Do We Make a Difference?

Introduction:

  1. IN A REPORT OF A POLL (last year), GEORGE GALLUP CONCLUDED: "CHURCH GOERS DO NOT DIFFER APPRECIABLY FROM NON-CHURCHGOERS IN MATTERS OF MORAL AND ETHICAL BEHAVIOR."
    1. The gap between religious thinking and secular thinking has narrowed over the years to the point where there is little or no gap between them anymore.

                                                     1.            The gap has narrowed mostly as a result of the "religious” coming around to the world’s way of thinking, rather than the other way around.  The gap has narrowed mostly as a result of the "religious" way around.

    1. In other words, the "religious" have become "conformed unto the world" and not the world conforming unto Christ.
  1. SCRIPTURES TEACH BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT CHRISTIANS, GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE, ARE TO BE DIFFERENT FROM THOSE WHO ARE IN THE WORLD.

Rom. 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

    1. The Bible reveals that the children of God are brought out of the darkness of the world into the Light of His dear Son.

Col. 1:13, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"

1 Thes. 5:5, "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor darkness."

    1. The children of God have been bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

      1. We are a chosen people.

1 Pet. 2:9, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:"

        1. NKJV - "a special people"
        2. KJV - "a peculiar people"
        3. ASV - "people for God’s own possession"
      1. With this understanding, we realize that there are certain marks on children of God that show distinction and possession of God.
        1. ILLUSTRATION: If there were several knives in a tub, how would I know which one is mine? If they all looked alike and felt the same, how would I determine which of the knives was mine?
        2. ANSWER: by looking for the one that had my distinguishing marks on it.
    1. Our entire life is to be different than the lives of those of the world.

Eph. 5:8, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:"

    1. Having determined that we are to be different let us now consider a few points that make us different from the world, and consider the results of this distinction as shown in the Scriptures.

Discussion:

  1. BUT WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
    1. There are those who are obedient and faithful, and there are those who are not.
      1. It is not enough to profess Christianity; we must live the life of a Christian.

James 1:22, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

    1. There are those who do the will of the Father in Heaven and there are those who do not!

Matt. 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

      1. We can know the Will of the Heavenly Father through the inspired Word.
        1. Since God has revealed His Will unto us, anything that is not in the Scriptures is not His Will and therefore we are not at liberty to add those things.
      1. God has revealed Himself to us through the inspired Word given by the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor. 2:10-11, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

      1. We must seek God by striving to live in harmony with His Will.

Heb. 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    1. There are those who demonstrate their love for Christ by keeping His commandments.

John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Eccl. 12:13-14, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." 

  1. WE AS CHRISTIANS ARE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
    1. We are the salt of the earth.

Matt. 5:13a, "Ye are the salt of the earth:…"

      1. What is meant here is that Christians are a preserving power.
        1. For example: only ten righteous people would have been enough to have saved the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:32-33).
      1. What happens when we lose our effectiveness of preservation? When we do not make a difference any more?

Matt. 5:13, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."

    1. We are the light of the world.

Matt. 5:14-16, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Eph. 5:13, "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light."

John 3:19-20, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

    1. Our distinctiveness should be seen by others.

Acts 4:13, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."

    1. Many times it may be necessary for us to stand alone.
      1. Like Paul in jail.
      2. Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
      3. Old Testament prophets.
        1. Elijah thought that he was alone, but there were 7,000 others who did not bow their knee to Baal. (I Kings 17:1-19:14).

Conclusion:

  1. For brethren to be different is better than to conform to the so called norm.
  2. Being different just for the sake of being different is not what we are taking into consideration.
    1. It is being worthy to be called a child of God that makes us different and sets us apart from the children of the world.

 --Dub Mowery

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