by James Merritt

This content is part of a series.

Flying Standby (2 of 4)
Series: Lost Baggage
James Merritt
Matthew 7:1-6


1. Two young men walk into church. They both are the same age -22, same height, same weight, and same build. The first young man walks in with a crisply starched long-sleeved Polo shirt, freshly ironed slacks, clean-cut, fresh-shaven, and wearing shoes in the latest style. The second male walks in wearing a t-shirt, blue-jeans with more holes than pockets, flip-flops, tattoos on both arms, a nose-ring and orange hair. Immediately, if we are honest, most of us would look at the first male and think, ''He needs to meet my daughter or my sister.'' We look at the second male and think, ''He needs to meet Jesus.'' Here is what I didn't tell you about these two men. The first man is an atheist, has a live-in girlfriend, and he is addicted to pornography. The second young man is passionately committed to Jesus Christ, lives a pure life-style and wants to be a missionary.

2. What I just described for you is what young people between the ages of 19 and 25 say are one of the top three reasons why they do not go to church.

3. David Kinnamon wrote a book called ''Un-christian.'' If you want to know why the church is failing to reach the next generation, because when they were asked to give their perception of Christianity the top three things they listed were: anti-homosexual, judgmental, and hypocritical.

3. There is a reason I used that example, because almost 60% of Americans between the ages of 18-25 have significantly altered their appearance at some point in their life using tattoos, dying their hair an untraditional color or piercing their body in a place other than an earlobe.

4. We are in a series of messages we are calling ''Lost Baggage.'' Everybody carries some baggage with them. None of us grew up in a totally perfect environment. Whether it was because of an inattentive father, an overbearing mother, or being somewhat lacking either in athletic skill or ...

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