Here’s some more questions that were sent in during the sermon Sunday via txt msg. I will try to get to more of the questions live this week. We experimented with this format this summer and plan to make Sunday mornings more interactive (via txting) on a more regular basis in the future… I love the questions and comments, keep them coming.
Q. If you trust God but stop caring about what happens to you is that ok?
A. I’m not sure exactly sure I get a good “read” on this question…I wish I had a follow up. In a large sense we are to trust God with everything…and not worry about our self. That doesn’t mean we should walk around with a “deathwish“…stepping out in front of buses unnecessarily because we “trust God to take care of us”.
Q. Tv preachers sometimes talk down about society…why?
A. That’s how (some of them) make a living. “Look at all these evil people in the “world”…we can stop it…we’re professionals…just send your checks to…” People like to hear about how bad the sins are that they are NOT committing…that kind of preaching gets “amens” in churches…and checks in the mail. …not a lot else is accomplished in my opinion.
Q. How can we be sure we are trusting enough in God?
A. I don’t think any of us (myself in particular) trust “enough” in God. If we really truly completely “believed” he was all powerful…and had our best interests at heart…we really wouldn’t worry about anything. The key is to listen for God’s direction…ask him questions…check out how he has interacted with ordinary people throughout the ages in the Bible. If we do that…and put it into action by trusting God to guide us and provide for us in our lives…even in small ways…we’ll experience God at work in our world…and our trust and faith will grow.
Q. How do we get God as our savior-get 2 Heaven?
A. Follow Jesus. What does that mean? Give up on your way of living…your standards…your goals…and ask Jesus to show you his way of living…his standards…his goals. Accept his death on the cross as payment for your sins…and begin a new life as part of his Kingdom plan for earth. A good first step is to tell someone else about your decision. Baptism is the way of “going public” with your decision.
I know that over the years the church has tried to “simplify” that process by making it much more complicated. There are prayers…accrostics…diagrams…”roads”…and series of questions. None of them are “wrong”, but together I think they may have “skewed” the idea of Salvation into something you “believe”, “know”, or “have an emotional response about” that will somehow “get you into heaven”. I can’t find anything in scripture about “asking Jesus to come into your heart”, but I do find thousands of references to people who believed that Jesus was the Son of God…and turned their lives upside down to be part of his movement. Heaven is a wonderful “by product” of following Jesus (as are God’s protection and blessing). It would be foolish to think that you can receive the pension plan, salary and benefits of working at Harley Davidson by just filling out an application and never showing up for work… I think it is equally foolish and presumptuous to think that we are entitled to eternity in heaven, and God’s blessing and care here on earth, just by saying a prayer and walking away to live completely as we did before. Does that make our salvation about our “works” (what we do for God)? Nope…because God doesn’t “need” us to do anything for him…we aren’t “qualified” for the position…but he loves us and accepts us into his kingdom anyway.