We are taking a rest day from biking today. Slept in, though 8 hours sleeping on the ground even on an air mattress is about max for me, so I didn’t sleep in much. We went out to a restaurant for breakfast and then went to a small local Baptist church. We didn’t know it when we went but they don’t have a pastor and there was a “pulpit supply” guy there from Grants Pass preaching. I don’t think he gets to preach much and he went for 90 minutes, and it was mostly stories that were poorly told and didn’t really connect much. I don’t like to fall asleep in another preacher’s sermon, but it was a challenge! But the worship time was great, and the small number of people that were there sang really loud and enthusiastically. I am spending most of this afternoon reading my Bible, memorizing Bible verses, and working on my sermon I am preaching next Sunday at JBC’s outdoor service at Lake Charles. I hope you all are going to come because it is going to be an awesome time of worshipping together as the “Body of Christ”, with a few baptisms in the Lake, and my sermon, entitled “Are You a Possum?”
Let me give you a preview of next week’s sermon.
I saw recently on Facebook the name of a person that I hadn’t heard from for probably 20 years, when they moved from Jefferson to another city. They had been very involved in the church, in my life, and were highly committed to following the Lord. I decided to reconnect with them and sent them an email which they quickly responded to and we “chatted” for a bit. I asked how they were doing spiritually and where they were going to church. They responded that they hadn’t gone to church in over 15 years, weren’t doing much spiritually, but that they still believed in God. I offered to help them via email to get back on track with the Lord, but I got no more response from them.
That happens a lot, people growing lukewarm, falling away from the Lord. Many people turned their back on the Lord in the early days of the church because of persecution and the writer of Hebrews writes the book to deal with that situation. There are 6 severe warnings in the book about falling away, and one of them is in Hebrews 3:12-14 ,
“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,”
The reasons for people falling away from the Lord are many. The most recent reason is the governments command that that we isolate for the sake of physical health. Many Christians didn’t manage that well, didn’t compensate for it in a way that would maintain spiritual health through grace received from others in personal relationships.
The reason many didn’t make adjustments to changes is because we all are a bit haughty in our judgment of how vulnerable we are to backsliding. We are sure that we are solid as a rock and nothing is going to effect our walk and love for Jesus. The fact is, our spiritual health is much more vulnerable to sickness than our physical health is.
What can we do to maintain spiritual health and vitality during these changing times? Come gather together as the church this next Sunday at Lake Charles, and I will tell you.