June 24, 2012
It’s a popular thought – “Jesus is my homeboy.” We like to think of him that way, because it’s comfortable and casual.
In this message, though, Ed Young gives us a powerful reminder of the dangers of casualiazing our holy God.
And we discover that when we elevate God to the level he truly deserves in our lives, we discover they key to getting the most out of life.
Cool-Aid. We’ve been serving it all of our different environments. Drinking the Cool-Aid. That phrase was coined back in the day when maniac, Jim Jones, coerced his followers to drink it, laced with poison, and if you know your history the result was devastation and death.
Isn’t it true that a lot of us drink our culture’s Cool Aid? A lot of us drink the Cool-Aid, we guzzle it without even thinking about it. We’ve got those Cool-Aid moustaches. We drink the Cool-Aid of gay marriage. We drink the Cool-Aid of vulgarity, we drink the Cool-Aid of victimization and bullying.
Today we’re gonna talk about Cool-Aid in a different light. So often we put an ingredient in the Cool-Aid that is really dangerous. The casualization of God. I submit to you that we, as a nation, have lost the holiness, the reverence, the fear of God. We’ve turned the Lord into the Prozac Jesus. The pale, frail, blue-eyed, decaf-sipping white boy Christ. He’s comfortable that way. We sort of use him when we need him. We do what we want to do, we dream what we want to dream, we go where we want to go, then we take the God-sticker out and place it on our lives.
“I want to dream the way I want to dream and God, you just stick yourself to my dream and we’ll go places you’ve never dreamed possible. I got this dream. I want to do what I want to do because I’m the man! I’m the woman! I just let my desires rule. And then, God, I will place the God-sticker on it.”
It’s amazing how we excuse our behavior and all sorts of things by doing this, isn’t it? Oh we’ll live like Hell, we’ll have sex outside of marriage, we’ll put things in our body and be addicted to this and that. We’ll ask God to help us in some business transaction and then rob him when it comes to the tithe. But, “God bless me!” We got those God-stickers working, God! “Jesus! Boom-boom. You’re my homeboy!”
The Bobblehead Jesus. Just use God. It’s cool.
“I’m cool with the Lord. The Man Upstairs. The Big Boy! Ed, sprinkle some pastor-dust on the situation. It’ll be OK. Yeah, I’m living like Hell, but bring down some Heaven. And then when Heaven hits I’ll go back to living like Hell.”
Because God got me out of that tight situation but if something happens, we blame God. Something good happens, “God has blessed.” Comedians, they take God’s name in vain for two hours, drop the F-bomb. They move from using expletives to using them as adjectives and adverbs and then they have the guts and the gall and the irreverence when they’re walking off the stage to say, “God bless you! You’ve been a great audience!”
Only narcissistic Hollywood, the actors and actresses, would be prideful enough to come up with award ceremonies to award their own. Only people who are that narcissistic would do that. Have you thought about that? No one else does that in their line of work, only the actors and actresses do that. How whack is that? And then, when they receive the awards,
“God bless you!”
“Oh, I’m just blessed by God.”
What? Don’t bring God in! You’re living like Hell! You have the audacity to bring in the name of God? Jesus ain’t your homeboy! I’ll say it again. Jesus ain’t your homeboy. He’s not the bobblehead Jesus. God’s not the Man Upstairs, he’s not the Big Boy, he’s not The Man. No, he’s much, much, much, much more. But we have this Cool-Aid-guzzling culture. It’s pluralistic, it’s cool, it’s hip. We even have the Christian Cool-Aid here in our world today. A lot of us guzzle it.
