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Summary: A sermon inspiring the church and individual Christian to get out of their "religious" comfort zone and discover the heart that God has for the lost and hurting.

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MISSION POSSIBLE – Bringing Hurting and Lost People to the Lord

Text - Luke 5:17-26 NIV “One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’”

The Pharisees and teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say ‘your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Intro – One of the biggest problems with Christians is that we don’t share the good news about Jesus with others. We are too selfish with the gospel. We are too embarrassed or busy to introduce others to Jesus.

ILL - I heard a story about a man who was taking a course in first aid. He attended the classes, read the books and was learning a lot about providing medical aid to those in need. One evening, he told his class he actually had the opportunity to use his first aid training that week. He said, “I heard a terrible crash in my front yard, and when I walked out on my front porch I saw that a car had run into a large tree. I could tell the driver was hurt–it wasn’t pretty. But because of my training, I knew exactly what to do. I sat down on the front steps and put my head between my knees so I wouldn’t faint.”

That reminds me of many Christians. We know the cure but we are only applying it to ourselves. We aren’t using our knowledge to help others. Today we are going to read about four unselfish friends who were willing to bring their friend to Jesus. It’s one of my very favorite episodes in Jesus’ life.

Through this account Jesus teaches us that PEOPLE MATTER MORE TO GOD THAN ANY “LEGITIMATE” REASONS WE COME UP WITH… People matter more to God than our…

I. PLANS

II. MEETINGS or CROWDS

III. BUILDINGS or MATERIAL CONCERNS

IV. SERMONS, THEOLOGY

V. TRADITIONS

VI. PERSONAL COMFORT or FEELINGS

I. People matter more to God than OUR OWN PERSONAL PLANS

(Four guys set aside their plans. Jesus had to interrupt his plans for an unexpected ministry opportunity. When an opportunity to witness and help the needy arises, we should set aside or amend our plans for such an important opportunity. )

II. People matter more to God than MEETINGS and CROWDS

(They interrupted the meeting. People matter more to God than our institutionalized religion, our having a nice comfortable crowd of people. Another time, Jesus got up and left the crowd in the idle of a healing revival… He said, “The poor (needy) will always be with us. The Son of God has come to seek and save the lost”. So many ministries today focus on drawing a crowd, even if that crowd is just a bunch of Christians. If drawing a crowd is more important than reaching the lost, then we are in the wrong business.)

III. People matter more to God than BUILDINGS or MATERIAL CONCERNS

(They tore up the roof. The church should not be an institution but a base of operation to reach the lost. The early church didn’t have their own buildings, they met in homes, borrowed public places, used anyplace where they could reach the lost. The church today is moving out of the inner city and areas where the lost and most needy are in desperate need of the gospel. Mega churches move out into the wealthy suburbs, build massive buildings, and just stand by and watch those older, needy neighborhoods go unreached, and the churches left there, often struggle to make it financially. If we ever think the most important thing we can do is to build buildings, we have missed God.)

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