These are sermon notes taken from: Francis Chan’s Sermon: Unstained by the World. Given at the Navigators National Staff Conference, 2015. I have listened to this sermon and these are my notes, I am not claiming right over the source from which they were taken. Nor do I claim that the phrases used were exactly put that way by Francis Chan. In the process of taking these notes, I may have misinterpreted what he said. (Please don’t sue me!) The original can be found at this address.
The Bible talks about how one day we will give an account for our actions, the things we do on earth we will have to give an account for. In light of this, it’s good to finish strong. In our culture we tend to do radical things for Jesus when we are young, but as we got old we tend to tame down and live more comfortably. Let’s change this!
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
In this passage Paul is not talking about the world, he is saying these things are going to creep into the church. This is why 1 Cor 5:11, Paul urges Christians to avoid those who call themselves ‘followers of Jesus’, yet live this double life.
One issue is that within this list we don’t consider a lot of these things sins anymore:
Lovers of themselves, Whitney Houston once said the “greatest love of all is learning to love yourself”. This has crept into the Church. When we quote Jesus that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. We focus on the last part. Loving ourselves. Actually this is what Christ can save us from: loving ourselves, He can help us to love Him and others. The lie is: Love yourself
Lover of money, Jesus gave everything he had for others, this is considered “extreme” by most Christians when it comes to applying this. We try to grab as much as possible. But Jesus, Phil 2, is our example, who humbled and surrendered Himself. The lie is: Grab all you can
Lovers of pleasure, False teaching of promises of “wealth, health”, this is how some churches lure people in. Appealing to the desire of pleasure. We talk about following our heart, following our desires, rather than the commands. The lie is: Follow your heart
The Bible says, “deny yourself, grab a cross, follow me!”.
Discipleship – Prayer
Is it more important that we have larger youth groups where people aren’t disciple in depth, or smaller ones where young people are discipled and taught how to disciple others. This sometimes means more than just one hour a week, we are family, are we willing to open ourselves up to him.
He gives a story of inviting an ex-convict and his family to live with him, despite the possible risks. [Life-on-life discipleship] He explain that now this once-prisoner, spends his time discipling other prisoners.
As we make disciples, they take on our weaknesses, (just like kids learn bad things from their parents). Therefore we need to be all about loving Jesus. We often talk about organisations, speakers, books…but let’s become a people who talk about Jesus! We are able to go up the mountain and talk with God.
Let us pray the prayer of Eph 3:14-19, lets pray on our knees for other believers. Prayer is so important to the work of discipleship.
“according to the glories of Your riches”: God is so much more able to help people grasp. Let us ask Him to. We are not able to raise the dead, with clever programs, we need God. This isn’t about behaviour modification, it is about internal change, actions follow from this.
“rooted and grounded in love”: this is a work of the Holy Spirit, not accountability partners.
“filled with the fullness of God”: What are you known for? Is it being filled with the fullness of God, or is it being a great leader, pastor, speaker, having a great youth group. I want to be known as someone who loves God.
There are enough “how to” books in the Church, we need to get on our knees and pray.