A man came to see me one day. He sat right in one of these seats for several years. He started a business and he told me,
“Ed, I have the opportunity to really knock it out of the park. I have the opportunity to receive a windfall.” He was living like Hell and I talked to him about it. And then he said,
“Would you pray with me? Because there’s a chance this deal could go south and I could lose everything. All the money that I could make on this deal. Would you pray?” I basically said,
“You know, I’m not gonna pray. I’m not gonna use God. I’m not gonna place a God-sticker on the situation until you say, ‘From this day forward I’m gonna live for God. From this day forward I’m gonna follow him. From this day forward I’m all about him.’ If you want to say that, if you want to agree with that, then I will be happy to pray.” So he goes,
“Yes, yes.” But see, I’m not God. I can’t read a person’s heart. This guy was using me. Sprinkle some pastor dust on the situation. Call down Heaven. He just wanted the cash money, that’s all. And once God solved his problem he would go right back to living like Hell. I prayed, the deal was done. He made tens of millions. I warned him several times,
“Hey, remember the decision?” A serial adulterer, a liar, a cheat, and now his life is a living Hell. Depressed, despondent, destitute, really he’s gone insane. You don’t use God! You can’t play with him!
You see, we want to talk about the grace and the love of God, the peace of God. It’s so popular. It sells books, people like it and they smile. They think it’s hunky-dory. And that’s a part of God, no doubt about it. You can’t talk about the forgiveness of God and the grace of God without talking about the judgment of God and the conviction of God! We’ve forgotten it! The church doesn’t talk about it anymore! It’s not cool any more. We’re drink on the Cool-Aid! And the poison is the casualization of God. Even God’s people went through this. We’ve all gone through it, so have you. We’ve all used God. Everybody has. We’ve all pimped God. See my pimp limp? We’ve pimped God.
“God, I want to do what I want to do. I want to use you to get what I want. So you’re God, and I’m God. OK?” And we use God to get what we want. Is that the deal? God’s people used him. Here’s what I want you to write down.
- We cannot use God. Say it with me. We cannot use God. We can’t!
Go back with me to 1 Samuel 4, I will give you the quick Wikipedia on 1 Samuel, chapter 4. The Israelites, God’s people, had been in this cycle of rebellion. Live like Hell. God would bring Heaven and he would get them out of the situation, and they’d go back to Hell again. Over and over and over. And that’s one of the cool things about the Bible. It’s something we can all deal with and understand and identify with. They were in battle with their arch enemies, the Philistines, a sea-faring people, mean people. They had a corner on the iron market. Israel goes out to fight the Philistines and the Philistines beat the stuffings out of God’s people! I mean they just hammered them! They whacked them!
So you’ve got God’s people licking their wounds. “Man, I thought we were God’s people. I can’t believe it.” They began to blame God. “It’s God’s fault. It’s God’s fault, man!” Have you ever blamed God?
“It’s God’s fault I didn’t make the team!”
“It’s God’s fault I have this father!”
“It’s God’s fault that I lost the money.”
“It’s God’s fault, it’s God’s fault…” Blame God. That’s what God’s people did.
1 Samuel chapter 4, let’s look down in verse 3. They had gotten smacked and verse 3 says, “When the soldiers returned to the camp the elders of Israel asked, ‘Why did the Lord bring defeat upon us today before the Philistines?’” The Blame Game. It’s as old as the garden of Eden. “Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh.” You’ve heard about that… “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Remember that? The ark of the covenant? Well, the ark was real. It is real! It contained the 10 commandments of Moses, the presence of God was on the ark. Cherubim on one side, another cherubim on the other, gold, it was powerful, man. So the Israelites, they’re looking at the ark like a rabbit’s foot, like a little medicine, like a little God dust.
“Man, we can draft off God! We’ll just kind of manipulate the system. We’ll oblige God. If we put the ark in front of us, the next time we do battle with the Philistines we’re gonna win! We’ve got the ark! It’s the ark! It’s not about you, God, it’s not about holiness, it’s not about righteousness, it’s about the ark!”
I had dinner with a family recently. The family will call themselves Christ-followers but I would doubt it just from my observation. I’m not God, I don’t know, but I would seriously doubt it. I show up. The language, the vulgarity is flowing, as other things were flowing. And then as I leave, the man of the house, who has take God’s name in vain squillions of time over the several hours I was there, made this statement.
