Summary: The church today does NOT do enough to bring people out of darkness and into the light. Levi followed Jesus and invited his friends to do the same, we can to.
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LIKE A MOTH TO A CANDLE
Have you ever wondered why insects are attracted to light? I really think all living things, for the most part are attracted to light. There are of course some nocturnal animals that do not like light, and they are of course equipped to see in the darkness, but for the most part animals like light. This is especially true for humans.
The Bible is so full of metaphors that use light and darkness, showing that many who are in the darkness of evil and sin need to find their way to the light. Jesus even calls us the “light of the world.” He also tells us that this was His reason for coming to earth; John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. In His absence, we become the light of the world and it becomes our job to bring others out of the darkness, to be a guiding light in a world of darkness, to become influential. Now, not all of us, and perhaps not any of us, in this room this morning will ever be big names in evangelism such as Billy Graham, or James Dobson, but we most certainly can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors, friends and relatives.
If you have your Bible with you this morning, please turn to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 5 and read with me verses 27-32.
Luke 5:27-32 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. 29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" 31 Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Perhaps we could shine some light on others if we would realize:
I. THE LOST NEED OUR LOVE
You might take notice in verse 27-28 that Jesus sees a person who is not only an outcast, but a person that many would dislike.
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
I am sure many of you are thinking what I am thinking right now, “I sure wish it was that easy.” Don’t you wish that we could just walk up to people we see are caught in the darkness of the world and say, “look you need to follow me to church on Sunday morning and hear about the life you can have with Jesus,” and those people would DO IT.
Chances are we will be rejected many more times than we will see people accept our invitation. Surveys show that 44% of un-churched people will accept a believer’s invitation to church. The question is how many people have we asked? We don’t need to ask the people who are already Christians, but those who do not know Jesus. According to a survey done by Barna, for every 100 people asked or personally invited to church, who do NOT know Jesus, 44 will come. But let’s face it, we don’t really invite 100 people who don’t know Jesus to church in a year, ALL TOGETHER.
Survivor Eva Hart remembers the night, April 15, 1912, on which the Titanic plunged 12,000 feet to the Atlantic floor, some two hours and forty minutes after an iceberg tore a 300-foot gash in the starboard side: "I saw all the horror of its sinking, and I heard, even more dreadful, the cries of drowning people."
Although twenty life-boats and rafts were launched-too few and only partly filled-most of the passengers ended up struggling in the icy seas while those in the boats waited a safe distance away.
Lifeboat No. 14 did row back to the scene after the unsinkable ship slipped from sight at 2:20 A.m. Alone, it chased cries in the darkness, seeking and saving a precious few. Incredibly, no other boat joined it.
Some were already overloaded, but in virtually every other boat, those already saved rowed their half-filled boats aimlessly in the night, listening to the cries of the lost. Each feared a crush of unknown swimmers would cling to their craft, eventually swamping it.