Summary: For weeks, stores have been preparing for Christmas. As Christians we, too, need to go through the steps which are similar to a store in preparing for the Christmas season. Part of that is marketing our product.
Intro.: I remember when the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus first came out.
1.I was serving as the chaplain of a major hospital in downtown Sioux City, IA. It was a Tuesday night and it was my night to be on-call – but because I lived 45 minutes away, I had to spend the night in the vicinity of the hospital. I chose to go to a movie for the evening.
2.I was not sure what I was going to see – but it was a movie I wanted to see.
3.By the end, I was in tears. God had reached down into my heart and touched me deeply.
4.The next morning, after my service was done for the day, I went home and told my wife. I don’t go to many movies more than once – but the next Friday, I took my family into Sioux City to see Mr. Holland’s Opus.
5.Here was something special – and I could not wait to tell my family.
6.The same should be true of my relationship to Christ. If it makes a difference, I will want to share him with as many people as possible.
T.S. We started two weeks ago imagining that we had to clean out the store. Last week we looked at what had to happen in order to begin or renew our walk with Christ by receiving Him or committing our life to him. But any store with its salt will also need to find ways of presenting the merchandise.
During the next few minutes, I want to look at four reasons that we as Christians may want to share our faith with our broken world.
I. Evangelism is based on our God.
A. I almost said that we too often speak of God’s love for us. But that would be unfair – we cannot spend too much time talking about God’s love for us.
B. But I do think that we do lose track of another fact – God does not only love us, he loves our neighbors, he loves our world.
C. I have heard some preachers rephrase John 3:16 to read, “God so loved Floyd Johnson, ...” or “God so loved Val Muhs, ...” And you know what, it is true.
D. But when we do, we miss the point. “For God so loved the world, ...”
(Ill.) Country singer George Strait sings a song entitled, “Love without End, Amen.” It tells the story of a young boy coming home from school after having a fight and expecting punishment from his dad. Fully expecting the wrath of his father, the son waited, expecting the worst. However, the father said, “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love . . . Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then . . . it’s a love without end. Amen.” The young lad grew up and passed this secret on to his children. One day he dreamed that he died and went to heaven. He was concerned, as he waited to go in, because he realized there must be some mistake for if they knew half the things he’s done they would never let him in. It was then that he heard his father’s words again, “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love . . . Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then . . . it’s a love without end. Amen.” Isn’t it comforting to know that we have a Father like this? It is no secret, concerning our Father’s love: God doesn’t just love His children every now and then; indeed, it is a “love without end, Amen.” (1)
E. As you drive home today – note your neighbors. As you go shopping, note the clerks, note the other customers. These are the people that God loves.
F. As you drive home today, pray for your neighbors. As you go shopping, pray for the clerks and the other customers. God loves them – so should we.
II. Evangelism is based on our Title
A. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be appointed to an important government office.
B. Scripture makes it clear that you have been given an office – a fairly important governmental office. Turn with me to II Corinthians 5:16-21. READ
C. You are an ambassador – not just any old ambassador, but God’s ambassador.
(Ill.) As I worked the internet this week, I stumbled on the web page for the Colombian government. The Ambassador from Columbia to the USA is Andrés Pastrana. According to the web page he has two jobs – one is to manage the Columbian Embassy in Washington DC, which is responsible for serving Colombian citizens currently in the US. But there is another official assignment – he has the job of representing the Colombian government to the US government. (2)