Summary: God has called the church to be something more than we’ve somehow become. It’s time to understand and accept the call...again!
How do you answer the phone?
“This is Sam (or whatever your name is).”
“Hey!” (usually if you have callerID)”
“Talk to me.”
Choosing to ignore it.
Each of us here could get the same phone call and yet have a different response.
But what if God calls? How do we respond?
Does that seem like a pretty crazy question – What if God calls?
But he does!
The call of God! Is that a church term or what? It’s definitely not something you hear too much on Super Bowl Sunday, right?
When did you last hear a star quarterback, like the Patriots’ Tom Brady or the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb, say they were called by God to call the plays for their team or even great champion coaches like Bill Belichick or Andy Reidy say they were called by God to lead their team to victory?
Usually not heard, but we hear it in church circles all the time.
We say, “Well, she’s been called to be a missionary” or “He’s been called into a ministry with the homeless,” or “He, or she has been called to a church in Minnesota.”
But how many times do we hear, “Well, she’s been called to be a hospital nurse,” or “He’s been called to be a plumber?”
That’s too bad. We’ve limited the call of God to the “professional” fields, the “divine” places – churches, mission fields, chaplaincies.
Paul never thought that way. That’s why he could say, “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called.”
Paul wasn’t addressing a convention of pastors. He wasn’t speaking to religious professionals.
He was talking to his fellow tentmakers and the fisherman and the shopkeepers and the government officials that made up that struggling first-century church.
What an empowering statement he made to them – No longer are you “just” anything; no longer are you common, ordinary, standard of even average. You are called by God!
Understand the power of that statement. We are called!
Say it with me – We are called!
It’s time for us who are followers of Jesus Christ, disciples of the Son of God, our Lord, to step forward and “not be ashamed to testify about our Lord … by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life” (2 Tim. 1:8-9)!
Or as Paul said in Ephesians 4:1, “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”
I don’t think we’re doing that.
I think we have a whole different kind of Christianity going on than the one we should.
Our Christianity doesn’t say “We Are Called.” It says “We Are Comfortable.”
This is what I call “Inactive Christianity” or “Couch Potato Christianity.”
• This is Christianity owned by people who sing “We Shall Not be Moved” and mean it!
• They don’t want anything to either disturb them or excite them; the best position is a neutral position
• They don’t mind the hard work of Christianity; they could watch others do it all day!
• Rather than being world-changers we have too much become pew-sitters
• We neither run the good race or fight the good fight; that’s too much work.
I hate the gym. I’d rather go by it than step into it. It hurts! It’s too much like work. I tell people that when I worked in the oilfields a zillion years ago that I stayed in shape by working, but now I have to work to stay in shape.
I hate the gym, but I like the results.
Yeah, I’d rather eat a carton of ice cream while watch too much TV, but that won’t get the good results I want for my life.
Inactive Christianity won’t get the god results we need for our lives of discipleship or for the life of our church.
Our Christianity doesn’t say “We Are Called.” It says “We Are Confused.”
I call this “reactive Christianity” or “Knee-Jerk Christianity.”
• This kind of Christianity goes wherever the wind blows; it follows every trend, fad and flavor.
I am grown very cautious of the many church plans and programs that populate the Christian playing field. A couple of decades ago I thought the church should be all about “Evangelism Explosion.” then I got wind of “Friendship Evangelism.” Even more recently I’ve had “knee-jerk” reactions to “Promise Keepers,” “Contagious Christianity,” “Natural Church Development,” “Church Growth Institute, “Spiritual Gifts Implementation,” and “The Purpose Driven Church.” I’m currently trying to figure out what an emerging church is, whether or not we should have a traditional, contemporary or blended service or some mutated version of all three, and which version of the Bible we should buy to replace our deteriorating pew bibles. It’s all much too much!