Saturday, February 19, 2011

Risky business

Wimber always used to say "Faith is spelt R.I.S.K"

I can testify to that.

Have we somehow created a Christianity and a Gospel where we think we can live lives that are almost indistinguishable from the culture around us but with a sprinkling of a bit of church going.

Where do we get that in the words of Jesus?

Tell me?  Where?

Now, you might know by now that this blog is a place where sometimes I preach to myself.

I awaken myself from my own lukewarmness and comfort and apathy.

I have my own frustrations that I am not more passionate for Jesus. Not more sold out. Too clinging to the things of this world.

I chatted to a friend recently who told me that he had started to wonder if the life that he currently has is it. He has on many levels a nice, good and very fruitful life. A lovely family, a beautiful home, wonderful kids and a job he is good at and loves. But Jesus didn't say our lives were to be safe and that God's priority is that our kids get good grades in nice middle class schools and we were to live in nice houses, with fancy clothes and friends and a happy summer break in the sun. Should our  strategy as Jesus followers be to avoid trouble, pursue comfort and dodge difficulty at all costs? Isn't that what all the people who don't yet believe in Jesus are all doing and they are all on their way to hell?

My morning mediation was 2 Thes 1 so hell and the importance of believing in Jesus are front of mind for me. This is the sort of passage that would make my delightful liberal clergy colleagues shuffle on their bottoms on their diocesan seats as we did bible studies together. I would usually pipe up with a smiling,

"Come on you lot who don't believe in hell what are we going to do with that one?"

It was usually met with a tut and an awkward silence. I would sometimes detect just the tiniest twinge of nervousness that if they are wrong on the whole "there is no such thing as hell" then there may be consequences- particularly when we were all ordained to tell sinners of it's reality. If people leading the church don't preach the Gospel, the Cross and call sinners to repentance then who the dickens will.

Here is my morning meditation just in case you were curious what prompted all this.

"This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed."

People believing in Jesus and being obedient to Him seems to be really pretty important or did I miss something?

So, what then shall we do with the time we have left?

This is the question my friend is posing to himself, only gently, and to his family and it is good to ask yourself  the same things.

Don't presume on it being long. It might be, but don't presume on it.

By now you might have guessed that Francis Chan might be about to be mentioned.

In the summer, when my friend finished reading Crazy love she turned to me stunned and said this:

"What am I meant to do now?"

It was one of those moments.

His sermon below shook me to my core.

It has really really shaken me. Truly.

This sermon may even make some of you ask yourself if you are saved.

It did that to me.

Better to know now than later I figure.

I have concluded I am by the way, which is a relief all round.

If this doesn't shake you and drive you to your knees in repentance I don't know what will.

If this doesn't get you laying all your heart, all your stuff, all your plans and submitting them anew to Jesus then you probably weren't listening.

It's called "Why we all need the gospel"

 "Have a nice day"

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