The Call to Comfort

Sam Rainer

September 12, 2007

Sermon squirming is many times a good thing. As a pastor I try not to lay guilt trips on my congregation – you can only guilt people into something one time, after that they lose motivation because the heart has not been changed. But challenges to the status quo often stretch people beyond their normal zones of comfort. And since Christ calls us to reach beyond the bounds of our normal lives, a little stretching helps to mature a believer.

But a recent survey reveals that the Christian calling is misunderstood by the majority of believers and unbelievers. Follow me through some of the findings:

1. Two-thirds of the American population state that their most important purpose in life is to love God with all their heart, soul, and strength.

Alright! The majority of our nation maintains at least a superficial understanding of the Great Commandment.

2. Sixty-six percent of Americans believe that God is best described as the all-powerful, all-knowing perfect Creator of the universe who rules the world today.

Two for two! The majority of Americans recognize God in a proper way.

3. Only 45% of American adults believe that the Bible is accurate in all its principles.

So this is where the breakdown occurs. A majority of people are willing to state that God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and they believe that we should love him with everything we have, but less than half are willing to say His Word is what it claims. It’s easy to say you believe in God, but it’s a different story to follow his written commandments.

4. This same study found that 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, but only half of them state that they are absolutely committed to Christianity.

Many people like the label “Christian” because it brings a level of comfort with their thoughts of eternity. But Christ calls us outside of comfort. The Christian life should equate to uncomfortableness. We are not called to comfort, but rather to uncomfortable lives. You cannot legitimately claim to love God with all your being without a parallel willingness to follow his biblical mandates.

We could all squirm a little more, myself included. But what pushes us should not be guilt-driven. What drives us should be a deep love for our Lord and His will for our lives.

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