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Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
Sermon Central Staff
THE HARVEST IS RIPE
The Harvest is ripe -- Here's proof:
Wycliffe: Vision 2025
Translation projects started in every language on the planet by 2025.
In "The Faith Equation," Dr. Marvin Bittinger, Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University and author of over 175 college math textbooks, claims that by 2033 every person on the planet capable of understanding the gospel will have been presented the gospel, according to modern evangelism trends.
34,000 converts each day in South America
28-37,000 Chinese converts daily
23-25,000 African converts daily
16,000 Muslims come to Christ daily - the following stories are all quoted.
"In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric, appeared on a live interview on Aljazeera satellite television to confirm that, sure enough, Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers. "In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity," Al Qataani warned. "Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity." Stunned, the interviewer interrupted the cleric. "Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?" Al Qataani repeated his assertion. "Every year," the cleric confirmed, adding, "a tragedy has happened."
Stories from Muslim countries: Iraq -- thousands of new Christians since Saddam was overthrown, many new churches started, Egypt -- some reports say 1 million Egyptians have trusted Christ over the past decade or so. The Egyptian Bible Society used to sell about 3,000 copies of the JESUS film a year in the early 1990s. But last year they sold 600,000 copies, plus 750,000 copies of the Bible on tape (in Arabic) and about a half million copies of the Arabic New Testament. The largest Christian congregation in the Middle East, meets in an enormous cave on the outskirts of Cairo. Some 10,000 believers worship there every weekend. A prayer conference the church held in May 2005 drew some 20,000 believers, Afghanistan -- only 17 Muslim converts to Christianity before 9/11/01, but now more than 10,000, Kazakstan -- only 3 known Christians in 1990, but now more than 15,000, Sudan -- more than 1 million Sudanese have converted to Christianity just since 2000, and some 5 million have become Christians since the early 1990s, despite a radical Islamic regime and an on-going genocide that has killed more than 200,000.
Seminaries are being held in caves to train pastors to shepherd the huge numbers of people coming to Christ. Why such a dramatic spiritual awakening? "People have seen real Islam, and they want Jesus instead," one Sudanese evangelical leader said, Iran -- in 1979, there were only 500 known Muslim converts to Christianity, but today Iranian pastors and evangelical leaders say there are more than 1 million Iranian believers in Jesus Christ, most of whom meet in underground house churches. One of the most dramatic developments is that many Muslims are seeing dreams and visions of Jesus and thus coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a Bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus."
Worldwide: 174,000 converts daily -- David B. Barret and Todd M. Johnson of the Global Evangelism Movement.
This is truly the most exciting time in all of history to be alive and a part of His Great Commission. The opportunity has never been more dramatic and the need has never been so huge:
All of history has built up to this point.
Global impact in your hometown.
Transportation and communication impacts.
Current end time events.
Israel, wars and other events.
The 4th qtr., bottom of the 9th, the end-game.
(From a sermon by Nate Herbst, The Great Commision -- Discussion, 11/21/2009)
In the villages of Northern India a missionary was preaching in a bazaar. As he closed, a Muslim gentleman came up and said, "You must admit we have one thing you have not, and it is better than anything you have."
The missionary smiled and said, "I should be pleased to hear what it is."
The Muslim said, "You know when we go to Mecca we at least find a coffin. But when you Christians go to Jerusalem, which is your Mecca, you find nothing but an empty grave."
But the missionary just smiled and said, "That is just the difference. Mohammed is dead; Mohammed is in the coffin. And false systems of religion and philosophy are in their coffins, but Jesus Christ, whose kingdom is to include all nations and kindreds and tribes, is not here; He is risen. And all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Him. That is our hope."
The official position of Islam is that her martyrs go directly to heaven:
The Prophet said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr). Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any sariya going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah's cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His cause." (Sahih Bukhari 1.35, also Sahih Bukhari 4.386) It is therefore not difficult to understand why some extremist Muslims (eg. the Hamas) were willing to die for their terrorist acts. Jesus said:] "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven"
Story: At a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity.
Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God took human form in Jesus. But someone quickly said, ďWell, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.Ē
Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.
Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, arm full of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, ďwhatís all this rumpus about?Ē
Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, ďWeíre debating whatís unique about Christianity.Ē
ďOh, thatís easy,Ē answered Lewis. ďItís grace.Ē
The room fell silent.
Lewis continued that Christianity uniquely claims Godís love comes free of charge, no strings attached. No other religion makes that claim.
After a moment someone commented that Lewis had a point, Buddhists, for example, follow an eight-fold path to enlightenment. Itís not a free ride.
Hindus believe in karma, that your actions continually affect the way the world will treat you; that there is nothing that comes to you not set in motion by your actions.
Someone else observed the Jewish code of the law implies God has requ...
Whatís the main idea?
On his many caravan rides along the trading route between
Syria and Arabia, a merchant named Muhammad observed people of
all kinds of faiths. He became increasingly concerned that
people were straying from ethical and moral responsibility. In
A.D. 610, when Muhammad was 40 years old, the angel Gabriel
allegedly commanded him to become a prophet, calling people
back to the truth. The foundation of Islam was laid.
Islam is the second-largest religion in the world (after
Christianity), claiming one billion followers, called Muslims.
The religion hangs on the phrase, "There is no god but Allah
and Muhammad is his prophet." Allah (Arabic for "God") is
alone to be worshiped. So itís a big mistake to think Muslims
view Muhammad the same way Christians view Jesus. Muhammad was
not a deity to be worshiped, but the last and greatest
prophet -- someone who brought a perfect message from God.
