It can happen to anybody. It destroys a person’s ability to think straight. It won’t go away until you do something about it.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul makes the statement that all of Christianity hinges upon one event and if this event were to be proven false, Christianity would not only be useless and untrue, but it would be the laughing stock of world religions. That event is Jesus of Nazareth’s physical resurrection from the dead. The text of this sermon, Romans 10:9, tells us that belief in the resurrection of Christ is necessary for our salvation. Do you know why the resurrection matters? Do you truly believe it happened and are you prepared to defend it against objections?
Crows and canaries never become eagles. You may say: That certainly is obvious. Was it meant to be profound? It is obvious when you’re talking about eagles. It may not be as obvious when you’re talking about Christians. Yet, it’s equally as true. If you’re going to be a Christian, then being born a Christian is essential. Yet, how is a person born a Christian, and what difference does it really make? You can soar with the eagles or flap around with the turkeys. Which will it be?
Christians can be quick to see the sin of the openly wicked but slow to see the evil of good people, and that kind of evil is actually worse because it often goes unrecognized and even denied. Remember, it was not the prostitutes and drunks who crucified Jesus — it was the good, righteous people. We live in a wicked world, but wickedness is not something on which the world of unbelievers has a monopoly. Often, there is evil also among the believing community. Beware.
Genesis 34 is a chapter in the Bible that reveals such heinous acts by the people of God that it’s difficult to know how to address it in preaching or teaching, much less just reading it and attempting to reconcile it to the remainder of the Bible. Genesis 34 records the rape of Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, and the merciless blood-stained revenge of her brothers on the city of Shechem. It is disgraceful and embarrassing. So, what are we to do with this narrative? Perhaps, ignore it and hope that no one notices or asks us about it. However, we cannot. Are you ready for the fray?
Participating in a loving church can add years to your life, but then what makes a church loving and how is that loving distinctive maintained? Paul lays out a proven procedure that comes forward through the centuries and works beautifully in our day and time.