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Comfortable Christianity

Taylor Hinkle

Description

Did God design Christianity to be comfortable? Are Christianity and the American Dream complimentary or contradictory? Join us in this study of Scripture.

Presenter

Taylor Hinkle

Pastor of two churches in Michigan Conferences and currently serves as the General Vice President of External Affairs for GYC.

Recorded

  • May 4, 2019
    12:00 PM
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Father in heaven we thank you so much for the privilege of coming together as your people this morning thank you for the opportunity of setting side this time where we can draw close to you in our hearts can become more like yours and father we just ask that as we enter into your word that you would please give us spiritual eyes and spiritual ears that we might see and hear the things that you have for us Lord help us to understand the importance of this message not just as a person's word but Lord May we hear your words speaking to our hearts we pray that your Spirit would guide us and direct us in all that we do in Christ's name we pray in. All this morning we're going to be studying a familiar passage of Scripture. And the thing that I'm realizing more and more is that it's easy to read the Bible and insert it into the Bible our own understanding based upon how we live our lives today you might say well what do you mean by that and what we're going to turn to Matthew Chapter 19 and you're going to see very clearly that there's a familiar story that we're going to be looking at but Jesus here call someone to do something very special and specific. But too often when we read this we insert our own cultural understanding of what gun kills us to do and therefore we miss the important purpose of the story that God is trying to deliver to us. Now I don't know about you but I. I recognize in my own life that there's a tendency in my life and in society today that tends toward self-preservation and towards getting things for myself and stead of being overly concerned about the good of others that any one else struggle with that then a degree I mean it's easy to think about getting our lives set up smoothly that we have enough money for retirement that we have the best education for ourselves that our house is the most comfortable possible and all of our world today tells us that we should have those priorities. You've heard of things called the American dream before writing this where you can have an ideal linesmen It's a beautiful thing and as Americans we realize that we reap many of those benefits that we have things that people would never experience and other countries around the world but do you think it's possible to be reading things into scripture that are in line with our culture but out of line with the Word of God. This morning Matthew Chapter 19 we're going to take a look at what Jesus says to this young man and you can tell me for yourself whether or not you think it might be possible that we too could fall into the trap of not fully hearing the intended words of Jesus because of a misconception due to what we value as important today Matthew Chapter 19 verse 16 says now behold one came and said to him good teacher what good thing should I do that I might have eternal life. So Jesus said to him Why do you call me good there is no one or there is no one good but one and that is God But if you want to enter into life keep the commandments now we've read the story together have we not and you probably read the story before this young man is coming to Jesus looking for what is the key to following Jesus what is a key for experiencing eternal life and Jesus tells him clearly keep the commandments Now notice the man's response and he said to him Well which ones Jesus said You shall not murder you shall not commit adultery you shall not steal you shall not bear false witness all to your father and your mother and you shall love your neighbor as your cell. Now what Commandments is Jesus referring to. Is the 10 Commandments right. And isn't it interesting that Jesus only mentions these 5 of the 10 Commandments was Jesus trying to teach this man that the other 5 don't matter know or could it be through the omission of the other 5 that is actually zooming in on those no notice the response of this young man verse 20 of the young man says to him all these things I have kept from I was my youth. What do I still lead. Now my friends he sounds like a good Jewish young man are like a good 7th Day Adventists young man what interest say I mean all the commandments I'm walking and those that I don't understand what you're teaching Jesus maybe maybe I'm feeling pretty good about myself I've asked you how I can inherit eternal life you've led out some of the commandments and I'm doing pretty well. But you know there's an interesting point that this young man says to Jesus notice his question back in verse 16 he says good teacher what what what good thing should I do that I might and Herit eternal life now do you find that to be an interesting question. Why I've signed that interesting as this young man expects to be going in the same direction he's always gone but is just looking to add on something good so that he can inherit eternal life. But you know what Jesus lays out to this young man is it's not the addition of something this young man needs into his