Summary: Everyone has a cause, which they promote.

INTRO.- ILL.- A small church in the hills of Tennessee struck oil on its parking lot. It was a gusher and money was coming in so fast that the finance committee didn’t know what to do with it.

The committee called a special congregational meeting of the 40 church members asked them what to do with all the money. Deacon Brown said, "I move that we divide all the money among our 40 members, and I FURTHER MOVE THAT WE DON’T TAKE IN ANY NEW MEMBERS!"

What’s your cause? Making money. This is a real cause for some people.

ILL.- Perhaps you noticed this last week where actor Charles Bronson passed away at the age of 81. He was raised as a poor boy in Pennsylvania, the son of a coal miner, the 11th of 15th children.

Bronson said, "you had nothing to lose because you lost it already." His family, the Bunchinskys lived crowded in a shack, the children wearing hand-me-downs from older siblings. At the age of 6, Charles was embarrassed to attend school in his sister’s dress. Who wouldn’t be embarrassed to do such?!

His father died when he was 10, and at 16 he followed his brothers into the mines. He might have stayed in the mines for the rest of his life except for World War II. Having seen the outside world, he vowed not to return to his hometown.

He was attracted to acting not because of any artistic urge; he was impressed by the money movie stars could earn. His films had: lots of action, shooting, and dead bodies.

They were made on medium-size budgets, but Bronson was earning $1 million a picture before it was fashionable.

I admire Charles Bronson’s hard work to overcome adversity in life, but not his desire to make a lot of money.

I Tim. 6:9 "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

There is nothing wrong with making money or having money, as long as money doesn’t have you. As long as it doesn’t dominate a person’s life. It’s not a good cause. It’s certainly not a lasting cause, not an eternal cause.

Matt. 16:26 "What good will it for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Nearly everyone has some kind of cause, which they believe in and/or promote: making money, sports, hobbies, politics, etc.

ILL.- This past Labor Day weekend some people witnessed the Jerry Lewis telethon for MD. That Telethon received a record $60.5 million in nationwide pledges.

Lewis said, "I’m consistently humbled by the generosity of the American public. Every year I ask, and without blinking, you open your hearts and wallets."

MD is his cause! And it’s a good cause! It’s a good cause, because he is trying to do something for suffering people.

Do I think what Jerry Lewis has done for MD is going to get him into heaven? No, but he probably does and so do a lot of other people. I think any time someone devotes their time, money and energy to helping suffering humanity; it’s a great cause! But it’s not an entryway into heaven.

Eph. 2:8-10 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

We don’t do good things for others in order to be saved, but because we are saved. We are saved by the grace and graciousness of God in Christ. And God’s gives us the grace to be able to do good in life.

Jerry Lewis has a good cause, but he also needs Jesus Christ as His savior!

ILL.- Talk about a cause for good! Listen to this. Dateline NBC aired a story last Wednesday night, Sept. 3rd, entitled, "Remembering a Family." Bruce Murakami’s wife, Cindy, and daughter, Chelsea, were killed on Nov. 16, 1998, when a 19-year-old man who had been drag racing at 90 mph hit their van broadside and it burst into flames.

The young man who killed the wife and daughter is Justin Caberzas was eventually charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and carried a sentence of 30 years in prison.

Bruce Murakami asked to meet Justin, face-to-face, with no lawyers present to see what he would say. The young man broke down and said, "I’m sorry."

Remarkably, miraculously, Bruce Murakami forgave that young man. HARD TO BELIEVE, BUT TRUE!

Bruce Murakami asked the judge not to send Justin Cabezas to prison.

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