Summary: Message #7 in the Faith and Freedom Series. A challenge to Christians to use their voice and their vote to impact their culture.
This is the final message of the Faith and Freedom Series that was preached during the month of October 2004. These messages were preached before the 2004 elections in Oklahoma. Several critical issues were on the ballot, including a homosexual marriage amendment and several gambling questions.
INTRODUCTION: In today’s message we will look at the Christian Voice. Have you ever lost your voice? Perhaps you are like me and have lost your voice after attending a football or basketball game. You found that the next day it was difficult to communicate with people. Maybe you had important things to say, but others could not hear you. Sometimes we are not heard because of too much noise around us. This can be extremely frustrating.
I have found that most of the time I am not heard, it is because I am not using my voice.
As Christians we often fail to speak up on important issues. There can be several reasons why:
1. We feel that we can not make a difference
2. We have no true convictions about the matter
3. We fear the consequences of speaking up/out
4. We are not concerned enough to speak up/out
Jesus tells his followers that they are Salt & Light to the world. Both salt and light are things that are added, things that contribute, they that make things better.
We have been commissioned by the master to make the world a better place. To do what we can to preserve the standards of righteousness as salt and to reveal the truth of God’s love and forgiveness as light.
We can better do this if we come to understand the power and potential we each have as Christians when we use our voice.
I. THE CHRISTIAN VOICE IS THE VOICE OF CHARITY
A. Love is the primary Characteristic of Christianity
B. Ephesians 4:15 tells us we should speak the truth in love
C. Love produces action
D. Consider these things:
1. Love of God toward us
2. Love for God from us
3. Love of God through us
The truth is often harsh and hard. We must be careful as Christians to speak in love. God certainly does not need us making the truth harder to receive!
I. THE CHRISTIAN VOICE IS THE VOICE OF CONVICTION
A. A love for God produces a love for the things of God
B. Because of this love we develop strong convictions
C. A major problem with Christians today is that we have no convictions.
D. 2 Corinthians 4:13 “I believe and therefore I have spoken”
E. Consider three elements of conviction:
1. Principles – based on God’s Word
2. Purpose – help us and others live better lives
3. Passion – convictions produce passion
Jesus said, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” – Matthew 12:34. This would imply that whatever is in our heart, or important to us, will eventually come out of our mouth. Really, we cannot stop it. We will find ourselves talking about his we are passionate about, without even thinking about it.
I find it strange that we claim to have strong convictions ad then vote contrary to the very principles we claim to hold dear! I will take a little liberty with the scripture I quoted and say, “out of the abundance of the heart the ballot speaketh”.
II. THE CHRISTIAN VOICE IS THE VOICE OF COMMITMENT
A. We must have resolve ACTS 4:13-20
B. The Truth is unpopular and uncomfortable
C. Unfortunately the world has come to expect “flip-flopping fair weathered faith” from the Church.
D. Our convictions fuel our commitments – belief behaves
1. The Standard – a system of values by which things are measured - a banner or flag representing a common people, nation or idea
- it inspires, encourages and unites us.
- God has promised to raise up a standard for us
2. The Strength – remember the battle is the Lord’s
- Be strong in the Lord and the power of his might
3. Be Steadfast – having done all to stand, STAND
Christians do not abandoned what is right nor justify what is not! Be committed to Christian Values and Principles.
III. THE CHRISTIAN VOICE IS THE VOICE OF CHANGE
A. The Power of our voice - The Christian faith has impacted the world more positively than any other force or factor in history!
B. The Potential of our voice
– When we speak up society changes for the better
– Ex. civil rights, Education, Hospitals, etc.
C. The Presence of our voice –
- When we do not society changes for the worse
- Ex. The last 50 years
E. Consider that every generation reshapes our culture. Ideology shifts and changes continuously. The Christian worldview must once again gather momentum and re-enter the market place of ideas. It is the Christian voice that will bring about this needed change. When we speak up, with our voices and at the ballot box, we get the attention of the political machine and the media. They are forced to recognize us and to listen to us. Eventually they will cater to us as a strong voting block.