Summary: 7th in a series on mentoring/shepherding in the church.
Sermon for 3/4/2001
Christians love those who are unsaved
Luke 15- pg. 79-80
A. Lynn Anderson, They Smell Like Sheep- Dr. Varner was an elder at the Highland Church when I first began ministry there. Everyone in town knew Dr. Varner. This tireless man had a busy medical practice and ran his own small hospital and clinic. He often dispensed spiritual prescriptions along with his pills. Although nearing retirement age and having many other responsibilities, Dr. Varner still found time to share the good news. Within one year, Dr. Varner brought more than forty people to Christ. So it comes as no surprise, when you run your finger down the ledgers recording the history of the Highland Church, that the most fruitful evangelistic years were on Dr. Varner’s shepherding watch.
B. This church has been around for 30 years and I am sure…
A. Anderson- Today’s elders (mature Christians) must be men of the Great Commandment. They are also called to be men of the Great Commission. Good shepherds are lovers of people who don’t know God.
B. From Luke 15 we see that lost people matter to God. If they matter to God, then they matter to the people of God.
C. The insert in bulletin. Give a PSA for Friend Day.
D. Describe FRANtastic Days. During the evening service.
E. Pass out Friend Contract Sheets. Describe them.
F. May our joy in the Christian faith be like the shepherds who(Luke 2:20 NIV) The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
G. First time and main time this will be emphasized. Make mention but this is the main sermon.
H. Next several weeks we will talk about Jesus Christ. The most important thing.
Thesis: Today we are going to make some general observations from this text (Luke 15) about those who love the people who do not know God.
1. Evangelism (Loving people who do not know God) is an act of courage.
A. We must leave our comfort zone and be among people who do not think like we do.
B. We must leave our comfort zone and be in situation that do not compromise our faith but do not make us comfortable either.
C. To love non-Christians we have to deal with issues like alcohol, sexual issues, lack of respect, lack of Biblical knowledge, bad attitudes, foul language, lack of ethics, etc.
D. To love these people we must be strong in the Lord so that we do not succumb to their temptations, and so that we can love them without getting bent out of shape.
E. The shepherd had to leave the sheep. Act of courage.
F. We need to have courage to open our mouths and give a good word for the Lord. We need to have courage to live godly Christian lives among them so that it will convict them of their sins. We will be ridiculed many times for doing these things.
G. We should be ashamed at our cowardice. we are too embarrassed to speak up for Jesus or to talk about our Christian life.
H. Don’t be afraid to invite people to friend day. They may just be waiting for an invitation.
I. Where is the front line in the battle between good and evil? Is it here at the church? Sometimes, but most of the time it is outside these doors. It is easy to proclaim Christ in church on Sunday, but much more hazardous to do it at work on Monday. The front lines are out there.
J. (Rev 21:8 NIV) But the cowardly, …--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
2. Evangelism is an expression of friendship.
A. Friends share good news, friends share their lives, friends share possessions, etc. What kind of a friend would not share the gospel?
B. When we make a good friend, we want our other friends to meet this person.
C. We have a great friend in Jesus. We should want people to meet him.
D. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He loves us at all times whether we love Him or not. He died on a cross for us. He wants to give us eternal life in heaven with Him. He wants to rescue us from hell. He is more trustworthy than any earthly friend.
E. No other friend is as great as our Friend Jesus.
F. The shepherd left the 99 sheep and went for the one. He loved the lamb so much.
G. What kind of friend would we be if we said nothing about him to our other friends?
3. Evangelism is a demonstration of patience.