Summary: People often love the wrong things, and don't love the right things. Part 4 of the series, Passing On The Faith
When Love is Wrong
Passing on the Faith, Part 4
Most people today believe a myth,
that the world is becoming a better and better place.
We believe the myth that people are improving,
that the world is becoming more enlightened,
and that we’re way ahead of where our ancestors were.
Now, certainly, there are bright spots in the world today.
Technology has changed our lives,
and made all sorts of tasks easier,
Especially medical technology
has improved the life of billions of people around the planet.
For example small pox has all but been eliminated.
and polio is getting close.
In the US, the life expectancy of a person back in the year 1900
was 47 years old.
Now it’s 77 years old.
In one century we’ve gained 30 years of life.
Some of us here have had our lives saved
by heart bypass surgery,
by new cancer treatments,
or by organ transplants.
There’s also been a lot of progress in Civil Rights,
for minorities and for women
over the last century.
So there’s many improvements.
But at the same time,
in the last 50 years
divorce rates have skyrocketed,
along with the use of illegal drugs,
rates of depression,
and suicide has increased
Single parent families are way way up,
sexual abuse of children has gone up.
educational performance has fallen,
50 years ago
shootings in schools were unheard of,
terrorism was not a threat,
and nobody even cared if you brought a knife on an airplane.
Technology has vastly improved our lives,
but its also brought porn
into any room that has a computer,
and its also given us the ability
to more efficiently kill each other.
So how do we really measure
whether we’re better off or worse off
at any particular time in history?
What’s the standard of a great society?
Is it the wealth of our people?
or the strength of our military?
or the quality of our technology?
And how do you find out if you are moving forward
as a human being,
or moving backward?
How do you measure whether you’re
becoming a better person,
or a worse person?
Is it how much money you make,
or how many friends you have on Facebook?
or whether you have the latest gadgets,
like an i-phone or i-pad.
How do we measure?
Well, the Bible actually tells us the standard
that we can measure by,
and it’s actually the same for societies and for individuals.
The biblical standard for measuring progress
is simply love.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
an individual or society
ranks in the sight of God
as a big zero.
You may have more money than Bill Gates,
more power than Duke Energy,
and so many advanced degrees next to your name,
they call you Dr. Fahrenheit,
But without love,
God says you amount to nothing. Zero.
It was love that made early Christian communities great,
and caused our faith
to spread so rapidly around the world.
About 150 years after Christ,
a great Christian leader named Turtullian,
lived in Carthage,
an area that is now part of Tunisia in North Africa,
Tertullian wrote that for non-believers in his day
the way of describing Christians was that
People pointed at them in the street and said,
“See how they love one another. In fact, they’re ready to die for one another. They even call each other ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ even though they don’t come from the same family.”
Now, those early Christians
didn’t have our technology.
didn’t our conveniences,
didn’t have our wealth,
didn’t live nearly as long as we do.
But on the scale that God measures people by,
some of those early Christian communities
were far greater in the sight of God
than modern America is,
because they had a love
that we can’t even imagine.
The Bible tells us that God is love
and we’re made in his image
we’re also made to love,
But here’s the problem,
you can love the wrong things,
and not love the right things.
What are the right things?
First and foremost, we’re supposed to love God,
and second, to love others.
What are the wrong things to love?
That’s what we’re going to look at today.
We’re in a series based on the book in the Bible, 2 Timothy,