Ok...This may be the strangest confession I have ever made because it isn't really a confession of something "bad" or "evil."
A couple weeks back, my beautiful wife and two great kids were out of town visiting relatives. I couldn't go because I had to work. Or got to work. Feelin' me? Anyway, when I found out she was going to be gone on Sunday, I probably did the exact opposite of what I would've done a few years back. I got on the internet and started looking for churches and their service times, hoping to catch 3 services on a Sunday morning.
"What's that?" you ask. I wanted to map out a way to get to 3 services in one morning. The plan was to make the IFB church at 8, then my church by 9:15, then hopefully my friend's crazy, no holds barred worship at 11. Is that weird? BUT, my friend's daughters were giving a report in their church from a missions trip they recently went on at 10:30, so they kind of messed it all up. I only got to attend 2.
So, when I explained my Sunday plans to my friends and coworkers, they looked at me like I had a third ear growing out of my forehead.
As I thought more about it, I realized I spend waaaaaay more time looking up and listening to sermons on ITunes than I do songs. Piper, Platt, Groeschel, Washer, Chan, Furtick (sometimes), Driscoll (sorry Mom), and the list goes on and on.
My confession? "hi, My name is Lazarus and I am a sermon-aholic."
While I would love to say this has made me a markedly more spiritual person, I certainly have no way of gauging that. But I love hearing men of God speak about the Word. I try to gain something from each.
What is the difference between me wanting to spend 4 hours going to church vs. my father-in-law wanting to spend 4 hours on the golf course? I am not saying one is better than the other, just trying to make myself feel better about this strange "addiction" I have. Anyway, this brought me to a lunchtime at my desk in my glorious, off-white cubicle here at work. We can get on the 'net during downtimes and during lunch, within certain perameters, of course.
Last week, I was perusing through the website of my own church, because I rarely do that, just to check it out. We have updated it and added new bios of our staff, which we have also added to. there are about 5 new staff members I didn't know anything about, so that was cool to read about their favorite verses, their hobbies, and favorite foods.
Then I clicked on the "SERMONS" tab and remembered that I missed last Sunday's message because I was out of town. So, there I was, feeding my addiction AT WORK!
Anyway, I listened to my pastor and caught something he said...He was speaking on Holiness and during the wrap, he presented the gospel. Clearly. Unabashedly. And he said something I never heard at my former church, or from many preachers these days...he said....hell. "If you do not choose to follow after Christ, you will spend eternity apart from God."
He said that. That seems to be the new PC way to witness to people. It isn't very offensive. It is safe. It won't scare many off. It doesn't make people uncomfortable. It is what I was taught to say in evangelism classes.
But then..."You will spend eternity in Hell."
Why do I think that is important? Because it is the truth. Not a half-truth. Not hedging. Not hiding. Full disclosure.
It seems often modern, relevant presentations of the gospel try to dodge the WORD Hell more than the PLACE Hell.
Hell is real.
I am glad I attend a church that tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, SO HELP US GOD!!!
Centerpoint Fellowship Church