Only 5 Percent
Season 3 Episode 3: Only 5% of Church Goers Say the Christian Life is Working for Them. WHY?
Of all the podcasts I’ll do this year, this one is by far the most important. If you are not experiencing the Joy and Peace Jesus promised there is a reason why.
17 Min 22 Sec

    WHY THE CHRISTIAN LIFE DOESN’T WORK (for YOU

    Of all the podcasts I’ll do this year, this one is by far the most important.  

    If you are not experiencing the Joy and Peace Jesus promised there is a reason why. I don’t care if you have been a Christian 50 years… If the Christian life is not really working for you, I can tell you what the problem is. 

    Do you want to know what is wrong with our culture? It’s not the gays, the trans, the aborters, the socialists, the secularists, the progressives. No, the problem is the Church.

    Unlike the federal government, you can’t give away what you don’t own. If the Christian life isn’t working for you, then you can only give away a Christian life that doesn’t work. Who wants something that doesn’t work? That has a RIPPLE EFFECT throughout culture. 

    Do you know how many Christians are frustrated and discouraged?  

    Do you know how many pastors are thinking of leaving the ministry today? 

    Based on our surveys over the years, the Christian life is only working for about 5% of the people sitting in the pews every Sunday.  5%.    

    It all goes back to how we view God. How YOU view God. Most Christians have a broken or shallow view of God. Their God is way too small. The good news is, it doesn’t have to stay that way.  

    Story: Seminar on Why the Christian Life doesn’t work.

    At a weeklong event for about 5,000 Christian missionaries. 

    Optional Seminar:

    • Seating for 100
    • 400 tried to get in.
    • 400 MISSIONARIES tried to get in. 

    The rest of that week I had folks coming up to me asking if we could talk.

    Over the years I’ve learned that many Christian workers and even pastors feel like the Christian life doesn’t work for them. 

    The question is why?  What did they miss? 

    The answer is simple, they really don’t know who God is. They may think they do, but I promise you they missed something.

    It’s very easy to miss. I should know. I once was one of them.  

    As a friend of mine said to me 25 years ago, “Brad, your intellectual theology is phenomenal, but your application stinks.” That was a wake up call.

    Bottom line: If the Christian life isn’t working for you, You don’t really know who God is. The Christian life is a life of faith. Faith in what? GOD 

    So, it follows that your faith cannot be bigger than your view of God. 

    Have you ever heard someone say, “You just gotta have faith!” 

    May I be blunt?  That’s about the dumbest statement I have ever heard. 

    Faith is a result of my core view of God. (What I really believe to be true about God.) Faith is a symptom. My view of God is the Cause. 

    It’s like saying, “You just gotta be stronger!” No, you need to spend more time in the gym. Physical strength is a by-product of muscle growth. You don’t just wake up one day with a six-pack. You don’t just look in the mirror today and see Thor staring back at you.  

    Faith is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. 

    If you have a:
    Broken view of God—your faith won’t work. 
    Small view of God—small faith. 
    Big view of God—big faith.

    A Faith that WORKS!

    Let me give you THREE everyday EXAMPLES of people who don’t have a WORKING FAITH because they have a broken view of God:

    FirstIf someone says, “God could never forgive me for ______,” they don’t know who God is. If you really believe that God cannot or will not forgive you then either you believe he doesn’t have the power to forgive you, or he really doesn’t love you enough to forgive you. 

    But God has unlimited power and unlimited love. Your real problem is that you have a broken view of God. Until you fix that, you will never have a FAITH that WORKS.

    Second, if someone says, “God would never send a good person to hell,” they don’t’ know who God is. Only God is truly goodIn fact, he’s the definition of good. We sometimes call that God’s holinessalthough His holiness is so much more. 

    If you believe God would never send a good person to hell, I have a few questions for you:

    Does a truly “good person” ever do selfish things? 
    Does a truly “good person” ever have hateful or mean thoughts? 
    Does a truly “good person” ever speak poorly of someone behind their back? 
    Does a truly “good person” ever gossip? 

    Think of the person you regard as the best person you know. I’m going to name this person “Pat.”

    Now compare Pat’s goodness to God’s goodness. Is there a difference? 

    On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank God’s goodness. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank Pat’s goodness? Did you rank Pat and God the same? 

    That’s the point of Romans 3:23. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all fall short of God’s standardWe all fall short of His Goodness. We fall short of the very definition of what is GOOD.

    But you say, “Brad, they’re still BASICALLY a good person.”

    Are they?

    I want you to imagine a glass of crystal-clear spring water.  If you were thirsty, do you think you’d drink it?

    Now I want you to imagine that same glass of crystal-clear spring water. Only this time I am going to drop a really small piece of dog poop in it.  

    Do you still want to drink it?  I don’t.

    When you say a person is basically good, you are implying they are not perfectly good. They have a little bit of dog poop inside of them. 

    Does God have any dog poop tainting His Goodness?

    Your problem is, you don’t really understand who God is. God is the definition of Good. God is the standard.  Anything short of that has dog poop in it. 

    If you believe “God would never send a good person to Hell,” you don’t understand that only God is truly Good. You don’t understand who God really is, and therefore the Christian life will never WORK for you. 

    Third, if someone says, “God just wants me to be happy,” they don’t know who God is. 

    God wants so much more for you. 

    Think of it this way: God is your coach, not your therapist.  A great coach makes you do what you don’t want to do in order that you may become what you want to become. And that requires some pain

    You see, God loves you so much he will take you as you are.

         Self-centered 
         Angry 
         Broken 
         Judgmental 
         Hypocritical (most of us are). 

    But he loves you too much to let you stay there

    Do you know what God desires for you? He wants to transform you from the inside out. He wants to make you more like him. He wants to make you holy as he is holy. He wants to make you perfect—in every way. 

    And that will require some PAIN along the way.  

    If you’ve settled for the half-truth,  “God just wants me to be happy,” you have a very shallow view of God. You are going to wake up one day and realize, "This really isn’t working for me.”

    Your faith cannot be any bigger than your view of God. Your faith is the direct result of how you see of God. If you want more faith, you need to deepen your view of God. 

    How do you do that? 

    Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

    In other words, faith is the result of 

       reading God’s Word, 
       hearing God’s Word, 
       meditating on God’s Word, 
       and memorizing God’s Word. 

    Why is that? 

    Well, what is the PRIMARY purpose of the Bible? Is it to teach you how to live a good life? A lot of people believe that. 

    IT’S NOT!

    The PRIMARY point of the Bible is to teach us who God is. 

    From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is all about God revealing Himself to us. 

                   His holiness.
                   His love.
                   His power.
                   His mercy.
                   His justice. 
                   His goodness.

    If that is the primary point of the Bible, what is the most single important question we can ask any time we open God’s Word? 

    What should I do?     OR       What does this teach me about God? 

    Do you want to have more faith? Read your Bible every day, asking, “What does this teach me about God?” 

    Either your experiences will determine how you see God, Or your view of God will determine how you view your experiences. The more time we spend in God’s Word, the more our view of God will shape how we see our experiences, resulting in greater faith.

    But the less time we spend in God’s Word, the more our experiences will determine how we see Godresulting in less faith

    It’s simple Cause & Effect

    We can never be good enough to please God. No matter how hard we try we all fall short.  

    Romans 3:23 

    If your PRIMARY focus is on trying to PLEASE God, rather than KNOWING God, the Christian life will never work for you. What you will experience is a roller coaster of highs and LOWS.

    What pleases God most?   FAITH    TRUST.

    The more faith we have, the more we trust Him. That pleases God. The less faith we have, the less we trust Him. 

    Faith is the key to making the Christian life work. Deepening our view of God is the key to increasing our faith. 

    REPEAT

    Do you want the Christiann life to work for YOU? Grow your FAITH… by reading, hearing and memorizing God’s Word,

    How does a plant grow? By sinking its roots deep into fertile soil. The deeper its roots delve, the more it grows. 

    If you want to have more faith, sink your roots deep into God’s Word.  And always ask the question,  “What does this teach me about God?” 

    Remember: Faith is a symptom, not a causeFaith is a symptom of our core view of God. If you want to have greater faith, deepen your view of God.

    For the past 50 years I’ve tried to read my Bible every day. I’ve probably missed 10 days in all those years. Maybe less. 

    For the first 25 years God drilled into the core of my soul is that He is FAITHFUL.

    The last 15 years God has been teaching me that He really is SOVEREIGN. 

    May I ask you a three questions?

    1. If you read your Bible every day for the next year,  do you think you might learn something NEW about God? 
    2. What would you like to know about God? The answer is in the Bible.
    3. Would you like to have more faith? Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

    Our informal slogan at Bright Media is: “You can do it, we can help.” We want to help, but we can’t do it for you.

    My dad wrote a book unpacking the nature and character of God in very practical ways: God, Who Are You Anyway?

    It discusses God’s love, justice, power, mercy and many other attributes.

    It answers two questions

    1.  What is it?
    2.  What difference does it make in my life?  (Does it WORK?)

    Go to BrightMedia.org to order YOUR copy. That’s BrightMedia.org.

    I suggest you get a friend to read it with so that you can talk about it. So that you can kick the tires together. It will be a much richer experience. 

    God IS the issue. Especially when it comes to having more FAITH.  A small view of God always results in small faith. A BIG view of God always results in Big Faith. A Faith that WORKS!

    I’d love to hear your thoughts, either on what you think has been:

    • your biggest personal OBSTACLE to having GREATER faith, 
    • OR what has caused your faith to grow the most over the last year.   

    This is Brad Bright. Thanks for joining me today. If you found this podcast helpful, please like, subscribe or share.

    God Bless. 

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    Season 3 Episode 3: Only 5% of Church Goers Say the Christian Life is Working for Them. WHY?

    Of all the podcasts I’ll do this year, this one is by far the most important. If you are not experiencing the Joy and Peace Jesus promised there is a reason why.
    17 Min 22 Sec

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