an ever-changing world, we need things that never change on which to hang our hearts and minds. God’s Love for us will never change. That’s not only good news for the new year, but Great news for our entire life.
Well, here we are this morning already into a new year: we stand well inside the door of the new Millennium - the 3rd millennium. A chapter in the book has been written and a new chapter is about to begin.
Have we learned anything from the past chapter? Will it teach us anything about the new chapter that is about to be written in our lives this New Year?
I’m excited about being here this morning to worship our great God together.
I’m excited about what God has been doing in the lives of His people here.
And I’m really excited about what God is going to do through this church and through the lives of those who surrender their lives to Him this year.
Can you imagine what the world will be like 100 years from now if the Lord tarries His return?
All you have to do is to have some idea what the world will be like is to just look back 100 years and consider what the world was like then… and consider the incredible rate of change that we’ve experienced over these 100 years… and to understand that – that rate of change is actually accelerating... to understand what it will be like 100 years hence.
Think about it… 100 years ago… at the turn of the 20th century… here in America…
• Over 50% of the population were involved in agriculture – in farming today – less than 2% of the people are involved in any way in agricultural vocation.
• 100 years ago – the 2nd largest vocational group in America was being a “domestic servant” How many of you have domestic servants at home? I don’t even know any – even though some housewives would argue that point with me.
Technologically - In 1900…
• You would find no Airplanes
• You would find no Computers, fax machines, emails
• No CD’s - Cassettes - No 8 tracks or Record albums -- Whatever those are…?
• There were no Credit cards
• No mutual funds
• No multi-national Corporations
• There were no Interstate highways
• There were no Fast-food restaurants… I’m not sure there are today… some just like to call themselves “Fast food”
In fact – 100 years ago…
• The “Big Mac” was 50 years from creation. How did people live?
100 years ago… There was no…
• Mickey Mouse
• No Theme parks - roller coasters
• No “Colts”
• No “Pacers”
There were no…
• Talking movies
• No video tapes
• No VCR’s - No Laser disc -- No DVD’s – (No BVD’s)
There was no…
• Open heart surgery
• No organ transplants
It was not even imaginable… 100 years ago.
100 years ago… there were no cures… for many of the diseases which plagued mankind…
And now, of course – change continues – and if anything – it continues to ACCELARATE!
Politically… did you know… that
• 20% of the member states of the United Nations weren’t even countries – 100 years ago?
• The United Nations itself didn’t even exist at the beginning of the 20th century.
Change is taking place – not just TECHNOLOGICALLY & POLITICALLY…
Change is taking place SPIRITUALLY as well…
And some of the change is very encouraging… for instance -
• Missiologists tell us that 32,000 new believers are coming to Christ –in China – every DAY!
Isn’t that phenomenal? 32,000 new believers!
• In Africa – an estimated 20,000 new believers are coming to Christ daily-south of the Sahara Desert.
• It is quite possible that Africa will become a majority Christian continent for the first time in just the next few years.
• In South America there are 50,000 new churches being established every year.
In fact, the only bad news in that regard is that North America is the only continent of all the continents where the church is NOT growing rapidly today.
AND CHANGE IS HAPPENING WITHIN CHURCH BODIES TOO…
Notre Dame magazine – the alumni magazine of Notre Dame University- had a feature article in which they talked about the changes within Catholicism worldwide.
They reported that 41% of Roman Catholic parishes don’t have a resident priest.
Many parishes only get a priest once a month – some –only once a quarter.
So, increasingly in those churches – lay people are having to take the lead… in leading the services.
If you know anything about Catholic theology – you know that only a priest can celebrate the Mass.
So, if there is no priest, they can’t celebrate the Mass---
So what do they do when they come together –under the leadership of those lay leaders?
The only thing that they can do….
They READ and study the BIBLE!!!