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Summary: God has a plan for every Christian to help win people to Jesus. Today we will look at the big picture: four keys that will lead to L.I.F.E.

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Christ’s Strategy for a Soul Winning Church

John 13 34-35 (plus multiple Scriptures)

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - March 7, 2010

*Are you saved this morning? Have you trusted in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? -- Aren’t you glad? (Just give me a smile.) God wants us to share this joy with countless more people and we can, because God has given us a plan. God has a plan for every Christian to help win people to Jesus. Today we will look at the big picture -- four keys that will lead to L.I.F.E.

1. The first key is Love.

*On the night before Jesus died on the cross for us, He gave His followers a crucial new commandment. In John 13:34-35, Jesus said:

34. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

35. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

*This commandment for us to love one another is crucial, because if we don’t really love one another, then all of our witnessing will seem empty and bogus to lost people.

*I have been in the ministry for over 26 years now, and over that time I have mostly been treated “A” triple-plus good. -- Yes, there have been some problems, but nothing compared to a lot of other preachers. I remember hearing Bill Stafford preach at FBC in Jacksonville. He told us about a church he pastored years before in Tennessee. Those people were so ungodly that one Sunday Bill had to shield his wife and children from flying gravel, because some of the people in that church were spinning their tires on that gravel parking lot, trying to throw rocks on Bill’s family.

*I remember one man in seminary. I think his name was Mike, and he was a good guy. For about a year and a half, Mike was the pastor of a church that was treating him terribly, insult after insult, criticism after criticism. Finally, the Lord moved him to a new church, and I remember Mike talking about how wonderful the people were at his new church. Mike blew me away when he said. “It was like going from hell to heaven.”

*Would anybody want to go to a church where people got treated as badly as that? Would lost people believe the witness from a church like that? Most people would run from a church like that, so Jesus said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” The first key to L.I.F.E. is “L” for love.

2. The second key is “I” for invite.

*One of the best places to see this key is in John 1:43-46. Here we are at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, and the Scripture says:

43. The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me.’’

44. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

45. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’’

46. And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’’ Philip said to him, "Come and see.’’

*Nathaniel did come! He met Jesus, and he was gloriously saved by the Lord. Invitations make a difference! Jesus Himself invites people. In Matt 11:28 He gave this invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” And in John 7:37 Jesus stood and cried out, saying: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”

*Invitations make a difference! I am standing here today because of an invitation Georgia C. gave me 30 years ago. I am going to heaven one day because of that invitation. Georgia simply invited a new co-worker to church, a lost co-worker, one who, by the grace of God was seeking the truth. She invited someone who was almost ready to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. I got saved less than two months later. Invitations make a difference. The second key to L.I.F.E. is “I” for invite.

3. The third key to L.I.F.E. is “F” for family.

*This takes us back to the birth of our church, and the tragic death of 6-year-old Donald Rogers. Way back in the 1920’s, Shannon & Elzada Rogers adopted this little boy. He grew to love the Lord at a very early age. Many times Donald invited his parents to go to FBC with him.

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