Summary: Boldness, complacency, impact
WHERE ARE ALL THE CHRISTIANS?
Matt 10: 32 (p 688) May 22, 2011
In 1990, centerfielder Brett Butler left the San Francisco Giants as a free agent. He was loved in San Francisco, and rightly so. He was a great player. But the best offer came from the L.A. Dodgers - their cross state rivals. Early in the season, when the two teams met, Butler was the center of attention. He was well loved by his former team, and they were playing at their ball park in San Francisco. When the line ups were being announced and the players introduced, the crowd roared as Butler, their former player was announced. The people still loved him, even in a Dodger uniform. Perhaps they felt he ws still a Giant at heart.
Brett Butler did something interesting at that point. When he heard the response of the crowd, he walked up to his new manager, Tommy Lasorda, and hugged him, in front of the thousands of Giants fans that filled the stadium. Instantaneously, the cheers began to turn to boos and insults. After the game, he was asked by the press why he did that. Brett Butler replied, "It turned a page in my career. I'm an L.A. Dodger now; I'm not a Giant. That just kind of solidified it." I wanted them to know I'm a Dodger."
My firm belief is that when a person becomes a Christian they need to "Hug" Jesus in the presence of their family, friends, co-workers, and community. They need to make it clear in their circle of influence what team they play for now.
Just like the crowd which thought…"Hey maybe Brett's still a Giant at heart…He played for us for so long…He wore our uniform for so many years…maybe he's till a Giant underneath that dodgers uniform.
People often look at a new Christian with those same thoughts…He's still a "good ole boy", He's still one of us". Nothing has really changed…He might call himself a Christian but underneath it all nothing really any different.
But the truth is…that if you are a Christian things have changed your priorities have changed, your love has changed, life as you use to know it has changed.
And it's important to make that life change public…It's essential you "Hug" Jesus in front of the old crowd.
If you are unwilling to do so there is something terribly wrong with your commitment to your new team and your new manager.
What did Jesus say in connection to this?
"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men I will disown him before my father in heaven." (Matt 10:32, 33)
So the important question is…"where have all the Christians gone?" Are we….
I HIDING OUR FATIH
Jesus was asked what the greatest commitment was and he responded…
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all
your strength" (Mk 12:30)
If I do anything with that kind of commitment physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually there's no way it could ever be a secrete.
[Think about something your passionate about….maybe it's Red's baseball, or hunting or fishing….maybe its golf or even your new boyfriend or girlfriend…possible U.K. sports or U of L….How long would it take for someone to find that out? How long would it take for them to discover your passion…]
I'd guess not long since you probably dressed head to toe in Red or Blue….you spend your money and time on it…you love to talk about it…your proud of this passion and you don't have any problem letting the world know…
So my question is…why do we keep God in our pocket so many times…? Why our supposed heart's love, soul's love, minds is love, strength's love quietly ignored in our lives outside these walls.
I believe for many I have the answer or at least Dick Alexander does in an arraying article in the May 1st issue of Christian Standard called "Confronting our heresy". He begins the article by saying….
[I became a Christian at age 9 to escape Hell. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not the only thing, and maybe not the best thing. It took me years to get past fear and learn to love God. In retrospect, I wish I could have started with love.
The quintessential evangelism question is, if you died tonight, are you sure you would be in Heaven tomorrow? But statistically, the chances are small the person will die tonight. While it's dangerous to presume on the future, especially in the highest stakes game of all- eternity-is there a better and more realistic question?
Make no mistake-Hell is real, and nothing to be trifled with. But what about this question: If you don't die tonight, so what?