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TITLE: Claim is not Commitment
TEXT: Mark 8:34-38
PROPOSITION: Often our claim does not match our level of commitment.
  1. Quotes from “Faith, Lies, and Opinion Polls” (see below)
  2. Quotes from Christians and Divorce (see below)
  3. Often our life is not consistent with our claim to follow Christ.

Has Christ made a difference in your life?
  1. How are you different from the world in what you do? - TV programs, movies, music, language, obey the laws (tax, speed limit), etc.
  2. How are you different from the world in values? - Higher morals, richer values, honest, kind, willing to share, materialistic or spiritualistic, etc.
  3. How are you different from the world spiritually? - Strong faith, trust in God, handle suffering, death, illness, etc.

Here are the demands of Christ
  1. Deny yourself - What did you “give up” to become a Christian?
  2. Take up your cross = Willing to die
  3. Follow me - Obey without question
  4. Save your life now means you will lose it for eternity
  5. Lose your life now means you will save it for eternity

  1. We are a peculiar (different) people. (1 Peter 2:9)
  2. We are to separate from the world. (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
  3. Has Christ made a difference in your life?

Faith, Lies, and the Opinion Polls, by William H. Hinson, pages 13-14

“Ninety percent of us claim that we believe in God, but the overwhelming majority of people - 93 percent! - say that they and nobody else determine what is and isn't moral in their lives. They base their decisions on their own experience. When they want answers to a question of right and wrong, they ask themselves.”

“Almost as large a majority - 84 percent - confess that they would violate the established rules of their religion if they thought the rules were wrong.”

“Better than 55 percent of the American people belong to a church, but surveys reveal that the rules that many people actually live by are very different from the commandments they hear in church.”

“77 percent of us don't see any point in observing the Lord's Day; 74 percent indicate that they think it is all right to steal from those who will not really miss it; 64 percent feel it is okay to lie so long as it does not cause any real damage; 53 percent acknowledge that they would cheat on their spouse, and also believe that given the chance, their spouse would do the same.”

“Almost 75 percent of the Baby Busters, those born after 1965, agree that there is no absolute truth. Even among the elderly of our land, 56 percent do not believe that there is any such thing as absolute truth.”

Christian News Service (CNS) staff writer, John Rossomando, January 23, 2002 wrote about divorce statistics.

“Born-again Christian are just as likely to get divorced as anybody else in American society, and the vast majority of those identifying themselves as divorce and born-again actually got their divorces after converting to Christianity. Just being born again is not a rabbit's foot.”

“The divorce statistics come from a 2001 Barna Research Poll, which indicated that 33 percent of born-again Christians end their marriages in divorce, roughly the same as the general population., and that 90 percent of those divorces happen after conversion to Christianity.”

“We have found that in a lot of ways Christians are not living different lives than non-Christians, when we look at their behavior.”

“We would love to report that Christians are living very distinct lives and impacting the community, but in the area of divorce rates they continue to be the same.”

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