Summary: What is it that brought these large numbers of people to the Lord? We find some answers in our text. 1- Fear of the Lord 2- Miracles of the Lord 3- Command of the Lord 4- Commitment of the people
INTRO.- ILL.- Jay Leno, popular host of The Tonight Show, may be one of America’s funniest comedians, but he is also a serious car enthusiast. His three garages near Burbank, CA, are packed with sports and special-interest cars, antiques and classics, and old motorcycles, etc. He hasn’t counted everything up recently, but he owns more than 50 cars and about as many vintage and modern bikes. Leno is passionate about his cars!
"Having these cars is great fun," Leno says. "And there’s a sense of history to all this stuff. We don’t really own these cars, we just keep them for the next owners."
Jay Leno has 50 cars and probably more by now. The people of this world are captivated with the thought of more and more. For example, how many pairs of shoes do you have? Have you counted lately? How many suits of clothing? It seems that we never have enough. On one hand we are never satisfied but on the other, we are quite content.
We are often not content when it comes to material things. But it seems like we are fairly content with spiritual things and the church. As long as we’re comfortable, why make waves? Why change things? Why seek to bring in more and more people? Why? Because that’s what the early did and that’s what God commands us to do! God desires for all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Why are we not seeing more and more men and women come to Jesus today? Well, we are. At least, in some places and in some countries.
ILL.- Recently I attended the Southwest Church of Christ VBS. Their speaker for the adult sessions was Randy Harris, professor of Abilene Christian University. I heard Randy at the OCC preaching convention in February. I thought he was excellent so I wrote him an email note, thanking him. He wrote back and said he was going to be in Jonesboro this summer. And this is why I attended that VBS.
Randy Harris said that 45% of people in Africa claim to be Christians! He said that in China in 1900 only one half of one percent claimed to be Christian. He said that today 7 percent of the people of China are Christians. He said, “Do you realize how many people that is?” That’s a bunch!
In some parts of the world, more and more men and women are coming to Christ. In fact, some experts say that because Christianity is growing so rapidly in Africa and China that some day they will be sending missionaries to the United States to convert us to Christ!
What’s wrong with us in America? I’ll tell you what I think is wrong. I think that we in America have so much that we don’t need God! And consequently, America is fast becoming a heathen nation. But people do need God and they can come to Christ and be saved. How? How do we get more and more men and women to believe in the Lord and surrender to Him?
PROP.- What is it that brought these large numbers of people to the Lord? We find some answers in our text.
1- Fear of the Lord
2- Miracles of the Lord
3- Command of the Lord
4- Commitment of the people
I. FEAR OF THE LORD
ILL.- A farmer made six holes in his door as exits for his six cats. A friend asked, “Why do you make six holes in the door? One hole would have been enough.” The farmer replied, “When I say scat I mean scat!” When God says something, He means it. And that should put some fear into some people. However, if people don’t know God’s Word and never hear it, how would they ever know to fear Him?
The problem is that even when people have heard the Word of God they still don’t fear Him.
ILL.- I called a church to check on some CD’s that I had ordered and the secretary said that things had been a mess around their church. Why? Break-ins! Stealing! They have had 3 break-ins in 10 days time. Thousands of dollars worth of computers and other electrical equipment have been stolen. WHY? BECAUSE THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD ANY MORE! At least, with some people.
This is why some people invade our parking lot, burn tire rubber, shoot fireworks and leave their trash behind. No fear of God.
ILL.- And here’s an even stronger example: that family in Connecticut that was brutalized and killed this last week. I am sure you heard about it. Dr William Petit, a diabetes specialist, was severely injured but his wife and two daughters were found dead at their home in Cheshire, Connecticut.