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December 6, 2021 5:00 am
Are you aware there is a silent killer killer. The ruling families causing fear multiplying anxiety causing too prescient to skyrocket and suicide to go off the charts. This disease is called isolation. We were never met to live alone, but this pandemic has put more people in isolation than ever before was the answer. Stay with us today. Welcome to this edition of living only a dripping from the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians, the Bible teaching of tripping in this season of separation distancing and seclusion has certainly been difficult for all of its confirm just how important community store will so how can we get that closest back on just a minute.
She continues his news. What now what next. By looking at ways Jesus prioritized his relationships and how we can imitate before we began. If you've been encouraged by the series would you take a minute after this message and share it with a friend. You can do that through the tripping roadmap or by sending them a free MP3 LivingontheEdge.org mallet store and ship for his talk relationships not realistic five years 10 years 50, 100 years from now if the Lord has not returned.
People will look back at this year as a life-changing pivotal change of air a change of epilogue where the rules changed, power changed life changed how people communicated change business change. Geopolitical power was shifted technology changed how people live how they responded and the look back and see that Christianity had a fundamental change.
I don't know whether it's going to look back fundamentally great fundamentally different or fundamentally worse what I can tell you is as you have on your notes. The definition of insanity. Most of you know right doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. So there's a couple questions we need to ask is, what have we been doing in the family what he been doing personally and what we be doing in the church for the say last 30 or 40 years and then were the results and there's a lot of people that you know I hear it all the time.
I just can we just get back to normal memo normal is never returning. Survey that came out America is losing its religion so I want to do is pause for a moment and say let's look back at our lives as followers of Jesus and the impact at least in our country America's membership in worship communities has declined drastically. The accelerated trends toward more secular America represent a fundamental change in the national character, one that will have major ramifications for politics and even social cohesion United States religious membership first was measured by Gallup, 1937, 73% of people in America went to some worship service with a basic concept of morality for the next six decades. It stayed over 70% between 1998 and 2000 and only two years. The number of people who didn't attend any were lower religious organization grew by 8% in the last three years it's grown by 21%. The percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion is greater now than any time in America's history. By way of detail whatever their religious practice.
Americans are increasingly rejecting the moral concepts found in most major religions in 2017, Gallup found a significant majority of Americans believe that the practices of divorce extra miracles at sex gay and lesbian relationships are all morally acceptable. The world has dramatically changed. Morality has dramatically changed the church has dramatically changed and I say this not as a condemnation because I'm part of the problem but it was on our watch during our season of life.
Jesus said that you are and I am the salt of the earth. Salt preserves and purifies makes a difference. You are I am the light of the world. The light exposes it brings life. I would say we have to confess that the salt has not been very salty in the last 30 to 40 years, at least in America, and the light is not been very bright so the question is what we have to learn three observations observation number one is isolation is lethal is lethal is not hard.
It's not difficult to kills brings fear brings anxiety. We desperately need one another human beings, not just Christians. We desperately need one another. I don't mean just being aware of one another mean chit chat or superficial. We desperately need one another. Heart to heart soul to soul observation number two about the church, with rare exception, after 30, perhaps 40 years of what I call place centered ministry towards the church became a place we can.
Attendance became the most important metric programs happening at the church. Our kids go to this we have a meeting for this place centric or emphasize ministry has increase church attendance is had mega churches multiply around the country in the last 35 years like Walmarts, but it has failed in our ability to develop people and disciples.
8.5 to 9 professing followers of Jesus whether they say I believe in the Bible are unborn again or whatever phrase that we use their lifestyle, their ethics, their families, their morality is much almost no different from their nonbelieving counterparts.
We've been successful at growing churches, but being a Christian has changed in America to I go to a meeting down from just 10 years ago of 2.6 times a month to now 1.6 times a month.
I listen to someone talk I sing a couple songs I try to be a little bit better person and I live my life primarily focused by the culture, what success is what makes me happy, and basically ate a general narcissistic view that life is for me and Jesus is my ticket to a quote great marriage, great singleness, upward mobility, and hopefully that all my kids turn out right in the results of been devastating. What we learned about American Christianity is that the University of the last year has revealed a Christianity that is more consumer the contributor it's more spectator than servants. And it's more fans than followers was with a friend to major podcast in the last couple weeks and on.
It was a Wheaton professor who just kinda did an overview after everyone it talked in futurist and Christian leaders said basically the pandemic in America has revealed an American Christianity that has poor theology, shallow faith in his basically consumer.
Christianity I think it was Max Dupree.
He said the first goal of leaders, whether you're the leader in your home leader in a company leader with a small group of people. It's to define reality.
We've all been in denial for a long time.
We measured the wrong things.
It's not how many come to a church gathering is what kind of people are leaving the church gathering and of the kind of moms and dads and single people and employers and employees whose first and foremost loyalty is to Jesus to have a who have a winsome morality, not a against the world in his life's dynamic and loving and kind and are you ready for this a lot like Jesus that that was the game plan and that little game plan was a a grain of wheat that fell into the earth, and it turned the world upside down.