“Yeah, I can’t do that because I’ve gotta go to church on Sunday.” I’m like, I can’t believe it! I’m just teaching about this stuff and this guy’s preachin’ my sermon! So church is your rabbit’s foot, right? Church is your idol. Church is your ark. Church is how you kinda of draft into what you want to do.
“Oh, I’ve been to church. Everything’s fine. Got a little Heaven on Sunday. I’ll live like Hell the rest of the time.
“When the solders returned to camp the elders of Israel asked, ‘Why did the Lord bring defeat upon us today? Let’s bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh…’” I love that name, Shiloh. “… so that it (not HE, not God, it. It! Church is IT. I’ve been to church…It… it)… so that it may go with us and save us from the land of our enemies.”
Wow, that’s so sad. And people pimp God and use God in so many different ways.
“All right, God, I want this. I want that. And if I have enough faith and believe it enough, you’ve got to come through. God, you’re my UPS boy. God, you’re my concierge. God, you’re my messenger boy, yeah.” That’s what they were doing. We’re pimping God! Using God! Say it with me. We can’t use God.
So then the plot clots because if you know a little bit about the history again, you’ve got Eli, who was the priest/judge. Good old guy, no discernment whatsoever. His sons, the worst preacher’s kids you’ve ever met in your life, Hophni and Phinehas, worked with him in this whole system. They were abusing the sacrificial system and seducing the women who worked in the temple. These were preacher’s kids! No integrity. And the Bible says Eli didn’t even know what they were doing.
Hophni and Phinehas walk into the room where the ark of the covenant is. They’re not supposed to touch it. Only one day a year, the holiest guy in the land would walk in there. And they take the ark, Hophni and Phinehas, it’s crazy! It’s crazy. And they escort the ark of the covenant, Hophni and Phinehas. You got it? And they bring it on its cart to the Israelite camp. And the Israelites are gonna use that as the rabbit’s foot to open up a can on the Philistines. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s in the Bible. I mean, this is great. You’re going, Hophni and Phinehas? This is crazy!
How many people have ever been to NASCAR before. NASCAR, lift your hand! There’s something called drafting, I mentioned it earlier. What is drafting? You’ve got a car and a car behind it drafts off that car. It uses the energy of that car to do what? To go faster and faster and faster. It happens when you’re racing bikes, it happens when you’re running a race. It also happens spiritually.
We have one of the greatest women’s ministries in the world, Flavour. If you’ve not been to Flavour, ladies, I beg you to attend. It’ll change your life! You know why it’s hard for you to go to Flavour? Because the enemy knows it’ll change your life. That’s why it’s difficult to go. It’s spiritual warfare. That’s just extra credit, I’ll just throw that in. So if you don’t want your life to change for the better just don’t go. But if you do, show up.
Here’s the story behind the story. Always remember this. I’ve learned this. There’s always a story behind the story.
“Oh, but she said…” There’s a story behind the story.
“But that happened…” There’s a story behind the story.
There’s a story behind the Flavour. How did Flavour begin? A bunch of women were drafting off of my wife. A bunch of women were God-drafting off of Lisa.
“Oh Lisa, please start a Bible study! You’re gifted, you’re a leader. Please! Please, please start a Bible study.” So this group of women flocked to Lisa from different stages of life, different ages. Some didn’t have much, some had a lot. “Lisa, teach us!” so Lisa led the Bible study. After a while as they talked about church, as they talked about what the Scriptures say regarding the church, serving in the church, not swerving, serving, sharing your faith with people who don’t know Christ, sowing financially into the church, which is one of the major subjects in the Bible, finances. So they began to talk about those things and after a while Lisa goes,
“Honey, these women are drafting off of me! These women are God-drafting off of me. Only a few of them are serving, sharing, sowing, the rest are living like Hell!” She stopped the Bible study and subsequently started Flavour. Thousands of women later, that’s what has transpired.
