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We see broken people becoming whole, through the love of Christ.To build a community in which to belong, grow and serve. To love our neighbours by helping them overcome spiritual and physical needs. To contribute to Spirit-filled transformation in the city of Guelph.

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Reach One: Closet Christians(Audio)

19-03-2017

Introduction…

In the video we just saw, from the TV show Seinfeld, the man, Puddy, is Elaine’s boyfriend. They discover that he is a Christian because of the radio stations he has pre-set in his car. It wasn’t his behaviour. It wasn’t something he said. It was his radio station choices.

[pic] When they finally confront Puddy, he admits he is a Christian. But what is his response to Elaine when she asks, “Is it a problem for you that I’m not religious?” He says, “Not for me. I’m not the one going to Hell….” Later he encouraged Elaine to steal the neighbour’s paper because he doesn’t want to steal. Elaine is upset. She is angry that he both thinks she is going to Hell and doesn’t seem to want to save her.

Elaine has a point! As Christians, it should really bother us that people we know are going to Hell if they do not have a life-changing encounter with Jesus! It should bother us and we should be doing something, at least caring about them.

In many ways, this is the heart of our “Reach One” ministry. We want to foster an attitude in our church of caring for others, including non-Christians, and praying for 1 person in our life. We need to care. While it is not up to us to “save” anybody, it is our responsibility to care for and pray for people and to be willing to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to help people take steps towards faith in Christ.

The biggest problem in the video clip is that Puddy doesn’t care about Elaine’s destiny. The second biggest problem is that other than radio music and a Jesus fish on his car, there is nothing in Puddy’s life that reflects his Christian belief. His lifestyle, his attitude do not reflect new life found in Christ. He is not a man walking with the Spirit. He is not reflecting Jesus’ character to the people around him. His girlfriend, who he is sleeping with, isn’t even aware that he’s “religious” let alone a Christian!

Now, let me ask you, do your friends know you are a Christian? Is there evidence in your life, visible to friends, co-workers and neighbours, that you follow Jesus? Is your faith more than just a bumper sticker and radio station choices?

Here in the West, we do not need to fear formal reprisals for our faith. Many who follow Jesus live in countries where it can get them in trouble. I’m not suggesting that people in closed countries should be broadcasting their faith if it means getting arrested for no good reason. That being said, a suspect most believers who face persecution like that demonstrate their faith in their daily lives much more than we do! I would be willing to guess that their friend, co-workers and neighbours would not be surprised to hear they are Christians because of the fruit of the Spirit present in their lives!

We, though, present here this morning, are free to practice our religion. We need not fear the government's interference if we let people know we follow Jesus. So are we showing our faith? Are we living it out or are we “closet Christians”? Do we hide our faith in order to fit in? Do we hide our faith in order to avoid embarrassment or to ingratiate ourselves with people whose admiration we desire? Do we just act like Christians on Sundays? Or at home? Or with a select group of friends?

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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 37.71MB - Duration: 41:12 m (128 kbps 48000 Hz)