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Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
1 Peter 1:13-1:25
A Nation of Bible Illiterates
George Barna wrote The State of the Church in 2002. Barna conducted a survey of self-pronounced Christians and here’s what he found about their knowledge of the Bible. These are Christians.
• 48% could not name the four Gospels.
• 52% cannot identify more than two or three of Jesus’ disciples.
• 60% of American Christians can’t name even five of the 10 Commandments.
• 61% of American Christians think the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
• 71% of American Christians think “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
George Barna said, "Americans revere the Bible, but by and large they don’t know what it says. And because they don’t know it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates."
Just as the people in this Barna poll are woefully biblical illiterate, Christians are far too ignorant of the Word of God. No wonder 21st century Christians are failing to finish their marathon race. No wonder Christians by the thousands are falling prey to the false teachers of our day. They are being feed junk food and don’t feed themselves on the Word of God. They are desperately in need of a solid diet of good food, Scripture. We need to get into "spiritual shape"!
There are some surprising statistics regarding the Ten Commandments. A Gallup poll was given several years ago, and its results revealed 85% of Americans believe the Ten Commandments are still binding today. However, only 15% could name five of them. This is not terribly surprising considering the secular slide our country has had in the past 50 or so years. But what is surprising is what Newsweek once reported about supposed religious folks. Newsweek reported that of people who go to church, only 49% of all Protestants and 44% of all Roman Catholics could name FOUR of the Ten Commandments.
It is no surprise so many people do not know how to respond to God today!
70% of American adults identify family or family members as their most significant connection. 33% gave their entire nuclear family this status while 22% conferred it up on their spouse and 17% their children. 29% of American adults say their church is their most significant group affiliation. 18% say this about people they work with, 14% friends that regularly get together, 12% a hobby club or social group and 7% people in their neighborhood. People 25 or younger listed friends as their most critical network while church ranked 5th. In contrast, adults over 25 ranked church as their key social group, followed by their work relationships. 74% of evangelicals said their church was their main social network.
(Barna Update 3/17/08)
Recently, a survey was made of 200 married adults in regards to forgiveness (1). The researchers were wondering how one’s ability to forgive others would affect their marital satisfaction and personal well-being. The results were astounding! This research suggests that there is a huge relationship between marriage satisfaction and forgiveness. In fact, it appears that as much as one third of marriage satisfaction is related to forgiveness. Not only does the ability to forgive impact the marriage relationship, it was significantly related to personal emotional distress. As forgiveness ability went up, individuals reported fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue! These results...
The Thirst for Water
Prop: (1) A bottle of water (2) an outline of the human body (3) a bottle of water to give to each child.
Hello everybody! It’s good to see you this week. Please pardon me while I set here and drink my water. Yum! This is good water! I sure wish you had some because it is sooooo good … and important too.
Did you know that you have to drink water if your want to live? If you do not drink enough water your body will go into a drought (we call it dehydration) and you will die.
Did you know you can live for weeks without food, but only days without water? Next to oxygen, water is the most important element that you can give your body.
Did you know that most of your body is made up of water? We think it is mostly skin or bone but its really water.
Look at this outline of the human body for a second. Did you know that when you were a baby in your mother’s womb that you were almost 93% water!? That would be this much of your body.
And now you are still at least 80% water. That is at least this much of your body.
You see your body is mostly water. That is why you get thirsty very easily because you body does not want to quit working and it must have water to work right.
Yep, your body lets you know when you are about to go into a drought (dehydration) by asking your for something to drink (thirst).
The same is true spiritually too. If we are ever going to be spiritually healthy we need to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus calls himself “the water of life.” Listen to what he says:
John 7:37-39 (portions): "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
People all over the world are spiritually thirsty. They are trying all sorts of things to make them happy but the only thing that will really satisfy them is a friendship with Jesus. Jesus says whenever we are friends with Him he will satisfy that thirst in the heart. I hope you will ask Jesus to be your friend and to quench your spiritual thirst.
Before you leave I want to give you something – a bottle of water. You can drink it after church whenever your parents say its okay. But when you do I want you to think about how important it is to your body and how important Jesus is to you inner self. Okay? Let’s pray.
This sermon is provided by Dr. Kenneth Pell
Potsdam (New York) Church of the Nazarene
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.
Dating Goes Golden: Internet research firm Nielsen// NetRatings says seniors are the fastest-growing group of online users. And many of them are looking for love or friendship on the Web. Some 26 million people visited online dating sites in January, and 18% of them, or 4.8 million, were over age 55. Date.com says sign-ups of members age 65 and up increased 78.5% from January ‘04 to January ‘05. Match.com, one of the biggest online dating sites, in January attracted 704,000 visitors age 55 or older, up from 606,000 a year earlier. (USA Today 4/15/05)
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRISTMAS TO AMERICANS
The Barna Research Group poll, conducted for the Lutheran Hour Ministries found that:
37% of adults in the national survey (88% of whom identified themselves as Christian) said the birth of Jesus is the most important aspect of Christmas.
More than 75% of evangelical Christians placed Jesus’ birth as of first importance on Christmas.
Only 32% of those who identified themselves as fundamentalists gave that answer.
Only 29% of Catholics placed Jesus’ birth first.
Only 24% of theological liberals said the birth of Christ made Christmas important for them.
44% of the respondents said family time is the most important part of one of the three most sacred days (along with Good Friday and Easter) on the calendar.
26% of respondents ages 18 to 34 said the birth of Jesus was the most important aspect of Christmas.
39% among respondents 65 and older said the same thing.
Only 3% said presents or parties were the most important part of Christmas. The same percentage that said the best thing about Christmas was getting a paid holiday.
"I guess it demonstrates what preachers have been wringing their hands over for some time: Christ has been evacuated from Christmas," said the Rev. William Willimon, a theologian and Duke University chaplain. "It’s good to know where we are. Christmas has been a co-opted holiday."
"Americans are more likely to correctly recall the significance of April 15 than they are to connect Christmas with the birth of ...
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)
Sermon Central Staff
ARE YOU FORGETFUL?
I was relieved recently to find out that I'm not the only one who forgets things. According to researcher Karen Bolla, everyone does at one time or another. These are the six things people most often forget:
• (6). faces 42%
• (5). what was said 49%
• (4). words 53%
• (3). telephone numbers 57%
• (2). where something is 60%
• (1). names 83%
• And if you can’t remember whether you’ve just done something, you join 38 percent of the population.
A physician to patient: "If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times--I do not treat amnesia cases!"
(From a sermon by Gordon Curley, Forgotten, 11/18/2010)