God-drafting. People-drafting. A secondhand religion. Using other people for your benefit. Like rungs on a ladder. That’s what the Philistines are gonna try to do in a couple of minutes. They’re gonna try to draft off God’s people.
“I will just stick behind them and if I get the ark, if I capture the ark we’ve got the power, man! I got it!” You can’t use God. I’ll say it again. You can’t use God.
Here’s another statement. You can’t capture God. You can’t capture him. Say it with me. You can’t capture God. At all the campuses: You can’t capture God. If you’re watching this on ABCFamily right now somewhere in a bar or an apartment or a home, say it with me: You cannot capture God. You can’t. Every box I’ve tried to put God in, he’s gotten out of. You can’t capture God.
The Philistines (you ain’t gonna believe this), keep reading your Bible. 1 Samuel 4, they fought the Israelites again. But here’s the deal. Now the Israelites have got the ark, the rabbit’s foot. They’re wearing the “Jesus is my Homeboy” shirts. They’ve been living like Hell but now they got Heaven on their side. Hophni and Phinehas were there with the ark, man. Everything is gonna go great! It scared the Philistines when they knew the Israelites had brought the ark from Shiloh, freaked them out! They knew their history. They were like, “Man, I remember what happened to the Egyptians! Oh no! They got the ark! They’re returning to the Lord!” Nah. No they weren’t. No they weren’t.
Bunch of hypocrites. They weren’t returning to God. They wanted to go back to Hell. They just wanted God to deliver them. So the Philistines said, hey, we’ve got to step up and bring out best game to the battle. And they did. They just beat the stuffings out of God’s people, with the ark out front! I’ll say it again. They had the ark out front and they just hammered God’s people. Tens of thousands of people were killed.
You use God, he will orchestrate your defeat. Let me say that again. You use God, he will orchestrate your defeat. You don’t believe me? Talk to the guy I mentioned earlier. I wouldn’t parade him on stage, he would be too embarrassed. His life is a living Hell. The guy has gone insane. You can’t use God. You can’t use him! You can’t capture God! Oh, they captured God. Tens of thousands of God’s people were killed. They captured the ark, “We got it! We got the power, man!” and they took the ark to some of the Philistine stronghold, put the ark in the same room with Dagon, their god. “Oh, we got the ark. We got Dagon, we got the rabbit’s foot. We got good luck. Man it’s gonna happen now! We got it, man. We got it goin’ now!” said the Philistines.
The next day, they start bringing in tours, tours, that’s right, to look at the ark. People paying good money, kinda like Disney World. Huge money to look at the ark and Dagon. And as they look they’re shocked, because Dagon, during the night, had fallen facedown before the ark. That’d be a good place to clap, right there.
So excuse me, sometimes I’ve got to encourage myself. Just stand right there to the left. Sometimes if you want to encourage me I’m just gonna say, “Man that is good preaching! I like that!” OK, anyway. The Bible says to encourage yourself in the Lord. If you don’t help me I’ll help myself. That’s all right. I know it’s hot outside. I know it’s convicting. I know, I know, I know. It’s convicting to me too, to me too, yeah.
So Dagon had fallen before the ark. Then, all this wild stuff started happening and they started moving the ark. “Oh, we can’t take the ark here.” People were dying, getting sick and they moved it from this city to that city. How can I say this? The translators in the Hebrew were scared to translate what was really happening to the Philistines because of the judgment of God, but I’m gonna tell you what happened. This is no vulgarity. I will use the correct terminology. They had (the Philistines, because they had taken the ark) a rat infestation. I’m talking about ugly, goatee-sporting, tat-advertising rats with piercings, they were so big! (I made that stuff up.) Rats. But here’s the bad part, it’s just boom-boom. Keep it real. Tumors began to grow in their rectum and groin area. I know it’s bad. Again, I’m just telling you what the Bible says in the Hebrew.