life it's actually the remove all of everything that he finds important before encountering Jesus. Notice how this continues to play out in verse 21 and 22 Jesus said to him if you want to be perfect go sell what you have been given to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven come and follow whom me now how many times have you heard a sermon or you've been in a bible study group or you've been reading this on your own time are you coming to discussion with another Christian about this and you're reading this passage and what's the next thing we want to do well you know Jesus wasn't really calling him to sell everything you ever heard someone describe it that way or what what Jesus was doing is just testing his motive he wanted to know if he was actually willing to do it but he wasn't necessarily calling him to do. More people also say well you know that call to that young man was specific for Him Jesus doesn't call us to 1st sake everything in order to have any of you heard these kinds of discussions when you're waiting for the return rule. It's so easy that we hear the words of Jesus but we think I'm going to hold on a 2nd Jesus wasn't talking about my retirement you know Jesus didn't understand that part you know he wasn't saying everything to the status and understand you know my home it's it's what I need and before we go into all of that debate I want you to recognize the clear principle that Jesus is laying out here in the order to follow Jesus it requires sacrifice Can we agree on that much and in quarter of an order for this young man to face fully follow the Lord Jesus Christ to experience the joys of eternal life he 1st had to take those things that he saw as the most prominently important and lay them down to pick up God's plans for his law. The problem is is that we live in a culture today where you can go to churches all around the world and I'm not just poking the finger out at other people but you can go to churches today that tell you that one of God's primary goals is to bless you but that you know my friends that God's primary concern is not your bank account. God's primary concern is not your home mortgage or even owning a whole God's primary concern is not your boat or your vacation. It actually doesn't even have to do whether or not you get lunch today now you might say this is a heretical man I mean why don't you understand who I am and what I'm talking to you. But here's the reality God is less concerned about your material well being then your eternal life would you agree with that God isn't as interested in how to prosper you with stuff as he is to prosper you and salvation and what God is trying to lay out to the rich young ruler is your things are what I'm calling you to surrender for the furthering of my cause no notice how Jesus lays a sound verse 22. But when the young man her dad say he went away while sorrowful for he had great possessions my friends I could tell you that Jesus might be the most unpopular pastor that has ever walked on the face of this or Jesus didn't say Well Ok I didn't know that that was really a big deal to you I'm sorry I didn't mean everything want to just go ahead and give me that little portion you know I'm sorry if that's really offensive to you let me change my preaching but Jesus recognized that the message he was giving was not a message to be hard for the sake of being hard but Jesus knew this principle and order to be a Christian you must be willing to surrender everything for the Cause of God and to give it when ever God calls for a minute in this what it means to be a steward we talk about this principle of stewardship Yes I'm just a steward of God's goods Well then when the owner of the goods asks for it you do that without question. You know you might say why in the world are we looking at Matthew Chapter 19 this last week I've been wrestling over this passage of Scripture not because I've never read it before and not because I don't think you've never read it before but as I was beginning to think of this passage of Scripture it was in the context of how great the need is in the rest of the world. Have any of you stopped to see how well off we have it in North America I'm not just talking about materially Yes that's what we've talked about some but what about spiritually there's some statistics said have been quite shocking to me as I've looked at them. And as they've worked out the math they saw that if every 7th day adventists and North America moved to communities all around our division the North American division within the matter of one year if each 7th Day Adventist shared Christ in the messages given to us with one person per day it would only take one year to reach every person in the North American division that's not that bad I mean you start to think about man it's possible by the grace of God we could move and do something and in India if you did the similar thing it would only take 2 years if you went to the South American division to South America it would only take you 5 months for 7th Day Adventists to come into contact with all the other people who aren't 7th Day Adventists in the division. If you went to the Philippines it would only take you 4 months if you were in the south Indian Ocean division it would only take you $58.00 days so that 7th Day Adventist writs and communicated the gospel to at least one person per day it would all be done