About 15 years ago reality shows began to take television by storm, not only in America but around the world. Many pundits thought the fickle public would get tired of it in half a dozen years at the most and the reality shows would disappear but so far they seem to only be gaining in popularity. Survivor, one of the most popular, is a good example. It is reality TV, created in 1992, based on a game show format in which contestants are isolated in the wilderness and compete for prizes. Versions of it are produced in many countries throughout the world. The first American version of this reality drama was Survivor Borneo. This and shows like Who Wants To Be a Millionaire have drawn huge audiences and great ratings. After observing something that appears to approximate a slice of real life the viewing public is apparently hooked. They seem to find it hard to go back to the artifice of the regular drama that they were satisfied to be entertained with before. Well, in many ways, the Bible has always been a reality narrative because it is based on truth, explaining how God created the human race. In the pages of Scripture we watch our first parents fail God and bring a curse on the beautiful paradise He had given them, then we observe Him send His Son to become one of us to rescue us by making salvation available, then set the perfect example for us. (1 Peter 2:21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Then God holds up the real life examples of mere mortals who obeyed him and how they were blessed and those who defied Him and how it cost them. Passages like James 5:17 are common: “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are…” There is Hebrews 11 where God extols the faith of a list of men and women by name. This O.T. verse sums up how we can learn from the biography and history of those who have gone before us: Pro. 10:7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot. That is why I love to study history and biographies for all lives are reality illustrations, negative or positive, reinforcing the veracity of God’s truth. All of history is His story, for nothing happens in our world outside His providence. I often illustrate with the story of effective preachers and other sold out Christians. (James 5:10) Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. But I also share the tragic story of people, even many who were powerful and famous who thought they didn’t need God. (Jude 1:7) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. This morning as I relate the events of the life of a former Prime Minister of England who hardened his heart to revival, I hope it will stir you to appreciate the value of a relationship with Christ available through what He accomplished at Calvary.
CategoriesFrom the Pulpit