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Summary: Sharing our faith is our reason for existing as a church. Knowing that and doing it are sometimes far strangers.

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THE WINDOW

Bible Teaching Ministry of

CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH

Thomasville, NC

a fellowship of faith, family and friendships

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August 8, 2004

1The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,

and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Acts 1:1-11 (KJV)

The average member of the church of Christ has heard 4,000 sermons, sung 20,000 songs, participated in 8,000 public prayers... and converted zero sinners to Christ. A sobering and chilling statistic. How close are you to average? [1]

Jesus said we have a job to do. A companion passage to our text is Matthew 28:18-20, the Great Commission:

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)

There isn’t much doubt about two things; Jesus wants us to do this, and we are not doing a great job of it!

According to statistics from our own convention we Baptists (who are supposed to be the most evangelistic) are making little headway; in fact we are losing the battle to just tread water. Something between 60% and 80% of the membership rolls of all Southern Baptist Churches are either stuck on a plateau or in decline.

Dr. D. James Kennedy, well-known pastor of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida, and author/founder of Evangelism Explosion once opined, “95% of all Christians have never led anyone to Christ.


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