Now, people began to move the ark around and they didn’t want to touch it. People dying, tumors growing in very private places, rats running around. It was horrible! Say it with me. You can’t capture God. Say it with me. You can’t capture God. Wow. That is grow. The Bible is unbelievable! You can’t capture God. You can’t contain God. You can’t hem God into a box. You cannot say, “God, there’s where you are. Let me put you in this nice box. Close it up, tape it up, and you’re in the box.”
There’s a huge movement these days in the Christian community called Reformed Theology. It’s not new, it’s old. But now people run around with skinny jeans and v-necks and they’re smart people talking about this. Reformed theology can lead to a deformed ecclesiology. A reformed theology so often (don’t misquote me) can lead to a deformed ecclesiology. What’s ecclesiology? Basically the doctrine of the church. I’m talking about Calvinism. I got God in a box! I got God in a box. And there are churches all around North America and the world, not all of these but most of the Calvinistic churches, don’t reach anybody. They’ve got God in a box and they use God… they use God! They pimp God not to reach people who are dying and going to Hell.
Now let me talk to the young people here. You are prey for these churches. Brand new believers, prey for these churches. P-R-E-Y. It’s sexy, it’s cool. Calvinism, man. Because I got God in a box. Oh really? You’re Mr. Smart Guy? Mrs. Smart Girl? You got God in a box? Really?
I believe in election. I also believe in choice. So you’re telling me you’ve got God in a box, you’ve captured God. You’ve figured out where election begins and choice ends, and where choice ends and where election begins? <laughter> Why are these people so mean-spirited, most of them? Why are they so Pharisaical? You know why? It leads to that!
“I got God figured out. I don’t have to walk across the street and share my faith. I don’t have to get uncomfortable and plan the church not only for believers but unbelievers. I will just be comfortable.” No wonder the young people like it! It’s sexy and cool!
“I’m learning stuff. Haaaa… just relaxing. I can wear my skinny jeans, v-neck shirts. Oh I can take a missions trip to a faraway land. I’m not gonna share my faith with the guy I know who’s hooked on porn. I’m not gonna invite my friend who’s away from God to church. I’m not gonna pray high-risk prayers for people who don’t know the Lord, but put me on a mission trip, man! I’ll be handing out water, helping to build wells! The social gospel! It’s all about social injustice!”
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Time out! The social Gospel, I’m all up in that. But let’s make sure to bring the Gospel into the social. I don’t think you heard me. See, it’s cool, man. Politically correct. “I’m gonna build a well.” Rah. Rah. Rah. That’s great. We do stuff like that all the time. But you better bring the Gospel over into it. And when they say Gospel (they being the reformed movement who I would argue oftentimes leads to a deformed ecclesiology), when they say Gospel they don’t mean the same Gospel that we do. It’s different. Do you see what I’m saying to you? What they believe it’s all ‘the elect, the elect.’ And if you’re the elect, good for you. If you’re not the elect, whooo! You’re going to Hell. So why do I really have to work on thinking about people who are far away from God? But the Bible tells me in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that WHOSOEVER! I’ll say it again. WHOSOEVER… WHOSOEVER… WHOSOEVER… WHOSOEVER… WHOSOEVER keeps me up at night. Whosoever keeps me up at night. Whosoever causes us to build other campuses. Whosoever causes us to serve a million meals to kids in Haiti last year and to share the Gospel. Whosoever has caused us to spend tens of millions of dollars at Allaso Ranch for people without Jesus. Don’t you use God! Don’t you blaspheme the name of God and use God not to reach people for Jesus Christ! And if you don’t like this message, there are the exits! There are many, many churches in this area that would love to have you. We’re not into comfort. We want to be comfortably uncomfortable. If you believe it clap your hands and give me a shout! Please sit down. Please sit down.
