We Were Designed to Know God - October 18, 1994

High school. Remember it? I do. I remember gossip: was Ken Grushin really dating Kim Anton AND Hillary Franks at the same time? I remember fights by the locker: Jim Tracy vs. Les Gates because one made a comment about the other's mother. I remember poking at zits in the mirror. I remember staring at my chest every day waiting for hair to grow. Oh, yes, I remember it. Do you?

And the worst thing you could do in high school, the very worst thing, would be to stick out. Maybe now, in college, where "different" is in, it's easy to do your own thing, but remove yourself and try to remember high school. There was walking single filed down the halls. There was gym. There was home room. And there was the status quo. And no one wanted to stick out. Yes, my friends, peer pressure.

Can I tell you about some kids who have the guts to stand up to it?

Perhaps they're nerds. They might even be twerps or dorks. They could even be freaks. But before school even starts, a group of Portsmouth High Schoolers get together weekly to pray. They sing songs. And they pray for each other's needs. If one has a problem, the group prays for it. And they stick up for what they believe. While other students conform, they transform. These high-school students can teach some of us a few things about courage.

So I think that because of their example, I'll try to be courageous too. I realize that my views may not be the status quo, but I have got to tell it like it is. Yes, I recognize that what I say may not be popular, but when the British are coming, I have to jump on my horse and tell everyone!

Can you imagine with me a race car? Sure, it has a large engine, all fine-tuned. The tires are pumped, the tank is full, the pit is ready. But there's a problem. You're in a desert. You see, no matter how great the race car, it just doesn't drive well in a desert; wasn't made to.

It's the same with us. We we're made specific, and we work best in that environment. A race car goes on a race track and a 4x4 goes in the desert. We were made for a relationship with God, designed that way. But, you see, we pretend he doesn't exist, or we don't let him into our lives. Or we go to church once a week and fool ourselves that we're "spiritual." But didn't you know God can not be fooled? He would love nothing more than to be with us, but he will not force us to love him. He wants a relationship, not a robot.

Quickly, in regards to the whole homosexuality and the Bible thing: God will NEVER send anyone to hell for being gay. There I said it. But don't miss the whole thing. God wants us all to go to heaven with him. That's what we we're made for. And because he wants us to go to heaven and we are not good enough to make it, in the greatest display of mercy ever, he sent Jesus to pay our penalty. But that's not enough. You see, it doesn't matter if you're gay or not. Either way, you've fallen short of righteousness. But read the words of God, "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe" (Romans 3:22). Believe in Christ and trust him with your salvation and you will be saved. For your own sake, know that there is a God who is so good and so just that he knows that right and wrong do exist and he is fair to expect us not to fall short. And the only way, the only way not to fall short is to trust Christ.

Walk with me down a street. It's in a bad section of town, and there are homeless people, as well as rotting trash and vandalized buildings all over. A small girl walks up to you. Her dress is black from filth and it's torn in a few places. The little girl is physically beaten over her face. She asks you if it's normal that she's being beaten? You know that her only hope of survival is to change and go to someone who can help, but you know that it may be difficult for her. But it would be a sinister, evil act to keep helpful information from her. You would be cruel to smile, pat her on the head, and tell her everything is normal. The truly loving thing would be to tell it to her like it is. And that's the only issue. Do you want to hear it like it is, or do you want to hear what's nice for now, but leads only to disaster?

God loves us so much that he sent Christ to pay our debt, and that is the truth. If we loved people, if we really loved them, we'd risk being unpopular and do the uncool thing. Maybe we'd be more like the Portsmouth High Schoolers who stand up for the truth. Maybe we'd tell them about a God who is so good, so loving, so wonderful that he died on a cross and rose again so that some people might believe, trust, and be saved. You see, there is an eternity out there. And the two choices are: eternity with God or eternity away from him. And he doesn't send you to either place. It's your choice. Jesus holds out his hands to you. Grab on and be lifted out. Too many of us turn our back on God. He's worthy of more than that. Let's turn back to the only hope we have in this world. The only difference between someone who has trusted Christ and someone who has not, is that by trusting Christ, you have ALL (every) sin you ever committed or will commit washed away, and that's the exact language the Bible uses. Without Christ, we are like race cars spinning in the desert. We make a lot of noise, we blow a lot of steam, we break down. Can you hear the sound of the soul at peace with God? I can. You can too. Just listen real hard.