An on-the-street interview with 20 somethings revealed some things recently. The question was posed, “What do you think of Jesus? The answers that came back were, “Wise teacher.” “Cool.” “Great.” “Friend of the poor.” “Awesome.” The next question was, “What do you think of the church?” The answers that came back were less flattering. “Bigoted.” “Phony.” “Oppressive.” “Judgmental.” “Close-minded.” One young woman said, “I don’t ever want to get born again.” Unfortunately, she was basing this on the Christians she knows who are born again. A few years ago people would say, “I’m not a Christian even though I know if I were a Christian I would probably be a better person.” Today people say, “If I become a Christian it will mess me up. It’ll make me unthinking, unfeeling. I’ll try to cram my beliefs down people’s throats.” And yet, these same people have deep spiritual yearnings. They are searching for answers, and someone or something to give them hope. One young woman said, “On weekends we smoke pot, get high and talk about God.” It seems as if this generation will not let anyone tell them what to believe, and how to believe, — but one thing grabs them. When they see love in action!
Friends, this is our challenge, and our opportunity. To communicate the good news of the gospel in a way that people can hear it, but also see it. That means we have to have a passion and yearning to share this good news of Christ reconciling the word to himself through his cross and resurrection. It means be have to put hands and feet to our faith, and listen to what the culture is saying so that we don’t miss out on what they are saying. The Apostle Paul says that “we are Christmas ambassadors.”
America’s first missionary, Adoniram Judson, a boy genius, graduated from Brown University, a prestigious Ivy League school, where he authored college textbooks in Greek and Latin. He went with his young wife as a missionary to Burma, where his wife contracted typhoid and tragically died. Adoniram Judson would actually have four wives die in his arms. He would bury a young wife from typhoid fever, go home and grieve for a few days. The next Sunday he would be back in the pulpit proclaiming the gospel of hope about how Christ conquered death to bring us eternal life. What could ever be worth that kind of sacrifice? Where does someone get that kind of strength? It comes from a white hot passion for sharing Jesus with the whole world.
I don’t believe God is asking you to sacrifice your spouse or your home, or your career, but he is asking us to examine our priorities to share the gospel with this broken world. This Sunday, June 30 is our “Bring a Friend to Church Sunday,” and I hope you have invited a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to join with us for worship. But even if you haven’t, don’t stay silent on the most important matter in life, — living out and inviting people into a new life with Jesus Christ. You can do that on Sunday, but you can also do that any time Monday - Saturday. See you this Sunday in the Family Life Center (FLC) at 10:00 A.M.
Quote of the Week
“We are anointed for our assignment on earth, because the anointed King lives in us — He is fulfilling His will through us.”