in $58.00 days but then you think about a place like the Middle East and North Africa. And if every 7th day adventists there was spread out evenly dispersed throughout the cities so that even spouses were not in the same city it would take you 450 years for every one in that territory to hear about Jesus one it's and as I've started to think about this the work to do in this world is so verily great. And I'm not telling you that I'm preaching the sermon because our family's taken a call to move off as missionaries this next week that's not the case however if the Lord made it clear you better believe we would go and I hope you would do the same thing. But I can tell you as I was processing through this day to this last week my heart breaks for those people who don't know Jesus and here we are. I'm speaking for my own family we're comfortable we have a decent home those of you who've been in it realize there's some need for repair but it's decent we have decent vehicles we have a fine bank account we're comfortable you understand what I'm saying I'm not talking about being 1000000 but we're satisfied and we're comfortable with it and as I was processing through the need in the world this verse came to my mind and I thought what would I do if Jesus ever called me to go to sell everything that you have and give it so that you can fund yourself and mission now maybe some of you have thought about that theoretically and if you theoretically thought about being a missionary before but what if the Lord was calling you to take everything you own and to give it for the cause of go is that a serious sacrifice that's exactly what the sacrifice to the rich young ruler was and my friends I want to tell you that I believe the rich young ruler had much greater integrity than many Christians do today because Jesus is call to be willing to sacrifice everything was not just specific to the rich young ruler will see that in a 2nd but the rich young ruler was honest enough to say you know it's God's calling me to do that I'm not interested. But the challenges today in Christianity is it's easy to profess something can we agree with that it's easy to say oh yeah we sing the song I surrender all but yet we won't give that one thing that Jesus is asking us to give. And maybe we'll give that one thing but if the Lord said up root yourself sell everything give what you have for the spreading of the Gospel get serious about the mission you would think I'm not sure now it's interesting to know how Jesus continues in this story Matthew Chapter 19 continuing on in verse 23. The disciples as I've heard this whole discussion it says that Jesus said to His disciples assuredly I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven and again I say to you it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God my friends is it because riches are evil No the Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil we can agree with them however what Jesus notices is that at the core of being a Christian it comes with the willingness to give up everything. And when you're the widow with 2 mites How hard is it to give up everything I mean you're already struggling you have nothing really to speak of and so when you give it it's Ok well there it was. But when you have abundant possessions and God calls for all of it there are too many people that walk away like the rich young ruler it's so easy for us to say well that's an isolated case but do you think gone still has the right to require everything we own from you and all. And this is something I've been processing during the last week I don't like that thought. I don't like the thought that God can ask for everything I have and I'm not talking about a whimsical emotional response you understand what I'm saying but when the Lord clearly lays it in front of you you must sacrifice for the cause it's a struggle but notice the sacrifice that God was calling the rich young ruler to was not specific just to him notice what the disciples say in verse 27 as they're listening to all of this it says and then Peter answered and said to him say we have left how much all and followed you there for what shall we have. My friends the call that Jesus gave to the rich young ruler was the same call that he gave to the disciples. Give up everything and follow me and in our minds today it's so easy to divorce that from our lives yes I gave my life to Jesus when I ascended to believe some certain things as taught by the 7th Day Adventist Church that is not giving your whole life to Jesus. But it's when you say Lord whatever I have my time my resources my influence my energy the best of my life that is yours and you begin like what Jesus taught to seek 1st the kingdom of go now you are a Christian but my friends the sad reality in North America is that we are more comfortable cultural Christians then we are cross bearing self-denying disciples of Jesus. And it will be nothing short of a miracle of God for us to enter into the kingdom of God Even the person who is worse off here in North America is doing decent financially you say well you don't know my situation. My friends I remember walking through a village and Uganda Africa to this young man to bring me to his home that he was quite proud of to find that it had no roof they all slept in one room and their kitchen was over a fire. That was their stove that was the way they live and they were did