Summary: Much of this content comes from Bill Hybels "Contagious Christianity Course". This was a sermon to launch the small group study
Luke 14:15-23 – Contagious Christianity
15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
What would you be willing to do for $10,000,000? In their book, The Day America Told the Truth, James Patterson and Peter Kim reveal some shocking statistics about how far people in this country are willing to go for ten million.
· Would abandon their entire family (25%)
· Would abandon their church (25%)
· Would become prostitutes for a week or more (23%)
· Would give up their American citizenship (16%)
· Would leave their spouses (16%)
· Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free (10%)
· Would kill a stranger (7%)Would put their children up for adoption (3%)...
§ Over 106,000 churches in the USA. Over 100,000 of these did not see 1 soul saved last year. 98% of Christians have never shared their faith -- not even 1 time!
§ In this text of Scripture, it precedes Jesus telling the three great "lost" parables of Luke 15 -- the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. In these, Jesus is explaining why He hangs out with the rif raf. The religious folks are troubled that Jesus is hanging out with sinners.
o There are three common threads in those parables. First, that which lost MATTERS.
o Second, that which is lost warrants an all-out search.
o Third, there is a cosmic celebration of ONE that is lost being found.
o You never lock eyes with someone who doesn’t matter to Christ. You never brush shoulders who doesn’t matter to Christ.
o Evangelism is telling people they matter to the Father -- The love of Christ is so at work that it is contagious.
§ Fair or unfair, certain professions have a negative reputation that they can’t get rid of. What comes to your mind when I mention politician, used car salesman, lawyer, insurance salesman. What comes to your mind when you hear the word "evangelist"?
o Real Christians of Genius video clip
§ Many of you think of a slick-haired, shiny-shoed, smooth-talking reverend with a television ministry. Or maybe you think of a great soul-winner like Billy Graham. Whichever our perception is, it is dreadfully wrong. We need to understand that to reach people for Christ, we do not have to become something ODD or be someone that we are not. Nor do we have to become something great that is unreachable.
§ We can be ourselves. God knew what He was doing when He made us. He gave you the exact personality He wanted you to have and He wants you to use it to impact those around you.
A. Relational Evangelism
i. Flows out of a genuine, living relationship with Christ where His love for lost people passes through us to others
ii. Christ’s truthfulness is demonstrated by a life that has been noticeably marked by God’s love and leadership.
i. Instead of trying to be something we are not, relational evangelism reflects our own personality and design
ii. It fits who we are!
iii. This puts others at ease and gives them the assurance that what we have is real and worth looking into.
i. People are growing immune to tracts, radio & television preaching, billboards & bumper stickers.
ii. People are open to talk to a personal friend
iii. Generally, we talk to someone we know and trust when we have an important decision or need help with a problem we are going through