Ok, so cryptic title there, isn’t it? Well, it’s appropriate for our upcoming sermon in Romans 2 at Church of Monroe. You see, Paul is continuing the process of taking hypocrites to the theological woodshed, and he’s driving at this point that is unmistakable. You can hear it in the tone of his letter, because it’s the kind of tone you take when you want to drive a point home. It’s kind of like that face Kobe Bryant gets when he’s going to take over a game and there’s nothing you can do about it. He’s going to deliver a beatdown. Paul’s kind of going at the same thing here, but he’s not taking on the Spurs. He’s dealing with people who feel like they get a free pass to heaven because of who they are and what they know. Ultimately, his message to these people, to steal the words of master Yoda, is “only there is, do.”
You see, Paul saw his fair share of hypocrites, and laid eyes on more than a number of people who liked to think that just because of what they knew and who they were, they were safe from God’s judgment. It’s not really that different today, really. People think they can shove themselves in a seat at church, put the kids in a youth program, and slap a sticker in their window with “Insert cool, trendy name of a church here” Church on it, they get tickets to the big dance. The only problem with that line of thought is that it is unbiblical, incorrect, and it’s gonna cause a lot of problems for a lot of people. Paul’s message, as we will see in this final stretch of Romans 2 is this: Knowing and hearing the law means absolutely nothing if you aren’t applying it and doing it. If you aren’t, then “Houston, we have a problem.”
We will keep visiting this over the next week, but it’s important to know that, as Christians, we can’t decide that just because we are on the “Jesus bandwagon” that we are going to the big dance. If you are just a fringe guy, and you aren’t totally sold on God, and you aren’t giving him everything (except for a 2″ by 8″ section of your back window), there’s a passage in the Bible that you may want to consider:
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
(Revelation 3:15-18 ESV)
If that’s you, there’s time to fix it. But, you have to stop resting on your bumper stickers, your trendy graphic-art church t-shirt, and get in the game! You ARE NOT a follower of Jesus just because you go to church. You are a follower of Jesus because you trust in Him, want to obey His will, and put His desires above all else.