Illustration results for Accepting Christ
FELLOWSHIP @ THE NEIGHBOURHOOD BAR
Research that shows the more friendships a person has in a congregation, the less likely they are to become inactive or leave. I once read about a survey of 400 church drop-outs who were asked why they left their churches. Over 75% of the respondents said, “I didn’t feel anyone cared whether I was there or not.”
These are shocking results, especially as church should be one of the most caring places in the world!
The neighbourhood bar is possibly the best counterfeit there is to the fellowship Christ wants to give His church. It’s an imitation, dispensing alcohol instead of grace, escape rather than reality, but it is a Permissive, Accepting, and Inclusive fellowship. It is Unshockable. It is democratic. You can tell people secrets and they usually don’t tell others or even want to. The bar flourishes not because most people are alcoholics, but because God has put into the human heart the desire to know & be known, to love & be loved & so many seek a counterfeit at the price of a few beers.
Numbers of the Bible”
The number one is for God. We must begin with number one or we cannot have number two or any other number. Mathematically speaking we cannot get anywhere without the number one. We must begin with God.
The number two is for man. Man as an individual. God made man and Christ is “called the second man.”
Three is the number for the Trinity. God is a triune God; Father, Son and Spirit. The atmosphere, which we live in, is a trinity of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. The tabernacle was a trinity with its court, holy place, and Holiest of Holies.
The first chapter of Revelation is full of trinities of Truth.
V. 2 – The Word of God, The testimony of Jesus, All things that He saw.
V. 3 – Read, Hear and Keep.
V. 4 – Which is, Which was, and Which is to come.
V. 5 – The Faithful Witness, The First begotten of the dead, The Prince of the kings of the earth.
V.5, 6 – Loved us, Washed us, Made us kings and priests.
V. 7 – Every eye shall see him, They also which pierced him, All kindreds of the earth.
V. 9 – Tribulation, Kingdom, Patience
V. 18 – I am He that liveth, Was dead, Alive for evermore.
V. 19 – Things seen (Past), Things which are (Present), Things which shall be (Future).
Who would dare to contradict the trinity as these Ten appear in one chapter alone, chapter one of Revelation. Certainly no Spirit filled believer or student of scripture would not affirm its validity.
Four is the number of humanity as a whole. There were four men in the Ark, four men in the fiery furnace, four on the mount of Transfiguration. The four points of the compass comprise the whole of humanity in all the earth.
Five is the number for grace – grace accepted or grace rejected. There are five wise and foolish virgins.
The number six is the number for evil. A man with six toes and six fingers is called a wicked man in the Bible. Nebuchadnezzra’s image was sixty feet high and six feet in circumference and six musical instruments called the people to worship. The number for the Anti-Christ is six hundred sixty-six. This is set forth the trinity of evil, the climax of wickedness, and the culmination of iniquity. There can not be anything worse than 666.
Seven is the number for perfection. This number is frequently mentioned in scripture: seven churches, seven stars, seven heads, seven horns, seven eyes, seven Spirits of god, the seven branches of the candlestick.
In Judges, the seventh book of the Bible, there are seven departures from God; seven times the people repented and seven times Jehovah delivered his people from their enemies.
Eight is the number for that which is New. There are eight beatitudes which set forth something entirely new. Everything good in this sinful world owes its presence and existence to the Word of God. The resurrection of Christ and of many of the saints took place on the eighth day. Here indeed and in truth was something new.
Ten is the number of completeness. Jacob’s wages were changed ten times, which sets forth complete disappointment outside the will of God and his Promised Land. Eliezer, the servant, took ten camels with him when he started from home in order to obtain a bride for Isaac. God gave his people Ten Commandments. Daniel and his three friends were proved ten days and at the end of the test were ten times better than the others. Christ gave the parable of the ten pounds and ten talents. Christ healed ten lepers. The dragon of Daniel and Revelation had ten horns, which represent ten kings. The tenth or the tithe is the Lord’s.
The probability of a person accepting Christ between the ages of 5 - 13 is
32 percent. There is a four percent probability of doing so within the ages
of 14 - 18; and a six percent chance from age 19 to death.
