Bethel Dallas Youth message on Sunday 11.4.18
When I was in middle school I heard the Gospel for the first time. I learned there was a Heaven and a Hell and there was a choice I needed to make. A choice that would define who I would become and even decide my destination for all eternity.
The question we are all facing is this:
“Who do you choose to be?”
The way I see it, is you have two choices:
1.) Define yourself
2.) Be defined by God
This is the choice is set before you: The ability to choose God or reject God. Defining yourself gives you the ability to define who you are and what you are about and this could change overtime or on a daily basis. It puts you in the driver seat as far as your convictions, your moral code, what you think is right or wrong, what is sinful/evil or good/holy and so on. The second choice puts God as the author of who you are, what your purpose is and what is true. These are two distinctly different choices.
The problem is that most of us find ourselves trying to find a middle ground in between those two choices. Unfortunately Jesus left no middle ground and no ability to ride the fence on this. We cannot make our own mixed concoction of “a little bit of Jesus” with “a little bit of my own opinions” with a splash of “love is love” and a hint of “but this is how I feel.” Ultimately when you try and mix Jesus in with other things you are really just choosing to define yourself as you see fit with some religion to be a good person.
You have to take the whole Bible as truth or reject it all together. It says in John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” Jesus is stating that He is the only “way” to the Father. He never presented Himself as a good teacher for people to follow most of his nice teachings to make it to Heaven.
The most dangerous lie is the one that is 98% true. The most lost person is the one who thinks they are a good person and Jesus is just a good teacher.
The Bible says in Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
In this verse Jesus says “depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.” What does the word lawlessness mean? It means those people never submitted to the will of God but chose to obey their own made up set of rules.
So what does a lawless lifestyle look like according to God’s Word?
Romans 1:24-32 (my own paraphrasing added)
These people chose to define their life on their terms so God turned them over to do whatever they wanted: “homosexuality, sexual immorality (pornography, pre-marital sex, lusting after others), wickedness (enjoying the destruction of what God created), greed (always wanting more), evil towards others, envy (wanting what others have all the time thinking you deserve it more than they do), murder (in the heart is hate), strife (arguing and always being right), deceit (lying to others and cheating), evil-mindedness, haters of God (hating God’s plans for your life), violent, proud (considering yourself above God), boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving (not knowing how to give or receive love), unforgiving (holding onto grudges and bitterness), unmerciful (seeking fairness in your favor).
THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS ARE DESERVING OF DEATH (eternally).”
Now, when you read this are you seeing 2 or 3 things that you disagree with? The question is: who gets to define what is lawless and sinful? You or God? If you consider yourself as the authority of deciding what is sinful then you choose to define things on your own terms. Or you can choose to believe in God’s Word as truth.
Today, Jesus is saying, “Will you follow me?”
Mark 8:34 “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Questions for Reflection:
- AM I FOLLOWING JESUS OR LIVING FOR MYSELF?
- AM I READY TO DIE TO MYSELF, PICK UP MY CROSS, AND GO ALL IN FOR JESUS?
- HOW WILL MY LIFE LOOK DIFFERENT WHEN I TRULY +FOLLOW JESUS?