Muslims arenít concerned as much about the right beliefs as
they are about the right actions. In "submitting to the will
of God" (thatís the meaning of the word "Islam"), they stick
to the Five Pillars, a set of important requirements that
includes regular charity, praying five times a day, and making
at least one hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca (Islamís holy city).
In addition to this, most Muslims devoutly refrain from
alcohol, drugs, gambling, and certain foods such as pork. The
Qurían (or Koran), which Muslims believe is the written
recollection of the visions Muhammad received, is the most
important text, although our Old and New Testaments are also
significant in Islam.
ANY COMMON GROUND?
Christians and Muslims share a lot of similar beliefs. For
instance, Moses, Jacob, and David are influential in both
faiths. And Muslims have enormous respect for Jesus, seeing
him as the second-greatest prophet. Muslims also believe in
Jesusí virgin birth and his miracles, even saying heís the
WHAT SETS US APART?
Muslims donít believe in Jesusí death and resurrection, and
they consider the Christian claim of Jesusí divinity
blasphemous. In Islam, Muhammad is the greatest and most
authentic prophet. While they think highly of the Bible,
Muslims think the Qurían is the true Word of God. Most
significantly, the Christian concept of grace is completely
absent in Islam. Allah is relatively cold and removed, and the
principles of right and wrong, doís and doníts, form the
foundation of the faith.
Dr. James Lewis, Associate Professor of World Religions at
Wheaton College and Campus Life.
June 26, 2002
I LOVE JESUS--AND BUDDHA TOO
Iíve made my choice," wrote the basketball star. "I love Jesus Christ and I try to serve Him to the best of my ability. How about you?" No, those are not the words of David Robinson, A. C. Green or any other Christian currently playing in the NBA. That testimony is from a tract written thirty years ago by Bill Bradley, the former United States Senator who is now running for president. In a recent Breakpoint Commentary, Chuck Colson talked about how Bradley professed faith in Christ while he was a student at Princeton University. There he became very active in The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and by the time he was playing for the New York Knicks, he was a very outspoken Christian. But things have changed. In his 1996 memoirs, Bradley says he was put off by the exclusive truth claims of conservative Christianity and bothered by the uncharitable and racist attitudes displayed by some Christians. He now says he embraces all religions, from Buddhism to Islam, "so long as they seek inner peace."
SOURCE: Chuck Colson, excerpts BreakPoint. October 5, 1999.
Sermon Central Staff
THE BLOOD OF LAMBS
I just finished a very moving book called, "The Blood of Lambs" by Kamal Saleem (Howard Books, 2009). He describes his life as a terrorist and how he hated Israel and America. He also couldn't stand Christians--that is, until God brought some Christian men into his life after he had a serious car accident. He saw how the Christian God answered prayer and so he cried out in desperation: "Allah, I want to hear that you love me. If you are real, speak to me." He writes: "I poured all my hope and faith into my prayer. But there was only silence. Stillness...A deep sadness engulfed me. My whole life had been a vain masquerade...Empty and void." In despair he thought about using one of his many weapons to kill himself but then decided to call on the true God with these words: "If you are real, I want to know you!"
As often happens when Muslims come to Christ, Kamal had a vision and heard these words, "I am the Alpha and the Omega. I have known you since before the foundation of the world." Kamal answered, "My Lord, I will live and die for you!" And then he heard something that forever changed him: "Do not die for me. I died for you that you may live." He writes: "At that moment I knew I met the Christian God. I knew I had met my Creator. There was no turning back" (pages 280-281).
(From a sermon by Brian Bill, Give More, 12/13/2009)
B. D. B Moses
During the time of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Greg Livingstone was asked to give a "missions minute" at a large evangelical church on the East Coast. Since he had only one minute to speak, he decided to ask them only two questions. The first one was, "How many of you are praying for the 52 Americans hostages being held in Iran?" 4000 hands went straight up and he said, "Praise the Lord! Now, put your hands down and let me ask you another question…How many of you are praying for the 42 million Iranians being held hostage to Islam?" four hands went up. He said, "What are you guys? Americans first and Christians second? I thought this was a Bible-believing church!"
This rebuke to the church by Linvingstone served as a wake up call and helped mission-minded Christians see the need for prayer for Muslims. This mission minute was used in a dramatic way to lead to what has been called by mission experts as "the ’...
Why canít we all just coexist?
You believe what you believe, I believe what I believe. Whatever you believe is whatever you believe.
Have you seen those "Coexist" bumper stickers? I always laugh when I see a "Coexist" bumper sticker. You know, the ones where a symbol from each major religious system is used to create the word "coexist." There are several different versions, but usually they try to include Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Wiccan, and Christianity. The message is that all these religions are a little bit different, but they all carry the same message, so letís just get along. What is funny to me is that the "Coexist" bumper sticker is an oxymoron. See, with the exception of Christianity and Judaism, all the religious systems mentioned are diametrically opposed to each other.
Is there one God or are there many gods, on maybe there is no god at all, just energy? Which one? They all canít be correct or there is a self contradiction involved, either one is correct or another is correct. Are we reincarnated and live many lives as bugs, animals and humans or do we have one life, one physical birth and one physical death? It is either one or the other? Are we saved by the grace of God or are we saved by our many good works, or is there no concept of salvation? Either there is salvation or there is not salvation. The "Coexist" bumper sticker is, an adhesive oxymoron.
For Muslims the answer is simple, Mohammed recited the Koran to his followers. Mohammed died in 632 AD. Ali a disciple of Mohammed compiled the first Koran after Mohammedís death. In 650AD the Islamic ruler Uthman ordered a standard version of the Koran to be created and all other copies, he disagreed with, to be burnt. Between Mohammed, Ali and Uthman you have todayís Koran.