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Summary: What can we do to help people find the Lord today? Keys we can use.

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Iliff and Saltillo UM Churches

July 27, 2003

“Keys to Winning Your Family and Friends to the Lord”

John 8:31-32

INTRODUCTION: Have you ever wondered why people are not converting to Jesus when there is a church on almost every corner? Do you wonder why your family seems to go on year after year uninterested in the things of God?

You might say, “Yes,” but times have changed. People don’t feel their need for church. They are busy with other things. You could come up with any number of “pat” answers for today’s apathy toward the spiritual side of life, but pat answers don’t accomplish anything toward bringing people to the Lord or seeing them set free from the destructiveness of sin.

In today’s scripture Jesus talks about people being set free from the slavery of sin. He told the people, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” What’s the truth? In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I AM the way and the Truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus told these believers, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” You will be REALLY free. The Message Bible says--”You are free THROUGH and THROUGH.” The Amplified Bible says, “You are UNQUESTIONABLY free. When people’s lives are transformed by Jesus, then they are going to be REALLY free from the power of sin on their lives. But what can we do to help people get to that point?

Let’s see if we can find some keys to winning people to the Lord.

1. Living the Life: One of the biggest things we can do is to make sure that OUR life is really set free from the slavery of sin because we know Jesus and are following Him. Scripture tells us to “Let YOUR light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Today many people are not seeing Jesus for Who He REALLY IS--the Son who sets a person really free--who transforms lives--who REALLY, REALLY changes a person from the destructiveness of sin--because they are judging by what they see in His followers. Jesus was telling these Jewish believers in this chapter, “if you hold to my teachings [then] you are really my disciples...” (John 3:31). Many people call themselves Christians today but their life doesn’t measure up because they don’t live it. Many people call Jesus their Savior but not Lord. Many people just consider their Christianity a fire insurance policy. “Yes,” I’m a Christian--but there is no growth shown--no transformation from their sinful lifestyle. People judge Jesus by what they see in Christians. People say, “Well, if that is what a Christian is, then I don’t WANT to be one.”

Do we show growth in the fruit of the Spirit--Do we have any evidence of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control??? People who are unsaved want to see the GENUINENESS in Christians. Sometimes we have to hang our head in embarrassment and say, “I’m afraid I didn’t act very much like a Christian today--I blew it again.” One of the first keys to seeing our family and friends come to Jesus is for them to see that He has made a difference for us. That we are living overcoming lives--not bogged down by the same sins they are struggling with because the “Son has set us FREE indeed.” If we say we believe something we don’t want to compromise our convictions.

Say, “Lord, am I living the life that you want me to live? Am I free from the destructiveness of sin myself? Am I genuinely walking with You as I should be walking?” If not, it’s time to deal with the sin issue. He’s there to get us back on track.

2. Information: People who are not yet a Christian need information. Jesus was always going from place to place teaching people the truth. Whether on a hillside or in a boat or in an out of the way village--He was out among people teaching. He taught by example, by lessons from life illustrations, by things that people could understand. Some people need BASIC INFORMATION. How does a person go about coming to the Lord? Could you explain it? Could you lead someone in a prayer of salvation? Could you explain to them what it means? Some people just need the BASIC INFORMATION.

Other people have received MIS-INFORMATION.

STORY: A teenager came to his Dad and said,

“Dad, I got saved.”

His Dad said, “Hey, son

that ain’t one of them

snake handlin’ churhes is it?"

His son answered, “No, DAD!”

People hear things about Christians and about churches that are not true. So we have to be able to clarify and correct MIS-INFORMATION for people.

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