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TITLE: Beyond Easy Faith

TEXT: II Timothy 3:1-5

PROPOSITION: Churches have made faith too easy.


KEY WORD: Requirements



1. Quote, "Beyond Easy Believism", Gary Collins, p. 18

2. Gallop poll 34% "Yes" Born again experience with Jesus

3. Why isn't America better, then?

4. Quote, p. 19

          A. Mere belief - mental assent

          B. Real conviction and practice

5. Beyond Easy Faith requires more than:

1. No Demands

          A. Sin is not sin - laxity, mistake, fault, judg. error

          B. We should preach:

                    1. Repentance        Acts 17:30-31

                    2. Commitment       Matt. 10:37-39

                    3. Sacrifice    Rom. 12:1-2

                    4. Self-discipline      I Cor. 6:12

2. No costs

          A. Annoyed at letters for help with hungry, lepers, etc

          B. We tend to give when it will "pay" us back

          C. Why pay $3.00 for a dollars worth of cookies?

          D. I want religion, faith and hope - but:

                    1. Don't let it interfere with my lifestyle

                    2. Don't let it cost me time, money, energy

3. Socially acceptable

          A. Study James 2:1-9

                    1. "Respect of persons"

                    2. Wealth, race, color, education, occupation

                    3. 8-9 respect of persons = sin, transgression

          B. How would you accept/reject John the Baptist?

          C. How would Jesus be received at your house?

4. Self-centeredness

          A. Narcissus = fell in love with own reflection

          B. "Me-centered" generation

                    1. Burger King "have it your way"

          C. Humanism = I am the center of my universe

          D. Romans 12:3

          E. Phil. 2:3-5

5. Seeking pat answers

          A. Suffering, death, disappointment - WHY?

          B. Let's be honest about this --

                    1. I don't know.  Neither do you.

                    2. "Why?" is asked out of pain

                    3. Not seeking for an answer

6. A certainty of success

          A. We can't stand to fail

          B. Difference in failing and being a failure

          C. "Health and Wealth" gospel

                    1. Rev. Ike "God wants you to be rich."

                    2. TV preachers - "God wants you to succeed."

7. Entertainment

          A. We go to church to be entertained.

                    1. Admit it.  All of us do this.

                    2. Singing, Prayers, Sermon - we want "just right"

                    3. Why preacher tryouts? Can he keep you awake?

          B. TV, movies =

                    1. Fast pace, change of scenes

                    2. Multi-media - hear, see, feel, "smell-o-vision"

          C. Danger!  Worship becomes "show-biz"

          D. Preacher becomes "superstar"

8. Trivial Authority

          A. We don't want others telling us what to do.

          B. Freedom is emphasized. Authority is shunned.

          C. Preachers need to preach two messages:

                    1. Here is what God said.

                    2. So - Start doing it.

          D. We have "selective hermeneutics"

                    1. Study and emphasize what we want, like, believe

                    2. Ignore what is hard, demanding, requires change

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