well to do They were decent and here we come to where Jesus says it's hard that a rich man will enter the Kingdom of God we think you have Bill Gates Yes Steve Jobs yes some of these billionaires but my friends could have before us that in the perspective of divine eternity and the spectrum and the perspective of global economy you and I are rich and what are we willing to good for the Gospel to move forward you know this is not the only place in scripture where we see that Jesus requires a full willingness to give up everything you have and order to be a Christian Matthew Chapter 16 we're going to survey 2 other passages in Matthew Matthew Chapter 16 verse 21 this concept is not just foreign to us today it was for him to Jesus's disciples back in the day. Matthew Chapter 16 in verse 21 notice what Jesus begins to explain to the disciples it says From that time on Jesus began to show to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and sell for many things from the elders in the chief priests and the scribes and to be killed and to be raised the 3rd day what is Jesus communicating to that what was Jesus's life going to look like according to his own profession of that verse suffering and death now that was the furthest thing. From gods people's minds of what the Messiah would do at that time they were expecting a Messiah that would come in and free them from worldly oppression to liberate them to give them some authority and power and now that Messiah saying he's going to suffer and die will one what does that mean for the follower will notice Peter and verse $22.00 then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him saying Far be it from you Lord for this shall not happen to you. First 23 but he turned and said to Peter Get Behind Me Satan your an offense to me for you are not mindful of the things of whom God but the thangs of men. What is Jesus telling Peter Peter I understand that you cannot comprehend sacrifice and death as the lot of the Messiah but I'm telling you your inability to say that that's my role is actually of the devil. God sacrifices Satan doesn't and your attitude Peter 4 and a virgin to sacrifice suffering and death is actually because you're dwelling upon the things of men and not focused upon the things of go now how many of you think that should be our opening meeting for our evangelist experience but I just want to let you know if you want to be a Christian it means you're willing to get rid of everything you're willing to suffer through life you're willing to experience death what do you think. Can you realize what some of juices evangelists to get for it didn't go the best John Chapter 6 The multitudes turned away because Jesus is teaching was a n. comprehensibly difficult not because it was hard to understand but because when you understood it it was hard to live and what Jesus was trying to tell these people is you can go through the motions of Christianity all you will but you must understand one thing the goal of a Christian and the goal of Christ was to suffer on behalf of others and to die in their place and notice how Jesus finishes his thought in verse 24. Then Jesus said to His disciples If anyone desires to do one to come after me to follow me let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me. My friends Jesus is transparent Jesus is not a bait and switch type preacher Jesus tells you I want you to understand you think it's hard for me to suffer and die I'm letting you know something that if you're expecting to follow me you're going to have the same course you're going to be walking up Calvary's Hill you're going to be experiencing death on behalf of others it will not be an easy road and you might lose everything and my friends if that makes us uncomfortable this morning we should look for a version of God or a version of religion that suits our own needs but the reality is that Jesus tells us the life of the Christian is a Christ our cross bearing self sacrificing line. Matthew Chapter 10 verse 24. Matthew Chapter 10 verse 24 once again this is a consistent teaching of Jesus this is not pulling out one isolated text this is the thrust of Jesus's message. If you're looking for prosperity here look outside of Christianity if you're looking for true godliness then follow me Matthew Chapter 10 verse $24.00 notice what Jesus says it says a disciple is not above his who his teacher nor a servant above his master. Let me ask you a question what is Jesus trying to say is he not saying that if I sacrifice you will sacrifice as well you say well maybe you're pulling out of context I'll just back up a few verses to verse $21.00 now brother will deliver up brother to death and a father his child and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death and you will be hated by all men for my name's sake but he who endures to the end will be say when they persecute you in this city flee to another for assuredly I say to you you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man come. Now why is this so shocking it's in the context of persecution and the context of sacrifice and the context of death that Jesus then goes on in verse $24.00 to say a disciples not greater than his teacher if you are looking to have a different life than Jesus. Then don't follow Jesus. If you're Ok because you recognize the Divine Love of God has reached your heart and prick your soul and like Paul says the