Radical Christianity Part 5 – Dr. Michael Jiles


Radical Christianity Sermon Series The River

Pastor Mike presents Part 5 of “Radical Christianity”.


Audio Transcript:

Radical Christianity, that’s what we’ve been talking about for five weeks now. But before we jump into this, you guys know what’s happening Halloween, right? Yes. OK, so we’re going to be outside, we’re going to be worshiping out there. I think the Beckers have a food truck coming right. Yes, this means yes one and maybe more so we’re going to have all kinds of stuff out there, it’ll be fun. But we have prizes for costumes. I noticed somebody back here wore a dinosaur, had one service, but yeah, you can actually wear your costumes the whole time. We’ll see what I’m actually going to be dressed in. I don’t know.

But anyway, if you weren’t around last Tuesday for the men’s night, we had a great time. We had about 20 guys show up and had some great food turned into like a 15 minute devotion. And we’ll  just hang out. So it’s really a fun night. But I got to say the women, I think, might have beat us. I know they had one more person than we did, but I don’t know what goes on at these women things out in our barn. But I was called out of my house. I was all cozy and everything got called out, and I saw something that made me wonder what happens at Women’s Nights out at the barn and Eli came out. He took a picture and put up music to it and everything. You want to see what happened? Well, maybe Premiere Pro never knew that was your baby baby, baby. Yeah, three days ago. Test driving the new challenger four by four. Wow. I thought that was pretty funny, so I just had to show that to you. So I’m not sure what all happens at women’s nights, but it was crazy. So I want it. Yes, I know that was just hilarious. Actually, I went and got Lego. You got to see this. Who’s like, I’m so glad you got me, you know?

Anyway. Tonight, I want to do something a little bit different than what I normally do. What I like to do is kind of share with you what happened to me. one night I was lying in bed all night. I could not sleep. Holly woke up three times, looks at me and says, What are you thinking when you’re not sleeping all night? I said, I just feel like God’s giving me this message that I’m trying to. I’m trying to figure out. And so I spend several days I’ve been chewing on it, so it’s a little bit different than what I usually do. But I was wondering how many of you think time exist? How many have you think time actually exist?

Few hands, few confusion, you know, so. Do it. Yeah. Albert Einstein had this theory and his theory of relativity that he believed time does not exist. Now I know biblically we can go back to Genesis and talk about Yarm, which is a word used for literally a solar day. Sometimes it’s very rarely used in like the Day of Noah or something like that. So we kind of get the solar thing, but as far as seconds and minutes and hours and days and all those things. Does that really exist?

You know, because Peter said this, he says, but do not overlook this one fact, beloved. He uses the word fact that with the Lord a day is as 1000 years and 1000 years is the day. And they’re kind of confusing. And the Bible says we’re a miss, we’re here today and gone tomorrow. So as far as time, I’m one of those people. If I’m not 15 minutes early, I’m late drives my family nuts, especially Sydney, right? And they’re like, Oh, I said, Giles, time just get used to it. But but what if we didn’t live by a clock? What if we just did life? Not worried about the hours and the days and all that. I just started thinking about this and and they have this thing called an atomic clock.

Has anybody ever heard of an atomic clock? It’s one of the most accurate clocks ever made, right? They got two atomic clocks and they put them together and they set them at the exact same time. Now let me ask you this If we leave one here, take another one up 100 feet. Bring it back down. Is it still the same time? It really is. I’m sorry, it’s OK if we take it to Kansas and bring it back, is it still the same time? Yes. OK. You’re with me now. OK. So if you take this clock, it’s set the same as this clock and then you take it all the way around the world and bring it back. Is it the same time? I love it. Actually, they did do that.

