Wednesday, August 9, 2006

So why did the Colonists win the American Revolution? Well, it shouldn't be a surprise if you saw how the Red Coats fought. They fought battles in the old fashion European way - line up in straight rows, the front row shoots, then the next row rotates in while the others reload. Now, the Colonists on the other hand, didn't believe in lines. They just came in from everywhere. Saw those red uniforms all lined up in a rigid row and said, "Oh, nice targets!" Now, the Colonists looked like they were disorganized, but their new way of fighting won a battle.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Flexible Fighters."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 9:12. The religious leaders are criticizing Jesus' approach to reaching the lost. The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law that belong to their Sect complained to the disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus answered, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I've not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." Later He says no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine has to be poured into new wineskins. See, Jesus broke out of the religious mold to reach people that no one was touching. It was new wineskins.

I understand that in those days the bottles in Palestine were really animal skins and the wine would ferment and give off this gas, and if the bottle was new and it had elasticity in the skin, well, then it gave with the pressure. If it were an old wineskin, the skin was dry and hard and of course it burst. Sometimes you have to replace an old idea with a new idea if you want God to do a new thing, if you want to reach people no one else is reaching. It's like those Revolutionary War soldiers. You know the Red Coats were rigid and they lost. The ones that were flexible won the battle.

Maybe God is trying to do a new thing in your life or in your church, or in your ministry. Could it be that you're unwilling to go with his flow? There are some things that never change and must never change: the product, the Gospel, the message, the doctrine of Jesus Christ; that never changes. The package - it constantly changes - never the message - always the method will change.

The world of lost people and the world of the church have never been so far apart. There's a new unbeliever out there, America's first post-Christians. They're biblically illiterate. They don't ever plan to go to a religious meeting to hear a religious speaker talk on a religious subject. It takes new things to reach them or else we'll just leave them lost. We've got to, for example, maybe leave the church building and have our outreaches on neutral ground. We have to learn to express Christ without all of our religious language. Maybe we're going to have to use some new music because it's the language of the native we're trying to reach.

All missionaries know that you do it in the language of the person you're trying to reach. It may have to be with some new ideas. Maybe we need to learn to wrap this Gospel that's so unfamiliar to people in a familiar need. So we talk about marriage, or parenting, or handling stress, maybe about sex or singleness, and then move from these into the story of Jesus and show the difference a Savior can make.

In Jesus' day the religious people totally missed what God was doing because they couldn't accept the new approach. The British soldiers of Revolutionary times lost because they were rigid. Now, we're in a battle for our town, our neighbors, the ever-living, never-dying souls of men and women. If God says, "I'm doing a new thing," let's not lose the battle by insisting on the same old formations.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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