Summary: Part five of a five-part worship series "Take the Next Step."

How to Lead a Soul to Christ Part 5

“Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain,

and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain,

and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth

and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:17-20

Intro: We are on the final sermon of a worship series called “How to Lead a Soul to Christ.”

I am teaching on five simple steps to learn and use

when talking to someone about becoming a Christian.

The first one was: “Show The Need For Salvation?”

Most people believe they are a good moral person.

But even good moral people must have a relationship with Jesus Christ to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

The second step was “Share the Gospel.”

The harvest is plenty but the labors are few pray for the Lord of the harvest to send more workers.

We have to find a balance between timid and pushy to start a spiritual conversation.

The third step was “Proclaim Forgiveness.”

Forgiveness of sin is something that only God can do…, through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit.

because of the Resurrection we can proclaim forgiveness as a free gift for those who will accept it.

The fourth one was “Guide in Prayer”

You can guide someone in prayer.

When you have the love of God and caring and compassion in your heart for the lost person.

God will open your mouth and mind and heart and speak through you.

Plus there are lots of simple prayers you can memorize even the Lord’s Prayer can be used.

It is job of every believer, every professing church member,

It is the duty of every Christian

to be able to lead a soul…,

thru the process of understanding how available and simple it is to be forgiven of sin.

Today we are going to talk about step five in “How to Lead a Soul to Christ”

Which I Call

V. Take the Next Step

Let me tell you about a great time I had recently.

It all really began several weeks ago when we were planning “Friends and Family” Sunday.

I have been going out to visit, in the community and work to build relationships with the unchurched.

As a result I ran into a young man along with his two year old daughter at McDonalds.

After a couple of weeks of contact back and forth we decided to meet again for breakfast and prayer.

As is typical…, when you genuinely want to have a spiritual conversation with anyone

it did not take but a short time before this guy was opening up to me and sharing what was on his heart.

Let me go back for just a moment to that morning when I was rushing to leave the house

I was looking for a bible to take with me.

I saw two of these “God’s Promises” for Graduates bibles from 2015.

So I grab them. And took them with me.

We agreed to read through this book and meet back in a week.

After our wonderful meeting and prayer together

On my way out of McDonalds I had another opportunity to share my faith.

As I was leaving a older lady was sitting by herself eating breakfast alone.

Her name turned out to be the same name as my mother’s name.

So, I was very excited to learn more about this person.

Again it did not take but a short time before she was opening up to me and sharing what was on her heart.

So now I am praying for my two new friends.

I am planning to meet with them again this week.

I can’t wait to see what the next steps are they we are going to take together.

Let me ask you “have you told anyone about Jesus this week?”

You see what I have discovered is most of the time when I sit down to encourage someone else.

I leave feeling more encouraged and more blessed myself.

The more I pray for other people

The more often if find my own prayers are being answered.

When I get up feeling overwhelmed, weighed down, or grieved.

By the time I have talked to one or two people about the Good News of Jesus Christ

I start feeling encouraged…, my spirit has been uplifted…, I am filled with excitement and joy.

How awesome would it be if each person here today had an exciting a week like I have had.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come back next Sunday and hear your stories of where you have shared your faith.

Your stories about people being shaped and transformed by the work you are doing.

When that happens church is no longer a place where broken people outside the church come

But where we the broken people inside the church discover our own healing and wholeness.

You see the next step after a person prays to receive Grace and Salvation

Is getting baptized and joining the church as a member.

Then comes the living that new life as a disciple,

That is being a disciple making more disciples.

What Disciple Making Does:

1. Creates Unity

2. Stronger Voice in Community

3. Pleases God

4. More Blessings…, time, energy, gifts

Much of making disciples is Initiative.

A friend of mine asked if I knew the first step in being a Good Samaritan.

You know the story of the Good Samaritan.

One day a priest was traveling from Jericho to Jerusalem.

Saw a man in ditch and passed by on the other side

Also a Levite was traveling the same road

Saw the man in the ditch wounded and robbed and passed by on the other side.

A Samaritan came by Saw a man in the ditch.

I said yes, yes, I know the story.

He said did I know what the Samaritan had to do before he took the man and gave him food and water

Bandaged his wounds

Took him to the inn keeper

Paid for his care until he came back?

I was stumped

My friend said the first step the Good Samaritan had to do was to get off is…., donkey.

There are deep rewards for being a Good Samaritan and for making Disciples

But the first step we have to do is to get up and go out and be the church in the community.

Maybe we have been sitting on our donkey too long?

Friends, if you are not making other disciples

You are not taking the “Next Step” in being a disciples yourself.

The book of James says, remember this,

Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way

will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:17-20

I cannot think of a bigger step for you and I to take.

I cannot think of a more important step for you I to do.

The great discipler himself say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)?

And so the hearts of his disciples, in our labors to disciple others, are learning to say,

“It makes me happier for you to have my time, my energy, my attention,

my initiative than for me to keep them to myself.”

Up front on this table of remembrance we light these two candles.

I want you to stop and think about why we light them.

First we are bringing the light of Christ into the sanctuary with us.

Then at the end of the service the acolytes come in and take the light of Christ out.

But that is not to be the end.

That is just the beginning.

We are to take the light of Christ back out in the community.

The Apostles Creed was not written by the Apostles at all.

It was written about 150 years after all the original Apostles had all died.

But it was written as a call to discipleship.

If anyone believes these things in the Apostles Creed

then let them come forward

and profess Jesus as their Saviour.

Then go back out and find other like minded people and make more disciples.

The things we do in here are more than acts of worship.

They are acts of preparation to go make disciples.

This year for VBS we could have taken our Kids for a Walk with the God of the Universe.

Another theme was Camp Fire Smores with Jesus.

We could have had a tropical beach party by the sea of Galillee.

But our theme was the Kids With A Mission.

You Should Be So Proud of your kids.

They were the hands and feet of Jesus in the Community.

I think the we can learn a lot about what Jesus wants us to do from our kids and this years VBS.

Closing: Jesus loves you just the way I am. But Jesus isn’t finished with me yet.

It is that last part of Jesus still working, shaping, and transforming me that makes all the difference.

Who will we never reach?

Go out and touch someone with the Grace you have received.

How will you get up and go out of this place and do missions, so that someone else can touch grace?

Do you still feel the fire of grace?

Do you get and feel excited to go and help someone else touch grace?

In order to walk in your new identity you have to get up and go share the love.

I believe there is more here to surrender.

What I have discovered is there are a lot of people out there and in here

who have been so turned off from bad evangelism efforts

So we don’t see and appreciate the opportunities we have to guide those in our classes, small groups, or friends from work or the neighborhood in Christian discipleship.