I’m telling you, man. I’ve dealt with this stuff my entire life. This is nothing new. This ain’t nothing new. I’m just telling you, that’s the fact. I believe in election, I believe in choice. But you’re telling me you got that figured out? It’s killing the church. Whenever you go to a church, because many of us move every five years, I understand that. Whenever you go to a church always ask yourself this question. Who are they reaching? Let me say it again. Whenever you go to a church always look, who are they reaching? Because a lot of church growth is simply… <baaaaa!>… swapping sheep. And we have these cool, hip, Calvinistic reformed churches taking little young 18-19-20-something-year old, impressionable college kids who want to go “deeper.” No, they want laziness because they don’t wanna work but see, let’s bring them in to the fold. Most of these churches are reaching offspring, Christian church kids who didn’t grow up in a church that reached people anyway.
So again, we all move towards comfort, I understand that. And we want to capture God. But I will say it again. God has gotten out of every box I’ve tried to put him in. I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe in election. I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. I believe in the priesthood of the believer. I believe in baptism by immersion. But I also believe that we keep on nominating and God keeps on electing them! I don’t know who the chosen ones are! You don’t either! Somewhere in it we have a freedom of choice. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it, nor do you or will you, and they don’t either. But again, see, they use God not to reach people. Do you understand that? So you better run when you meet people like that. But I’m telling you, those people prey on believers all over the world. And it’s ruining the church.
Are they all bad? No, they’re not all bad. They just don’t reach anybody. Last year at Fellowship Church we baptized 2,632 people. One of the fair-haired boys of this movement, I will not call his name, he baptized 26 people last year.
“Oh, he’s deep.” What are you smokin’? Are you kidding me? I could put my head on the pillow at night knowing that our church has baptized 26 people. I can talk over your head like that. I even know the Hebrew, the Greek, I know theology. You can tell, I know. What I want you guys to go is leave and go, “Man, Ed’s so smart. I don’t know what in the heck he’s talking about. It was a great theology class. Yeah, I think we’re going to a mission trip to Pretoria, South Africa. That’ll be great. We’re building wells.” How about your neighbor who’s going to Hell and who’s living with this person? And how about this other person who’s in shambles and depression, and how about this other person who has questions about God?
“Well, they’re not the elect. I’m looking forward! I’m gonna really, really do the stuff when I go on the mission trip.” You see? This is hard. I know how to do church to empty out these churches of Dallas/Fort Worth. I know how to do it! Take me out of the game. We have the most talented people here of any church I know of. We can wipe out these churches, again, with this naval-gazing, I will flip off the community. You can go to Hell and we’ll just have a ginormous Kumbaya church. I know how to do it, guys, I know how to do it. But I’m not gonna do it.
You know why? Because the bookends of Christ’s ministry. He started and he said, “Fish.” Right before the ascension, “Fish!” We’re not gonna be a gear head church. You know what a gear head is? A gear head in fishing terminology is someone who is so into the gear but they hardly ever fish. We got a lot of gear head churches. This will come up on YouTube. You know what? Of all of the social media attacks, and we’re attacked constantly at Fellowship Church and churches like us here and around the world, almost all of them are from Reformed churches and Calvinistic churches. Almost all of them. All of the negative blogs, all of the negative stuff, almost all of them.
Blogs. Basement Living Opinion Giving. 20-somethings and 30-somethings sitting in their underwear, still living in their parents’ house, talking negative crap about people reaching others. And you know what? I’ve talked to some of the leaders of this movement. They don’t have the guts, because they’ll go like behind closed doors.
“Yeah, man. I really think what’s happening at this church and whatever is great and I’m sorry for that.” And I go,
“Man, if you had the guts…” but they don’t. Step up publically in social media and apologize for all of the darts you throw our way. But I don’t have time to call names. I don’t have time to get into this. But I’m just giving you this as a warning. This is gonna help you and equip you with the stuff to go, “Man, that sounds good and there’s a lot of good to it, but it’s just at the end of the day Reformed is deformed. Most of it. Most of it.” But I’m sure they’ll edit that out and say that I said just the opposite. But I have friends who are Calvinists. Some Calvinists actually are evangelistic. Most are not. Most of it leads to intellectual snobbery, meanness, and people who don’t give a flying flip about those who are going to Hell.
