Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Dead Sea Christians

LUKE 9:24 – For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  DEAD SEA CHRISTIANS.  Two of the ugliest things a Christian may allow in their lives are first, holding God’s truth in the heart and proclaiming it without love. As Francis Schaeffer once said, “Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” Such a life of lukewarm indifference betrays our very identity as and a profession of being a Christian.  Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). And to emphasize the seriousness the Lord places upon His people being known for their “white hot first love for Him” that translates into self-denying sacrificial love for people is found in the severest indictment He gave in the letters to the churches in the Revelation.  To the church at Laodica, we read – I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:15-17).


The second ugliest thing tolerated in the Christian life is selfishness. Having life orbit around the kingdom of self.  Everything has to go through the filter of “me, my, mine.”  This is so contrary to the life of Christ and the life of Christ in His people.  We are people called to self-denial, not self-fulfillment or self-seeking of anything.  Jesus was equally serious about this when He gave the non-negotiable requirements to be His disciple and the second one is death to self – And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).  Without this type of life, the ugliness of selfishness will taint us, removing our joy in the Lord, and making us “dead” Christians (not spiritually) in our influence for the Lord on others.  We won’t give forth any words and examples of life. In an illustrative way, we will be “Dead Sea” Christians. With that statement, apply the following literal description of the Dead Sea to our spiritual life.  It won’t be hard to do so . . .


The Dead Sea is really dead because it receives all and gives nothing.  This body of water – the most remarkable in the world – is at the southern end of the Jordan Valley in Palestine.  It is 47 miles long and ten miles wide, 1292 feet below the sea level and is in one of the hottest regions on earth.  It receives 5,000,000 tons of water daily into its body from the Jordan river, but gives none out to refresh and nourish the valley below, which has become an arid desert on account of the close-fistedness of the sea.  Its water is five times as salty as the ocean, is bitter to the taste, oily to the touch and leaves a yellow stain.  No fish live in the water, no flowers bloom or fruits grow on its shores, no birds sing in its neighborhood.  Its bark-less driftwood and shores are encrusted with salt.  Its setting is a scene of desolation and gloom, looking as if the curse of God rested on all the region.


It is a striking emblem of the selfish life; of the “Dead Sea” Christian for selfishness is the base of all sin that “deadens” the Christian life.


PRAYER: “Father, help me to understand I only truly learn to live when I am daily dying to myself.”


QUOTE: “Our joy and influence for the Lord is directly related to the extent we are daily dying to our wills and desires.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim