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Summary: What is our attitude toward growth? Are we ready and willing to accept what God has in store for this congregation? What about our attitude toward those on “the fringe?” Are we willing to accept them into the fold when God calls?

The Teachings of Christ A Church Full of Sinners

#2 in Series Mark 2:13 (quickview) –17

INTRODUCTION

Once there was a church that had prayed fervently for God to give them growth. It happened that one Sunday at worship a known prostitute entered the building and took a seat in the back of the building. Everyone ignored her. After hearing the sermon, she felt the call of the gospel and responded. The preacher and the congregation didn’t know what to do, much less say. After a very long and uncomfortable silence one well respected man in the congregation stood up, breaking the silence, and suggested that they all pray. He prayed, “Oh Lord, we know that we have prayed that this church would grow and that we prayed that many would hear the gospel and believe. But when we prayed we didn’t know that you would be sending such sinners as this. Don’t you know that we don’t allow people such as this in our church?”

What is our attitude toward growth? Are we ready and willing to accept what God has in store for this congregation? What about our attitude toward those on “the fringe?” Are we willing to accept them into the fold when God calls?

MAIN BODY

I. How do you view the world?

A. Illustration: Once a five year old boy was looking at his kindergarten class picture with his grandmother. He immediately began describing each classmate. “This is Robert, he hits everyone. That’s Steven, he’s always talking and never listens to the teacher. This is Mark, he chases us and is very noisy.” He then pointed to himself in the picture and said, “And this is me. I’m just sitting there minding my own business.”

Illustration taken from Bruce Rzengota @ sermoncentral.com

B. Do you view the world as an opportunity for Contamination?

1. Are we always looking for the wrong in someone? Matt. 7:3–5

2. Are we viewing everyone as the Pharisees? Mark 2:16 (quickview) 

C. Do you view the world as an opportunity for Conversion?

1. After Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman he told his disciples that the fields were ripe to harvest!” John 4:35 (quickview) 

2. Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel to ALL creation; NO EXCEPTIONS. Mark 16:15 (quickview) –16

II. How do you view “sinners?”

A. When you look at someone do you only see their problems?

1. The Pharisees looked at Matthew’s group of friends and could see no good.

2. Jesus never denied that these people didn’t have problems.

B. When you look at someone do you see past their problems and see their potential?

1. Jesus acknowledged their problems. Mark 2:17 (quickview) 

2. Jesus saw past their problems and looked at their potential.

3. Consider the makeup of the church at Corinth. 1 Cor. 6:9–11

CONCLUSION

When 16 year old Eliza married 20 year old Andrew he had never been to school. Others might have written Andrew off as a “lost cause,” but not Eliza. She persisted and taught him to read, and write. Andrew proved to be a fast learner. He learned so well in fact that years later he was elected the 17th President of the United States. You see, Eliza’s Andrew was none other than Andrew Johnson.

Illustration taken from Bruce Rzengota @ sermoncentral.com


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