love of Christ constrains you you can't do anything else than follow Jesus then Jesus says I want you to understand something it's going to be a self sacrificing self-denying path. But what does jesus promise to those disciples and lol I'm with you. Always even till the end of the. My friends the reason I'm sharing this this morning is not to say that God doesn't give us hope and joy do you understand it's not to say that God doesn't give us fulfillment and purpose and all of the other things we want to talk about but the reality is is that many of us have not wrestled with or maybe you have and I was the only one doing it this week we haven't wrestled with the fact of what if the Lord was actually calling me to put everything on the line would you do. My friends this principle of self sacrificing Christianity is consistent through the entire history of where we are today you realize that Jesus was a smug and a savior that was self sacrificing all of Scripture is abundantly clear about that he left the glories of heaven to come down to man to come to his own who didn't even know him and to be put to death for their good. If we heard of a missionary like that who spent 33 years and one territory and at the end of their experience there was no real tangible result we would probably say that was the worst missionary ever sent but that was God's divine missionary to this war and then you started thinking about was it easy for the early Christians you know there's an interesting letter that was written in 112 a d. by Pliny the Younger to the Emperor Trajan who was over the Roman Empire at that time and Pliny the Younger was the governor Governor of by Finney or modern day Turkey and he started to recognize that he had a great problem that he needed to get some input on from the Emperor I mean here we are only 70 years after the death of Christ approximately 80 years. And he tells the Emperor Trajan he said I have an issue in my empire it's the Christians it's not that they're stealing it's not that they're doing riotous living it's not that they're em or all citizens there's one thing their religion conflicts with our culture and it won't work here our synagogues are empty their worship of the Emperor is nonexistent because they can't worship another god and Emperor. Pliny the Younger The governor started to explain to the Emperor and said here's my process for how I deal with Christians. I bring them in and I ask them for a concession Is it true that you follow this Jesus yes. He said then I give them 3 opportunities to renounce their faith and when they don't I execute the so then I bring in the others who are here are Christians and I asked them Are you a follower of this Jesus yes I'm a follower of Jesus I give them 3 opportunities to recant their faith and they don't and I execute them he said I don't know what to do because they just keep dying they don't change their belief. And the reality is this for the early church following Jesus was not something that you just did it wasn't a bumper sticker that you had it wasn't something you wore around your neck it was actually reality I put everything on the line for Jesus under the rule of Diocletian just a few years later talked about as the Church of Smyrna and Revelation Chapter 2 The Bible tells us that there would be a persecution for 10 days which we know work 10 prophetic years and the people of God were executed drastically and what we're told from church historians is there was a phrase written that said the blood of martyrs is like see Christians. Following Jesus if they would have fast forwarded to 2900 songs sitting here in church today the big one and no one no I mean. Well wait you're a Christian and the Bible says all who live godly approach to this will suffer persecution can you tell me about your stories from this last week. We said well I mean I was persecuted I sat through a sermon to 1 o'clock now I'm telling you that I've sacrificed for the Cause of God This Week No I gave God 10 percent I gave him 10 percent and I wondered how my he would work out it and praise the Lord don't get me wrong these are sacrifices to some degree but in the eyes of the early church they would think What are you talking about and you know what I got their next response would be you know the Bible says that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution you're not suffering persecution you're not Godly can we do math how can it be that Jesus died and we live and we say well it's just because you know it's different to that it's not try living a godly life and so many people like you. Well then you fast forward and you go to the time of the Middle Ages and I remember walking around Oxford just a couple of years ago and I saw this and this street there if any of you have been to Oxford you round the corner in the middle of all these huge old educational buildings it's impressive and then you see this and I thought what in the world is that and next to it just on the wall there was this and scription and it says and 15551566 the lead Amir Ridley and Kramer were burnt for their fate what. I mean come on I thought being a Christian was like I mean this is Cambridge I'm sorry this is ox for you know it's an impressive place it's a normal university and there's an inscription of where someone was just vert here years before my friends you know why they were burnt they believe the Bible and they