Used when someone does the exact opposite of what you just told them not to do.
We often treat Jesus’ words like a fortune cookie.
Have you ever read a fortune cookie then completely changed your life in response? Me neither.
We want sermons and songs and small groups about having a better life, like fortune cookies.
Just a reminder: the very first lie, in Genesis 3:1-5, began as a question of what God said.
From 2010 to 2020, the percentage of people in the US who agreed with core Christian doctrines fell from 47% to 25%.
Religious Views and Practices American Adults, survey by Probe Ministries in 2020
What are those doctrines? Here are some:
• Jesus is the Son of God and is equal with God (John 1:1-2, 49; Luke 22:70; Mark 3:11; Philippians 2:5–11)
• Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; John 8:29)
• All people are separated from God through what the Bible refers to as sin (Romans 3:9, 19, 23)
• Jesus was crucified to pay the penalty for our sins (Matthew 26:28; 1 Corinthians 15:2–4)
• Jesus rose from the dead to prepare a way for His followers into eternal life (Luke 24:46; Mark 16:6, John 11:25-26)
• We are saved by the grace of God; that is, we cannot add to or take away from Christ’s finished work on the cross as full payment for our sin (Ephesians 2:8–9)
• The Bible is the accurate, inerrant, reliable Word of God (Romans 10:17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
• Jesus is the only way to salvation (John 14:6, 10:9, 11:25, 3:16, 6:35, Acts 4:12, Romans 5:17-19)
Even among U.S. born-again Christians. More than 60% of Christians between age 18 and 39 say there’s more than one way to salvation, including Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad.
But only One claimed to be the Son of God!
And only One died for you!
But if He isn’t who He says He is, we don’t have promises, or power, and we don’t have eternal life! We are eternally separated from God!
Jesus made such audacious claims because He could. And because it has to be all or nothing. Believe in Him completely or not at all. There is no wiggle room here.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [that is, Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse…. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity
How did we become so uncertain of this Biblical worldview?
We attend church less than ever before.
The vast majority of professing Christians are not involved in any regular ongoing study, discipleship, mentoring, etc.
The Bible is more available to our generation, yet we read it less and less.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22
Being a Christian is not what you believe, it’s what you live.
Christianity is not 1:15 one morning each week.
Christianity isn’t what you post online about the pain, suffering and injustice in our world but what you do about it!
Following Jesus is not knowing what He teaches but following those teachings.
But sadly, there are more students of what Jesus said than doers!
Jesus sent disciples into the hurting world,
called children into His lap,
ordered the disciples to feed the hungry,
stopped to heal those that others wouldn’t even touch.
How is it that we know all that and still feel satisfied that an hour and 15 minutes spent in a church service is following Him?
Obedience, two parts:
What we need to stop doing, which is the part we get.
But it’s also what we must do: love and forgiveness, giving and serving