yikes

August 21, 2016

3 stooges

MANY YEARS AGO I ASKED A CONGREGATION TO CLOSE THEIR EYES AND THEN RAISE THERE HANDS IF THEY THOUGHT THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO CHRIST WAS A FAILURE. I WAS SHOCKED SEE SO MANY HANDS GET RAISED.

HOW COULD THIS BE, I KNEW THE PASTOR AND HE WAS A SOUND, BIBLICAL TEACHING PASTOR. AFTER THE SERVICE I SHARED THE RESULTS OF THIS NON SCIENTIFIC SURVEY. HIS ONLY CLUE WAS THAT HAD “INHERITED” THIS CONGREGATION, THEY CAME WITH THE CHURCH AND AS A NEW PASTOR HE WASN’T SURE WHAT THE REAL SITUATION OF THIS CONGREGATION REALLY WAS.

I WAS BEING INTERVIEWED AT THE TIME BY DR. JAMES KENNEDY TO COME TO CORAL RIDGE AND BE ON HIS MINISTRY TEAM; HE ASKED ME IF I EVER READ HIS BOOK; “EVANGELISM EXPLOSION” (ANOTHER GREAT BOOK I RECOMMEND) I TOLD HIM I HAD STUDIED IT BOTH AT BIBLE COLLEGE AND SEMINARY, HE SAID; ASK EVERYBODY SEPARATELY AND PRIVATELY THE ‘DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION’

SO THE PASTOR AND I DECIDED THAT WE WOULD START WITH THOSE WHO RAISED THERE HANDS THAT HELD SOME SORT OF POSITION AT THE CHURCH EVEN IF IT MEANT THEY WERE A JANITOR.

THE RESULTS WERE STAGGERING, HERE IS THE DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION; “IF YOU WERE TO DIE TONIGHT AND STAND IN FRONT OF JESUS CHRIST AND HE ASKED YOU ‘WHY SHOULD I LET YOU IN TO MY HEAVEN’ WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?”

I’M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU ALL THE WRONG ANSWERS; KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS WAS A FUNDAMENTAL, EVANGELICAL, HOLINESS KIND OF CHURCH.

THE MOST COMMON ANSWER WAS, “I TRY TO DO GOOD, KEEP THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND BE KIND TO EVERYONE” (WRONG ANSWER) BUT THIS WAS GIVEN BY 75% OF THOSE THAT HAD RAISED THEIR HANDS.

NEXT COMMON ANSWER,(FROM MEN) “I’VE NEVER CHEATED ON MY WIFE, WE GO TO CHURCH, AND I DON’T CHEAT ON MY TAXES, OH, YEAH AND I’VE NEVER HIT MY WIFE EITHER.” (WRONG ANSWER)

MOST COMMON ANSWER FROM MARRIED WOMEN; “I’M FAITHFUL TO MY HUSBAND, I READ MY BIBLE AND I TRY TO BE AND NICE TO EVERYONE, AND I KEEP THE GOLDEN RULE (WRONG ANSWER)

NEXT MOST COMMON, “I READ MY BIBLE, AND PRAY, COME TO CHURCH, TITHE, TAKE COMMUNION AND I ALWAYS TRY TO HELP EVERYONE I MEET” (WRONG ANSWER)

THE NEXT SUNDAY MY SERMON WAS ON “WHY DID YOU MAKE JESUS YOUR LORD, AGAIN A PRIVATE SESSION WITH THOSE THAT ORIGINALLY RAISED THEIR HANDS.

