No Retreats, No Reserves, No Regrets Dan Lightfoot 1474
Phil. 3:12 -- "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." -- No Retreats
Phil. 3:7-9a -- "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, & may be found in Him…" -- No Reserves
II Tim. 4:7-8 -- "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day…" -- No Regrets
Do you wish you had a faith that deep? … A commitment that strong? … A hope that secure? How did Paul get to that point? And, can we?
A. II Tim. 2:3 -- "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
1. If we are called - enlisted - as soldiers, then we need to understand our duties. What exactly does a good soldier do? 4 duties. #1 today.
Duty #1: Don't Get Captured
Col 2:8 -- "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy or empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world rather than according to Christ."
A. Persian Gulf War, Only a handful of Americans taken prisoner.
1. What did the Iraqis do with our captured military personnel?
2. They tortured them and used them as propaganda tools. Pictures of our POWs were broadcast on CNN nightly. In fact, the Iraqis had them read false statements admitting that they were war criminals and broadcast those confessions worldwide.
3. Their duress was obvious on their faces. ... confessions were coerced.
4. What did the Iraqis hope to accomplish? A change of thinking! Low morale, waning support for the effort against Iraq.
B. Years ago the AP reported a story from Tacoma, Washington, that was chilling. A little boy had been kept in a coffin-sized box for over 2 years because his step-g-mother thought he was brain damaged. The box was 6'x3'x2'. Psychologists reported that the little boy never tried to escape because "he did not know any different kind of life." The boy was "over-whelmed when he came to the realization that not all little boys are kept in boxes."
1. Gives new meaning to "thinking outside the box."
2. He was allowed out of the box regularly on two occasions: 1) to go to the bathroom, & 2) to attend church.
3. Imagine sitting next to this little boy in church & having him ask, "What color is your box? Is your box warm or cool?"
C. This tragic illustration mirrors what is happening in the Christian community. Christians have been fitted with a little coffin-shaped box called "secularism" around their minds. Secularism is the belief that there may or may not be a God, but even if there is, He is irrelevant to history, art, science, literature, music, school, work, politics, and anything else.
1. The culture tells Christians, "You are free to climb out of your box of secularism once a week and go do good deeds or to attend church, but don't you dare bring your faith to bear in the culture around you."
2. That is secularism. It is a little coffinshaped box of death that has been fitted around our minds. We are trained to think inside the box of secularism, & even if we love Jesus with our hearts, it has little effect on the culture around us because we think secularly.
3. As Christians, we are to make certain we are not captured by secular thought. What one pours into one's mind determines how he thinks, & that will determine how he acts -- despite his heart-felt faith.
D. You may be wondering, "What is he talking about - being captured? I haven't been captured by secularism. I know the fundamental doctrines and essential beliefs of the Christian faith. Dan's out to lunch."
1. You've seen a little child jump off high objects into his Daddy's arms.
a. What if I had said, "Son, jump and I'll catch you!'' & as he stepped off, I had stepped aside letting him fall on the rocks?
b. Then, what if I set him up again, and said, "Son, jump, and I'll catch you!" What would he have said? He would say, "My Momma did not raise a dummy. I'm not jumping."'
c. Would his heart still love his Daddy? Yes, -- but what would overrule his heart? His mind.
d. What you pour into a person's mind will determine what he thinks, & what he thinks will determine how he acts!
E. "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy or empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world"
1. Most all Christians have been taken captive to some degree by secularism. Let me illustrate this with one question.
2. From your public school education, what can you recall learning about historical accomplishments of Christians? If you are normal, there are three basic answers:
1) Christians killed people during the Crusades and the Inquisition.
2) Christians burned witches in Salem, Massachusetts (Actually, they drowned and hanged them.)
3) Today, Christians bomb abortion clinics, bilk little old ladies out of hard-earned bucks thru TV programs, & badger public schools to remove "Huckleberry Finn" from junior high library shelves.
3. Most have been taught a negative image of Christians through their secular education & culture. Yet many Christians still insist they have not been taken captive by secular thought.
F. Dif. approach. Athletics! Who invented basketball? James Naismith.
1. He took 2 peach baskets, nailed them at the opposite ends of a gym, took 2 volleyballs & invented basketball. Why? Partly so his spring track stars would stay in shape during the winter months.
2. But Naismith worked for the YMCA. Young Men's Christian Asso. Most people call it the Y. -- and my question is, "Why?"
3. Naismith was studying to be a preacher & wanted to find a way to get a group of guys together for a Bible study. A Christian invented basketball! Tell the Shaq that today! Did you know a Christian invented basketball? Did you sleep during PE class?
G. History? What did you learn from your secular education as to why Columbus sailed to discover the New World?
1. Texts: for gold or glory. He wanted to find a shorter route to the Indies in order to bring back spices and become wealthy. He sailed for fame or fortune according to the textbooks.
2. Yet, in his diary in the archives of Spain, Columbus wrote:
"It was the Lord Who put it into my mind to sail from here to the Indies, thru rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scripture. The fact that the gospel must be preached to all the nations--this is what inspired me."
