The Coca-Cola Christian
INTRODUCTION: Have you ever struggled with receiving direction from God? Of course you have. In a world full of distractions we have made it difficult to hear from God.
How often do you turn the radio off while driving? Do the televisions (plural) in your house burn like night-lights? What if we all took a "media-fast".
The Lord told us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 "...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
THE BIG QUESTION: But how? How do we "hear" from God?
Use example of a soda and of water. Ask which one sounds more refreshing, more thirst quenching. The soda sounds very appealing, but in reality it does not hydrates the body.
How to recognize God's will and God's way. God's will and His way are mutually exclusive, sorta'. If we understand God's will, then we can more easily discern His ways. If we recognize that He is the way, then we are much more equipped to follow His will. So, how do we do that? How do you discern one preacher's truth from another, one denomination's doctrine from another? How do we know what the “truth” really is?
Here's a FREE TIP! Let scripture interpret scripture.
Read John 14:1-6
#. The Way
- For The Lost (salvation)
- Jesus Christ isn't a way. He is the way!!
- Luke 9:23 - “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
- John 3:3 - “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
- Jesus isn't a pathway to the Father. He is the Father
- John 10:30 -”I and My Father are one.”
ILLUSTRATE: D.M. Stearns was preaching in Philadelphia. A man came to him following the sermon and stated that he didn't like the way he spoke about the cross. He said “I think, instead of emphasizing the death of Christ, it would be far better, far more effective, to teach Jesus as the teacher and example!” Stearns replied, “If I presented Christ that way would you be willing to follow Him? “ I certainly would”, the stranger said, without hesitation. “Ok”, said Stearns. “Let's take the first step.”He did not sin. Can you claim that?” “Of course not.”, the man replied. Stearns replied, “Then your greatest need is to have a Savior, not an example.”
- For The Found (understanding)
- Thomas, a very disciple, didn't understand what Jesus meant when He said “you know the way.”
- John 14:5 - “we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?”
ILLUSTRATE: I think we're victims of A.D.D., to one degree or another. Everyone in this room can relate with giving an instruction over and over, or knowing you've received instruction, but just can't recall what to do.
APPLICATE: Jesus isn't the ex-ample. He is simply ample, in and of Himself.
#. The Truth
- Revealed In Himself
- Like the test we did, earlier, with the soda and water ......there are many, many ways, in the world, that sound good. Logic tells us that everything about the thing seems “right”. Logic tells us that being a good person, living an unselfish life, and treating others as we would like to be treated, all are ways to eternal life. Walk down the streets of Lepanto, or go to the mall, and ask the question ..”what do you think it takes to get to Heaven?” Time, and again, the response you'll hear, right here in the bible belt, is “being a good person”, “don't lie”, “don't cheat”. Here's the problem. WE CAN'T LIVE UP TO THAT!! We don't have it in us! Even our logic isn't practical.
- John 8:32 - “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
- John 17:17 – As Jesus prayed to the Father, he said....“Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.”
Two brothers were getting ready to boil some eggs to color for Easter. "I'll give you a dollar if you let me break three of these on your head," said the older one. "Promise?" asked the younger. "Promise!" Gleefully, the older boy broke two eggs over his brother's head. Standing stiff for fear the gooey mess would get all over him, the little boy asked, "When is the third egg coming?" "It's not," replied the brother. "That would cost me a dollar."
- Revealed Through The Holy Spirit
- John 16:13 - “When the Spirit of truth comes , he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
APPLICATE: The theme of a popular TV show in the mid / late 90's was “The Truth Is Out There.” While The Truth, itself, may be full of mystery and wonder, the revelation of The Truth, through God The Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ, and through The Holy Spirit, and through the living word of God ... is meant to be revealed.
#. The Life
- For The Dead
- John 11:25 - “Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though He may die, he shall live.' ”
- Rev. 22:13 - “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
- Matthew Henry commented that “He is the beginning, the middle, and the end. In Him, we must set out, go on, and finish.”
The Jesus Poem
|A baby boy was bornIn a manger he did layWise men came to worship himThis child in the hay|
A pre-teen only twelve years oldWent missing for three daysHis parents found him quizzingReligious leaders and their ways
A carpenter from NazarethClaimed to be God's SonSaid he was the only wayTo reach the holy one
A man up on a hillDied between two thievesRoman soldiers killed himNo crime had he conceived
| A corpse lay in a graveOutside Jerusalem's wallsMost thought he was dead for goodNo decay he saw at all|
Over five hundred people saw himThis man raised up to lifeIn forty days God lifted himBack up into the sky
Two millennia laterThis man is still aliveHe stands and knocks at your heart's doorWill you let him come inside?
Written by Scott Ludbrook
Next time you're thirsty, and the world offers you soda ....tell 'em ....but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” -John 4:14
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn't go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.
He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned--put together--have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.*
*Attributed to James Allen Francis.