Summary: Being a Christian is not easy, and is not something that can be taken lightly.
Where do You Eat?
I am again, giving you a message that many, if not all, will find very strong. Brethren, I continue to bring you strong messages from the Lord because there exists a great complacency in the people of God. There are a large number of people in the body of Christ that ignore, or do not know that professing to be a Christian is not something that can be taken lightly. Last week while we were having lunch, I discussed this same issue with fellow Christians. We came to the conclusion that to be a real Christian is not an easy thing. When a person professes to be a Christian, it means that their life has completely changed and that he or she is now submitted to the will of God at all times. I tell you that this is not something easily accomplished. I am sure that many of you, if not all, have already noticed this fact. It's not easy because it means that we would have to deny ourselves, in other words, we have to ignore the desires of the flesh and concentrate only on God. Let me illustrate what I mean with the following scripture.
1 Corinthians 10:21-23 - Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
Look carefully at this powerful warning that Paul is giving us. These verses tell us clearly that a person that professes to be a Christian cannot be the way he or she used to be. There has to be a complete and absolute change in the life of any person that professes to be a Christian. If there isn't a complete change in our lives, then we can't call ourselves Christians. Brethren I know that these are strong words, I know that these are words that can be misinterpreted. I know that these are words that not many pastors are willing to speak to their congregation about. However, it is time that we stop caressing sin, it is time to refer to things as what they really are. Furthermore, I want you to know that it is not my intent to offend or insult anyone, nor is it my purpose to make any one feel bad. My purpose and duty as the head of this congregation is to exhort the people of God, that the Lord has placed here to help us recognize the error of our ways.
What I am telling you is that we can't say that we are saved if there hasn't been a change in our lives. We can't say that we are children of God, because in all reality we are nothing. If now that we profess that we are Christians, we find ourselves doing the same things that we did while we lived in the world, then we are lying to ourselves. I tell you this because if this is the case, then we are not partakers of the Lord's table, thus the title of this week's sermon: "Where do We Eat." This is why Paul is giving us such a strong warning. It is for this same reason that we receive such a strong message. This is why we must examine our lives to see exactly where we are. If while we were living in the world we were adulterous, arrogant, envious, filled with jealousy, or any thing that we know are displeasing to God, now that we live in Christ, or better said, we say that we live in Christ, we cannot continue living in the same manner. If we continue being just the same way that we have always been, then we have done nothing and cannot be considered a Christian!
If we do not change our old ways, we are not partaking of the Lord's table, but rather consorting with the devil. Again I say to you, I know that it is very hard to be a Christian, I know that it is very hard because we wrestle against the flesh on a daily basis, but I also know that we do not wrestle against something that we can't defeat, as described in the following scripture:
1 Corinthians 10:13- There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
We serve a just God, we serve a God that does not want us to distance ourselves from Him. But on numerous occasions we fall into sin because of our lack of knowledge of the Word of God. I say this because if we all had a better understanding of the Word, if we all sought more of Him, then we would not have to suffer the many things that we suffer. We would be much happier people because we would know without a doubt that there is nothing that can defeat us, that there is nothing that can take away the blessings that He has given us. But what happens most often, is that we reject the blessings. Because of the desires of the flesh, we fail to see that He has given us the solution to all the problems. We simply can't see it because worldly desires such as greed, jealousy and the pleasures of the flesh continue to blind us.