In describing Jesus the prophet declared, “he hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). Jesus has never appealed to the masses. Instead, “he is despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53:3). He came out of despised Nazareth (John 1:46) and has been held in contempt ever since.
His doctrine is unattractive. There was a multitude in the bread line (John 6:26), but they quickly vanished like darkness before light when Jesus got to the meat of the matter. “This is an hard saying” (John 6:60), they declared, and thus “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66).
The doctrine of Christ was (and is) to stringent and demanding for most people. They want freedom for overt expression of fleshly desire. They want no restraints on their conduct and no demands on their life. Their propensity for carnal indulgence creates a loathing for divine principles seeking to check their course of life.
His kingdom is unattractive. The Jews were anticipating a physical kingdom and king whose sword would crush the Roman yoke and reinstate the glory of Solomon’s era. How disappointed they were to hear Jesus say, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Premillennialism is Judaism in new dress. The Jews were determined to force a physical scepter into the hand of Christ and man today is still trying to finish what they started. The kingdom of Christ is spiritual. It is the church of the living God, the only ark of safety for souls adrift on a sea of sin.
His way of life is unattractive. Without holiness, “no man shall see God” (Hebrews 12:14). The masses have no desire for holiness. They would be happy to go to heaven if God would allow them to do as they please along the way. The world is in love with itself. The flesh is king. Man is determined to sit at the devil’s table and feast on the delicacies of sin. But what will you do in the end thereof?(Jeremiah 5:31).
Frank Chesser Via The Treasure of Truth Dasher Church of Christ
WHY SERMONS AREN’T GETTING THE JOB DONE
October 5, 2021 by Jack Wilkie
Let’s say for a minute that the mission of the church was to make strawberry cheesecakes. The commission we have, in this thought experiment, is to church out as many strawberry cheesecakes as humanly possible. Therefore, in order for the church to succeed, we need as many people as possible involved in making these strawberry cheesecakes.
Would it make sense to get everybody in the room and tell them the importance of making strawberry cheesecakes before sending them out, hoping that they’ll go do it? Would it make sense to give a presentation every now and then on how a strawberry cheesecake is made?
Would it be fair to get frustrated at the members if a number of them still felt incapable of making strawberry cheesecakes and therefore didn’t do it?
Or, would it be a better use of our time to get the people who know how to make strawberry cheesecakes and get them to take others under their wings? The experienced could have the beginners over, show them how it’s done, and watch over them as they learn to do it for themselves.
Now substitute “making strawberry cheesecakes” with “growing spiritually,” “making disciples,” and “evangelizing.”
Why does evangelism so often go undone? Why do some Christians operate more as customers than disciples? Why are personal commitment and deep spiritual life hard to come by sometimes? Could it be our methods?
Developing a thriving walk with God and sharing the love of Christ with others through disciple making, evangelism, and carrying out the “one anothers” takes far more training than does learning how to make a strawberry cheesecake. If we would be challenged to effectively train an army of strawberry cheesecake makers by use of lecture-style teaching, why do we think we can make mature disciples through lecture-style teaching?
We must invest in each other on a personal level. Those who know how to “make strawberry cheesecakes,” so to speak, must make it their goal to teach others how to do the same. This is the Great Commission cycle at work. Make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples.
Jack Wilkie Via https://www.focuspress.org/2021/10/05/why-sermons-arent-getting-the-job-done/
HE IS LORD
In the final analysis, it boils down to one question for you and me as Christians. Is Jesus Christ, in truth, the Lord of your life? Of my life? You see, a central principle of a conquering Christianity is JESUS CHRIST IS LORD! Through the centuries Christians have suffered, bled, and died – they were spurned onward by that affirmation. HE IS LORD.
Regardless of humanity’s response, He is still Lord. Every person on this earth will one day crown Him Lord of All (Philippians 2:10). He is Lord whether or not we accept His Lordship over us, So the question is not, “Is He Lord?” but rather “Is He MY Lord?”
It is not enough to call Him Lord. He will never be satisfied with being called His divine titles until you and I express through our lives every day that “Jesus Christ is MY Lord.” There is a tendency in our age toward a casual, comfort seeking brand of Christianity – a Christianity without the cross – a line of “least resistance faith.” This unorganized indifference within the ranks of the church is far more destructive to the work of the Lord than all the organized forces of iniquity assailing from the outside. There is an antidote: commitment which results in obedience.
There is power available to us. The dynamic that moved the church in apostolic days has not been withdrawn. Christ is with us! Our God is alive and able. Yes, the struggle between flesh and spirit, between complacency and obedience is real. But so is the Lordship of Christ in whom we find strength for victory, if we possess that seeking heart. As God works in your heart and mine, He brings us to a deeper level of commitment.
Seize upon this truth! Commitment to Jesus Christ means the commitment of my total person. A central truth is that we no longer belong to ourselves. Paul asked: “What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Host which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
If Christ Jesus is Lord of your life, I do not believe you can sit without serving him in one form or fashion. He has called us; he has saved us; he has equipped us; and he has given us everything we have. One question then is “Is He Your Lord?”
Via Brainerd Road Church of Christ, Chattanooga TN