MOST COMMON ANSWER FROM WOMEN; “WELL THE PASTOR GAVE AN ALTAR CALL AND SAID IF I WANTED GOD TO SAVE MY FAMILY, MY CHILDREN FROM HELL I NEEDED TO COME DOWN TO ALTAR AND GET SAVED (WRONG REASON)

MOST COMMON ANSWER FROM MEN; “I STRUGGLE WITH YOU KNOW TEMPTATIONS AND ONE NIGHT THE PASTOR GAVE AN ALTAR CALL AND SAID TO COME DOWN AND ACCEPT JESUS AND CONQUEROR IMPURE THOUGHTS.” (WRONG REASON)

THE MOST COMMON TO EITHER SEX WAS THIS RESPONSE AND I LATER FOUND OUT IN THIS PARTICULAR DENOMINATION THAT THEY FIGURED 77% OF MOST OF THEIR FLOCK CAME DOWN TO THE ALTAR AFTER THIS PARTICULAR KIND OF SERMON, AND THE FOLLOWING ALTAR CALL, “IF YOU WANT TO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND, WHEN THE RAPTURE HAPPENS AND GO THROUGH THE TRIBULATION, TAKE THE MARK OF THE BEAST ETC. COME ON DOWN.” (DEFINITELY THE WRONG REASON)

NO WONDER SO MANY OF THESE PEOPLE FELT LIKE THEY WERE HAVING MORE PROBLEMS THAN OTHERS. THEY WERE NICE, FRIENDLY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE BUT HAD NOT HAD A GENUINE ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS AS THE ONLY WAY TO BE FORGIVEN OF SINS, AND THAT THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN THEIR LIFE WAS THEY NEVER KNEW THAT SIN SEPARATED THEM FROM GOD, AND JESUS WAS NOT A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR, OR A BANKER, OR LOTTERY TICKET, OR A SUGAR DADDY, OR AN ESCAPE CLAUSE FROM CALAMITY, THEY HAD NEVER BEEN INTRODUCE TO ONE FACT, ALL HAVE SINNED AND MISSED THE MARK AND WERE DESTINED TO HELL, AND FACT #2, JESUS WOULD FORGIVE THEM IF THEY WOULD ADMIT THEY COULDN’T GET INTO HEAVE WITH OUT ACCEPTING THE FACT THERE WASN’T ONE THING THEY COULD DO TO BE BETTER OR WORTHY AND THAT ONLY CHRIST WAS WORTHY AND ABLE AND WILLING TO FORGIVE ALL THEIR SINS AND THE ONLY REASON THEY COULD GET INTO HEAVEN.

I’M GLAD TO REPORT THAT WE MET WITH EACH PERSON THAT GAVE AN INCORRECT ANSWER AND INTRODUCED THEM TO THE LIVING SON OF GOD AND EACH AND EVERYONE UNDERSTOOD AND STARTED A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST AS LORD, AND SAVIOR AND THAT THEIR SINS WERE FORGIVEN AND THAT THEY COULD NOW ANSWER THAT DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION, WHY SHOULD I LET YOU INTO MY HEAVEN, “BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME LORD AND FORGAVE ME ALL MY SINS AND WASHED ME CLEAN WITH TOTAL FORGIVENESS AND ONLY BY YOUR GRACE AND I’M SAVED.

 

SO ARE YOU REALLY A CHRISTIAN?  

IN THE VERY FIRST DEVOTION I EXPLAINED WHY I WAS NAMING THE CHURCH “SCUM LIKE US” FOR THOSE THAT FELT LIKE THEY WERE WATCHING ALL THE OTHERS BUT NOT BEING A PART OF THE CHURCH, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE WAS HAPPY AND FITTING IN, HAD JOY AND THEY DIDN’T. OTHERS WERE TALKING ABOUT BEING VICTORIOUS AND CONQUERORS AND RUNNING THE RACE AND SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND ALL THIS OTHER STUFF.

AND YOU FELT LIKE A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE, MAYBE JUST MAYBE YOU’VE NEVER MET THE REAL JESUS, JUST THE CHURCH.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE AND THERE IS A POWER TO BE HAD BY MEETING JESUS REAL AND UP CLOSE AND NOT PLAYING CHURCH IF YOU THINK THIS MIGHT BE YOU EMAIL ME AT SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM AND LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO SOMEONE WONDERFUL.

 HHHMMMMMMMMMMM, MAYBE THE 80/20 RULE ABOUT THE PEOPLE IN CHURCH APPLIES, AH, I’M JUST MESSING WITH YOU

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