Summary: Sparking the lost passion in your church to evangelize ( Ilustration is segmented throughout sermon on purpose )
Series: Creating Contagious Compassion
Finding the Lost Passion for Lost People
DT: God is in the relentless pursuit of finding lost people.
THIS MESSAGE WRITIEN BY GOOD FRIEND KARL SCHAD AT GATEWAY CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN ST.LOUIS GCCKARL@AOL.COM
It was Dec 7 1988. Armenia. They called it the earthquake of 1989
This quake was off the rector scales. Altogether 30,000 people died in 4 minutes. Established businesses lay demolished, Dream homes into splinters of wood. Green parks blanketed in white rubble.
The father of 10 year old Armond could not drive to his son’s school. Streets were closed.
Armand’s father fondly gets to the school, breaks through the crowd. Climbs upon a rock pile of rubble---
(VIEWER: THIS IS A SEGMENTED ILLUSTRATION DESIGNED TO KEEP AUDIENCE IN SUSPENSE.. IT WAS SUPPOSE TO BE ABRUPTLY STOPPED. IT KEEPS THEM HANGING TELL YOU TELL THME MORE LATER)
Have you ever felt like you have blown an opportunity for God? Have you ever felt like God was using you to find someone who was lost? Lost in the rumble of dead-end dreams and bags of failure?
I can imagine God looking down from heaven and saying, “Hey Son, go get Gabe( GABRIEL) and Mike( Michael) and have them take a look at this.
I got Ryan down there on this airplane right next to this guy who says I don’t exist. I have been getting him ready for this moment for a long time.
He’s going to score big on this one…tell the angels to get the confetti ready and party hats out.”
and With all of heaven watching, I drop the ball and say nothing about one who found me. How about you? Have you ever missed the opportunity to win big?
-When you are on a long flight and the person next to you starts to talk about our world’s problems?
-When a friend asks you what you are doing Saturday night?
-When a co-worker shares a crisis in there life?
-When a family member talks about how you have changed since you started getting all religious?
Do you miss the opportunity?
The religious leaders of Jesus’ time did. They had people gathering all around, hungry for the heart of God and all they could see were worthless, lost, outcasts.
15:1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable…
There were people who were ripping off there own people, adulterers, drunkards, maybe even homosexuals and that were supposed to represent God were disgusted by them.
But Jesus was different. Jesus wanted to communicate that God’s was in a relentless pursuit of lost people, so He began to tell three consecutive stories about a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son.
They are stories that carry hidden truths to expose the heart of God, but also to model for us the way we should live.
The first one picks up in vs. 4 and says…
4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.