Time to Wake the Sleeping Giant
A Call to Real Christianity
– Have you ever read or heard the story of Jack and the beanstalk? There is a giant, and you don’t want to attract his attention. If the giant stays asleep then everything will be o.k. The Church in the U.S. at least has become that sleeping giant, and it seems that even though the world has done an incredible amount of noise-making, the Church as a whole does not seem to wake up! That is why this 10 message series is called, “Time to Wake the Sleeping Giant.” The first message is titled, “A Call to Real Christianity.”
– How many of you have ever been fooled into thinking that you were eating something that was actually something quite different than what you were eating? It is a little disconcerting to find out that you were fooled. Has anyone ever fooled you into thinking that they were someone besides who they really are? It is frustrating, because you want to know what is genuine and what is not. Why is it funny to see someone with fake hair? It is funny because it is not real.
– It is very similar in Christianity. The Bible has called us to live in a way that is Christ-like, and often we have seen the way that someone else lives and tried to imitate them, without even attempting to discover if they live like Jesus, or not. We have become more like social activists, than we have become like ambassadors for Christ. It is not meant to be this way!
– Paul writes to the Philippians telling them that his greatest desire is that they strive together for the faith, not against each other. Why are we needing to wake the sleeping giant? Why are we making a call to real Christianity? It is because the world has made us afraid, and it has made us citizens of this world, instead of people who are looking for a home whose maker and builder is God. So here it is….a call to real Christianity!
1) Live in a way that is worthy of the gospel (27-28)
* God wants us to live in a way that is worthy of the gospel – we should live differently, like Christ. People should see a difference in us, we should be counter-cultural. We should be Christians first, Americans second. We should be living according to God’s standards, not the U.S.A.’s.
A) Standing side by side
* God wants us to stand firm in one spirit – we are in a fight, the enemy is trying to divide and destroy us, the enemy tries to get us distracted and involved with many things, instead of the most important thing!
* Standing firm in one spirit means that you as a church are in agreement about what is most important and you are all working together to accomplish what God says is most important!
B) Fight together for the faith of the gospel
* This is a crucial aspect to being a successful, healthy, growing, and God-honoring church. We must remember what we are here to do, we are here to make disciples! We are supposed to be striving together to make disciples! The world has gotten us to hide away in our churches and homes so that we don’t share Christ with the lost people around us! The world has also gotten us to worry so much about political correctness that some of us are afraid to call sin, sin anymore; they have said that we think we are better than everyone else, and that has caused us to not evangelize, we have gotten involved with the ecumenical movement, and also to try to be everyone’s friend, instead of being ambassadors for Christ, pleading with men, women, and children to turn from their sin and be reconciled to God.
– We try to get politicians to pass laws to make lost people act Christian, instead of trying to win those lost people to Christ
– Those that do not adhere to biblical teaching that is accurate, the false churches with the false gospel, we might know some of people that go to them, our kids might be friends with their kids, but that does not mean that we ignore the fact that many of them are lost, or teaching false things which are leading people away from God
– The Church in the U.S. must wake up, we at FBC of Marathon must wake up! We must begin evangelize and tell the lost people around us that they are sinners who need to receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ, if they do not, as much as we don’t like to admit it, they will spend eternity tormented in hell
> Just a question, since it seems that less Christians are evangelizing and inviting people to church, afraid to speak the truth, who do you think is behind that or is pleased with that? God or Satan?
C) Don’t be intimidated by your enemies
* God does not want us to be alarmed by those that oppose the gospel – there are many that oppose the gospel, those that teach works-salvation, evolution, situation ethics, people that say we are arrogant, or Bible-thumpers, weak-minded – all too often this has alarmed us, so we stop speaking the truth – no!!!! We need to speak the truth!!!! Souls depend on it!!!!
– Those who oppose the gospel will face destruction, they are rejecting the only Savior
– When Christians are persecuted for their faith it is a sign of the genuineness of their faith
2) We have been saved by Christ, but we will also suffer for Him (29-30)
A) As Christians we are in this struggle together
* We suffer because we belong to Christ, we will experience the same conflict that Paul did
* This will happen if we stand for Christ and boldly share His truth, if we hide what the truth of God is, some people will think we are open-minded, tolerant, is this how we want to be known? I want to be known as someone who shared the truth of the gospel with people around me boldly!
– What is real Christianity? It starts with the gospel. The message of the gospel bring eternal salvation for your soul, it calls you to be changed, and live your life so that the message is communicated to as many people as you come into contact with.
– We as Christians must strive together for the faith, not against each other.
– There is a new television show called, “Identity.” On this show a contestant attempts to guess the identity of each person that stands before them, if they guess all of them right then they win $500,000. The thing that I wonder is if all Christians stood side by side with non-Christians, how many of us would be picked out as Christians, even if the person doing the guessing were able to witness our lives for a day.
– This is a call to real Christianity. It is time to wake the sleeping giant!
– Next Sunday AM – A Call to Excellence; Philippians 1:9-11