Summary: Hold the rope!

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I remember reading a story one time titled “Lord whose fault?” I want to share with you this article, there was a young couple invited to Sunday school and to morning worship of a certain church.

When they began to visit them there here is a record of their response they got over a period of years. First was “We’re going to start as soon as the baby is old enough to come.” One year later it was “Yes we promised to come but the baby cries awful lot lately, when she gets older… Three years later “I know you think we’re awful, but Julie doesn’t want to go and we hate to make her…11 years later, I’m glad you came by. I want someone to talk to my daughter. She’s running around with a bad crowd. Perhaps the church has something that help make new friends and give her better entertainment… 2 years after that “Well Julie is has finally married a man who can take care of her and give her better things. This is her third husband; I hoped he would be a member of a church. They did go to church once with you all but he got mad at what the preacher was talking about and got up and left. And swore he never go back there again. There must be something wrong with the church or else it would have been a better influence on Julie. Maybe they need to change the preacher, I don’t know.” The article ended by asking a question “Lord, who’s at fault?”

I don’t know about you but I can give an educated guess who was at fault and it ain’t the preacher or the church. Someone forgot to hold the rope. We as Christians are called to hold the rope. We are called to lead people to Christ. I know I’ve preached this many times but that is our purpose, to lead them. To show them a better life. Just like being a parent we are to show our kids the way. We hold their ropes so they won’t make the mistakes we have made in life. Just like those parents who didn’t want to accept responsibility for their child we will have to account in heaven for what we have done here on Earth. I shared before that witnessing/leading others to Christ is like inviting others to a party all you have to do is give them an invitation, when I get to heaven I don’t want any invitations left in my pocket. AMEN!

In Mark chapter 2 we met four incredible guys who refused to let go of the rope. Four men who made sure their sick friend got to Jesus. That should be the mission of the church. To go through anything to get people to Jesus. Go out of our way not just on your way. Our goal should to get people to Jesus.

Now here in this story Jesus was preaching in a crowded sanctuary. People had filled this place up. People in the windows..balconies..doors.. you get the picture. You couldn’t get in the door. These four men were trying to get their friend to Jesus. These men were very remarkable. You see Jews saw sin connected with suffering. If a man was suffering he had sin in his life. To the Jews a sick man was a man God was angry at. Why were these men so moved to get him to Jesus? The Bible doesn’t even give them names. I believe I know what their names are and I want to share them with you.

First of all, I believe one was named Brother Compassion because this man stopped long enough to hurt with this man. Folks that is what compassion is. Compassion is a willingness to hurt with someone, to suffer with them. This man was so concerned he gave up his front row seat to help someone else. Maybe he had a need himself but yet he though of others before himself. He was willing to go get a cot, put him on it and get him to the church. He was concerned with his brother. He hurt with him, he had compassion.

The old prophet Jeremiah had that same compassion when he cried “O that my head were water and my eyes were a fountain of tears that I might weep for Israel.”

Compassion stops cause he can’t do it by himself. No matter how hard he tried he can’t move him. He falls down beside his friend sobbing with him, wanting to get him to Jesus but he just can’t do it by himself. Church we can have all the compassion in the world but compassion won’t do it by itself.

That’s when the second friend comes in. His name is Brother Faith. He is enthusiastic. He says “I know if we an get him to Jesus he will be healed.” He and Brother Compassion take up the cot and try to move him. “Hang on Brother we are going to get you to Jesus.” Do you think we need some faiths in this church? The Bible tells us without faith we cannot please God. You can’t be a Christian without faith. Faith sings in prisons, it sings when the cupboard is empty. Faith is believing God did it yesterday and will do it again today. AMEN!

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