Monday, June 30, 2008

Hotel California

I'm headed for a hotel in northern California tomorrow (you have my permission to feel sorry for is a work trip though!), so don't know how often I'll post but here are a few things:

1) Revolution is moving forward. We had roughly half our core group in town on Saturday and a lot of people are probably torqued off at yours truly for preaching a "you're not a Christian unless you're really following Christ" sermon but so be it. A lot of people after the Sunday service asked if they could help and a lot more asked if Revolution was solely for 18-35 year olds...yes and no. We will welcome help from anyone and everyone (right now we would welcome help finding a good place to hold gatherings!). Also, while Revolution's stated goal is to evangelize 18-40 year olds, who are currently the least likely people to step inside a church service, anyone and everyone is welcome to attend! The music will be super loud and I yell a lot but if you want to come then by all means come. HOWEVER, we only ask that if you are already active in a congregation that you do NOT leave or stop tithing to that congregation for Revolution. We do not want to be the source of division in the Body of Christ.

2) The Revolution core group will continue to meet through the summer but now the meetings will be weekly rather than bi-monthly. A group will meet this Friday to cook out and watch the fireworks. Anyone is welcome to attend even if you are only "kicking the tires" and aren't sure if you really want to jump in with a bunch of loud, puritan punkers. Let me know if you want to attend this week or in the weeks to come ( and I'll get you directions, times, etc. Among the plans for the next few weeks will be a showing of the documentary "Lord, Save Us From Your Followers."

3) Some people were really ticked off at me for preaching things like "a retarded prayer at the end of Roman Road has sent more people to hell than Jenna Jameson and Jack Daniels combined" or that such "invitations" to Jesus to enter one's heart with guarantees that he will do so are "unbiblical" or "if you haven't grown in turning away from sin since 'inviting Jesus into your heart' then you may not be a Christian", etc. What say me? Folks, its all in the Bible and I can't help if if you don't read it or read it and don't believe it!
Coincidentally, I was reading the great Puritan preacher Thomas Watson's "The Godly Man's Picture" this morning and here is what he has to say on the subject of Christians who essentially think they are going to heaven because "they invited Jesus into their heart" and don't cuss or drink beer:

"The man who is a pretender to saintship, but whose heart tells him he has nothing but the name, carries Christ in his Bible but not in his heart."
"The wicked hate the hypocrite because he is almost a Christian, and God hates him because he is only almost one."
So, what does Watson suggest for those who have defined Christianity mostly as what they do not do instead of taking texts like Matthew 25:31-46 seriously or have only said some silly superstitious prayer while living just as God's enemies do? Watson writes:
"Christian, if you mourn for hypocrisy, yet find this sin so potent that you cannot get the mastery of it, go to Christ. Beg of him that he would exercise his kingly office in your soul, that he would subdue this sin, and put it under the yoke. Beg of Christ to exercise his spiritual surgery upon you. Desire him to lance your heart and cut off the rotten flesh, and that he would apply the medicine of his blood to heal your hypocrisy. Say that prayer of David often 'Lord, let me be anything rather than a hypocrite.' Two hearts will exclude one from heaven."
So, if you pass by the hungry, write off the prostitute & drug addict, refuse to share your money, hoard possessions, lust continually, scream at your spouse or kids, have never shared the Gospel, etc. and dare to call yourself a Christian then stop trying to be "good" and beg Christ hourly for His Spirit and its painful but necessary work. As long as you have life and the Lord tarries then there is hope.