Summary: We all want to leave the world a little better place for having lived here. But if that is true, then we must have a plan. Do we? Jesus suggests a plan "Follow me."
Have you ever wondered why you come to church every Sunday, at least most Sundays? And why is it that for each one of you faithful attendees, there are 10 or more non-attendees? I pray you understand I am glad you are here and of much more importance, God is pleased and that you come as often as you are able.
This morning however, I suggest to you that you may have trouble explaining just why you come to church. Is it because it’s simply something you have done all your life, as did your parents? Is it because church is a good place to meet friends and share in some quality fellowship. It is because you believe listening to a sermon will bring you closer to God? Is it because coming to church make you feel good?
I believe you are here because God has called you to Himself.
However, have you ever found yourself saying there must be more? I’m missing something. On the other hand, do you believe your “ok” with God because you come to church on Sunday mornings and because you call yourself a Christian? Yet, as a Christian, what impact are you having on this world, this community? Not as a politician, a businessperson or even someone who donates a significant amount of material wealth to a “good” cause.
Instead, as a “Christian,” a believer in Jesus Christ, a person who truly believes what the Bible says. Are you, are we making an impact in this world, in this community for God? Can you honestly think of anything more important to be doing with our lives during these brief few moments of life given by our Creator?
This year, we embark on a journey. There are going to be challenges. Some things God asks of us will make us uncomfortable, perhaps even angry. Nevertheless, I promise this, the direction God takes us this year comes from His “game plan” and His Word.
Sometimes when God instructs, we sense He is unhappy with us. We may even sometime feel that we simply can’t get it right. We can’t change anything. Know that is Satan whispering in you ear. You can make a difference.
Many people in our country, in our community have fallen for Satan’s lies and perverted what God calls us to be. Our world has bought into a “Cultural Christianity.” This is nothing new. It has been around for centuries. “Cultural Christianity” is all about false ideas concerning the importance of authentic faith.
For example, do we think because we consider ourselves a “good” person and are against “bad” things, then our faith is adequate? That makes us a “moral” person, not a Christian.
Have we bought into the “Christianity” of our culture… without understanding what constitutes authentic faith? Do we understand some of the basic facts about Christianity, but no have idea how those facts should apply to our lives?
For instance, do we make teaching Christian faith a priority when educating our children and grandchildren what they believe and why they believe it? Or, do we place greater emphasis on getting a “good education” instead of learning about the things of God?
Are we embarrassed if our children and grandchildren do not posses a good education, while being indifferent about Christ and Christianity?
Will our children, our grandchildren view themselves as Christians, not because they have studied the facts and come to a point of intellectual certainty, but only because their family is Christian… so they believe they too must be Christian?
Do you begin to see the problem with this thinking? We cannot inherit authentic faith. Many in our culture view Christianity this way. We see the result. So many of our young men and women reach a point where they question the truth of Christianity and, when challenged, abandon the “inherited” faith they cannot defend.
We live in a time of media power, via television and the internet and we are swayed by those controlling the airways with whatever the whim of the moment may be. We have so neglected authentic faith; we’ve eliminated God from our schools and universities in the name of tolerance. Do you not fear for the future of authentic faith in our country?
I understand these are hard words to hear. However, can you argue the point?
It is time we did something more that simply “come to church” on Sunday morning.
That’s why you are here this morning.
God loves you. God has chosen you. You who are here this morning… and God, who created every part of your being, promises that you CAN make a difference… in this community and in the world. So do not be discouraged if sometimes the words sound harsh. I believe God intends them to not only to be harsh, but also correcting and challenging. Be filled with joy that God is calling us, giving us the opportunity to be the light of hope in a world of darkness. (Matthew 5: 16)