Monday, October 31, 2011
Download MP3 (right click to save)
When I walk in the door at our house, I'm often greeted by a lot of phone messages. And sometimes I don't get the messages. That's frustrating! I mean, it depends on who takes the message, how busy they are when the phone message comes in, what there is to write with, what there is to write on, and of course you can also depend on where it gets set down, and also what gets set down on top of it. I used to shudder when someone called me and said, "You know, I tried to reach you a couple of times." And I'd say, "Well, I didn't get the message." "Well, I left one." And then they'd say, "No problem. It's too late now." Great! That usually led to a, shall we say warm conversation with somebody in my family. I mean, after all, you expect messages to be delivered.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Undelivered Messages."
God is trying to send us a message. He's been calling and somehow it's not getting delivered. And we are the ones who are misplacing it somewhere. The message? Oh, our word for today from the Word of God, John 16:8: "When the comforter (that's the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment." Now, right here we're told the three messages God wants the world to get. When the Holy Spirit comes, these are the messages He'll be leaving, just like those phone messages for me.
One is the seriousness of sin. The second one is the priority of righteous living, and the third is the reality of judgment. God's three messages: sin, righteous living, and judgment. Now, if you have heard a lot of messages about these subjects, well, you might be in the minority, because we don't talk too much about that part of the Christian message. Oh, we like messages about God's love, and how He'll always forgive us, and He'll accept us no matter what, and our self-worth. And that's all part of the Christian Gospel.
But it isn't all warm, fuzzy and cozy. There are some life-saving messages that someone's not delivering. And if we don't do it, no one will. We are the only ones with the truth. The Holy Spirit's messages about sin - are we delivering it? Sin isn't just mistakes, or "I have a weakness," or personal preferences, or poor judgment. Sin is a direct violation of the laws of a Holy God.
Teenagers aren't "sexually active"; they're sinning the sin of fornication—immorality. They're defiling God's beautiful gift. Men and women aren't having "affairs." They're committing adultery. Lying is lying. Gossip is gossip. We don't help people when we pull punches on the ugliness of rebelling against God.
Secondly, the message is righteousness—not a cool buttoned-down Christianity, but passion and purity. Not just the privileges of the Gospel, but the demands of it. We need to measure how we're doing by the character of Jesus, not by comparing ourselves with the world around us or even the Christians around us.
And the third message that the Holy Spirit is delivering to the world is judgment. The bill does come. There is a place called hell where people are separated from God because they sinned and they did not receive our Christ. If Christians are silent, no one will ever know. We are charged to deliver this message to our children, to our friends, and all the people we minister to. God has called and He's left us a destiny message. It's in your care. Be sure it gets delivered.