Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembering Simpler Times

It is 4 PM on a Sunday. I am in my office, going over notes for tonight's message. This message is one that I preached some 7 years ago. I guess I preached it some 10 years before then. You don't get to preach too many messages like these while on the mission field, which is where I spent 20 years of my life.

As I looked at the outline I began to think of simpler times. I also began to think of simpler truths. Yes, simpler truths. There was time that life was simpler. Therefore, truth was simpler in some ways. So I want to show you in bullet point form some of those simpler truths that have faded out of our foremost thoughts. To share these thoughts makes the preacher look "old-fashioned." I never thought anyone would ever accuse me of that! But here I am, remembering simpler times. Here goes:
  • There are three kinds of people listed in the Bible: the natural man, the carnal man, and the spiritual man. The natural man is the unsaved man. The carnal man is the one who has believed on the Lord Jesus, repented of sin, and entered the family of God by God's matchless grace. But he has stagnated and is not growing. The spiritual man is that Christ-follower who grows in his knowledge and understanding, as well as his obedience to the Messiah.
  • There are four levels of Christian living listed in the Bible: babes, children, young men (and women), and fathers (and mothers). This is from 1st John 2. These levels demonstrate the growth (sanctification) process in the Christian's life.
  • There are three kinds of "food" listed in the Bible--four, if you count water: milk, manna, and meat. Milk is for babes. Manna is for growth, but most often symbolizes the meal of the carnal Christian. Meat is for the spiritually mature.
These truths seem to have disappeared. I only find them spoken of in older books, by older men, to older congregations. Many younger preachers and younger congregations have more interested in the self-life. You know, self-help for families, self-help for finances, self-help for friendships.

We have simple life, simple church, and not-so-simple Christianity anymore.

I think what we need to do in the church in America is get back to the cross and hang there till all that self-life is dead.

But that is just my thoughts. I am only remembering simpler times.

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