Note: This was a sermon preached in the class, “Preaching & Culture,” in the doctoral program aimed towards “non-believers.”
Modern man living in the U.S. has found himself in a situation where he has:
- More technology, yet less free time
- More social media, yet less real relationships
- More churches to choose from, yet is going to church less.
At the same time:
- We have more stress and less margin
- More distraction, less concentration
- More religions but less spiritual people.
Why is this? I believe this is because mankind has been on a course of destruction since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and only Jesus is the answer to our fallen world and the trouble it encompasses.
I know some here may interject to me bringing up Christianity as the basis for my answer because they view it as myth. However, in this short time we have together I’d rather get to my suggested solution than to devote my time in defending the Christian faith and not actually giving a solution. So for those who desire further information regarding the rationality of the foundation I am speaking from, mainly a Christian worldview based on the Bible and Jesus’s life, please visit Dr. William Lane Craig’s website at www.reasonablefaith.org.
But keep in mind what the great author and philosopher C.S. Lewis said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
JESUS IS THE ANSWER FOR THE FOLLOWING THREE THINGS
- The dilemma of being overstressed and under fulfilled.
- The heartache of short lived shallow relationships.
- The suffering of being disconnected from God.
(1) Jesus is the Answer to… the Dilemma of Being Overstressed and Under Fulfilled
Richard Swenson in his book, Margin, described how we have lost the ability to make extra time to rest and be emotionally restored. This is because we have not obeyed God’s intention for us in the creation order, mainly, to work only six days and rest one as taught in Genesis 2:2, (i.e., “the Sabbath.”).
The book states:
- “God has instructed us that life is more than work. It includes relationships, worship, and yes, even rest.
- “A rest-less work style produces a restless person.”
- “We do not rest because our work is done; we rest because God commanded it and created us to have a need for it.”
See if you can relate to these stats from the book:
- 70% of those surveyed cited a need for more fun.
- 67% said they need a long vacation.
- 66% said they often feel stressed.
- 60% feel their time is crunched.
- 51% say they want less work and more play.
- 49% feel pressure to succeed.
- 48% feel generally overwhelmed.
Three ways Jesus is the answer to your dilemma of being overstressed and under fulfilled because:
- Jesus taught He would give us rest for our souls, Matthew 11:28-30.
- Jesus taught if we followed His Kingdom principles than we would be blessed in everything we do, Matthew 6:33.
- Jesus taught worry was to be replaced with faith, Matthew 6:34.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(2) Jesus is the answer to… the Heartache of Short Lived Shallow Relationships
Sherry Turkle in her book, Alone Together, describes how in the modern era even our most valuable members like children and the elderly are being handed over to technology to meet their emotional needs.
- Parents are using such modern toys as “Ferbie’s” to fill the attention void in their kids lives.
- As well as using “PARO,” a furry seal like robot in nursing homes to satisfy the elderly’s desire for companionship.
However, as Sherry points out in her book this kind of robotic help is only needed because we have lost the ability to truly be present and affirm those in our lives with long lasting deep and nursing relationships. The point is even made more clearer when she points how everyone (young and old alike) use their phones to be on social media and text, yet they are losing the ability to properly engage with those in their very presence. See the picture below for the idea of us being, “Alone Together.”
Certainly, there are many more important issues besides just technology to blame for our high divorce rate, disconnected communities, short term work commitments, and feelings of loneliness- like the following:
- Sensory overload
- Easy access to our addictions (food, money, and sex)
Nonetheless, our lust for technology can be seen as the “tip” of our iceberg of relational heartache.
Three ways Jesus is the answer to your heartache of short lived shallow relationships:
- Jesus, God in the flesh, wants to be your friend, John 15:15.
- Jesus promised He would never leave you nor forsake you, Matthew 28:20.
- Jesus proved His friendship by laying down His life for you, thus He will always desire your best, John 15:13.
Jesus said in John 10:10-11, “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Jesus is the Answer to… the Suffering of Being Disconnected From God
George Barna in his book, Churchless, states 48% of Millennials are not attending church (born from 1984-2002, approx. 13-31yrs old). What is troubling about this is that Millennials make up almost 80 million citizens in the U.S, which is the largest generation. That means almost 40 million of today’s biggest influencers and consumers are not basing their life upon Jesus. What is even more troubling is that John Dickerson noted in his book, The Evangelical Recession, that the actual number of evangelical Christians is only around 7-8.9% of the United States population.
Why is this troubling, even for non-Christians?
- First, for the simple fact if the answer to the problems above is actually Jesus, than most people in the U.S. are going to suffer for eternity in the lake of fire because they are disconnected from God, Revelation 20:13-15.
- Second, I believe the current trend towards suicide, abortion, sexual identity confusion, and teen violence is all related to how we as a culture view Jesus.
- Thus, the person and society separated from God will suffer now and for eternity.
Now if you want to base your life on something or someone other than Jesus, you are free to make that choice, however, I want you to be fully aware of the consequences according to the Bible. Jesus clearly taught that He was the only way to God the Father and if you didn’t believe in Him and keep His commands you would surely suffer- both now and forevermore, John 3:16, 14:6, & 14:15.
Three ways Jesus is the answer to the suffering of being disconnected from God:
- Jesus came to take away sins, John 1:29.
- By faith in Jesus you can be forgiven, Acts 10:43.
- You can live a sin free life, 1 John 3:9.
The apostle John said in 1 John 3:7-8, “7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
Come to Jesus today and find the answer to being stressed out, having shallow relationships, and being spiritually disconnected!