Summary: The proper motivation for a church to carry a crazy message to a confussed world of lost souls.
This story deals with a rather old fashioned lady, who was planning a couple of weeks vacation in Florida. She also was quite delicate and elegant with her language. She wrote a letter to a particular campground and asked for reservations. She wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped but didn’t know quite how to ask about the "toilet" facilities. She just couldn’t bring herself to write the word "toilet" in her letter. After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old fashioned term "Bathroom Commode," but when she wrote that down, she still thought she was being too forward. So she started all over again; rewrote the entire letter and referred to the Bathroom Commode" simply as the "B.C.". Does the campground have its own "B.C.?" is what she actually wrote.
Well, the campground owner wasn’t old fashioned at all, and when he got the letter, he couldn’t figure out what the lady was talking about. That "B.C." really stumped him. After worrying about it for several days, he showed the letter to other campers, but they couldn’t figure out what the lady meant either. The campground owner finally came to the conclusion that the lady was and must be asking about the location of the local Baptist Church. So he sat down and wrote the following reply: "Dear Madam: I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure of informing you that the "B.C." is located nine miles north of the camp site and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away if you are in the habit of going regularly but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along, and make a day of it..... They usually arrive early and stay late. The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now, there is a supper planned to raise money to buy more seats.....They plan to hold the supper in the middle of the B.C., so everyone can watch and talk about this great event.....I would like to say it pains me very much, not to be able to go more regularly, but it is surely not for lack of desire on my part....As we grow older, it seems to be more and more of an effort, particularly in cold weather..... If you decide to come down to the campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go...sit with you...and introduce you to all the other folks..... This is really a very friendly community.....
Illust: Yet membership in a confessing body is fundamental to the faithful Christian life. Failure to do so defies the explicit warning not to forsake "our assembling together." His understanding of this prompted Martin Luther to say, "Apart from the church, salvation is impossible." Not that the church provides salvation; God does. But because the "saved" one can’t fulfill what it means to be a Christian apart from the church, membership becomes the indispensable mark of salvation.
"So highly does the Lord esteem the communion of His church," Calvin wrote," that He considers everyone a traitor and apostate from religion who perversely withdraws himself from any Christian society which preserves the true ministry of the word and sacraments."
Charles W. Colson, The Body, 1992, Word Publishing, p. 70.
Illust: The church is the only cooperative society in the world that exists for the benefit of its non-members. \
(v.13) People need the Lord and they need someone to tell them. Faith and love for God will cause a person who is naturally shy and timid to come out of their shell to share the message of the gospel with the lost. Paul says in this verse, “if we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God.” Those who are open with sharing their faith are often times referred to by the world as “crazy Christians”. We should not be as concerned with what people think about us as we are with their soul’s condition.
(v.14) CHRIST’S LOVE COMPELS US. The person who has been born again is under the influence of the Holy Spirit. When someone is under the influence of a drug or alcohol it affects his or her behavior. They walk, talk and act differently. When a person truly has been changed by the power of God it will cause them to do things they normally would not do under the control of their natural self. Our motivation as Christians should be to serve God as a result of the love of Christ in our hearts. Some people go to church, read their Bibles and work for God trying to earn His favor and or blessings. The love of God is not earned, nor salvation it is a free gift which should compel us to love and serve him in return.