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Full-Time Christianity in a Part-Time World

posted Aug 16, 2010, 11:04 AM by Website Administrator   [ updated Jan 9, 2014, 5:14 PM ]

July 25, 2010

Key Passage: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

“Full-Time Christianity in a Part-Time World” 

I watched this week as dozens of youth struggled with the concept of naming Christ as Savior but ignoring Him as Lord of their life…frankly, most adults can’t seem to come to grips with this as well.  It’s the difference between being a “Believer” and a “Follower.”  Let’s be frank – who wouldn’t want to give Christ their sins and have the assurance of spending eternity in paradise with Him? That said, do we really think that Christ came to this earth voluntarily, lived for 33 years, suffered the indignities he went through and died a horrible death on a cross so we could come to church once in a while, throw a $5 bill in the plate and then squeak into heaven when we die?  Which begs the question: are you a part-time Christian, or a full-time Christian in a part-time world?! 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18…Full-Time Christianity in a Part-Time World 

1 John 2:5-6 – “But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.  This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”    

The Cornerstones of Jesus’ Character  Suffering, Humility, and Obedience (Philippians 1:27-2:11) 

1.  Suffering  (see 1 Peter 2:21 WWJD; 3:14a; 4:12-13; 16; James 1:2-3; Romans 8:18) C.S. Lewis says pain is God’s megaphone – he gets our attention through our suffering and uses it to teach us great spiritual lessons.

Unfortunately, for most, ANY suffering, confusion or tragedy is patently unfair and underserved because we stopped trusting a God whose presence makes suffering, confusion and tragedy bearable.  In a culture that primarily strives to eliminate pain and suffering, the Gospel tells us that Christ is magnified through our struggles.  We won’t be truly liberated until we understand what it means to be crucified with Christ.  Max Lucado says, “God owes no man anything…which makes the fact that He gave us everything astounding!”  

2.  Humility – (see Psalm 51:16-17; Proverbs 3:34; Mark 10:45) Most of us are repulsed by arrogance and pride, yet strangely we’re not attracted to the opposite – lowliness and humility – at least not in ourselves!  In the world, the pinnacle of success is often reached by ambition and greediness, yet Jesus constantly said “the first shall be last,” “the way up is down.”  Listen, you’ll succeed in life because of who God is, not because of who you are.  It’s God’s job to solve the problems of the world…yours is to walk in humble obedience to Him. 

3.  Obedience – (see John 14:23) Obedience puts us in the path of God’s will!  Frankly, I could list dozens of verses here that command us to obedience.  But Jesus says it best Himself – “If you love me, you’ll obey me.  If you don’t love me, you won’t.”  Any questions? 

Q: What has it cost you to follow Christ?  What will it cost you during this year?

Q: Of the 3 cornerstones we’ve discussed (suffering, humility, obedience), which is most difficult for you?

Q: Why do only 15-20% of “Christians” truly surrender to Christ?  What will it take for you to fully surrender? 

Bottom Line: Sold out or selling out?  What’s your life going to stand for?  Here’s the ultimate paradox for you: so many professing Christians want the mercy of forgiveness so that they won’t go to hell, but have hard hearts toward the Lord when it comes to obedience to His Word and daily fellowship with Him.  Let’s be honest – the Word of God knows nothing of the easy “faith” that is so widely manifest in our churches today.  We think we can “receive” Jesus as Savior and that settles the matter.  We’ll go to Heaven, and that’s that.  But the promise of Christ is that when he comes into the human heart there is a radical change of ownership which must, inevitably, result in a radical change in behavior.  Always remember – Jesus isn’t a part-time Savior………. are you a full-time Follower?