And what they found is the clock that went around the world lost time. It was a little bit slower than the clock that was stationary. So the whole theory was timed doesn’t really exist. It’s just something that we have created. Now, I think it’s interesting because in Albert Einstein saying, here’s what he said. I’ll give you some different words, but for instance, as a as a child and you’re waiting for Christmas, you were so excited. Christmas is coming. You could hardly wait. Would you sell off a day just to get to Christmas sooner? Yeah, because you’re ready, right? As you get much older, do you savor Christmas a little more? Do you want it to last a little longer? Yeah. Einstein said it’s all relative. It depends on the person. For instance, if you’re in a car wreck. Have you ever been in a trauma like that and everything just goes in slow motion? You ever had that? And it’s like, Wow, those seconds lasted forever. He would say it’s all relative. So with the Bible here today and gone tomorrow, I don’t know.

But here’s what’s interesting. I heard the story of a teacher. He walks into the classroom and it’s one of those big, big, huge classrooms where the kids are all elevated up and you’re down here with a chalkboard and all that. And he walks in as this. Today, we’re having a pop quiz. And what do you think the kids do it? Exactly. That’s exactly. Yeah, that’s exactly what they did. And he passes out the paper and it’s all upside down, right? Because they’re used to that. You can’t turn it over to just now, so everybody starts at the same time, he says. Here’s the deal when you turn the paper over, I want you to write for 30 minutes what you see on the other side of the page. Fair enough. They go, OK? He says now they all turn the page over, and all that was on the page was a dot, a black dot in the middle of the page. So they spent the next 30 minutes writing about what they saw for the next hour after he collected them all. He read everybody’s paper and they all focused on the black dots. And here’s what he told them, he said. This is not for a great so relax, OK. That’s the first thing everybody wants to know. It’s not for a grade. Great, just relax. He said the problem is all we focus on are the black dots. The black dot represents our problems, our issues, our work problems, our family problems, our health problems, all the different things in our life. And all we do is we focus on a black dot and not everything else around the dot. And I heard this stories. It made me sad because I’m always thinking those thoughts of, Wow, I got to fix this, we got to do this. You know, all these different things rather than being just being present and enjoying everything else around the problems, does that make sense? So I was I had this message prepared and then hollered out we were watching this movie called Awakenings. You’re seeing that movie. It’s Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. So Robin Williams is the doctor De Niro was the patient who had been comatose for 30 years, are somewhat comatose for 30 years. And then Robin Williams found this drug that was supposed to get him out of it and get him feeling better.

And it was working. Watch this Lenders limit taxpayer. Sit down, sit down. Why? What’s wrong? We’ve got to tell everybody. We’ve got to remind them. We’ve got to remind them how good it is. How good. What is Leonard? I don’t want to say so bad. It’s all bad. People have forgotten what life is all about. They’ve forgotten what it is to be alive. They need to be reminded. They need to be reminded about what they have and what they can lose. What I feel is the joy of life, the gift of life, the freedom of life, the wonderment of life. We kept saying that people don’t appreciate the simple things work, play, friendship, family is you was so excited. He talked till 5:00 in the morning. I don’t know whether this is liberation mania for love. Yes. What he’s saying is absolutely right, John. We don’t really know how to live. We really don’t know how to live. Think about all of our problems we focus on and we really think, I just don’t know how to live.

I don’t know how to enjoy life anymore. Now I got to tell you, when my kids turned 13, I did a thing with each one. I have two boys, each one of them to where we did this man hike up Pikes Peak, right? And it was like, This is my time alone with them and we talk about God stuff and we talk about different things. Well, when I took been up, I forgotten, like two days before that he didn’t have any shoes to hike up there. You know, it was just all crummy tennis shoes. And so we went bought him hiking boots, thinking that was a good thing. I knew better. He did not have a chance to break him in. So he was miserable. And you know, it’s 13 miles from 6000 feet up to over 14,000 feet in crummy shoes. And he was just absolutely exhausted and he slept for like days. I mean, it was it was rough, but he made it.

And we talked about all the God things and perseverance and and for our family, we may not all be the smartest tools in the shed, but we understand perseverance, right? And we work for it and we do it. And he’s really learned that well, then I took Eli, and Eli was like jumping off of rocks all the way up to the mountain, you know? And but we were standing overlooking down this valley and it was dark. We started at three in the morning and we looked, we’re looking down this dark valley. We hear this crashing through the trees and we were freaked out. I mean, it was like Bigfoot. I mean, Bigfoot is down there and it was freaky. And then we started kind of backing up from the side and I shined my light over and all these red eyeballs are in the trees looking at us. And I was like, Oh, get behind me, Campbell, this is what it always going to go go. You know, we were kind of freaked out. We had a great time. We talked about some cool God stuff, and it was a neat experience. But I heard this story. This this father. He takes his son into the woods and he’s blindfolded.

The car ride into the woods sets him down on a stump in the woods, says, here’s the deal. You don’t take the blindfold off until the Sun starts piercing through the blindfold. If you can wear that blindfold all night, you will then become a man. He says good luck. The Sun set there all night. Here, the wind blowing through the trees and the trees, you know, banging against each other and making eerie sounds and brushes rubbing together, and he heard he heard all kinds of wildlife out there. It sounded like they’re rustling through the leaves and stuff like that. And he heard coyotes screaming, If you ever heard a coyote, scream her tires screaming out there, and he was freaked out. But he sat there on that stump all night long. And finally, the Sun pierced through the blindfold. And the Sun took off the blindfold and saw his father sitting right next to him. Imagine as we go through life and we’re focused on the problems and the issues, not realizing our father is sitting right next to us, protecting us, loving us.

One of the story I heard was this old man who cut his finger and he went into the nurse’s office to, ah, the doctor’s office to get it fixed. And he was like very anxious and he was like, I’m in a big hurry. I really need to get going. Can you just take the stitches out really quick and and the nurse may fill out the forms and they’re also right. And that has anxiety just kept getting worse and worse. And finally, the nurse calls him back. The doctor Spitzer. Let me take a look at it. She saw that it was healing really nice, and she said, I’ll go and take the stitches out. And now she’s taken the stitches out of his thumb. She starts asking him, Why are you so anxious?  You know what’s going on? He said, Every day I show up at the nursing home and I have lunch with my wife. And I just don’t want to be late. And she looked at him as that is so sweet. I bet she’s really looking forward to it. He said now she doesn’t know who I am anymore. It’s been five years and she doesn’t even recognize me. And the nurse said, well. Why do you still go? And the old man looked at her and said, because I recognize her. And I know her. See, a lot of times we focus in on being recognized on our agenda or those type of things, rather that I just want to love that person. I’ve had years of memories with that person.

Each one of these stories, I want you to focus in on one thing. Presence. When you’re in these stories, are you really present, are you focused on the problem? Guys, have you ever had your wife talk to you and in the middle of it, you go?Why did you say? None of you have done that, right? Yeah, yeah, I get it. That’s what it that’s what’s involved about being present as you’re listening. You’re there, you’re in the moment. We’re going to talk more about that. But in the Bible, I think we when we read these stories about Jesus, he was present in the moment. It wasn’t. I got to go save the world. Let’s get on with it. You know, he didn’t do that. He was in the moment. If we’re going to be a radical Christian, we’ve got to be present. We got to live in the moment. But there’s a story. How many of you have heard of John 3:16. Have you heard of that story?

OK. There’s a really cool story right before you get to John. 3:16. Right? Here goes. Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish Ruling Council. Now here’s what’s cool about when you think about Nicodemus, you should probably think about these things. He was religious. He was rich. And he was a ruler. OK? He was up there. He he’s the one that’s pronouncing things. He’s he’s the man, right? So when you think of and you can go through and look at Nicodemus throughout scripture and see where he’s religious, he’s rich and he’s the ruler. Verse two says he came to Jesus at night. He came to Jesus that night, right? And I love it when pastors do this because it’s such a much a bulls. OK, well, here’s what they’ll say. Well, he came to Jesus that night because he didn’t want anybody else to see him. So he used the cover of darkness and came to Jesus at night. The scripture doesn’t say that that’s a punch up, all right. It just says he came, as you said, nice. Now if I was going to put stuff in the scripture, right?

I mean, don’t take take scripture where it is now, where you think it needs to go. If I was to do it, I would say, you know, I’ve walked through Israel. I’ve been to those places. A lot of these, I mean, it’s a desert guys. If you’re out there, it’s a desert. Try go in in the summer, right, Rob? Oh, he said, it was absolutely miserable. I don’t ever go in the summer. This is like bacon on a beach right here. I mean, it’s terrible. But what happens? People work during the day, but at night they have these like rooftop patios and stuff. There was one time I took this group of people or on top of this, this rooftop kind of patio place, and we watched one of the blood moons come up. It was cool. I think that’s when people hung out. I think Nicodemus showed, I mean, he was a rich ruler. I don’t think he was really worried about what everybody else said. He’s like, I want to ask Jesus a question. So he shows up. I imagine in my mind, you’re on top of this, this rooftop patio having a glass of wine chocolate Jesus. How amazing with that be, right? Here’s what he says. Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.

Now I love this part. We know. Not that I think are maybe you are. We know who’s we. Probably the other ferris’s they’ve been talking, and we know that you’re a teacher who has come from God for no one can perform the signs you are doing. If God were not with him. I mean, that line bothered me. No one can do these things if God were not with him. Then I started thinking, it’s God with me. It’s God with you, if you’ve asked Christ into your life, you carry the Holy Spirit. So is your journey and you’re present in this world. Wow. What should we be doing? And I wonder, do we owe people an encounter with God? Do we owe people an encounter with God if we’re carrying the Holy Spirit with us? What do you think? I had a lady asked me last Sunday because I just have a question, pastor. She said, I don’t know theology well, but I just want to know, are you going down the road of name it and claim it in prophecy?

You know, all that stuff and and you know, the the whole wealth thing, you know, I said, you have to understand I have a degree from a Southern Baptist university. I have a masters from a Southern Baptist University. I have a doctorate from a Southern Baptist university. No, OK. But here is the one difference. I want people to have an encounter with God. I want people to experience. God. What timing? Let’s go on. Jesus replied, Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are what Jack born again. No one can see the Kingdom of God. You don’t get to go there. My networking, my good. OK. No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. Now how about if you’re following another religion, another prophet another? What does that say? No one. No one, no matter how good your motives are. No matter what other religions, just no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again, then I love this this question, he says.

How can someone be born when they are old? Right, Dave? How can someone be born when they are old, Nicodemus, ask? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born? Oh, don’t even try to imagine that crawling up into your mother’s womb so you can be born again. Gross. Right? OK. It gets better. Jesus answer. That’s correct. I think I believe the Bible is without error. But I think there’s a word missing here, however, from the Greek. I think Jesus looks at this Pharisee, he’s a rich young, ah, rich ruler and all that. And he probably wanted to say, dude. Don’t you think come on. I don’t know if it’s in the Greek or not, but Jesus answered. Let’s just imagine. Dude, very truly. I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh. The spirit gives birth to spirit. Now, some people will try to say, Well, that means you’ve got to accept Christ and you’ve got to be baptized. Did you read the whole thing? No, it does not mean that. And they try to do this. What was he saying? He was talking about crawling up into the mother’s womb. OK, we know the ambient fluid thing. You know, when you’re born, there’s water gross, OK? But he’s saying, well, flesh gives birth to flesh. A woman gives birth to flesh to another human being. Right? But spirit gives birth to something totally different. A brand new spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again. That is key in verse eight, says the wind blows. Imagine Jesus on top of the roof in a glass of wine there. Talk and cool night air breeze blows the and he says the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or even where it’s going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit. Now imagine this guy’s educated. He is the top of the food chain with all the Pharisees, he says. How can this be? Now what an intelligent answer there. How can this be?

I don’t get it. Jesus, I know he wants to it’s not in the Bible, but I know he wants to say. Dude, seriously, dude, you are Israel’s teacher, said Jesus. And do you not understand these things? Doesn’t that imply a dude? I think it does. Don’t you understand these things? Very truly. I tell you, we speak of what we know. And we testify to what we’ve seen. But you but still, you people do not accept our testimony. Dude, really, I have spoken to you of earthly things, and you do not believe how then will you believe if I speak to you of heavenly things, no one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven, the son of man. And then it qualifies a little more, just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness. So the son of man must be lifted up. What’s he talking about? What’s he talking about? Yeah, thanks for listening to the crucifixion. He’s talking about the cross that he has to be lifted up on the cross, that everyone who believes and that was remember the word I was having a hard time with last Sunday pistachio, right, that everyone who totally trust in may have eternal life in him. It’s not that you believe there is a God is that you totally trust in God. Then you have eternal life. And then he says the verse that everybody knows.