Number 3! Enough of that. We cannot manage God. We cannot use God. We cannot capture God, we cannot manage God.
“Oh, I can manage him. I got him in a box. I will take care of him.” That’s what the Philistines tried to do. It didn’t work. Rats, tumors in places we will not mention. You know what they did? They sent the cart back to God’s people! They put a bunch of cows in front of it <mooing sound effect>. You know, I’m working on the sound effects Bible. It’ll take me a couple of years to do it but it’s coming out.
And the cart, rolled all the way back to the Israelites. But check this out! This is unbelievable! The Philistines made golden tumors and put it on the cart. They made golden rats! Read your Bible! And put it on the cart. They said, “Get this crazy stuff out of here!” and it was gone. They tried to manage God. You can’t have some secondhand religion, right? You can’t just surf in the wake of someone walking with God.
I have here in my margin a great point I read. So often certain people don’t respond to Biblical truth until there is personal pain. I got an Amen myself again. You missed it. Let me stand up for a second.
Man! That was awesome! I wasn’t paying attention. I was texting and making reservations for brunch! What did you say again?
So often people don’t respond to Biblical truth until there is personal pain.
“Oh I like it! That’s awesome!” That’s what I thought. I just… See, so often if I’m used to preaching in black churches I just expect it but I understand. It’s a different world, man. Don’t take this the wrong way but when I die and go to Heaven I’ll be on the African-American side of Heaven. My e-mail is…. Man, we gotta loosen up. Wow, it’s all right. I dealt with it my whole life. But isn’t that true? We don’t respond, right? We don’t respond to Biblical truth unless there is personal pain so often. Why wait for the pain? Why wait? Why wait?
So when we try to use God, and put these God-stickers on us, man we’re playing around with fire, man. He’s in the business of orchestrating our defeat. He’s in the business of allowing us to hit the wall. I think about so many characters in Scripture. I think about Jonah. You run away from God, you run right into God.
We can’t use God, but God can use us.
We can’t capture God, but God can and wants to capture us!
We can’t manage God, but God wants to manage us!
So let’s spit out the Cool-Aid. Wipe off that Cool-Aid moustache and drink the living water! Let’s understand holiness and righteousness and let’s live our lives as a spiritual act of worship as we change this culture and this world for the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If you’re with the vision God has given us, stand up at all of our campuses and give a crazy praise to the Lord Himself!
Everyone standing, no one moving at all. If you move you’re disturbing the holiness of God. No movement unless it’s an emergency. Some of you here need to pray and give your lives to Christ. Bow your head with me for a moment. Every head is bowed and every eye is closed. Some of you here need to give your lives to Christ right now. I want to lead you in this nomination process and God will elect you. Just say these words.
Now, I’m gonna get everybody at all of our campuses to say these words with me. I’ve said these words before, I’m a believer. All it takes is one time. But I want all of us to say this prayer as an encouragement, as a template, so to speak, for many others who are saying it for the first time. Maybe it’s someone to your right, maybe it’s someone to your left. I don’t know. Maybe it’s someone down front. Many people need to pray this prayer. Because if the truth were known you’ve been living like Hell. You need Heaven, you need Jesus. No playing games, no rabbit’s foot, no t-shirts or coffee mugs, “Jesus is my Homeboy.” We give our lives to Him. Just say this prayer with me.
God, say it again, God. I believe that you sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins. Right now I turn from my sins and ask you, Jesus Christ, to come into my life. I give you everything I am and everything I will ever be. Thank you for rescuing me. For forgiving me and giving me life eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s give a crazy round of applause for so many people who made that decision. For God so loved the world that whosoever… whosoever… whosoever. Please be seated.
If you prayed that prayer I want to hear from you right now. Simply pound your name to 32898. Pound your name to 32898 and we’ll get back to you so quick you won’t believe it.
Also, if you’re watching by television or you’re watching online, www.fellowshiplive.com, make sure to log on that as you travel and take vacations this summer. You can do the same thing.