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Summary: A motivation to evangelize; We are plan A, there is no plan B.

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Evangelism Series #2

CHCC: January 22, 2006

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John 20:18-30

SCRIPTURE READING: John 20:19-22

INTRODUCTION:

Have you ever heard of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? It’s a basic Scientific Law – right up there with the Law of Gravity. One definition of it says: The entropy (disorder) of a closed system will not decrease for any sustained period of time. (That was the shortest one I found.) To put it simply: everything tends to wear out, run down, or stop working. Things move from order to disorder and from organization to chaos.

According to an author named Mark Mittelberg, there is also a 2nd Law of Spiritual-dynamics. This Law says: If left to themselves, Christians move toward self-centeredness. (Building a Contagious Church) If that is true, then we have to work against the gravitational pull of selfishness. There’s no way a Self-centered Christians will be motivated to spread the Gospel to a dying world. This sermon --- and the lesson in our Pueblo groups this week --- are meant to help us get motivated for evangelism.

You may remember that our Church is

working to move forward in 4 areas:

Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, and Outreach.

While you look at the logo overhead,

I want you to notice something about these 4 Purposes:

not one of them is SELF-centered.

• REACHING UP in Worship is directed toward God.

• REACHING IN with Fellowship is directed to our fellow Christians.

• REACHING DOWN in Discipleship is directed to those who are growing up in their Christian life.

• REACHING OUT is directed to those who do not know the Lord.

Out of these 4 Purposes, I think OUTREACH is the most susceptible to the 2nd Law of Spiritual-dynamics. Pastor Rick Warren put out a survey about the Purpose of the Church that shows why some Christians aren’t motivated for Evangelism.

• In the survey, 89% of the church members said the Church’s Purpose is to “take care of my needs and those of my family.”

• Only 11% said, “The purpose of the church is to win the world for Jesus Christ.” (The Purpose-Driven Church, Page 82)

But according to Jesus Christ, spreading the Good News is our MAIN purpose. Some people think of Evangelizing as a heavy burden. It’s just one more thing to feel guilty about. But that’s not the way we should be looking at it, because the call to evangelism is actually a HEAVENLY HONOR.

1. HEAVENLY HONOR

Look at the TEXT in John chapter 20. It was a Sunday evening. But it wasn’t just any Sunday. Jesus rose from the dead early that morning. The Disciples heard this amazing news from Mary Magdalene --- but they didn’t believe her. Far from spreading the Good News, they went into hiding. Verse 19 says they were huddled together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews…

The reason they were hiding is the same reason a lot of Christians hide behind Church doors instead of REACHING OUT. That reason is --- to put it bluntly --- FEAR. Look at how Jesus ended their fear. …Then Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" John 20:19 Jesus showed them his wounded hands and feet so they could know the truth. Then the text says that they were overjoyed because they had seen the Lord.


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