Summary: Another in the series on the resurrection chapter... why the resurrection matters
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is NOT in vain.
On the afternoon of August 2, 1997, James Acliff, a 39 year-old unemployed construction worker, woke up in a precarious position. He was lying face down between the rails of a railroad track.
Acliff told police he “SLIPPED” on a rock while walking his dog and was KNOCKED out.
When he finally came too, he soon realized he was NOT ALONE – for passing over him was a 109-car freight train.
“I got one terrible headache, let me tell ya,” he later said from his Florida hospital bed. “About every 3 or 4 seconds an axle would come along and crack me upside the head. It’s a good thing I wasn’t on my back or that train would have ripped my face off!”
The Moral of the Story? There are CERTAIN places where a body can’t afford to fall asleep! Amen???
THIS is one of those places! The Church is one of those places.
Years ago, someone called the church – “a sleeping giant.” But it is my observation that we aren’t just drowsy – we are comatose! The church is incredibly complacent. Comfort and entertainment have become our chief concerns. We have no appetite for the things of God – no burning passion to do His Will – no willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others! Satisfied with the “appearance of godliness” – callously standing by - as the world burns.
A. W. Tozer once said, “One of the greatest foes of the Church – is religious complacency. We have fallen to our present state of carnality from a lack of spiritual desire. Among the many who PROFESS faith in the Lord, scarcely one in a thousand possesses any real passion for God!”
You may find this ‘unfair.’ You might think I’m ‘too cynical’ for your taste. But show me where I am wrong. SHOW ME! Faith has been supplanted by the amount of money we have in the bank. Vision for the work of God is forfeited out of fear of personal sacrifice. Holy boldness has fallen victim to political correctness and the fear of being labeled ‘intolerant.’
We - ARE - asleep!
We have mistakenly assumed that our lack of numeric growth has been caused by being too conservative. We FEAR that taking a stand on holiness and truth will cost us our INFLUENCE. So, “the way back into the good graces of the world is to water-down doctrine – and present a vanilla Christianity that is less offensive and more entertaining and inclusive.”
But through our efforts to be less offensive to man, are WE becoming offensive to God? Modern Christianity stands on the precipice of irrelevance because we have moved away from the only message that can save a lost and dying world.
What will it take to jar us out of this slumber – this complacency? What will it take to reach our world for Christ? Paul’s answer??? The RESURRECTION. Everything we believe - everything we could ever HOPE to accomplish - is through that power that raised Christ from the dead.