This is a sermon I gave at our Prayer and Praise group at The Moody Church
The first football game I ever watched was the 85’ Super Bowl.
At 9 years old I found a song on the radio called the Super Bowl Shuffle.
I didn’t really know who the Bears were or anything about professional sports.
But I kept hearing this song on the radio and I finally figured out that the Chicago Bears were playing in the Super Bowl.
So I made it a point to watch because I loved that song.
That was the beginning to a 13-year journey of being a Chicago Bears fan.
I watched or listened to every game, knew every player, all the stats and every angle.
I went to training camp in Platteville Wi to get autographs of what I thought were my heroes.
This went on until about the age of 22, when it all started to fade.
One week something changed inside of me.
I did the same routine that week that I’d done every week for the past 13 years.
I watched all the sports shows, got fired up about the game, and when Sunday came I was in a frenzy.
It was just like every other game,
Every good play by the Bears had me euphoric,
And every bad play had me screaming at the top of my lungs.
13 years of that.
But on this day – after the game – I felt almost depressed.
I couldn’t figure it out, the Bears had won.
What’s the deal?
I want to thank the The Moody Church for the opportunity to share what the Lord has done in my life.
There’s only one God.
The God of the Bible.
God is one spirit in three different persons, God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Everyone is born spiritually dead, and going to hell by default.
It doesn’t matter how good or bad of a person you are,
how you treat people,
how many prayers you say,
if you go to church,
if you’ve been baptized,
or if you believe in God.
There’s only two types of people in this world… There’s no Catholic, Jew, Muslim or atheist.
You’re either going to heaven or hell,
born again or spiritually dead,
a child of God or a child of the devil,
a servant of God or a slave to sin.
God’s eager to be in a loving relationship with you!
In order to be in a relationship with God, you must believe in your heart that Jesus is God, that He died for your sins and was raised again from the dead.
Then repent of your sins, tell God you’re sorry for offending Him and beg Him to come into your life.
If you do this from the bottom of your heart, you’ll be born again, have your sins forgiven and granted eternal life as I was on March 27th, 2012.
Becoming born again doesn’t sneak up on you. It changes all of your desires, motivations, priorities and it’s available to anyone at anytime!
We’re all sinners, but some have a savior.
I’m so thankful that the Lord has opened my eyes to what is most important to Him, discipleship.
Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples, yet they’re some of His most ignored words, and they’re ignored by children of God.
Why are they ignored? Because discipleship takes relationship, and nothing is more difficult than relationship.
Why is relationship difficult? Because relationship takes time and patience.
And there’s nothing Christians are more stingy with then their time.
On top of time, relationship is messy, risky, disappointing, hurtful, dangerous, inconvenient, uncomfortable, and a whole list of other things that people are willing to deal with for friends or family or personal gain and happiness, but not for God.
God models relationship all through the Bible and refers to Himself as our Father and us His children, and wants us to seek the relationships He’s calling us to, relationships with people not like us, relationships with people who don’t use email, who can’t afford the things we can, who don’t like the same things we like.
And when He does, we cringe and look for ways to throw money, words, prayer, works, volunteering, donating, ministries, anything but lots of time and relationship at the problem.
There’s no better way to transfer hope than through relationship.
There’s no better way to be transformed than through the relationships God’s calling us to.
So as you read John MacArthurs words below ask yourself the following. How does your conduct compare with that of the worlds?
Tv viewership between Christians and Nonchristians is nearly identical, so is the amount of alcohol we ingest, so is the amount of music we buy, we read the same books, watch the same shows, are addicted to the same caffeine, support the same politicians, talk about the same meaningless sports, and spend our time in much the same way the worlds lost do.
Unfortunately, the average Christian is nearly one with the world. There is no doubt the culture/world influences Christians more then the converse.
And the reason for that is we’re born again but we’re not disciples and if we’re not disciples then we’re not discipling.
“In John 15 Jesus perhaps puts to us the most searching question of discipleship in all the Bible. Listen to this. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” Now listen to this, “If you are of the world, the world would love its own.” The world loves its own. But, “Because you’re not of the world, I’ve chosen you out of the world, therefore the world…what?…hates you.” Searching question…are you ready? This is your test for this morning, one question…what does the world think of you? What do they think of you? They hate you? Or are you sort of snugly and wrapped and feel very warm and comfortable in the world? Are you on the world’s course? Do you do what the world does? You enjoy the world’s life? Or are you the constant antagonist of the world so that the world hates you? The world should hate the Christian. And the Christian should hate the world. Not the people in the world but the evil system of the world.
Why do you think Paul said this? “Come out from among and be ye separate, touch not the unclean thing.” Because he knew that that was the character of discipleship and Hebrews gives us the greatest example of that, Jesus Christ, of whom it says, “He was holy, harmless, undefiled…are you ready for this one?…separate from sinners.” Well He touched them in His daily walk and He loved them, but in terms of conduct, they were a billion miles apart. You have no place in the world. So said Jesus, “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.” You’re in trouble. “
This is an excerpt from John MacArthur’s sermon on John 7, in regards to what Jesus and the disciples were doing during the seven months between John 6 and John 7. You can read the full sermon here.
I currently have zero disciples, but now that my eyes have been opened, I’m going to be asking the Lord to help me everyday to carry out what’s most important to Him.
“”That’s a tremendous truth, folks, that is a tremendous truth. When those seven months were over, He was ready to go back to Jerusalem, but not until. Now mark this, would you please, it’s a great principle, mark it, listen. Remember this, in chapter 6 Jesus spent two days, you get that?, two days with a multitude of 15 to 20 thousand people. That’s all, two days. He spent seven months with twelve disciples.
You say, “So what’s the lesson?” The lesson is this. Discipleship is the priority. Did you get that lesson? Discipleship is the priority. Jesus Christ came to make disciples. Jesus Christ before He left said, “God into the world and have mass meetings.” No. He said, “Go into the world and…what?…make disciples, teaching them.” That’s what it’s all about. This is what God wants. God is not merely so concerned with mass meetings as He is with reproduction among disciples. That’s the whole point.