Sermons

Summary: How stubborn are we as a fellowship? Are we going to continue to stand in God’s way? Or are we going to join Him in reaching this community with His forgiveness, love and salvation? Are you ready and willing to serve Christ “outside” your comfort zone? Pe

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Sermon Brief

Date Written: May 13, 2009

Date Preached: May 17, 2008

Where Preached: OPBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Sermon Series: Are We Ready to Love – Reaching Out?

Sermon Title: How Stubborn Are We?

Sermon Text: Acts 10:1-48 (ESV) entire chapter

28 And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me."

Introduction:

I once heard this said about Christianity in America…

“American Christians no longer desire to be fishers of men, but have resigned themselves to be keepers of the aquarium…”

What a sad, sad commentary on the outlook of Christianity in our country. However, as I began to look at the numbers and the trends that have been going on for the past 20 years, I have come to see that this quote is not far from the truth…

For sure there are many, many churches who are on fire for the Lord and growing, but for every growing church there are 10 churches that are dead or dying. Did you know that in America today 90% of churches are considered to be plateaued or declining… which is actually just kind language for dead or dying…

Did you know that in 2007 Southern Baptist churches baptized less people than in any year since 1987… and the numbers continue to decline…

There are many people who say that SBC churches are declining because they show what they are against but rarely speak about what they are FOR…

There are those who will say that in the post modern/ post Christian era in America today that church has become irrelevant…

There are those who would say that Southern Baptist are too rigid in their beliefs and need to be more progressive…

But I can tell you why Southern Baptist churches have declined almost every year for the past 20-30 years… the problem is sitting in our pews… the problem is our members!

I know that statement sounds harsh, but I want you to know that until we reject the ‘keeper of the aquarium’ mentality and take up the mantle of ‘fishers of men’ once again… we are NEVER going to reach our community.

Until we take up the mentality that people are dying everyday in our world and going to hell because they do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior… we are NOT going to reach our community.

It almost seems as if we either don’t believe the lost need Jesus or that we just cannot seem to ‘find’ any lost people in our lives! Well all I can do is tell you that there are lost people out there… there are lost people who are hurting and seeking for something to hold onto!

This morning I want to share a story from Acts 10 about a lost soul who was seeking God and a believer who was willing to step out of his prejudice and tradition to reach out…

When it comes to this whole Christian ‘thing’ there are several FACTS that we need to come to grips with… and when we do, we can begin to move forward and be effective followers of Christ in our community…

The 1st fact I see is that…

The LOST are out there and many are seeking! v.1-8

1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, "Cornelius." 4 And he stared at him in terror and said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea." 7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, 8 and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

Just who was this Cornelius? Well we know he lived in Caesarea Philippi which was the center of Roman activity for Palestine. We know that he was a centurion which translates to a soldier of the Roman army entrusted to lead 100 men. He was a leader, a military man, a powerful man in the Roman Army.

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