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Summary: We should pray that our lost family and friends be released to believe. Part 4 of 5 of the Praying Your Family and Friends to Christ Series.

Catch & Release God’s Way

Praying Your Family & Friends To Christ Series (4 of 5)

Colossians 1.13 October 31, 2004

Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, speaker

Introduction:

1 Probably one of the most famous "curses" in modern history revolves around baseball great Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth, before he was a New York Yankee was a member of the Boston Red Sox. He was their best player. Not only was he their best hitter but he was also their best pitcher. He led to the Red Sox to becoming the world champs.

A After the 1919 season, the owner of the Red Sox Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees to help finance a Broadway musical he was involved in.

a The Red Sox have not won the World Series since that trade. In fact, the Red Sox have been the most hard luck team over the past 83 years, repeatedly finding new and inventive ways to lose the big game.

b It’s been said that they are under the "curse of the Bambino"of Babe Ruth.

c We too, are under a curse due to our sin. We will never win. We will never be right with God as long as we are under our sin.

B When you asked Jesus into your heart, you were released from the curse!

a We’re continue our series Praying Your Family & Friends To Christ Series with the message Catch & Release God’s Way.

b So far we’ve learned these three ways to pray for our lost friends & family.

H Pray that their heart would be receptive to the Gospel.

E Pray that they would see with their spiritual eyes.

A Pray that they would have God’s attitude toward sin.

R . . . I’ll be teaching you today. We should pray our lost friends & family will be released to believe. (ESS)

2 Col. 1.13 NASB "For He has delivered us fro the dominion of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son,"

A Only God have released those at Collose from the devil’s dungeon. (ETS)

a We should pray our lost friends & family will be released to believe. (ESS)

b I hope you’ll pray that God would release your lost friends/family to believe the gospel. (Objective)

B Who are you praying for to be released from the devil’s dominion of darkness? (Probing Question)

a Let’s look at the two parts that are involved when God releases a lost friend/family to believe the gospel. (Transitional Sentence)

b Pray

I The first part that is involved when God releases a lost friend/family to believe the gospel is . . .DELIVERANCE.

"For He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness, . . ." Col. 1.13a NASB

1 Paul explained God’s successful rescue operation to those at Collosse.

A He delivered us!

a "He" is Jesus. (The lamb of God, Lion of Judah, Alpha & Omega, First & Last)

b Delivered literally means rescued from danger, saved, liberated.

(IL.) The word picture is that of a slave being set free from a Roman slave market. (Emancipation!)

B From the dominion of darkness. (The devil is the prince of this dominion. cf. Eph. 5.8; 6.12; 1 Peter 2.9)

a A major heresy in Colosse (Gnosticism) believed that the fractured relationship with God, which sin had destroyed, was restored in two ways:

1 Heavenly Visions (Col 2.18)

2 Earthly Asceticism (Co. 2.20-23)

*Basically Satan was holding the Collosian captive by getting them to refuse God’s grace! Not only was he (Devil) getting them to sin: he was making them commit the unpardonable sin!

b Paul was saying it wasn’t heavenly visions or earthly asceticism, but rather it’s Jesus!! FOR HE DELIVERED US!!!!

2 The rescue operation that occurred that 2,000 years ago is still setting people captives free 2,004 years later.

A In a sense, every time a lost person puts their faith in Christ, the saving result of Christ’s death reoccurs.

a Before we were released to believe, we were in danger of spending eternity as sinful captives in a devil’s hell, the sword of God’s Judgement was hanging over our heads.

b We couldn’t (lost friends/family can’t) deliver ourselves (themselves) fro the guilt & penalty of sin, but, . . . Jesus can and did deliver us!

B Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can set our lost friends/family free.

a The devil wants them to believe there’s other saviors, ways, roads. (Lie)

b There is no other name given under haven by which men are saved.

(Not Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, . . . Jesus!!)

3 George Sweeting, in his book The No-Guilt Guide for Witnessing, tells of a man by the name of John Currier who in 1949 was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Later he was transferred and paroled to work on a farm near Nashville, Tennessee.

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