Summary: I want the church to grow because it is God’s Plan but I don’t want people who have not been through the same area of Growth I have.
I recieded this idea from my mentor Jerrie Barber.
I Want the Church to Grow - But Do I Want Any More People? #3
A Christian man owned a barber shop, and one night during a Gospel Meeting he felt greatly burdened to do more for the cause of Christ. So he went out and got a copy of “Go Ye Means Go Me!” and started attending a "soul winners class" at his church. He attended the class faithfully; rehearsed all the material, took extensive notes, and memorized the assigned Bible verses. At the end of the class he received a certificate acknowledging his completion of the course.
The next morning, in the barber shop, he hung the certificate and bowed his head. "Dear Lord," he prayed, "help me to talk about you with the first man to come through that door this morning." At that moment in walked the biggest, meanest, foulest man the barber had ever seen. It seems this man had recently lost a bet and now he had to get his head shaved. Needless to say, the barber did not feel very comfortable quoting the "Roman Road" to a man with a tattoo of a dragon on his neck.
The day just got worse from there and finally at 5:00 p.m., the barber was sobbing with shame. He had not spoken about Christ to a single person. He bowed his head again. This time he prayed, "Lord, if you will allow one more opportunity, I promise I will do my part." At that, the door opened and in walked a pleasant looking gentleman. The man smiled at the barber, apologized for coming in so late and took a seat in the chair.
As the barber draped the man in his protective sheet, he began to try to remember what he was supposed to say. He began to get very befuddled. As the barber put shaving cream on the man’s face, he tried to remember all of the answers he had learned to the possible objections, and what to say when. Soon the barber realized that he simply could not remember a thing he had learned and he broke out in a cold sweat but not wanting to fail he figured that he had to take a shot. Finally, in desperation, he shook the razor at the man and screamed, "ARE YOU PREPARED TO DIE??!!!"
Over the last few weeks we have been looking at the Biblical problem of Growth. We know that the church needs to grow because it is in God’s plan for His church to do so and we have also looked at the fact the Jesus said that it would. But as we look through the scriptures we have run into a real problem.
You see sometimes I am not very evangelistic because there are some people out there that I am afraid of, just like the Barber was afraid of the big man with the tattoo on his neck. And then there are times that I am not sure that I want people here who are of a different race. I am comfortable with people who are just like me.
But as we have seen over the past two weeks when we try to decide who gets in and who doesn’t we get in a real fix. You see the same Jesus who was crucified for my sins was the same Jesus who COMMANDED SOWING WHCH PRODUCES GROWTH.
In Matthew 13:1-9 we read the parable of the sower
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear."
He then goes on to explain the Parable starting in verse 18.
"Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."