believe that the common rule of the day was not following Scripture and they would rather go to death then not follow God's teaching. But yet here we are questioning about our well being when we think about even keeping some of God's commandments Christianity cost something self-denying cross bearing Christianity is absolutely opposed to the comfortable version of Christianity that we so often see today and I'm not preaching this sermon to tell you it's because you're comfortable Christian and come after you I'm telling you it's because the Lord laid it on my heart that I'm a comfortable Christian I might be looking for good things to add to my life but am I willing to surrender every part of my life. Well Lord if I do that it won't help me in my business deal well maybe God doesn't care about that business deal maybe God doesn't care about you getting a little more money maybe God actually wants you to give that for his cause and free up time to do his work. Your progress early Christian sacrifice the Middle Ages Christian sacrifice then we could go through countless stories read the book the great controversy and you'll hear about sacrifice but then you come to the time of the early Adventist Church development you think of Joseph Bates who was so convinced that the Sabbath of the 3 angles message was true that he sold off his entire farm gave all the sun so that the truth could be published so that people would know about Jesus soon come to think Well that was another one of those extremist kind of like that rich young ruler knows another Christian and then you fast forward to the time of the early 20th century the early 90 hundreds. And there was a need to send missionaries around the world hardly anyone knew the 3 Angels' message and so what are we going to do to get it there and you know what the average life expectancy of a missionary was in West Africa 2 years many of them would travel to Africa with their coffins because they never expected to return. And I can tell you statements of these missionaries who were there whether it be in the Caribbean or whether it be in West Africa or n.b.a. or wherever the mission field told them that they were there and on their deathbed you know what their major concern was Lord I don't want my death here in the mission field to discourage others from coming I don't want people to realize that death is their lot and then they run away Lord just send more missionaries. And what's astounding is that if you look at the statistics of missionaries that done this is percentage per 100 of missionaries sent you look toward some of these latter years over 15 percent of missionaries were done how many of you would be encouraged with that statistic and think I look there looks like a good job opportunity I mean you know one or 2 and 2 in 10 you know they die I think I can deal with that. But you know that the work of God move forward that bottom line there is the same line we just looked at on the different scale that's the death of the missionaries look at that blue line that's the numbers of missionaries in the listing every year and it makes the death seem irrelevant and the point is this my friends a 7th Day Adventist Church would not exist today if it wasn't for self-denying cross bearing Christians who are willing to say Lord I will give you everything in order to take the Gospel to the world. We were just in communication with some of our friends and spent a couple days with them some of you might know them he's going to be speaking at a camp meeting this year on the left side is Jason Sue man with a head on his name's Jason slider about 40 years old his wife Madore in the red dress and their 3 children. And they've been in ministry for 15 years and evangelism and Pastore ministry and you know successful bringing people to the Lord it's not like they've just been sitting around but Jason's wife started praying that Jason would have a burden to go into the mission field. And Jason really wanted to hold the mission fail I mean have you ever heard the expression that where you are is a mission field or all I think that's the one we like to capitalize in North America right right in the corner where you all are don't go anywhere else because it's dangerous over there just a year you know here's an astounding statistic there are more 7th Day Adventist employees in Michigan than there are 7th Day Adventists in Scotland are we Ok with these things. Are we Ok with well we'll never one pastor per church they have 0 pastors and the whole northern part of 300000 Scottish people and you hear the cries of missionaries past saying give me Scotland or I die but you know we think well that was a really good phrase I could frame that and I could put that about the fireplace and said look really good like I'm a really serious Christian but what is the time where we say Lord help me to fulfill that call. So Jason's life started to pray. Lord give my husband a burden for the mission so you and finally Jason said something to his wife you know I think the Lord might be calling us to the mission field. I've been praying for you for that. And they went down to try to see where was it the Lord was calling them to and they had their mind set on Scotland. But through the whole process of the call the Lord made it clear he was calling them the pup who in New Guinea. Jason Tom Well that's a little more remote than Scott that had a