3. Oh, did you sleep through history class, too? How does that old '50s song go? "Don't know much about history...."
H. Well, what about biology and the other sciences?
1. Textbooks today indicate that all great scientists were & are evolutionists. Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists of all time, is portrayed as a flaming evolutionist in some textbooks.
2. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, he wrote, "When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the proper distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance. The motions of the planets require a divine arm to move them."
J. Do you still insist that you have not been taken captive in your thinking?
K. A school teacher named Bill Jack writes: "As an American Christian public school teacher raised in a church & in a family that taught me to love God, I had succumbed to secular thinking. I never mentioned the most influential piece of literature in Western Civilization in my English class. I never mentioned the first book printed on a movable type printing press, the first book read in outer space, the international best seller. To be a best seller a book must sell 1 million copies & be translated into 6 languages -- this book had sold over 1 billion copies & been translated into over 1,000 languages & dialects! I never mentioned the book that college & university English professors from secular institutions consistently say is the #1 book that students should read before entering college. What book did I fail to mention? The Bible, of course. That is academically absurd to do so, but why did I fail to mention such an influential book? I had been "boxed" (taken captive?) by secular thinking. I had subtly trained to think that the Bible was an illegal book in school. I was trained to think that "separation of church and state" dictated that I could not discuss the Bible in the classroom."
1. This isn't the case with all Christian public school teachers...
2. But he sincerely believed that he was to be neutral -- that when he walked into the classroom, he was to shed my values ... He put his heart - his faith - in the bottom drawer of his desk.
3. He said, "I had become a schizophrenic Christian. I loved Jesus with my heart, but my mind was trained to think inside the little coffin-shaped box of secularism. I ignored the greatest commandment."
4. What's the greatest commandment? "Love God with all - heart, soul, strength and _________--Oh, what is that other thing--oh, yes, our minds.
5. Remember Duty #1: Don't Get Captured.
Story of Bill Borden …
If we serve Christ wholeheartedly, in the end, we too will have no regrets. This life is tough, and it has many discouraging moments; but in the end -- if we remain faithful and committed to Christ and His cause -- it will have been worth it all.
As the apostle Paul wrote, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time is not worthy to compare to the glory that shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18). Did you catch that? This life is so short, that compared to the length and rewards of eternity, this life and all its hardships are not even worthy of comparison to the glory that will be revealed in us.
Enlist in His service today.
Bill Borden's father founded Borden Industries, which at one time was the nation's largest dairy producer. Upon graduating from high school, Bill's parents gave him a cruise around the world.
Not long after he began his travels, the Borden's received a letter in which Bill described how his heart filled with compassion for the people whom he met. No matter what country they were from, no matter what color they were, or what language they spoke, Bill realized that they had one thing in common: they needed Jesus Christ.
Bill's second letter came to his parents with the request to pray for him because he felt the Lord might be calling him into full-time mission work. Finally, Bill's third letter brought the news that he had committed his life to preaching the gospel to the lost and dying.
After Bill returned home, he enrolled at Yale, and four years later graduated near the top of his class. Not long after Bill's graduation, his father became ill and was no longer able to run Borden Industries.
In need of a qualified leader, the chairman of the board came to Bill and asked him if he would take his father's place. After all, Bill was a Borden, was familiar with the business, and had graduated with honors from Yale. He was the obvious choice. Although flattered by the offer, Bill requested some time to pray and think about his answer.
A few days later, Bill explained to the board that he greatly appreciated the offer, but he had made the commitment to go into full-time mission work, and thus felt that he should fulfill his commitment. Bill turned down everything the world holds dear: power, position, prestige, and money, because of his commitment to Christ.
It is said that Bill took his Bible and turned to the back page where he wrote the two words, NO RETREATS. That reminds me of the hymn, "I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. Though none go with me, still I will follow, no turning back; no turning back. The world behind me; the cross before me; no turning back; no turning back."
Bill enrolled in school, and feeling the need to live by faith, raised his own support. In fact, any money he received from his wealthy family in the way of allowance, he gave away. Then Bill took his Bible and below the two words, NO RETREATS, he wrote, NO RESERVES. Holding nothing back, he trusted the Lord wholeheartedly.
Upon graduation, Bill boarded a ship that took him to Egypt where he planned to study a group of people much like those he would be working with in the future. While in Egypt, Bill contracted meningitis. Before his family could reach him, he died.
Many people said, "What a waste. Bill could have had it all, but he gave it all up to go to a foreign land where he contracted a disease and died without any family.'' But it was not a waste. Bill Borden did not live in vain.
The story of Bill Borden rang around the world, and thousands of young people picked up the call and replaced Bill on the mission field. Because of one committed life, others went into full-time mission work and thus, thou-sands of people came to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. All it took was one committed life, and thousands were changed for eternity.
When Bill's family finally received his personal effects, among them they found his Bible. Upon turning to the last page they saw the two words, NO RETREATS. Below those two words they read, NO RESERVES. And as though scrawled on his deathbed they found the two new words, NO REGRETS.
[ Our Elders | Our Minister | Our Ministries | About Us | Calendar ]
[ OnLine Resources | Directions | Services ]
[ Home ]