Summary: "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my Gospel." (Powerpoint Available - #229)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoint slides are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #229.)
TEXT: 2 Timothy 2:8
ILL. In 1789 the Congress of the United States of America called upon Pres. George Washington to proclaim a national day of prayer & thanksgiving. And he did! And such Presidential Proclamations have regularly been made ever since.
But did you know that in 2010, 221 years later, Federal Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that such a proclamation is unconstitutional – that she knows better than the very people who wrote the Constitution in the first place what is constitutional & what is not?
However, later, the 7th District Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, overturned her ruling.
ILL. In recent years, on the anniversary of 9/11, millions of people have paused to remember those who were killed on that day. And in many places special services have been held so that people could comfort one another as our nation remembered that tragedy.
But in a 9/11 Memorial Service held in Orange County, California, officials told the participating High School Choir that they would not be allowed to sing “America The Beautiful” or “God Bless America” because those songs mention “God” & thus might offend someone. (From Bill O’Reilly’s TV program on FoxTV.)
“Might offend someone”? It seems to me that the song & the words, “God Bless America” have become a rallying cry - an expression of the determination, love, & prayers of the American people. And I’m not ashamed, or afraid, or apologetic today in proclaiming “God Bless America!”
A. But this fear of disturbing someone with the mention of God is becoming more & more prevalent. It appears that many people in our country are no longer sure what to do with any Christian holiday because they are worried about being politically incorrect, & concerned about alleged discrimination.
ILL. Because of all this, I've been told that a new politically correct version of the Bible has been printed. In it we are no longer to pray to "Our Father who is in heaven," but to "Our father/mother who is in heaven."
And Jesus is not referred to as "The Son of God," but as "the human one."
And since they believe we must be sensitive to everyone's feelings, instead of the words "on the right hand of God" the new version reads "at the hand of God" because they don't want left handed people to feel offended either.
I think the whole idea has reached the point of being ridiculous & blasphe-mous. We must be sensitive to the feelings of others, but changing God's Word to keep from offending with the message of salvation is not a valid option.
You see, even mentioning Jesus – unless as a curse word - seems certain to offend some people. In fact, the Bible tells us that to some people the death of Jesus on the cross will be foolishness, & to others a stumbling block.
And when Jesus says, "I am the way & the truth & the life & no man comes to the Father except by me," (John 14:6) & the apostle Peter proclaims in Acts 4:12, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved", then some people will be offended.
B. But the problem is, even though the secular world seems to be worried about offending non Christians, it certainly doesn't want to miss out on the opportunity to make big money off Christian holidays.
So they have come up with alternatives. At Christmas there is Santa Claus, & at Easter we have a bunny which lays eggs.
It's absurd, isn't it? It takes much more faith to believe in a man dressed in a red suit flying in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, & an Easter bunny that lays eggs, than it does to believe in the real story of the birth & life & death & resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He is my Savior & my Lord, & He is the one I want to consider this morning.
Our text comes from 2 Timothy 2:8. It's just 14 words long, & you ought to memorize them. As Paul writes these words he is an old & tired soldier of the cross who has been through it all. He has been beaten, shipwrecked, & imprisoned. Now his life is nearly over, & he leaves this legacy of faith to the young preacher, Timothy.
PROP. Here's his legacy. "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel..." It is only 14 words long, but it pretty well says it all, doesn't it?
I. "REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST"