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Sermon Script: 1John 3:11-24; Genesis 4:1-8; John 15:12,13

“The greatest single cause of atheism the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” (Brennan Manning quoted on D.C. Talk’s album Jesus Freak as a prelude to the song, “What If I Stumble?)

I first heard these words on D.C. CD from 1996 called Jesus Freak. The song served as a prelude for the song, “What If I Stumble?” I love that album because there all kinds of neat stuff between most of the songs on that CD. The quote I started this message with is one of the neat things which both touched and challenged me from the Jesus Freak CD. Now imagine my surprise when I opened my Bible Monday morning to prepare this week’s message and I find these words in 1John 3:18, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” I was immediately struck. Are Christians creating atheists in an already unbelieving world because we only talk about God’s truth instead living out God’s truth in our lives? This passage from 1John seems to be making that very point. If we look at the verse from 1John 3:18 backwards we have to ask the same question Pontius Pilate asked Jesus. What is truth? The truth is best summed up in John 3:16. Church. What does John 3:16 say? “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” This fundamental truth is not some mere fact to be proved or disproved by the evidence. Rather, this is God’s truth. Amen? Amen!! And God’s truth has the power to change us. Amen? Amen! Amen? Amen! Do you believe it? Yes!Do you believe it? Yes!! Then the question for us is will we continue to allow the truth to change us? Will we live out that change in the world? Will we allow God’s truth to change us into beacons of love for God’s good glory?