Sermon Spillover: “Jesus Wants To Save Christians”

 

During yesterday’s sermon, I mentioned 3 books that are good tools to use in grasping the BIG Story God is telling in the Bible:

“Epic” by John Eldredge

“66 Love Letters” by Dr. Larry Crabb

“The Story of God, The Story of Us” by Sean Gladding

There was another book that I was going to briefly mention as well, but ran out of time to do so.  The book is “Jesus Wants To Save Christians” by Rob Bell and Don Golden.  This book provides a very interesting take on the issues and behaviors of mankind over time, linking them with a cycle of events in the Old Testament.  This line of thinking has come to be known as “New Exodus” theology and is (at the very least) thought-provoking and challenging.  The book argues that the people of God over time have followed a specific cycle in their relationship to God and each other (both as a group and individually):

Stage 1:  Egypt –  Like the Israelites who were in slavery in Egypt; we cry out to God for rescue, deliverance and salvation.  We understand that life is not working the way that it is and we need God to step in to the mountain of our mess and redeem us from it.

Stage 2:  Sinai –  Like the Israelites who were rescued by God out of Egypt and led to Mt. Sinai to learn more about what God wants from them and how to best live life; after Salvation God gives us a “new heart” and a new life… gives us a new identity and a spiritual home.  For the first time, we begin to understand who we are and our purpose for life.

Stage 3:  Jerusalem – Like the Israelites who were eventually established in the Promised Land and given safety/security; right living with God can lead us to a place of abundance and security.  We live in the blessings and rewards of faithful obedience to God.  Life is good, secure, and (seemingly) safe.  However, we forget that God has rescued us to be “liberated liberators”.  We begin to use and hoard the blessings that we’ve been given only for ourselves and even take advantage/ignore the cries of the hurting and lost that are  in our world.  We forget our Story… and lose the purposes of God for us.

Stage 4:  Babylon – Like the Israelites who were led away into Exile and slavery because of their disobedience and stubbornness; we often suffer pain or distress when we wander away from God’s purposes and plan for our life.  In these moments of pain and loss, we cry out again to God for rescue and forgiveness.  We ask God to set us on the right track again and to rescue us from our own selfishness/pride to be instruments of His healing and grace for a lost and broken world.

As I mentioned earlier, this book is very challenging and openly confronts the patterns of American culture that do not mirror God’s call on His people.  It challenges us to fully embrace God’s Story and not live for the smaller stories that call out for our obedience and allegiance.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on October 11, 2010 at 1:39 PM  Leave a Comment  
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