little bit of a different scenario and with Jason still told some of his people they said you're crazy I mean there's poisonous snakes that will kill your children there's crocodiles in the river there are angry people who live there and you're going to threaten your family and he said of the Lord calls he's responsible for my failing. The attitude of the people and pup who in New Guinea where Jason is going is of such that if you get if someone gets injured by you or you accidentally kill someone they will kill you without question there was a missionary family there not long ago who was driving their car across a one way bridge when all of a sudden a taxi full of people came down the hill I mean what do you do you're on a one way bridge where do you go so the taxi chooses to try to squeeze in slips into the river and many people go Well the missionaries knowing the culture they went to the mission post as fast as they could and it wasn't long after that people were there looking for them they had to take the 1st flight out because they were going to be killed because someone else died as their own result of their ignorance just recently because of this culture there's a policy there that you cannot get in a canoe with an advantage missionary without a life jacket I mean how do you think that's intelligent because if you get a micro when you die you're going to kill me I mean this doesn't make any sense you wear a life jacket Well there was a family who wanted their boy from popular New Guinea to ride in the missionaries canoe in the missionary said Ok here's a life jacket they're all they were so offended by something like that that they had to go through a long ceremony of reconciliation and then the missionary family had to move to another country because they were being threatened. And you start thinking as a father I'm going to go ahead and take my 3 year old daughter there and my 5 year old son and my 7 year old daughter. And you start to recognize that the call of Jesus to surrender everything makes 0 sense if you're trying to line it up with the American dream it makes no sense if you're trying to maintain a comfortable Christianity it's a radical decision but if the Lord calls is he not willing to call is he not able to call each one of us and as a good processing through this. My friends my heart desires that you and I could be Christians and in the truest sense it's shameful for me to think of what heaven looks down upon in my life to see that I call sacrifice and God calls normal life. It's often viewed as a sacrifice we think of evangelistic series coming up it's going to be a sacrifice to be there every night of the week for my friends could we not minister to those looking for truth could we not make special earnest effort I mean if people are willing to move across the world can we not come and meet together do something crazy we think of our step down in faith in different evangelistic projects the Bible or Vangelis that series or things like that people say that's just absolutely ignorant I can't believe you'd spend money. Or do we want to say Lord is there something in my home I heard the per request about the Lord is there something in my home that you would have me to sell that I can give your cause. And maybe the Lord might say yes go ahead and sell that home I'm not telling you what to do right don't don't understand that I'm not the voice of God I get that but I believe that we should as Christians allow God to have the fullest authority in our lives my friends do you want to get to heaven and have the Christians and the Christ of past ages be ashamed of our commitment here the good news is is that will never happen because if we're not committed here we will never translate their. I want to follow Jesus and I mean that with all the amplifications attached to it Lord if you call us to a place where your children are endangered father please don't but if you do Lord Your will be done Lord if you call me to give up that thing that I really love. You know Jason told me for the last few years I've always commented on Jason's trust it's a man's vehicle right and Jason said you know I'm trading my truck for a canoe in an outboard motor. And the person who was with us he was a young man and he said well let me ask you a question you're giving you're paying with everything you own to go and be homeless is that right and Jason said no I'm not going to be homeless my whole my world listen this world is not like whoa and the young man said it all you know spiritualize it away if you want to but in reality you're paying to be homeless aren't you and Jason said I guess if you want to look at it like that sure but you know what I'm honestly doing is I'm paying I'm giving up everything so that I can experience a closer relationship with Jesus and walk wherever he calls me to walk my friends even the greatest sacrifice is shameful the call of sacrifice because we have a God who gave infinitely of everything and who are we to say God you can't touch this area you can't touch that area my friends it's sad to say when we're willing to disobeyed God that we should not even call ourselves Christians but if we're willing to say Father I will follow anything you call me to do that by the grace of God Christ will empower us to be able to make those sacrifices corresponding with this Will. I don't know where you're at this morning. You've heard