Summary: Jesus described the heart of a person who was receptive to the Gospel. Part 1 of 5 of the Praying Your Family and Friends to Christ Series.
Praying Your Friends & Family To Christ Series
Heart Under Attack (1 of 5) Luke 8.15
October 10, 2004 Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker
(The "HEART" acronym that is being used for this series is taken from
Chris Schofield, Praying Your Friends to Christ (Alpharetta, Ga.: North American Mission Board, 1997)
1 Introduction: (Alternate opening introduction at end of sermon)
A Purchase four disposable containers to put various soil types in.
a One with hard, packed soil, dry & cracked by heat.
b One with weeds growing in it.
c One with rock & gravel with some small plants sticking out of it
d One with fertile soil with some healthy plants sticking out of it.
B Jesus told a parable about a farmer who cast seed on various types of soil.
a Each soil type saw various levels of receptivity.
aa Hard Soil: Devil takes it and it never takes root.
bb Weeds: Takes root but choked out by money, worry, pleasure
cc Rock: Take off like a house of fire and then. . . @ the first sign of trouble they give up just as quick. Faith was more of a fad than a fixed way of living.
b The good soil took off and produced!
2 Today’s message starts a brand new series of lessons on Praying Your Friends and Family to Christ.
A The message is Heart Under Attack.
a In the story the seed wasn’t the problem, sower wasn’t the problem . . . the human heart was the problem. (Unwilling to submit, repent, and receive the Word and be saved.)
b Luke 8.15 NASB
15 "But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
B Jesus described the heart of a person who was receptive to the Gospel. (ETS)
a Pray for nonbelievers to have a receptive heart to the gospel. (ESS)
b I hope that today you will begin to pray for God give the unbelievers in your life receptive hearts. (Objective)
3 When will you begin to pray for the unbelievers in your life to have receptive hearts towards the Gospel? (Probing Question)
A Let’s look at two qualities that define a heart that is receptive to the gospel. (Transitional Sentence)
I The first quality that defines a heart that is receptive to the Gospel is they HEAR IT.
But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who HEARD the word in an honest and good heart . . . Luke 8.15a NASB
1 Jesus described a two-fold approach to hearing the gospel.
A The first fold was physically hearing the gospel with their ears.
a The gospel was told, wrote about and read, or some other method, but the gospel was fully exposed.
b Jesus, Peter, John, Paul, . . . told the gospel to be heard. Super Stars!
*IL. Un-named Ethiopian in Acts 8 that got it, too!
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:37 (KJV)
aa Philip said (Physically spoke) & the Ethiopian physically listened. (Got saved and went back to Northern Africa.)
bb The first great church was not in Jerusalem or Asia minor, but rather in northern Africa. (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible; Acts) Why? This un-named went back home and people HEARD!!
B The second fold was intellectually hearing the gospel with their hearts.
a honest? Honestly admit they are sinners, lost, fixed on God.
b Good Heart? Moldable, want to do good in the deepest recess of the human heart. *Heart was the center of reason, conscience, volitional center of person’s being.
2 Our unbelieving family/friends must HEAR the gospel to accept it.
A Pray that God would physically put the Gospel in front of them to hear.
a Personal witness, invite them to church, event, tract . . . anything that would fully expose the gospel to them physically.
b "Faith comes first to the hearing ear not to the cogitating mind." -A.W. Tozer
14 But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? -Romans 10:14 (MSG)
B Pray that once God puts the Gospel in front of them they are honestly listen with their heart.
a Understand that Jesus is the Way, Truth, Life, & no one comes to the Father but by Him.
b They WANT to be saved!! Live for Jesus!! Walk by Faith!!
3 When Marco Polo returned from his visit with Kublai Khan in 1296, he wrote the Pope and told him about Khan’s request. (Send 100 priests to teach Christianity & he would get baptized, all of his nobility, subjects. In the end, the Christians of these parts would exceed in number those who inhabit your own country.