But that changed in America, and Jesus became a means to the end means to make us happy means to be fulfilled happen gradually in this very interesting. Max Dupree said once you define reality and know where you're at now you're in a position to make a change.
This pandemic is been devastating in many ways, but I think there's one silver lining.
It is been the greatest wake-up call that I think we've ever had. I don't know how you're living. I don't know how you were thinking, but whatever you were and however it was. This is a moment to say we can't keep doing live the way we did it in the past is true for us individually is true for families and I think profoundly it's true for the church. So, what must our perspective and practice be moving forward.
Are you ready got a few words free to fill in number one is our focus, our focus has to be Christ. The very person of Jesus, not causes an end by causes. I don't mean just the sex trade or foster care or racism. All very important causes. I mean causes like am I happy in his life all about me first and foremost, Jesus calls us to himself. The apostle Paul would say I gave up everything more than that, I've considered the loss of everything is nothing as superfluous as rubbish compared to knowing Christ, my Savior, the passion of the early church was that they would know him, enjoy him, worship him, follow him. Jesus can't be a means to anything. He is the end. So our focus is on Christ.
Romans 12 one and two a surrendered heart a surrendered life is the channel through which God's biggest and best blessings flow. Second is not just our focus is our response response in this era has to be on healing, not hostility see when when when your faith becomes about you and my faith becomes about me, when the church is about, you know, our turf and what we do and you know this is our place when things change electricians got very mad and very hostile. There's a lot of hate a lot of anxiety a lot of fear, a lot of blaming and a lot of harsh harsh words that I don't think Jesus would recognize as these are my followers, but see when someone starts to mess with your life. We get mad. Peter would write to an early church under Nero's been granted you for Christ sake you could suffer with him. We have this pattern in Christ that you should follow the steps that although he was reviled. He reviled not. They didn't trade insult for insult doesn't mean it were passive, but there's a way to make a difference in a culture without attacking people and blaming people. The third it's not just our focus our response. It's our priority every church around America and places all around the world are trying to figure where we go from here.
What we need to do if were not careful will unconsciously think we need to get everything going that we used to have going which will buy are you ready for this create exactly the same results that we had is that what you want. 168, or 7% of our own children say mom dad, pastors, staff members, church, and I don't know what you all believe, but it doesn't look real enough for me.
I'm opting out. These are our own kids. So what needs to change. I like to suggest needs to be about relationships and not real estate, and when I ripped say real estate.
I don't mean it as literal as it sounds. Over time, churches began is here. It is true all around the world. Churches began to consciously or unconsciously, probably more think that success is while were growing. We used to be in a house now many little building now we need a bigger building now we need a building with the GM we need a building with a climbing wall. You know what you should see our church. We have our own bowling our week we got a bookstore.
We got coffee shop. There's Christian music. Now there's Christian books. We become a whole subculture with diminishing diminishing diminishing impact and so over time, going to an event, how many people showed up, instead of what kind of people were leaving became the metric in the church by large is now viewed by culture as angry, hateful, filled with celebrity pastors, tragic, tragic moral failures among some of our greatest heroes of the faith even in the last year to were in a situation where we need to make a U-turn in our perspective and our practice about what will move us forward has to change. It can't be just about well now we can meet again now we can have our meetings. Let's get our kids in little groups. It's got a change to relationship why is this so important. Let me give you an overview of why relationships matter, then location than size.
Jesus example in Mark chapter 3 verse 13, he prayed all night and after he prayed all night and he got a word from the father. He chose 12 that they might be.
Here's the two words with him. When Jesus wanted to start a revolutionary movement. He didn't start a publishing house. He didn't start a school. He chose people that would live with him. They would eat together they would walk together they would pray together they would laugh together, they would work together and those men change the world.
They and their families.
When Jesus was leaving his last night.
If you would look at is very last night John chapter 13 through 17. What mattered where was his focus. What was his priority talk. Talk about a new epic turning he would die.
Then he would be raised from the dead.
All history would change. What's the last thing do you say to those who can attack on the baton of revolution to change the world that there's hope that there's life that there's forgiveness.
He set a new commandment that I given to you after he what wash their feet that you love one another.
The way I loved you.
By this the world will know that you are my disciples, by the beauty of your buildings by the PR in your programs when they say by this. The world will know that you are my disciples, by how you love one another. Now don't get me wrong, there's a place for the church gathered there's a time for the teaching and the worship collectively. That's very very important, but the world will see the reality of Christ by radical other centered sacrificial relationships that happen seven days a week, not by just another group that has a weekly meeting that everyone gives sort of attempt to their time instead of it being the core of your life. Jesus example Jesus command and I think the testimony of the early church when you look at this tiny group of 12 and then 120 and then we have Pentecost and yes they had supernatural power, but the Bible says the same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me a follower of Jesus.
It dwells in you. If you know them personally.
This power to overcome temptation. There's power to respond.
Good with evil.
There's power to love people you don't like there's politic the giveaway time and energy and money that you're so afraid that if you do that you won't have enough for you, that little church acts 242 to 46.
