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False Advertising

By Pastor Stacy Williams
web posted March 4, 2009
COLUMN – In North Augusta, SC there’s a Pizza Hut that is advertising their “Family Value Meal”. The sign reads, “Family Value Meal $2199”. (You and I both know that they mean twenty one dollars and ninety nine cents, but that is not what is on the sign.) That doesn’t sound like a value to me!

Too many times we, as Christians, advertise falsely also. We don’t really mean what we say. We don’t really do what we should. We don’t realize that we are a walking advertisement for Jesus Christ. 

We call ourselves “Christians” which is from the Greek Christos, meaning “anointed”. Of course, Jesus is the One who is anointed and is called “The Christ”. After His death and resurrection, His followers began to be called Christianos or “Christians”. Acts 11: 25-26 reads, “Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”

While that sounds good from our perspective, it wasn’t. Yes, it was an honor to be identified with Jesus, but the people who called them “Christians” did it in mockery. They were making fun of “those people”, who follow “that Christ”. However, it didn’t take long for Paul and others to wear the label with pride. They took what was a derogatory term towards them, and through the lives they lead, turned it into an endearing designation in a very short amount of time. In fact, about 16 years later, in the 26th chapter of Acts, King Agrippa tells Paul “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

What kind of Christian you are, is determined by the life you lead, and the example you set. If you only “play around” at being a follower of Christ, you are only worthy of the label as the pagans in Antioch meant it. You are only a follower in name only. However, if you are allowing Christ to live through you each day, then you are worthy of the namesake.

Think about your day yesterday. If someone were “shopping” for a religion, would they have stopped you to ask about yours? Just as I don’t understand why the Pizza Hut in North Augusta can’t take the time to put a decimal in their sign, perhaps someone sees your “Christian” sign, but decides that if you can’t get your advertising right, they have no desire to know more. Your actions do not match your words.

We have a huge opportunity in our world today, to show the love of Jesus Christ to those who need Him the most. If, however, we are showing them nothing different than what the world offers, then why would they be interested in what we have? They can get the same thing from the world without all of the hypocrisy. We advertise love, but deliver bickering and hatred. We advertise equality, but have a problem when “certain” people walk into our churches. We advertise patience, but deliver stubbornness. We advertise salvation, but deliver legalism.

However, in spite of us, more often than because of us, God is building His Kingdom. People all around the world are hungry for the good news of Jesus Christ. One of the roles you are to play is to be God’s “Madison Avenue”. He took out an ad on you and paid for it with His life. Be sure you’re not advertising falsely.

If you need a loan for that Family Value Meal, I know a good banker!

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17 NKJV)

All are welcome join us for worship at Edgefield First Baptist Sunday mornings at 11 AM and every second Sunday of the month at 6 PM, for our casual contemporary service that we call CAPTIVATE. For more information call us at 803-637-6139 or visit our website where you will find weekly activities, church information, or even listen to sermons online. Our web address is http://www.edgefieldfirstbaptist.org


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