Is Jesus The Cool New Thing or Is He Your Savior: The New Church Movement Today

Posted: December 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Luke 6:17-19 — Jesus Christ was now a movement. He was no longer some obscure well read yet untrained teacher of the Scriptures. News had spread. He was becoming wildly popular with the masses of common people. He was the newest thing. He was, in short, becoming a superstar. Why was He becoming so popular so quickly?

People had come from all over Judea, Jerusalem, and as far away as Tyre and Sidon. They came to hear Him speak and to be healed of their diseases. Those who were troubled came to be cleaned of their unclean spirits. They all sought to touch Him for power came out of Him and healed them all. Why was He becoming so popular? I think there are several reasons.

First, on the negative side of things, people are often selfish and only see things as they relate to themselves. Jesus was the new thing in town. He was like that cutting edge rock star of today. Jesus was cool. He was anti-establishment. He had made the power elite seem foolish at times. Have you ever joined in on something because you thought it was new and fresh and you wanted to be a part of it? Back in the late 70’s I became a big Bruce Springsteen fan because he was new, fresh, different, and he was very anti-establishment. I wanted to be a part of that. The new way of looking at things. While everyone was mindlessly into disco, I was part of the small, edgy group that loved Bruce’s searing lyrics, the stories he told, and his band’s hauntingly beautiful music. I think a lot of people in Jesus’ day flocked to him because he was cutting edge and they wanted to be a part of it. Here, in today’s world, many people have flocked to churches like LifeSong, Newspring, Potential, Elevation, and others like because it is new church. It is cutting edge. They attend church at these places because they want to be seen as part of the newest thing. These are the first to fall away. The fad chasers are the ones that are not committed. They are the consumers that consume what your church has to offer but give little or nothing in return – no service, no financial support, no commitment. Jesus had these kinds of followers when His ministry began to take off and He still has this kind of follower today. Are you a fad seeker? Do you go to a church as long as it the coolest of the new churches? Do you leave when the next cooler one comes along? Do you come to church on Sunday and consume and that’s it?

Second, on the positive side, to some of the crowd, Jesus offered hope in a hopeless world. Some many people in Jewish society felt disenfranchised from the Jewish religious life. Jesus was a break from the traditional religion. Jesus said to them it was about a relationship with God and not religious checklists. It was not about do’s and don’ts. It was about relationship. Jesus teachings were about how the Father in heaven loved them and wanted to be reconciled with them. It was about a new lease on life. It was about forgiveness of sin. It was no longer about what the religious elite had made things. If you sinned, you were out. You were done. This is what Jesus says to us through the centuries today. He stands here and tell us throughout the centuries that it is not about checklists. It is not about whether he or she has sinned more or less than you. It is not a pecking order. It is about whether you love me, Jesus, or not. It is about forgiveness of sins. It is about recognizing that we all are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. It is about Jesus being our covering for our sins. These are the people in the crowd that Jesus is really trying to reach. These are the ones that realize that they are worthless sinners in the hands of a just God who need the help of a Savior. These are Jesus people. These are the ones that change the world for Christ. These are the ones upon which Jesus’ church was built and is being built today.

Which is that has drawn you to Jesus today? Are you there because you think LifeSong or NewSpring or Redemption World Outreach Center or any other of the host of “new church” churches that have sprung up in the last 10-20 years is the cool thing? Are you there flirting with Jesus but not committing your life to Him? Are you there because the music is cool? Are you there because the preacher is edgy, has a cool hairdo, a tattoo, and speaks in today’s terms? Are you there because the sound system is bumpin’? Are you there because the lighting is like at play or concert?

Or are you there, because it is a fresh approach to your Savior? Do you see yourself as a sinner saved by grace? Are you there because the church cares about the world around it and shows it? Are you there to go deeper, serve in ways you have never served before? Are you there to realize that in the absence of Jesus you are condemned but yet because of Jesus you have the greatest joy of all?

This is the question that has resonated through the centuries when it comes to Jesus. He is popular. Everybody knows who He is. The question remains – why are YOU with Him?

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