For God’s love the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes whoever pissed you, whoever totally trusted him shall not perish but have eternal life now growing up. That was my parents verse, right? You go to football games, they have the signs up January 16. You know, it’s all John 3:16. You know, growing up in church, our verse is really the one that follows this. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world. Why? Because the world stood condemned already. He didn’t need to send his son here to condemn it even more. You’re condemned or condemned. But to save the world through him, the question is tonight I ask you, do you totally trust in him? Have you totally given your life to Jesus? Have you done that?

I want to take a moment just ahead and close our eyes for a minute. Getting along with God, I want you to ask yourself. What I did in the past. Was it true? Have I ever given my life totally to Jesus? Do you like totally trust in how? Tonight. If you mean business with God, I’m going to ask you to pray a prayer to him giving your life totally to Jesus. I’ll lead you in the prayer. I’ll say it out loud. But if you mean business with God, I want you to pray it out loud.

Dear God. I ask, you know, my life. I ask you to forgive me and my sense. I give my life to you right now. And I pray this in Jesus name.

Tonight with our heads bowed, if you pray that prayer. Just look at me right now. We have. Hey, man. Hey, man, I want to pray for you right now. Dear Heavenly Father. God, the nine people that committed their life to you tonight. I pray that she would protect them on Monday. God, I pray that she would surround them with your presence. God, I pray that she would protect, protect, protect them. God, I pray that she would help guide their heart to you. God, I pray this. And Jesus name. Amen.

As you go out in the world, as you walk out of this building, I want to give you just a couple of hints to go for. Tips for being present one. Celebrate Tiny Joyce, celebrate tiny Joyce. Sydney came over to our house this week and made us dinner. She made this soup that was like Olive Garden. And it was really spicy. And we told her we loved it. I did love it. I loved it, I did not lie. I just said it was spicy. I sit there and we all kind of gathered around the TV, and a lot of times we sat at the table, but we sat at the TV and we’re all sitting there eating the soup and it was so yummy. And I stopped for a minute and went, I love this. I can hardly wait for you to move next door to me. It’s going to be just yummy, right? It was a tiny joy to identify the moment focused on this. If you’re going to take a picture of a slide, this is ready. Identify the moment. Ask yourself questions like Where am I? What’s around me, what noises do I hear? What can I physically feel around me? What do I smell?

Who is around me? How am I feeling? What am I grateful for right now? Try being in that moment. Now I know these guys right here are focused on Melissa formats. You’ve got beautiful puppies. And people are picking him up and taking him at all that. Enjoy the moment that you have with the puppies, and I watch you on Facebook. You do. And it’s just special. Enjoy those moments. three, make mindfulness a practice. Huh. Make mindfulness a practice. Carve out time in your day to intentionally be present with God, even if it’s ten minutes, be present with you. God, mindfulness is something that takes patience, energy and dedication. So it’s important to practice it daily and therefore listen without intending to respond. I stink at this. As people are sharing, I’m thinking about what I’m going to say, you know what great pearls of wisdom do I have? Don’t do that. Instead of doing that, just listen to what they’re saying and listen to their heart. And a lot of times their words don’t match the heart. Listen for the heart. That is what’s important. And then five, be OK with not knowing all the answers. Listen to him say, you know, I don’t know. But I know God so much that he loved you, that he gave his only son. For year. That you may have eternal life. That may be all that you have to say, and maybe it. Let’s bring. Dear, heavenly father, god, I pray that you would use these tools to help us be radical Christ followers. God, I pray that you would do a great work in us so that we can reach people for you. And I pray this in Jesus name. Everybody said, amen.