Summary: A sermon of loving the world to Christ - Evangelism
Love for the World
On April 15, 1912, one of the great tragedies of modern history occurred. The Titanic, that only a few days prior began her maiden voyage, sank into her watery grave in the icy Atlantic. Just a few days before, a steward had uttered these immortal words to Christian Missionary, Sylvia Caldwell, “Yes, lady, God himself could not sink this ship,”
Amidst the confusion of the moment, the lack of lifeboats, the band playing ragtime in the cold night air which would later turn to “Nearer my God to Thee,” and the shuffle to survive, one man ran from person to person with a different mission. John Harper, a Scottish evangelist who was on his way to preach at Moody Church in Chicago, went person-to-person inquiring about their soul. “Are you saved,” he would ask? As the ship continued to sink John Harper was seen praying with individuals and groups of people to receive salvation.
Even after he was forced into the icy Atlantic waters, he was inquiring with as many as he came in contact with about their salvation. “Man, are you saved?” he asked a fellow Scot who was clinging to the wreckage. “No, I am not,” came the reply. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!” Harper urged. The waves swept him out of sight of the young man and then later washed him back alongside. “Are you saved now?” Harper persisted. “No, I cannot honestly say that I am.” Came the reply. Harper repeated the Scripture and then lost hold sinking below the frigid water. As that young Scot later told a meeting in Hamilton, Canada, “And there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harpers last convert.” While many were scrambling to be physically rescued, Harper was rescuing people spiritually
John Harper knew that the pattern of the mature Christian life is to be a pattern of love for the world. For God so loved, therefore we should love. While we can and should show that love in many different ways, the ultimate act of loving is in sharing Christ with them. But, most of us need to realize that we ride a sinking ship called planet earth. It collided with an iceberg called sin. It’s sinking. God only sent one lifeboat – Jesus. We are compelled to get as many people into the lifeboat as possible. We are going to look at three realities of loving the world to Christ in this message….
I. THE POWER OF LOVE DEMONSTRATED (v. 46)
a. God’s love for humanity revealed. (Thus it was written…(v. 44))
i. The death of Christ was not a failure of his ministry nor was it some stopgap crisis management method the God implemented…it was planned from the foundation of he world) *Rev. 13:8
ii. *Galatians 4:4-5
b. God’s love for humanity required. (Thus it was necessary…)
i. The curse of sin and the culpability of man
ii. The cure of the cross
II. THE PLAN OF LOVE DISSEMINATED (vv. 47-48) “my witnesses”
a. The content of the message (What)
i. Repentance (*Acts 17:30-31)
ii. Remission (* Acts 3:19)
b. The communication of the message (Where & Whom)
i. “All nations” Illus.: Coca-cola (97% Heard, 72% Seen, 51% Tasted)
ii. “Beginning at Jerusalem” Illus.: The ripple effect of a rock on water (*Acts 1:8)
III. THE PEOPLE OF LOVE DIRECTED (vv. 48-49)
a. Directed to the Person of power
b. Directed to the privilege of participation
Conclusion: “For God so loved the world, not just a few, /the wise and great, the noble and the true,/ or those of favored class or rank or hue./ God loved the world. /Do you?” We preach as dying people to dying people. Compelled by the love of Christ, we need to love the world as God loves it. Repentance and the remission of sins should be preached to all nations beginning at Jerusalem. Will you love others with the gospel or are you too busy rearranging deck chairs on a sinking ship?