This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of July 7, 2013. This message deals with the primary purpose and duty of the church, and of a Christian. This post contains an audio recording of my sermon, plus the sermon notes. The sermon notes are not a full transcript of the sermon.
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This narration could easily be describing America. It seems that not much has changed in the last 2000 years.
The city was given over to false religion, the church was silent, but Paul was stirred. (are you?)
We live in a vile and wicked society, steeped in idolatry.
God has no reason to bless this nation anymore.
Do you think that God’s opinion of idolatry has changed in the last 3000 years?
Do you think that Jehovah God is relieved that the people of our nation no longer elevates him and his son Jesus Christ above other gods?
We need to Go Public
Paul took it to the streets, and got the attention of the locals
Americans are very religious, but they don’t know who God is.
Just as the Athenians, America has no absolute standard (I.e. the Bible).
The anti-Christian forces have set themselves up as gods, by defining their own morality.
If we proclaim the morality of the Bible, we are called “intolerant” and “self-righteous”
However, we are not to be tolerant of false religions, and our righteousness is not our own, but God’s.
Therefore; we are not the “self-righteous” ones.
Those who define their own righteousness are self-righteous.
Work, pleasure, money, and self-indulgence has become their god, and Christ is far too radical and judgmental to have a place in their lives.
We see the symptoms in our society today. Idolatry, evolution, abortion, homosexuality, drunkenness, drug addiction, calling evil good and good evil.
Proclaim the true God.
The need is urgent! We need a revival in America, not for the sake of America, but for the sake of the people.
We have people walking away from the church in droves.
From our government education system, the media, our entertainment, to the government itself, the message is increasingly anti Christ.
It’s the attitude that pervades our society on all levels, and inundates our children from the earliest ages.
With all of the souls that are being lost, the modern church has adopted a save the nation attitude.
“save this nation” the wrong emphasis, nations cannot be saved, only people!
All nations are temporary. God uses them, blesses them and judges them as He deems necessary.
He sets up kingdoms and tears them down according to His will.
None of these systems of government will be incorporated into God’s kingdom. America included.
This doesn’t mean that we give up on political involvement, we just need to have the right perspective.
We should still strive to protect freedom and righteousness through our legal system, but we need to understand that laws are not the end.
We’ve come to the point in which we’d rather modify behavior, rather than change lives.
We try to pass laws to solve our problems, but laws can’t change hearts, or redeem a man.
We need to make soul winning our primary mission. Jesus died for people, not for nations
If people start getting saved, the rest will work itself out.
Our goal should not be to save America, but to save people.
In what do you trust? “for in Him we have our being”
We turn to government for our solutions.
They’ve promised us a chicken in every pot, but people are still starving.
It wants to give us cradle to the grave care, but it can hardly care for itself, and the grave is still the ultimate victor.
No government can save you. It doesn’t matter how many taxes you pay, how many laws you pass, how good a citizen, or how well you serve your country.
There are no government programs to get you into Heaven.
While we are commanded by scripture to obey our civil governments. Government is not to take the place of Christ.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the father but by Him.
Instead of falling for a chicken in every pot, feast on the Bread of Life, and drink the Living Water.
Instead of cradle to the grave care, choose eternal care.
If you want to fix what’s wrong, turn to Christ.
Do an end run around the government, they’ll just get in the way.
This can once again be a blessed nation, but if it is, it will be because of a revival among the people.
Change comes by Christ, through individuals, not by government.
Although our nation is rapidly becoming anti-Christian in belief and practice, we Christians can still best serve our nation and our Savior by practicing and proclaiming Christ’s wonderful saving gospel of free salvation from sin and regeneration unto righteousness.
Remember, as Christians, our true citizenship is in Heaven, and, unlike nations, the church has no borders or boundaries.
1 Peter 2:9-10