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Jesus is better than beer and sex

What's college known for, guys?

Getting a good education?  Maybe in 4 or 5 or 6 years... but until then it's party time.  (Univ. of Texas just got voted the best party school in America) 

Let me tell you like it is around here:  The two constants at college have nothing to do with the laws of physics.  It's beer and sex.  Posters will have the words BEER or SEX in big bold letters on them and then underneath say, "Now that I've got your attention..." and then they'll try to sell you something that you don't need. 

We're not serving up beer and sex at The Rock.  We're claiming we've got something better (better than a buzz, better than an orgasm)!  We're claiming we have found what you're looking for.  It fills that nagging emptiness that you noticed since the time you were able to think... it's knowing Jesus Christ in a real and personal way.  And I'm not kidding... I'm saying that the best experience you could ever have as a human being is not to get laid... it's to experience an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Back in the day, this ministry designed a table tent that sported the words; "The Top Ten Reasons Why Jesus is Better than Beer."  You won't find it anywhere on the internet, I tried.  But the first 7 hits I got where a reaction to this top ten and listed the Top Ten Reasons Why Beer is Better than Jesus.  People really think highly of their beer.  So I dug out my list from the file cabinet for your listening pleasure.  Here they are:

Top 10 Reasons Why Jesus is Better than Beer

10. You don't have to be 21 to have Jesus.

9. You can drive under the influence of Jesus.

8. You can give Jesus to minors.

7. You can enjoy Jesus at any temperature.

6. Jesus doesn't kill brain cells.

5. You won't worship a porcelain god.

4. Jesus won't slur your speech.

3. Jesus is always on tap and never goes flat.

2. Jesus: proud died to be your bud.

1. It doesn't get any better than this.

Pretty funny.  Actually it is pretty funny, because no one really believes it.  No one believes that Jesus is better than beer or sex.  After we ran these table tents, no one blew off their parties and started coming to our events.

Not even Christians really believe this.  Be honest with yourselves.  You're at college now; it's time to take a good hard look in the mirror.  For many of you, there's something better about a gathering of friends when alcohol is present.  If it's just got pop or punch, it's okay.  But if someone shows up with a 12 pack, a smile hits your face... you laugh a lot more... and let the good times roll.

But of course, if you were at a party and someone shows up with Jesus.  I mean, you gotta put on your spiritual face and get all serious... start praying or quoting verses or something.  It's just not as fun when Jesus' is there.

All the more with sex!  At least Jesus turned water into wine, but he told the woman caught having sex with someone who was not her husband to "Go and sin no more."  Let's just admit it- when it comes to desire we have a hard time longing for Jesus more than a passionate one night stand (even if it's only on a computer screen).

Over the summer I had a long talk with God about this... about the fascination many of us have with beer and sex, and how hard it is for Christians even to loose their lust for it.  And a thought came to me that really got my attention:

You see, what people really want is to milk the most out of life, to experience the best that life has to offer.  Right?!  There's nothing wrong with that.  I mean, you only go around once... one life to live and that's it... your run is over.  So wouldn't you want to go after all the fun and excitement that life has to offer?  Of course you would.  And in the mind of the world around us, the message is clear: The greatest experience in life is to get drunk with your friends and get all the sex that you can (but be safe about it... dieing ruins everything).  I suspect I'm not telling you anything new.

I believe the biggest hypocrisy among Christians is that we sing about wanting Jesus, but we really light up when alcohol is around or support the pornography industry when no one is looking.  Our daily actions say we don't want Jesus more than beer or sex.  This might be depressing for you, but, again, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.  Maybe just calling our bluff.

So let me tell you something you may not know, something you may have never heard before.  The greatest experience in life, the very reason that you are alive, is to know Jesus Christ personally as your Savior as your Lord and even as your Friend!

Many people have lived before us and wrote down their experiences with life.  The descendants of Korah wrote this and it was later compiled into the book of Psalms in the Bible.

Psalm 84

1     How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty.

2     I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord.

With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.

...

10     A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!  I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

11     For the Lord God is our light and protector.  He gives us grace and glory.

No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right.

12     O Lord Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.

Find this hard to believe?  Well, I've known Jesus since my freshmen year at Iowa State... that would be almost 22 years that I've had a relationship with Christ... longer than many of you have been alive.  I'll tell you this, it's true.

In early October, some of my new friends asked me if I knew if I'd go to heaven or not when I died.  I said no... didn't think you could know that.  But these guys showed me a verse in the Bible, I John 5:13.  It said, "I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life."

Let me be honest with you I knew about Jesus from church and all, but I didn't want Him more than I wanted beer and sex.  But out of respect for my new friends, I set a time to talk about God with them.

They showed me that God was love, but also holy (perfect and just). 

II Thessalonians 1:6,7 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

And that humanities attempts to be like God fell miserably short of his standards.

Romans 3:23   for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Even doing more good things than bad things wasn't going to cut it.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  I'd broken a lot more laws than one.

Our penalty was death.  First, a spiritual death resulting in an emptiness, a hunger for something real that all the beer and sex in the world could never fill because the emptiness comes from being separated from God, the greatest most fulfilling being in the universe.  And then when I die physically, I'm separated from God forever.  It sucks.

Then they showed me what fills the void inside of me.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus.  The very guy I wanted to avoid.  The one I thought would ruin all my fun.  The one I considered inferior to beer and sex was actually the one that would give me the life I wanted most.

They took me back to that I John verse about knowing that you'll go to heaven, knowing that you'll be with God forever, and showed me two verses before it. 

I John 5: 11,12 "this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

So I asked the obvious, how do I get the Son.  They said,

Romans 10:9,10 shows you. "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

So I prayed with those guys right then and there and rejected the life that I thought was going to be so good.  I turned my back on living for the weekends... loving beer and sex.  I confessed that Jesus was going to be my Lord.  I trusted in His life and death to save me from the penalty of my sins. 

And from there I walked into an experience of life I never knew existed.  I was now alive!  It was like the light came on and I could see what life was all about.  I could see how dead people really were.  I could connect with God in my spirit and in His words in the Bible.  In Jesus, I found me the good life.  Not easy, no that's not what I'm saying, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I will never go back to the inferior substitutes of beer and sex.  They just don't compare with what I now have in Jesus.

The greatest experience you could ever have in life is to believe in Jesus Christ and live for Him forever.  If you would like to pray with someone to get Jesus into your life, I'm willing to pray with you... and maybe someone else whose with you is willing to pray with you to, if it would help.  Either way, He died to be your bud.  The life and love your looking for is found in Him.