Message for April 22, 2012

“Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15(NKJV)
    I do not want to be misunderstood in what I am about to say.  It is the responsibility of the Church to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel.”  But we must really examine our methods.  We have developed the idea that we must compete with the world for the attention of the people.  To do this we sometimes wrap Jesus in the trappings of the world.  To get the attention of the world we make Jesus look like the world.  We appeal to the natural man by natural means.  We entertain them until we have a chance to “slip” Jesus into the conversation.  Play with them for two hours and slip ten minutes of “Jesus” in somewhere.  It is not Jesus that is being lifted up but worldly behavior.  Food, games, sports, and other activities attract people to events, but does it change their lives?  It is my opinion that too much nonspiritual activity does not create spiritual change.
    The attitude I am talking about is reflected even in our approach to public education.  People once went to school to learn in order to prepare for life.  That doesn’t seem to be true today.  Learning is not the issue.  It is keeping the students entertained and slip some education somewhere in that counts.  Heaven forbid we suggest that students should just study to learn something. We must use video games or other means to get their attention.  I am not saying that we should not make learning fun.  But, the issue is not promoting “having fun” and slip in some education when you can.
    It is not the mission of the church to attract people to world like activity in order to hit them with the Gospel.  The church did not begin by competing on the world’s level.  It was birthed in an atmosphere of supernatural faith.  God confirmed the word by signs following.  Supernatural happenings were what caught the people’s attention.  Miracles, healing, casting out demons, and “signs and wonders” promoted the growth of the Church.  Jesus said He would draw all men to Himself if “He” were lifted up.  He did not say lift up human attractions and “I will slip myself in somewhere.”  “I certainly would not want to be too obvious.  I might scare them away.”  We need to lift up Jesus without dressing Him up in worldly clothes.  That is what we are called to do and it will work.

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