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Intro: In John chapter 2, the first miracle of Jesus is recorded. It’s the story of Jesus and His newfound disciples and their invitation to a wedding. The story goes that Jesus’ mother had been invited and so had Jesus. They ran out of wine that day. I don’t know if they had been partying more than expected or if there were more people than expected or if the “master of ceremonies” as the NLT calls him or had just miscalculated. What I want to bring out though is that after Jesus turned the water into wine and the master of ceremonies tasted the wine he made this statement. Usually the best wine is served first but the groom had “saved the best for last.” That’s where many people believe the statement and the practice of saving the best for last comes from.
. That’s what we have done with today’s sermon.
. We are back into our core values this morning and we have come to the last one.
. It is not the last one in importance just the last one in the series that I have preached using these core values.
. I have saved this one for last because I believe it is the best one.
. All the others are important but this one is the best.
. This is our directive straight from Jesus himself.
. Make disciples
. We have tried to express this in our mission statement which is:
. To encourage and develop those we meet into committed followers of Jesus.
. That starts with evangelism.
. Several years ago (1985) a celebration took place at a municipal pool in New Orleans. The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans City pool. In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards. As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.
What a tragedy. But, it’s just as tragic when people are surrounded by Christians and still die and go to hell not knowing Jesus.
. Folks we gather and celebrate our Lord in worship, which is one of our core values and is important, but all the while there are people around us who are dying and going to hell.
. So many of us are confused about evangelism
. Let me give you an example.
. The story is told of a guy who prayed this prayer every morning: "Lord, if you want me to witness to someone today, please give me a sign to show me who it is." One day he found himself on a bus when a big, burly man sat next to him. The bus was nearly empty but this guy sat next to our praying friend. The timid Christian anxiously waited for his stop so he could exit the bus. But before he could get very nervous about the man next to him, the big guy burst into tears and began to weep. He then cried out with a loud voice, "I need to be saved. I’m a lost sinner and I need the Lord. Won’t somebody tell me how to be saved?" He turned to the Christian and pleaded, "Can you show me how to be saved?" The believer immediately bowed his head and prayed, "Lord, is this a sign?"
. Are you looking for a "sign" to start witnessing?
. Folks, the sign is found in our scripture
- Evangelism: Urgency
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- Scripture on Evangelism: Urgency
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