Saturday, August 8, 2015

AUGUST 8 "THE WELL RESPECTED CHRISTIAN"

There's always the exception to the rule, but I believe most of us struggle with wanting to be the respected and dignified Christian, as opposed to what Paul describes as "spectacle to the entire world-to people and angels alike. Our dedication makes us look like fools, but you are so wise (and well respected)".  I think Paul breaks it down "our dedication" makes us look like fools. When we are dedicated, sold out for Christ, we will look like fools. Street preaching is not dignified, passing out tracts and flyers at Walmart does not boost your social status, preaching at a public event doesn't make the Community you live in respect you. "Our dedication makes us fools....BUT, you are wise!" I wonder how many Christians reading this have never Street Preached, passed out flyers and evangelized in an open square? Just the thought of it makes them nausea and raises the hairs on the back of their necks.  Have you become the wise and respectable Christian that Paul is speaking about? Should we ever be purposely obnoxious as Christians, of course not, but when we are being dedicated, it will come naturally. Jesus said, "woe unto you when all men speak well of you" and that's straight from the lips of the one you call "Lord, all day long. The question we have to ask ourselves, as 21st Century Christians; is which Christians are we that Paul is comparing, in our text? Are the the respected, wise and dignified or are we the Christians that are looked upon with contempt? Do you go to the well respected, establishment church in your Community that everybody loves and every goes to? Or do you go to the Evangelical Church down the street that preaches the Word outside the four walls and suffers reproach for it? We're not talking about being cultist and out on the fringe like the Westboro Baptist Church that protested the funerals of fallen military soldiers, but we are talking about being a bold voice in your Community and not shirking away from calling sin , sin, immorality , immorality, shacking up, shaking up, drunkenness, drunkenness and you that do these things be not deceived, will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I guarantee Paul didn't go to the local favorite establishment church that the mayor went to, the City Counsel Members and the High School Football coach. He went to the same church as Mary Magdalene, he went to the church the Gadarene Demoniac went to. Does your church do soup kitchens and feed the poor and do good deeds or does your church get a couple of speakers and mics and preach the Gospel to a lost and perishing people? The Church that feeds the poor and builds them homes will be loved and well respected, the Church that preaches to them will be hated and they will yell, "crucify him". They couldn't stand Jesus and they couldn't stand Paul. They couldn't stand Peter and the couldn't stand Stephen. The establishment church that fills up every Sunday to hear good "self help" pep rally speeches and the latest speeches out of the books of modern day, "Self Hep Guru's" was not the group Paul was a part of. We all struggle with wanting "all men to speak well of us", but we must guard ourselves from becoming one of the Christians that Paul speaks of in our text today. We must guard ourselves, that if Paul were around today, we wouldn't, I hope, look down at him and his form of Christianity, or would he seem like he's out on the fridge, would we quickly dismiss Paul, "no, no, he doesn't go to my church, no he's not part of us".  Could Paul, the Apostle come to your church or would they kick him out? Would you hang out with Paul or would he embarrass you in front of your friends? Paul writes, "you are well thought of, but we are all laughed at". Is Paul writing about you? That's the question to ask!