What they met together from house to house the eight meals together they share the Lord's supper. They prayed the prayers that Jesus taught them in a says that the Lord added to their number daily and they had not a bad reputation, but they had favor both inside and outside the church because they were this radical loving community. They became the community that when the babies were left in the trash heaps, the Christians would go and get them because I just didn't think because a man or a Roman father who had the right to say to a kid with a cleft palate or to a girl because he wanted a boy kill it because they cared about life and when the three major diseases that in the first hundred and 50 years of the church. Their massive pandemics. Historians tell us that the Christian state and city and the wealthy and the affluent went to the mountains. Hundreds of thousands of people in major metropolitan areas. They all died and the only people that stayed in the cities were Christians who survived were un-non-Christians who were ministered to by Christians who refused to leave and in the annals of church history there called martyrs, was there outflow of love and an eternal perspective that said that life is more than about us the spirit of Christ produces the life of Christ and the love of Christ inside of us and we have to share it. But we can't do it alone. I would suggest that the historic movements of renewal have all been marked by this renewal. This rediscovery of life together. It was Bob Hopper. Remember when the organized church went with Hitler because it was convenient.
Bob Hopper started little community life together. It was the Moravians at another time in history.
It was Wesley and another time in history. It was a close country much like Japan is a little small group movement that started in Korea that mushroomed spent a lot of time in Korea.
Now, amazing missionaries and all over the world, but it starts with people committed and doing life together and authentic relationships. When Jesus set out to revolutionize world history. Notice the bottom he did not by a building offer classes or start a school he created. Listen carefully on authentic community of life giving relationships that offered notice all of it. We like the first couple then offered love, support, learning, accountability and sacrifice to accomplish his mission to join us here in studio with application in just a minute you've been listening to the first part of his message relationships, not real estate from a series what know what next, when the world gets turned upside down it becomes really obvious how much people need Jesus. The anger, the hostility, the division it's devastating. So the question is how do we tell people about the piece only Jesus offers word we start in this brand-new teaching from ship challenges us to authentically live out our faith by identifying six biblical mindsets we have to adopt when you invest time in this series will learn what it means to be a genuine Christian in a world that's crumbling all around us to listen to this entire series. What now what next, making disciples in a disrupted world that shipping remap is a great way to get plugged in tribunal one of the great blessings of radio or podcasts or even listening on the app is that it's usually a very private experience. I mean you can focus on the teaching and have God really speak to you what's right Dave, but it's more than just a private experience for those that listen to the radio listen to the app listen online. I wonder if they really recognize all that goes into making that broadcast that podcast that Abba reality what people may not understand is that it's a very expensive proposition to buy airtime to pay a staff to do the technology to upload things on satellites but you know what we love to do it. Here's what I would ask if this ministry. If those broadcast have been a blessing to you if they'd helped you draw closer to God or have a better marriage or learn how to forgive someone, would you partner with us. Would you give to Living on the Edge this month and here's the good news is a great month to give because, thanks to a small group of friends of the ministry. Every dollar you give in December it gets doubled 10 goes to 2000 goes to 200,000 goes to 2000, it's phenomenal. It's a group of people that believe in what were doing and if we helped you. Would you help us help others. Dave, would you take a minute and tell people how they can get on board today. Absolutely, if Living on the Edges making a difference in your life and you like to help others receive the same blessing. We'd love to have you join us to send a gift. Just go to LivingontheEdge.org Donate on the app or give us a call at triple late.
333-6003 and that's AAA 333-6003. Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do as we wrap up today's program on a scale of 1 to 10 amino one being while my relational world is not good at all attend is its flourishing it's authentic it's face-to-face. I have two or three super close friends I can be vulnerable were doing life together.
We support one another. Where is your deep authentic relational world with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. And I mean be on your family. I mean, the church, the body see what I've observed is you know we had to do things for a while. It was online church and one of observed as we went from online church to instead of participation. It was like observation and then pretty soon it was an online church when it actually met but I'll kinda watch it when I can get it because it was sort like online church on demand and then pretty soon were not eating with one another were not sharing deeply in it happened so gradually it was like I was the unit that fraud that is in the in the pot and they gradually heated up and you don't realize it's impacting you into your boiled alive. I just realize that little by little by little by little, I didn't have vibrant face-to-face relationships that spurred me on to real love and real good works, and I think it started develop a new pattern and it was in the midst of that that I literally just had to break out of it. I just had to say.
Oh God, help me. I can't live like this. Here's my challenge. Whatever number you gave yourself what would be the next step to move that number toward a 10. I don't know what you need to do, but who are people that you are close to, or that need you, that you say to them, let's talk. How was your walk with Jesus. What's God teaching you how can I encourage you do that today get reconnected from the heart will be glad you did. What were praying for the ministry that continues to happen through Living on the Edge and were praying that you will choose to partner with us financially while were in our year end match thanks to a handful of very generous friends of the ministry. Every gift we received during December will be doubled dollar for dollar to send a gift. Just go to LivingontheEdge.org Donate on the app or give us a call at triple late. 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. That does it for this program ship and the entire team here. This is the saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge