1) Recall for auto defect: In 2010, auto
manufacturers recalled a staggering 20 million cars in the
2) Recall for spiritual defect: Likewise, great many people ignore God¡¯s ¡°recall notice¡± to fix their spiritual defect. Unlike defects found in automobiles caused by their makers, the spiritual defect of human race is not the Maker¡¯s fault. When man was made, he was ¡°very good,¡± (Gen. 1:31) but man¡¯s sin ruined his good nature. God offers to us ¡°repent...that your sins may be blotted out.¡± (Acts 3:19) God offers not just a free repair of the human sinful heart but a complete replacement of a new heart. (2 Cor. 5:17) This replacement of a new heart costs us nothing but the life of God¡¯s own Son. ¡°Jesus bore our sins in his owe body on the cross that we, having died to sins, might live for righteous-ness.¡± (1 Peter 2:24)
COUNTING HUMAN DEFECTS: There is NO way to count all the spiritual defects in human life in a sermon. Here just list a few:
1) It all begins from the heart: ¡°The Lord saw how great man¡¯s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.¡± (Genesis 6:5) Many of us believe that the longer this world exists, the worse it will become because human beings are making it worse each day. But looking at the description of man and the evil in his heart as God saw it in the very early time of the world, man has always been bad, evil all the time in all the ways in his heart. In biblical language, the heart is the seat of life, the control center of a man. Since the great fall of Adam and Eve, human hearts were filled with evil thoughts. When man sold his heart to follow Satan, he is beyond repair. No wonder King Solomon advised all of us in Proverbs 4:23, ¡°Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring (source) of your life.¡± All hearts are defective.
2) Their mindset was darkened: ¡°They did not glorify him as God or show gratitude to Him. Instead their thoughts become nonsense and their senseless minds were darkened. Claim-ing to be wise, they became fools.¡± (Rom. 1:21-22) Paul was talking about the intellects of their senseless logic and darkened minds. The comments on gay marriage by Don Cathy, COO of Chick-Fil-A, sparked a firestorm in the past couple days since July 30. Many so called ¡°progressive liberals¡± came to support the gay rights including some liberal Democratic politicians. These are all the people Paul described here as senseless (dead) thoughts (logic, reasoning power, in Greek) and darkened (unable to discern or see, in Greek) minds. These people cannot and will not have the normal, sensible mind to tell good from bad and right from wrong. They sincerely believe they are doing the right thing. They are so defective that is beyond repair or correction.
3) Defective problems surfaced: ¡°Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity of their degrading of their bodies with one another.¡± (Romans 1:24)From the biblical perspectives of sin, the worst is idol worship that is the expression of disloyalty to God and next is sexual impurity in the body as the external expression of the defective heart on the inside. Just as if we have a disease on our inside, symptom of that disease will show on the outside. Looking at the defects of our current culture, sexual impurity is the root of sins. Gay marriage, teen pregnancy, unwedded mothers, children without fathers, juvenile delinquency and other social and moral problems we face today, all are from a broken floodgate of sexual impurity. The permissive society only serves to further the slippery slop of degeneration of the moral fibrils of a decent people and a nation. Some historians compared the defective condition of the American culture and that of the ancient Roman Empire and predicted not just the decline of power and influence but certain destruction in near future is not just a pessimistic outlook but an inevitable ending of America.
4) The evil effects of contagion: ¡°And He told them this parable: Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?¡± (Luke 6:39) Jesus was talking about the evil effect of the Pharisees and the scribes on the people in their defective spiritual condition. If the leader is defective, he and his followers will all be defective. If you look at the decaying moral condition in our nation, it all start from the top, those who hold positions of leadership and influence in the political arena, in business world, entertainment, sports and even in the church. When leaders strayed away from the right path, you can see their followers will follow.
GOD HAD ISSUED RECALL NOTICES:
1) Recall notice through Moses: ¡°When you have children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time. And if you act corruptly, make an idol in the form of anything and do what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, provoking Him to anger. I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today: that you will quickly perish from the land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not live long there but you will certainly be destroyed.¡± (Deut. 4:25-26) Seeing the potential danger and peril the people of Israel may face in the Promised Land, Moses issued the strongest and stern ¡°recall warning¡± for them to repent and to bring their hearts back to God. He also spelled out the con-sequence they certainly will face if they don¡¯t.
2) Recall notice through Ezekiel: ¡°I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of fresh.¡± (Ezekiel 36:26) Prophet Ezekiel heard words of the Lord that he will replace their hearts of stone with hearts of fresh so they will be teachable and willing to follow the law of the Lord. God never wants to punish his people but wants to pour his blessings on them if they are willing to surrender their cold hard hearts of stone so they will be receptive to follow the word of God, then God will bring them back to their homeland from captivity.
3) Recall notice through Jesus: ¡°Those 18 that the tower of Siloam fell on and killed, do you think they were more sinful than all the people who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you: but unless you repent, you will perish as well.¡± (Luke 13:4-5) Jesus gave the Israelis two examples in Luke 13:1-5, on the consequences of unrepentant. If they didn¡¯t heed the warning and repent, they will suffer the same terrible consequences. Our God is merciful, he doesn¡¯t want anyone perished, but all would be saved through repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
4) Recall notice through Paul: ¡°This saying is trustworthy and deserving full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I am the worst of them. But I receive mercy because of this, so that in me, the worst, Christ Jesus might demonstrate the utmost patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.¡± (1 Timothy 1:15-16) Using his own life experience of repentance and the grace of God, Paul called on his readers to see the mercy of God and the potential of salvation through their faith in Jesus Christ. If Paul, a diehard anti-Christian, could heed the call of God, repented and be saved, then all of us can as well.
PROPER RESPONSE TO RECALL NOTICE: (Acts 2:37-42)
1) A strong conviction in the heart: ¡°When the people heard this, they were pricked to their hearts.¡± (2:37) After they heard the sermon of Peter in 2:14-36, they were convicted of the sins in their hearts. ¡°Pricked¡±, kate-nugessan in Greek means to cut, to sting, to feel pain and hurt. They felt hurt and sorrowful for their rebellion against God. They were touched and moved to brokeness. They realized the need to do something about their spiritual defect. This is the first step to spiritual restoration---a feeling of sorrow, pain, the need to restore to proper condition as God has designed us to be. We need to know we have defects before we will seek solution to correct our problems.
2) An active seeking for remedy: ¡°(They) said to Peter and other apostles: Brothers, what shall we do?¡± (2:37b) This is a proper step to take after ¡°conviction¡±, action. If you realize you are sick, you need to take action to find remedy, to see a doctor. It is very important that when we feel sad, sorrowful of our sins, spiritual defects, don¡¯t brush it aside or under the rug, don¡¯t wait, take immediate actions to seek correction, remedy. Many people do know they have spiritual problems, but they terry and wait, and never take action. Their defects won¡¯t get corrected.
3) Follow the steps of the Bible: ¡°Peter replied: Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.¡± (2:38) ¡°Repent¡± means to take a u-turn from your life style and sinful acts. It is not just to feel bad about our sins, but to turn around to God and do right. ¡°Be baptized¡± is a sign of true commitment to belong to God, like a sworn-in ceremony to become a citizen of a nation or a wedding to show commitment to each other. Jesus was baptized and he commanded that those who truly believe in him should be baptized. (Matt. 28:19)
4) Continue the renewal process: ¡°Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles¡¯ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.¡± (2:41-42) Spiritual renewal is not taking a shot and it is done; but is a continual process of growing like a life tree. New believers should follow these early Christians: be baptized, join learning classes in a church to have fellowship with others and have personal time with God in prayer. Spiritual growth is a living organism. It takes constant nurturing to grow to maturity. Jesus founded the church for this purpose and all who desire to grow strong and effective should follow this biblical pattern.
1) Don¡¯t take the risks: If the manufacturer of you car send you a notice of recall, you better pay attention to it and take your car to the dealer for repair because this is about the safe of your life. If God send you a notice about the defect of your spiritual life, you better take it seriously and take your spiritual life to God for replacement of a new life. This is more serious than a car because it is about the eternity of your soul.
2) Keep it growing fresh: Spiritual life is like a car or a machine, you need to use it so it will run smoothly with better efficiency. Don'¡¯ sit a home and do nothing with the spiritual gifts God has given you, get out of your rocking chair, get engaged with other Christians in God¡¯s church and grow it, mature it, use it to bring glory to the Lord, and lead others to know him. All that you do for the Lord will store in heaven to meet you when you get there sooner or later------don¡¯t get to heaven empty-handed.