Summary: I want the Church to grow but do I want people my friends don’t want?
I recieved this idea from my mentor Jerrie Barber.
I Want the Church to Grow-But Do I Want Any More People? , #4
Norman Cates tells the story of a guy who prayed every morning: "Lord, if you want me to tell someone about you today, please give me a sign to show me who it is."
One day he found himself alone on a bus. At the next stop a big, burly man got on the bus and sat right next to our praying friend. The timid Christian anxiously waited for his stop so he could exit the bus. But before he could get very nervous about the big guy next to him, the big guy burst into tears and began to weep.
The big guy’s crying got louder and louder, and then at the height of his tears he shouted out, “I feel so empty inside, I need something to give me peace, I need to be saved, and I need someone to show me how to get to the Lord. Won’t somebody tell me how to be saved?"
He then turns to the Christian and pleaded with him, "Please can you tell me about Jesus, can you show me how to be saved?"
With that the Christian immediately bowed his head and prayed, "Lord, is this a sign?"
Ralph Parlett in his book “The University of Hard Knocks” states that we as Christians need to quit praying for opportunities and begin praying for optometrists.
Truly the fields are white for harvest but so many of us are stuck in the ought a Gap. Remember what the Hebrew writer wrote in Hebrews 5:12
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
You see like we have discussed over the past few weeks it is that ought a gap that keeps out
people that I fear.
people of a different race.
And people who haven’t been through the same process of growth that I have. Just like our first century brethren we want the church to grow but… And that’s why we have the gap.
Tonight I believe that we all want the church to grow because we know that growth is normal.
From the very creation of the universe growth has been imprinted into the earth. As early in Scripture as Genesis chapter one we are taught this.
And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1: 11-12)
But we know that the laws of sowing and reaping are not just true in the garden but spiritually this law is true as well.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. (Galatians 6:7-9).
This church and you individually will reap what you sow. If the church is not reaping benefits, if souls are not being added to the kingdom, the law of sowing and reaping says there can only be two reasons:
1) We are sowing bad seed
2) Or we are not sowing at all.
Now according to 1 Peter 1:23 we are born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the living and abiding word of God. So if we are truly sowing the good news it is not a seed problem. That only leaves one choice.
Unfortunately there are many in the church today who refuse to sow, for the very same reasons that troubled the first century church. That’s why the Hebrew writer had to discuss the ought a gap.
You see I might not want people in this church that my friends don’t want. Now I know we are all adults here and that might sound a little High Schoolish but if we were to be totally honest with one another it’s a struggle, and the struggle is not new.
His name was Michael and he stood 6 foot 3 and weighed a good 200 pounds. The hair on the top of his head was Tennessee Orange and if he was Christ like is was because of the prophecy found in Isaiah 53:2 “There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.”