Give Me That Old-Time Religion
In recent years we have become alarmed at the diminishing number of people coming to Christ. Some would have us believe that the Gospel is out of date or behind the times. There is within our society a move away from the traditional values of Christianity.
Has the Church become just another failed social organization? In an effort to keep their numbers up, many local congregations have forsaken fundamental beliefs. They have embraced ecumenicity – falling into bed with every philosophy of religion. The World Council of Churches accepts as equal every known religion. Every style of life is now accepted as worthy. Our children are being taught that moral discipline is impossible.
The truth is that people are little changed from what they were hundreds and even thousands of years ago. They are still sinners and respond to the message of God’s love if they ever hear it. God’s grace was designed for men of every age and will never lose its ability to save and transform lives. If the Gospel is in poor favor it can only be because we have allowed it to be.
“Give me that old-time religion, give me that old-time religion, give me that old-time religion, its good enough for me.” Jude intended to write of the joy of being saved, instead; he felt compelled to remind the saints of what they stood to lose should they not return to the faithful expression of the Gospel message.
I. Whatever Happened to the Old-Time Religion?
A. That believed in an all powerful God
1. The Creator and Sustainer
2. Omniscient and omnipresent
3. Is He still God or has He been assigned a place alongside all the other things we adore?
Note: We have damaged God’s reputation! His word must be proclaimed without exception or apology. He still saves, heals hurts, and empowers His people to live in this hostile environment.
B. That believes in a Savior able to take away the sins of the world
1. He doesn’t enable us to live with our sin; He enables us to overcome it!
2. Making intercession for us constantly and consistently
C. That believes in an indwelling Holy Spirit
D. That believes and lives by the Holy Bible
1. Christians have called the Word into question
2. The world’s influence has corrupted our view of inerrancy
E. That believes in, loves, and supports the local church
II. Let Us Return to the Faith of Our Fathers
A. “Contend earnestly for the faith”
1. Resetting our priorities – what is most important
2. Making bigger sacrifices if necessary
B. Getting off the fence/leaving the middle of the road
1. Being faithful in big and small ways
2. Showing by example God’s power to redeem and transform
Is your faith just another hat you wear - not as important as the means used for earning a living, nor so exciting as the recreation that gives you pleasure? Why are more people not being saved? Why do fewer and fewer people attend church services? The fault does not lie within the message but the messenger.