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Religion

Fairweather Johnson

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted April 16, 2014

RELIGION – Though I am not a huge sports fan,  I have played them my whole life and enjoy watching them. You can learn a great deal about life through playing and even watching sports. The sacrifice and dedication of athletes is inspiring. But I can also be easily bothered by some sport fans. They can be obnoxious, sore losers, and at times even worse winners. However, some fans I truly respect.

The fans that stay devoted to their team through the rough years. The fans that still wear the T-Shirts and hat when the team is 0-8, the ones who sit through all four quarters even when the team is behind by 27 in the fourth quarter. The fans who stay true through the rough years impress me.
 
In opposition, I have little respect for the fairweather Johnson. These are the fans whose closet is full of shirts and hats from a whole assortment of teams. They pick up a team when it is hot and then drop them when they slump. They are only along for the ride as long as things are good.
 
In Luke 19:38, as Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people began rejoicing and praising God, shouting, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!" Some Pharisees tried to get Jesus to make the crowd stop. They asked Him to rebuke the people for giving Him a welcome reserved only for Israel's Savior. But we see that Jesus doesn't stop them. Instead, he says that if the people weren't saying it then the rocks themselves would cry out.
 
But all of that changes pretty quickly. While the people – unlike the Pharisees – accepted Jesus as the "Savior" that day, their profession changed by the following Friday as they shouted, "Crucify him." John Piper writes that "The people wanted salvation and success, remember. Which means, they wanted the Messiah to march into the city and do hard business with Rome. They wanted to be free from Gentile oppression, even if by force, even if by threats and plagues and a split sea, as they recounted so well in their history. They wanted another exodus, one that expelled the Romans."Instead, what they got by Friday morning was a bloodied has-been, a man in Roman custody, rejected by their own leaders, standing next to an infamous criminal called Barabbas. They wanted an incomparable king, but they would see a beaten blasphemer.”
 
 It seems that for most of us, there are times we are fairweather friends of Jesus. I am guessing that the vast majority of you reading this in Edgefield county have spent some time in church. I am going to assume that many of you have been baptized either as child or an adult or maybe even by me. And there was a time in your life when you were joyful and growing in a walk with Jesus. But something happened. Maybe it was God that you thought let you down and did not give you what you wanted. Maybe you just got more enamored with the world and walked away. Maybe you got mad at someone at church. But the reality is that your once profession of faith is no more.
 
A recent Gallup poll shows that some 94% of Americans believe in God. But do you think 94% of the people truly want to honor and please God? I am not sure that 94% of the people at Antioch want to honor and please God.  We want to say I believe in God, but I want to do whatever I want to do.
 
So with Good Friday and Easter are coming up, I want to ask you, is your faith real, genuine, and saving? James 2:19 says that “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder!” Think about that. The demons of hell probably know more about God than we do. Their problem, however, isn’t in what they know about God, or in what they believe. Their problem is that they don’t like what they know about God and believe that they can rebel against God and win (this is where their beliefs are wrong)
.
How much are you like this? You know how to talk spiritual; you know you were told by someone “you got saved.” But is there any present tense evidence of salvation in your life? If not, give me a call or talk your pastor or a Christian friend. Salvation is a present reality that was accomplished by Jesus Christ 200 years ago on the cross. It will have a starting point (i.e. “you got saved”) but saving faith is not a faith that quits. It is a faith and relationship that moves on a forward trajectory. Sure you may fall and stumble back, but by God’s grace you continue to move forward. If you have stalled or stopped in your faith, now is the time.

2 Corinthians 13:5-6  Look closely at yourselves. Test yourselves to see if you are living in the faith. You know that Jesus Christ is in you -- unless you fail the test.  (6)  But I hope you will see that we ourselves have not failed the test.

Pastor Phillip

FYI: Easter Morning Schedule:  Please plan to join us on Easter Sunday, April 20th for our Sunrise service at 7:30 am followed by a fellowship breakfast.  Morning worship service will begin at 8:45am.  There will be no Sunday School and no Evening services. Enjoy time with your family.






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