- Mark Matlock, PlanetWisdom.com
Younger Children 800% More Likely To Receive Christ: Barna Research reports teens between ages 14 and 18 have only a 4% likelihood of accepting Christ compared to kids ages 5 through 13 who have a 32% probability. This challenges the widely held notion that the teen-age years are a prime time for evangel-ism. This should prompt churches to reconsider child-ren and youth ministry priorities and strategies. Children and ...
POLL ON SALVATION
56% say a good person can earn their way into Heaven.
44% say if a person does not consciously accept Christ as savior, they will be condemned to Hell.
44% say all people experience the same outcome after they die, regardless of their religious beliefs.
34% say there are some sins that God cannot forgive.
31% believe that Hell is a literal, physical place, 37% say it is separation from God
39% say it doesn’t matter what faith you embrace because they all teach the same lessons
53% contend that if a person is good enough, or does enough good things for other people, they will earn their way into Heaven. One-third of all born again Christians (34%) accept this notion.
— Barna Research Group, Ltd., Oxnard, CA — (10,000 Sermon Illustrations)
Fortune Magazine has cited the creation of the paperback book as the leading product of the century in communications. However, they incorrectly credit a Britt by the name of Allen Lane as its inventor in 1935. Dwight L. Moody had already been publishing Christian paperback books for at least 5 years by then. (The Foster Network)
Younger Children 800% More Likely To Receive Christ Barna Research reports teens between ages 14 and 18 have only a 4% likelihood of accepting Christ compared to kids ages 5 through 13 who have a 32% probability. This challenges the widely held notion that the teen-age years are a prime time for evangel-ism. This should prompt churches to reconsider child-ren and youth ministry priorities and strategies. Children and adolescents are most impacted evangel-istically by family members, peers and their youth groups. (PWB 11/25/99, The Gazette 11/20/99)
Born Again Beliefs: The number of people born again varies widely by denomination. Using this definition, “they have made a personal commitment to Christ that is important in their life today and say that when they die they know they will go to Heaven solely because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior,” Barna Research has discovered the following:
Born Again & Evangelical Christians by Denomination
Born Again Evangelical % of U.S. Population
All Adults 41% 8% NA
Adventist 37% 5% 1%
Assembly of God 81% 33% 2%
Baptist 67% 14% 17%
Catholic 25% 1% 22%
Church of Christ 56% 12% 2%
Episcopal 30% 1% 22%
Lutheran 48% 6% 5%
Methodist 49% 4% 6%
Mormons 34% 1% 1%
Christian non-denominational 76% 29% 5%
Pentecostal/Foursquare 82% 27% 2%
Presbyterian 54% 8% 3%
(Barna Online 6/26/01)
From Davon Huss: Research shows that 68 million of our nation’s 94 million men don’t attend any church, despite the fact that 86% of them grew up with some sort of church background. Also, if a child comes to know Christ first in a family, there is a 3.5% chance of the rest of the family turning to Christ, 17 % if the mother...
The American Psychological Association research has found that religious involvement is the best indicator of psychological self-esteem among 8th graders. H.B. London of Focus on the Family notes that is the same age as young people in churches begin to drift. Other findings in the study:
· 8th grade self-esteem seems to be lower than at any other time.
· People who rated themselves as being "very religious" are persons who are very secure in themselves.
· 8th grade students without a strong religious base are at the point where peers matter more than family.
· 8th graders guided by parents’ opinions and religious training have an edge over kids with no foundation. For self-esteem you need a point of confidence— religion is one of those pillars.
· Religious activities are often done as a family— mutually reinforcing the importance of both.
· The ages between 6 and 13 are pivotal to a child’s accepting Christ. (PWB 8/31)
Conversion Age: A new Barna study indicates that 43% of Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching age 13, and that 64% of born again Christians made that commitment before age 18.. 13% made their profession of faith while 18 to 21 years old and 23% after their 21st birthday. Catholics who become born again tend to do so before reaching high school. Among those currently associated with a Catholic church and who are born again, 66% accepted Christ before age 13; 21% did so from 13 to 21; and the remaining 13% made the decision as an adult. In contrast, Protestants make that choice at an older age: 40% did so as children, 35% between 13-21, and 25% as adults. (Barna Online 10/11/04)