6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Like the lost sheep we must be the shepherd and bring those who have fallen away back to Christ.

“Let’s Go Get’em”

Joke: There was a life insurance salesman who claimed his company paid their claim so quickly that their office, which is on the tenth floor of a eighty story building, that one day a man fell off the roof and was handed his check as he passed their floor.

Now that is what you call an exaggeration to desperately sell insurance.

If you’ve ever bought a car you know what pressure sales is like. .

Car salesman will do anything they can to keep you from walking out the door without a sale.

People who are in sales and on commission rely solely on selling their product because that is how they support their family.

A good salesman is one that after the sale is made they want you to remember them so you will come back for your next purchase.

In other words they follow up with contacting you to check to see if you are satisfied with your purchase and just to make sure everything is going well.

In a since we as Disciples of Christ are in sales. We strive to get the lost in the church because we don’t want to see them parish.

But how much effort do we put in after the sale. After we bring someone to Christ do we just sit back and say, “My job is done?”

Backsliding or falling away is a major problem in our churches today and a lot of the problem is the follow up, the contact with those who begin to cool down.

We have all seen when people accept Christ and how wonderful they feel and it is like they are on a spiritual high.

But we know the high won’t last don’t we? It is human nature to move on.

Illustration: 911 was a perfect example. After the attacks Americans united, flags were proudly displayed, people turned to God and prayed and we were one nation again.

But as time passed the united feeling begin to dwindle and things pretty much went back to the way they were.

That is the same problem we face in the church today. We move God from the top of the ladder down a couple of rungs.

All of a sudden our job or our family is more important to us than God is. And when this begins God gets pushed farther and farther away until He rarely comes to mind.

This morning I want to look at two parables Jesus used to show just how important bringing a fallen soul back to Christ is.

Luke 15:1-7

Now Jesus uses sheep in this parable for two reasons.

First to a shepherd that is all they had. They slept in the fields with them, they took care of them, they were important.

And one was just as important as the other and Jesus knew that and He knew the people would understand.

Secondly is because of a sheep’s characteristics.

Sheep are stupid animals, and their ability to learn is very limited. You never see a sheep in the circus because they have no talent.

Sheep are defenseless. They are not fighters, they don’t have fangs, they have no way to defend themselves against predators.

And sheep have no since of direction. They have to be lead everywhere they go, so if they get lost they can’t find there way back to the herd.

Doesn’t that pretty much describe us? Without God’s word we would be stupid, we would be defenseless against Satan, and we would have no sense of direction.

In other words if someone falls away, getting back on their own would be hard to do.

Now notice in verse four where the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine, in the open country.

He leaves them together where they will be safe and where he can keep an eye on them.

When we go to those that have fallen away the rest of the flock is safe because they remain together and faithful.

Now since sheep have no since of direction and to lead one back to the flock would be difficult in verse five Jesus says the shepherd puts the sheep on his shoulders and carries it back.

Sometimes when one of God’s people have gone astray getting them back can be difficult so Jesus is telling us to do what we have to in order to get them back.

We must put the burden on our shoulders in order to show them the way. That may require a few visits, give them a call and tell them they are missed, offer to pick them up for church.

I think there is something special in going to church together. With gas prices on the rise again maybe we should start a car pool to church program.

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