a little bit of where I'm at. The message of the Lord is it clear to you this morning that God call Christians to be self sacrificing individuals do you see that clearly from scripture do you see that God calls us to sacrifice thangs that even might make us look ridiculous in the world saw. I mean do you think that the rich young ruler if he would have gone through and sold everything everyone had thought I had that's a great job I'm really happy for you all his friends and family would've been supportive Absolutely not but can you guarantee that he would have experience all the blessings of heaven. Where is it out with you my friends I don't know if it's a specific area in your life where the Lord's been teaching you something or been trying to instruct in one way. But yet you've disobeyed be expressed will of God expecting his blessing and maybe this morning you say Lord I'm going to lay down my desires for comfort and I'm going to pick up the cross of self-denial trusting in a savior who's able to finish the work you start. Maybe God is calling people to the mission field. You say Pastor if you look to us we're not the youngest individuals or you might feel that way your cell could God not use anyone could God not use a committed son or daughter of his regardless of age to move into a dark place and raise up a work for him maybe God is clearly made it evident to you that you are called here this is your calling at least for now we don't know what the future holds but you do know that Vassar is your territory. How many of you say Lord I want to live a self-denying life here I want to that doesn't necessarily mean you get rid of every single thing you will and I don't know what it looks like for you but it might mean that. But it might also mean Lord I need to re prioritize my entire life to do your work not my will you know just outside on the tables out there. There's sheets that say I'm willing to help with the evangelistic series maybe there are some here this morning saying look I know I need to be here I don't want to be there. I don't really know how it's going to work to be there but I know I need to be there my friends maybe it's something that small and the stuff of faith and the light of all the things we've talked about you think well that's really and significant and not very glorious but could it be that step that person you're going to sit next to every night of the evangelistic series who you're going to connect with build a friendship with and help lead them into the church and not just live by men but be friend them through the entire process maybe that's where God wants you to be when encourage you for those of you who sense the Lord calling you to do that. To sign up on those paper so we know how we can work best together. Is that your desire to go beyond comfortable Christianity. Is that where we are I mean I don't know what it is but is it your desire to say Lord I want to be a Christian like Jesus was a Christian I want to be a Christian like the early Christians were Christians I want to be a Christian like the middle aged Christians or Christians Lord I want to be a Christian like the early Adventist missionaries were Christians Father help me to be a self-denying sacrifice Christian. That's your desire one invites you to stand as we sing our closing song. And I pray that as we sing this number 309. You would sing it with the understanding that surrendering all to Jesus is not just all that is convenient. But allow the Lord to work on your heart to expose to you what it might be that you need to give for the cause of gone and the blessing of others if that's your desire to invite you to stand as you sing number 309 Father in heaven. Lord it is impossible for us to comprehend what it would even mean to surrender all. There is no person no missionary no sacrificing individual who even comprehends what it means to surrender like you surrender. Saw that you gave up what you rightfully deserve to take the punishment that you never deserved and Father we pray that as we look at the life of Jesus that would inspire is self sacrificing spirit within us Father I don't know where each person is but I can guess if there are anything like me that we all struggle to some degree to be faithful to you and Lord as we survey our lives and general we live fairly normal lives father please move upon our hearts to get serious about your We're Lord we know that the work will never be finished by half hearted workers but Lord it's only as we fully surrender everything to you laying the our lives on the line that will experience the things like we read about in the book of Acts father give us that commitment Lord I pray for the brother or sister here the smaller. Who you know clearly what you've called them to do that they recognize that they're violating your command Lord please help us even in those areas to bear our crosses Lord we pray that if there is something in our lives that you would have us to sell for your call us Lord work on our hearts make us willing. Father we just ask that you would expose to us how to walk as a true Christian as it's modeled by so many others what it just means to be comfortable Lord May you educate us in this process we give you our hearts in Christ's name we pray in this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a visit w w w audio verse or.

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