Summary: Jesus exemplified His passion for seeking the lost through His experience with Zacchaeus and gave us five things we must do to reach lost people.
"Five Things We Must Do to Reach People with the Gospel" Luke 19:1-10
Intro. Howard Hendricks said, “In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.”
Bill Bright, Founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, said, "Millions of surveys which we have helped to take around the world indicate that approximately 98 percent of the Christians do not regularly introduce others to the Savior."
With so few believers actively sharing their faith, we must get back to the heart of Christ’s mission and passion so that the Church can be the voice of truth to those who are lost. The encounter of Zacchaeus and Jesus teaches us five things we must do to reach people for Christ.
I. Jesus Sought Him (vv. 1-5)– We must go after people because they are looking for hope and answers
• Jesus was looking for Zacchaeus more than Zacchaeus was looking for Jesus! Jesus is looking for lost sinners more than lost sinners are look for Jesus!(v. 10)
Ill. Paul Harvey said, "Too many Christians are no longer fishers of men but keepers of the aquarium."
II. Jesus Cared for Him (v. 5a)– We must care enough to find out more about them. Jesus called Zacchaeus by name.
If we don’t care for the lost then we are sinning against God.
James 4:17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Ill. President Bush’s surprise visit to troops in Baghdad on Thanksgiving. The Commander in Chief serving his men!
III. Jesus Fellowshipped with Him (v. vv. 5b-6)– We must be willing to go to them, into their homes, into their culture, into their circles while still being separate in our actions
• Matt 9:9-13 Notice with whom Jesus would fellowship
Ill. All in the Family, Archie is complaining, as Archie commonly did. He says to her, "That’s you all right. Edith, the Good. You’ll stoop to anything to be good. You never make nobody mad. You think it’s easy living with a saint? Even when you cheat you don’t cheat to win. You cheat to lose. Edith you ain’t human." Edith says, "That’s a terrible thing to say, Archie Bunker. I am just as human as you are." Archie retorts, "Oh, yeah? Then prove you’re just as human as me. Do something rotten." We live in an Archie Bunker world but we must operate like Edith Bunker Christians. Be in the world but of the world!
IV. Jesus Shared the Truth with Him (v. 8-9) – We must be willing to say, “Thus saith the Lord!”
• We Exist to Call People to Be Followers of Jesus Christ. The truth changed him and the truth will change everyone who comes to the truth of Christ.
Ill. Missionary mom wanted her children to know the importance of sharing their faith with lost people. One day, ten-year old Ryan was driving imaginary race cars with his friends. Several minutes later he came bounding into the house and yelled, "Mom, you’ve got to come quick. Isabelle wants to accept Jesus into her heart."
Skeptical of the child’s sudden interest in spiritual things, Susie asked, "Ryan, I thought you were playing race cars?"
"We were, Mom, but our cars wrecked. The accident was real bad so I asked Isabelle if she would go to heaven if she died. She said she didn’t know. I told her how she could know and she wants to ask Jesus into her heart."
V. Jesus Taught Him How to Live and Give (vv. 8-10)– We cannot stop and salvation for the gospel is about making disciples that know how to live for Christ obediently and to give in Christ honestly!
• We Exist to Disciple People Who Become Followers of Jesus Christ
A. Jesus taught Zacchaeus how to live honestly
B. Jesus taught Zacchaeus how to give generously
We must teach new believers how to live for Christ and to give to Christ. They are just like babies in a new world. They need those who have grown in Christ to show them the way. It is an eternal investment of your life into another.
Ill. S. Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-fil-a, “If you wish to enrich days, plant flowers; If you wish to enrich years, plant trees; If you wish to enrich Eternity, plant ideals in the lives of others.”
Conclusion: If we are going to reach people for Christ, then we must seek out lost people, care for them, fellowship with them, share the truth with them, and teach them how to live and how to give their lives for Christ. Follow the example of Jesus and you will be an effective witness for Christ!