Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Outrageous Nonsense Of Misplaced Faith

Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? James 2:14-17 (The Message)

John MacArthur tells the story of a queen that went to the theater to see a drama and wept her way through the entire drama. From beginning to end it was pure emotion. This was in the time of the carriages in years past. And she went out to get in her carriage and it was a very cold and wintry night and she had left her coachman out there where he belonged. He didn't belong with her class. She found him frozen to death and according to her biographer she shed not a single tear over his death.

That is just like us. We get all emotional at a movie or a TV story. Dramas are supposed to fill us with emotions. Back when Top Gun first came out, the US Navy set up a recruiting booth right outside of the theater. I went to see a Movie with Patty a few years ago, and it was just pathos laden. I won’t tell you the name of the movie. It was what we would call a chick-flick. Every woman came out just boo-hooing. I had to wring the estrogen out my shirt. It’s fine to go see movies. I’m not preaching against movies!  But do movies and TV and the theater inoculate us from the crisis and desperation all around us? Yesterday I saw a commercial for Christian Children’s Fund. How many of us see the little kid in Africa, who needs a sponsor, and we become incensed or even angry at their plight, but we don’t give a second thought about the plight of our own neighbors. WHEN, church; when are we going to care more about the lost living within 5 miles of the church than we do about our wayward nephews and nieces, sons and daughters, and cousins living three counties over!? When are we going to stop playing acting at being a live, breathing, and faith filled Christ follower? When are we going to stop living in our fanciful, self deceiving, self centered, fantasy world, and come back to reality? How long are we going to pine away over our lost relatives? Do we ever stop praying? NO! Not until it’s everlasting too late. But Jesus said (not what I SAY , what Jesus SAID) if they won’t heed the truth when they know the truth, give them over to the Satan and use that energy; shed those tears; invest that kingdom resource into someone who will respond to the Gospel of our Lord and Savor! Let us stop with the in-ward focus, and let us start focusing on the reachable.

Listen; if we want to see the Spirit of God fall in power, we have to act like the church that desires to see Him. We have to be like the churches that have experienced Holy Spirit revival. We have to take our resources and our money and make them subject to the task of reaching lost souls. So what say, ye? Will we be like the queen, or will we be like the Apostle Paul and say, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.”?

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