Sermon for Sunday July 15th, 2012
Bibles like Cell Phones by Ron Baker
Bibles like Cell Phones
Text: Romans 15:4
Date: July 8, 2012
West Union Christian Church of Christ
ďLeading People to Lifeís True Purpose and Joy in ChristĒ
We live in a culture that is very biblically illiterate. There is a lack of spiritual direction in our nation because Christians do not know what the Bible says nor do they put Biblical principles into practice.
Why are sinful things like abortion, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, gambling, and alcohol and drug abuse so acceptable in our society while Bible believing Christians perceives these to be appalling?
I believe the reason is too many Christians do not know their Bibles. It has become acceptable in our church to only attend the 10:30 worship service on the Lordís Day. I believe the popular culture has influenced this thinking. But I believe the Lord wants me to tell you this morning that we need to become more familiar with His Word.
You need to make a commitment to come out for the Sunday evening church service at 6:30. I know that most of you donít want to come out for church on Sunday evenings because you have told me that is your family time. Can you not do family time on Sunday afternoon?
Tell your family that you want them to come over in the afternoon because you will be attending the Sunday evening church service from now on. Your resolve will prove your conviction when you let them know that you are serious about learning the truth found in the Word of God.
You know how popular cell phones have become in our culture. And that is the premise for my sermon this morning. What if we treated our Bibles like we do our cell phones?
1. If we left it at home we would have to turn around and go back after it.
Our phones have become our connection with the world. If you donít have your cell phone then you canít contact anyone and they canít contact you. How miserable the thought of being disconnected, right?
An average American teen sends out fifty text messages a day. About 75 billion text messages were sent in June 2012, averaging about 2.5 billion messages a day!!
You can see from these statistics how indispensible and valuable cell phones have become in our culture. If you left your cell phone at home you would have to turn around and go back after it.
What if your Bible was that important to you? What if the information in it was so valuable that if you left it at home you would have to turn around and go back after it?
Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
How valuable is Godís Word in your life? Do you ever pick it up and read it? Is it relevant for our culture or do you think that its old fashion and out of touch with the real world?
So, let me ask the question again. What if we treated our Bibles like we do our cell phones?
2. We would periodically upgrade and trade it in for a newer version.
You know technology changes so rapidly so if weíre going to stay on the cutting edge we have to upgrade our cell phones and keep up with the times. In regard to the Word of God, we know that the truth that we find their never changes.
Matthew 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
We are blessed in this culture to have Bible scholars who have devoted their lives to translating the Bible into modern languages from around the world that are more easily read and understood.
You might be like my wife Sandy that refuses to give up her old cell phone that sheís had for about five years. She said that she knows how to use the one that she has and it is good enough for her. Although I believe that she realizes that the newer models are easier to use.
You may be holding on to an older version of the Bible because you like the poetic way things are said. Or you might be holding on to your version because you grew up with that one and youíre use to it.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
I have heard preachers use the KJV of the Bible and take as much time explaining what they read as they do reading it. If you have a translation of the Bible that you cannot understand what good is it to you?
The Word of God was never meant to be out of date or out of touch with the culture, but it was meant to be read and understood. We have several very good modern translations of the Bible that are easily understood.
3. We charge it up every evening so we will be ready for a new day.
Every evening we put our cell phones on the charger so they will have a full charge for the next day. That takes a little thought and preparation the night before otherwise our phones will be dead and useless to us.
We need to develop the discipline of prayer and reading Godís Word every day so that we will be spiritually charged up for a new day. We need to know the Scriptures.
Matthew 22:29 (Jesus told the Sadducees who tried to trick Him in His words), "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.Ē
I bought one of the Bible Stix from the ďFaith Comes by HearingĒ Ministry that we were sponsoring a few years ago. Itís a great inexpensive way to meditate upon the Word of God. I turn it on and put it in my pocket every morning and put my headphones on and listen to the NT while Iím walking my three miles every morning.
4. Weíre so familiar with it that we can use it well.
Most of us are pretty familiar with our cell phones because we use them often. We know how to text, find our contacts, check our e-mails, and use our navigation tools.
If we used our Bibles more we would be more familiar with them too. Christians should know how to get around in their Bibles. They should know where the OT and the NT books are at and what they say.
5. We buy a protective case for it and keep it within reach.
Most all of us have a protective case for our cell phones so they wonít break and so we can keep them within reach. We take special precaution to keep them from being damaged and we have a holster on our belt so that they will always be within reach when we need them.
Some Christians get a protective case for their Bible so they donít get damaged from the elements.
6. We have a family share plan so that we can share our minutes with those we love.
Some phone plans have family share plans that donít cost you minutes when you call each other. Most families have share plans where they share minutes. Alex and Sandy and I share 1400 minutes/month.
Wouldnít it be great if we would share with each other what we have learned from Godís Word each day? Exchanging ideas with family and friends about what we have read and studied in Godís Word each day would be time well spent.
7. We wonít settle for using someone elseís, we have to have our own.
We wouldnít think of using someone elseís cell phone, we have to have our own. We personalize them and make them fit our personal needs. We have apps for things that interest us personally.
Wouldnít it be great if we would personalize our Bibles that way? We should have our own Bible and personalize it to meet our own needs. Highlight passages that speak to you in a special way.
8. We tell others about how happy we are with our carrier.
When weíre happy with our service we tell our family and friends about our carrier. Some carriers provide better reception in certain areas than others because of their tower locations.
Christians depend upon Jesus Christ our Lord as our carrier. When we sin, we pray to God, and our Lord Jesus Christ speaks to the Father in our defense. He carries our prayers and is our advocate before the Father.
1John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
9. We tell others about how great our plan is.
Most cell phone users tell friends about their plan. Christians should be telling friends about their plan of salvation. We have the greatest news in all the world and we shouldnít keep it to ourselves. Jesus said that we are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
We need to tell people the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. John 3:16 should be on our lips. We should know the plan of Godís salvation for the world so well that we could find it in our Bibles and lead people to be saved.
10. Customer support is available 24/7 for questions and concerns.
One of the great things about having a cell phone is customer support. There are professionals that can tell you anything you want to know about your cell phone and answer all your questions.
They are generally open between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm. I know this because I have called them many times.
We have a direct access line to God 24/7 and He is always willing and glad to hear from us whenever we call upon Him in prayer. 911 calls are taken immediately.
I hope you have appreciated the correlation between your Bible and your cell phone this morning. We know that if we used our Bibles like our cell phones we would be more pleasing to God.
Are you pleasing to God this morning? You need to be and you can be. If you donít know Godís salvation today then, confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
If youíre saved this morning but you are disconnected with God, you need to reconnect by praying to God right now. He will hear your prayers if you will repent and turn to Him by faith.