Summary: A message promoting evangelism and invitation
Elements of this sermon were taken from K. Edward Skidmore’s sermon "Evangelism 2 Tell A Friend" found here on Sermoncentral (http://sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=88617)
A CHURCHY FOCUS
-I took all my sciences in high school, and one of the things we learned were the Laws of Thermodynamics, laws that are always true and never change in the order of God’s created universe. The second law is that the universe is constantly moving from a state of order to a state of disorder. Getting worse, rusting.
-I always wondered how evolution fit into that…
-Matt Mittelburg wrote in his book “Building A Contagious Church” there are spiritual laws of thermodynamics, and his second one for Christians is much like Newton’s for the universe, just with a slight twist. If left to themselves, Christians move towards self-centeredness.
-it’s true, have you seen how cliquey church people are?
-but it goes beyond that. Christians when not challenged or reminded of who they are and what Christ asked of them will start to worry more about themselves and what can be done for them rather than the other way around.
-one pastor did a survey and asked Christians what the purpose of the Church is. 89% said to, “take care of my needs and my family.”
-hmm. Me, me, me. Not a very American mindset, is it?
-likewise, only 11% said the purpose of the church was, “to win the word to Christ.” (Purpose Driven Church, p.82)
-I don’t remember Jesus saying that the church was going to be centered around it’s followers. I even think there was something Jesus said about denying ourselves, something about taking up our own cross. [PUT VERSE ON THE SCREEN] O look, there it is.
**Mark 8:34 -> 34Then, calling the crowd to join His disciples, He said, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me. (GNT)
-we need to be telling people about Jesus. But it’s not easy for most people because they’re worried.
1. DON’T BE AFRAID
-it’s not an unfounded fear. “What will people think about me?” “What if they don’t agree?” “What if I offend someone?”
-or the big one, “What if they say ‘no’?”
-no one wants to be rejected. No one wants to pour their heart out to someone or invite a friend to something and then have them say no to their face.
-but we have to realize our job as Christians, our purpose given to us by Christ is not to make people believe. We can’t do that. I can’t make you believe something, but I can tell you all the facts so you can make an informed decision. I can tell you about what God has done in my life. I can show you the path I have taken and why.
-but just because we can’t make someone believe doesn’t excuse us from telling people about Jesus.
**II Cor. 5:18 -> 18All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and Himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with Him. (NCV)
-God gave us this work. I’ll be honest, some days I wonder why. Dogs are more obedient than people, why not have them spread the gospel?
-but God gave it to us. It’s something we are supposed to do, not something that we’re suggested to do. It’s what we do as a part of the family of God.
-in my family it wasn’t a request that I chop firewood. I was told to chop firewood or else the house was cold. This is one of those things that we need to do.
-and it’s normal to be afraid. Even the disciples were afraid. But Jesus does not allow being afraid as an excuse. This story take place the day Jesus rose from the dead.
**John 20:19-21 -> 19That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” He said. 20As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21Again He said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.” (NLT)
-they were locked in a room because they were scared of admitting they were Christians. Jesus had been crucified two days ago. But on Sunday, He appeared and didn’t give them any time to feel better. As God sent Jesus, so He was sending them. That was Jesus’ prayer on the night He was betrayed.
-they didn’t have time to get over their fear. If we really needed to take the time to get over our fear, attend a workshop, etc. would we actually do it?