Summary: As Christians it is our duty to go to those who have fllen away from God and bring them back to the fold.
“Help, I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up!”
Do you remember the Commercial:I’ve fallen and I can’t get up? Do you remember the product being advertised?
The company was being serious in their efforts to sell their product but the acting was so bad that all people remembered was to poke fun.
Last Sunday I brought you a message from the book of Ecclesiastes and I want to turn there again this week and look at something Solomon wrote that is very important.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 "Two are better than one... If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls & has no one to help him up!"
Now most people have that special someone in their life they consider their best friend. We have many friends but normally we have one or two that are really special.
Best friends are the ones you would do anything for so I am not talking about them this morning.Even the ones we consider friends we would most likely help in times of need so let’s omit them also.
But what about those we call friends but really don’t consider our friendship very close, they are better known as acquaintances. These are the ones I want to concentrate on this morning.
These are the people Solomon is referring to, those that really have no one to help them up.The most common reason there are people like that is because they isolate themselves from others.
Solomon is saying there is strength in numbers. Just look at what he says in the next two verses.
Ecclesiastes 4:11-12 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
So it is important for us as Christians to be a friend to all because that is the key to winning souls for Christ.Paul was very successful because he was that type of person.
There are more than 100 people listed as Paul’s friends in the N.T. And one of the reasons Paul had so many friends was because he was such a good friend, himself.So how can we be like Paul?
The first thing is that we need to take a genuine interest in others. In vs. 19, Paul says, "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you."
Paul being a missionary could have easily wrote an appeal letter. He could have said, "I’m in prison here at Rome, & the conditions are really bad. I need help, so please take up a special offering & send it to me quickly."But Paul doesn’t do that. Instead, he is concerned about them. So he is sending Timothy to find out how things are going. And he wants so much for the news to be good.
ILL. Lou Gehrig was 1st baseman for the New York Yankees. He died on June 2, 1941, of A.L.S., later called "Lou Gehrig’s Disease." The doctors really didn’t know how to treat it. So he was in the hospital for a long time as they experimented with different drugs, trying to find one that would work.
Just before he died, Lou Gehrig called his friend, Bob Considine. He said, "Bob, I have great news. The boys in the lab have come up with a new serum, & they’re trying it on 10 of us. It seems to be working well on 9 out of 10." Bob Considine asked, "Is it working on you, Lou?"
Lou answered, "Well, no. But 9 out of 10, how do you like those odds?" He was really happy because 9 out of 10 were being helped.
He took a genuine interest in those nine people; that is the mark of a friend.
Secondly we need to offer sincere encouragement to others.
Maybe you know someone who has stopped attending church, or is not as active as they once were.
Maybe you have a friend that you have lost touch with. Maybe there is someone you know that has lost a loved one or went through difficult times with an accident or disease.
There could be many reasons people have isolated themselves and if you give them a call or a visit and just let them know that you genuinely care about them it could open up a whole new perspective for you both.
Verse 25 begins the story of Epaphroditus.
Epaphroditus was a member of the church in Philippi. And the church there was a strong supporter of the apostle Paul.
So when they learned that Paul was in prison, they sent Epaphroditus to be with him, to be a source of encouragement & assistance to him.