Songs For Today 506- Tell Me the Story of Jesus 339- More About Jesus 682- Lead Me to Calvary 107- Follow Me 361- There’s a Great Day Coming 545- This World is Not My Home
Famous Stars and Jesus
Introduction This past Thursday, the King of Pop Music, Michael Jackson, suddenly passed away and also actress Farrah Fawcett, the native born Texan, after a three year bout with cancer. But Michael had many problems including: being divorced twice, pornography, many charges of molesting children, addiction to pain killing drugs, conversion to Islam, etc. Farrah was also a stumbling block to many people: men lusted her in the swimsuit photo and later on in Playboy magazine. She also was divorced and lived in a sexually immoral relationship.
Introduction But in contrast, Jesus Christ did not have any of these problems having never give in to the temptations of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. Since this is a hot topic that many people are focused on right now, we need to realize that we face some of the same dangers that these stars encounter although on a lesser scale. This morning we will study these dangers that we face, demonstrate how Jesus overcame them, and make personal application to our lives.
Danger of Popularity Michael was on his way to popularity at the age of 8 with his brothers on the Jackson Five and hit superstardom with his album “Thriller” which is the #1 album of all time. Farrah Fawcett became very popular after being on Charlie’s Angels back in the 1970’s. We all face the danger of trying to be popular with the world. If we desire to be popular, we will likely make decisions that will conform to the way the world thinks, talks, and acts that will compromise the truth. (Romans 12:2)
Danger of Popularity Michael agreed to have a girlfriend in his video “Thriller” that was a former Playboy model. Farrah was enticed to dress immodestly which is also a temptation for young women to do the same thing. How did Jesus deal with the danger of popularity? Large crowds followed Jesus after he healed every kind of disease and sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23-25; John 6:2)
When Jesus was Popular, He Challenged People to Deny Self Did Jesus say? “If any man come to me and be my disciple, he shall be very rich and sit at my right hand in the kingdom.” No! Jesus didn’t tell the people what they wanted to hear, but told them you must deny yourself and take up your cross. (Luke 14:25-27) When Jesus preached the hard truth, many of His disciples walked away. (John 6:60-66)
When Jesus was Popular, He Challenged People to Deny Self What would have happened if when Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett were at the height of their popularity, they challenged their followers to become Christians? It is very likely that they would have been mocked and ridiculed and lost their popularity. Those who want to be popular will follow the broad way that leads to destruction while few will imitate the unpopular and difficult way of eternal life. (Matthew 7:13-14)
The Danger of Prosperity Michael Jackson earned billions of dollars in his lifetime while Farrah Fawcett millions. Many people are envious of them and dream about all the fun they could have with it. Christians beware. “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Ti. 6:9-10)
The Danger of Prosperity At death, Michael Jackson owed $400 million. Listen to the inspired rich man Solomon, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.”(Pr. 23:4-5) You won’t be content with how much you have. You always want more. (Ec. 5:10-12) Farrah Fawcett declined to pose nude in the 70’s and 80’s but succumbed in the 90’s.
The Danger of Prosperity “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all. Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.” (Eccl. 9:11-12)
Jesus Became Poor that You Might Be Rich Spiritually “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9) He left the glories of heaven to be born in a manger; lived a poor life; suffered an unjust and painful death so that we might store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, not on earth.(1 Pt. 2:21-24; Mt. 6:19-21; Eph. 2:7) It is hard for the rich man to go to heaven because they have so much to give up. (Matthew 19:21-24)
The Danger of Pride When you have so many people telling you how great you are most of the time it is very difficult to keep your perspective and be humble. The Bible warns, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:18-19) Jesus didn’t have a problem with pride because He didn’t allow the praises of the people for His wonderful works to go to his head.
Jesus Humbled Himself before God When Jesus perceived that they were intending to make him king by force, he withdrew to the mountain alone. (John 6:15) He sent the crowds away and went alone to the mountain to pray. (Matthew 14:22-23) He prayed often to His Father, “not my will but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) He did not come to serve Himself but others. (Matthew 20:25-28)
Jesus Humbled Himself before God He knew His purpose on earth was to do the Father’s will and He humbly submitted Himself to die. (Philippians 2:8; Mark 10:45) How much time do you get away from everything to pray to God, meditate, and study your Bible? Do you serve others or serve yourself? When you do these things it will help keep you humble instead of being filled with pride.
Conclusion The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and Farrah Fawcett died but there is a King, Jesus Christ, who overcame and tasted death for you and me making it possible for us to have eternal life through obeying Him. (Hebrews 2:9; 5:8-9) We face dangers in the flesh from which God is faithful to help us to overcome every temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Those who want to be popular will follow the broad way that leads to destruction while you as a Christian have God’s help to follow the narrow path that leads to heaven.
Conclusion Those who want to be rich will suffer many griefs and have to give up everything they have at death while you will never regret sacrificing now so that you can have treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21) We can either follow Jesus’ example by humbling ourselves now so that we will be exalted later or exalt ourselves now and be humbled later. (Luke 18:14) We will be recompensed for our deeds done in the body whether it be good or bad before the Judge who is Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 5:10) Are you ready for that day to come?