Summary: This is an evangelism sermon about the responsibility of spreading God's word.
Luke 10: 1 – 11, 16 – 20 / Is Your Name Written in Heaven
Intro: Dear Abby once wrote in her column about a lifeguard who was being charged with the death of a teenager. The lifeguard was working at a large poll with two or three others each with a specific area to cover. He was approached by a group of teenagers excitedly telling him of someone who was lying at the bottom of the pool. His answer was, “Sorry, but that’s not my area. I’m not responsible for what happens down there.” The teen rescued by other swimmers died.
I. “It’s not my job!” How many times have you heard someone say that or said it yourself?
A. Verse 1 – 2 70 considered the # of Gentile nations in the world at that time.
B. Sending in pairs was common. It provided companionship, protection and the double witness called for in Deut 17:6.
C. Christ Jesus is counting on us to tell others about His saving grace in our lives. “Presbyterians just don’t do that well!” Witnessing!
II. There was an old farmer, ragged and barefooted, who sat on the steps of his tumble-down shack, chewing on a stem of grass. He was approached by a passing stranger searching for a drink of cool water. Attempting to be friendly, the stranger asked, “How is you cotton coming in this weather/” --- “Ain’t got none.” --- “Didn’t you plant any?” --- “Nope, afraid of weevils.” --- “Well, how is you corn?” --- “Ain’t got none. Afraid there wasn’t going to be no rain.” --- “What did you plant?” --- “Nothing, I jest played it safe!”
A. We play it safe. We aren’t willing to risk or take a chance. Afraid our work will be for nothing or we might fail. If you risk nothing; you gain nothing!
B. When it comes to telling others about Christ, we aren’t willing to risk, we aren’t willing to plant a crop. We’re afraid of what others might think, afraid of our own lack or faith or knowledge. We don’t see the task of witnessing as our responsibility. Surely it has to be someone else’s job, not mine.
C. The theologian, D. T. Niles, wrote, “Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find food.” --- Jesus is counting on us to tell others about Him and how He has changed our lives.
III. After we have experienced the love of Christ in our lives, Jesus wants us to spread the good news; but, we don’t know where to start.
A. A pastor gathered a group of people from his church to train them to witness. After some minimal training, he sent the group out into the neighborhood. When they returned to share their experiences, one young man said he had tried to tell an older gentleman about the love Jesus. The old gentleman replied, “I feel none of the love of God. I feel nothing of God caring for my burdens. I am old and must take care of myself, shop for myself, and carry my groceries home from the store, by myself.” --- One of the other participants remarked, “Perhaps if you had offered to carry his load for him, he would have believed your words because he would have experienced them firsthand in you.”
B. Christ Jesus wants us to reach out to those who are staggering with their burdens of life and show them His grace. That may mean helping them carry their burden, walking beside them in their journey of life. Are their lonely people who could use a visit? Are there sick and dying who could use a prayer and a kind word? Are there those in grief trying to go on but struggling and not able to get beyond their loss?
C. You could be the answer in their lives. To have your name written in heaven, you must be willing to risk being rejected, risk not having all the answers, risk getting involved. --- Just sitting in a pew isn’t enough!
Conclu: Of the 2,000 passengers on the Titanic, 1517 were lost. At the time the Titanic went down, another ship, the California was only 30 miles away. The Titanic’s operator frantically sent out SOS repeatedly; but the wireless set on the California was closed because there was only one operator aboard and he had gone to bed. Help was available but the California sailed on its way totally unaware of the tragedy. Are there those near you who could use your help? You have been appointed by Christ to go reach out. If not now, when? If not you, who?