Summary: Because of the love and grace of Jesus there is no person too far gone
No Lost Causes
July 27, 2003
When I was thirteen years old my sister and brother in law invited me to attend the Vacation Bible School at their church. I almost didn’t go because I had already been to one at my church but my sister talked me into going.
After the first night I loved it and wanted to go each night. I remember on the second night the lesson was from John 3:16. The teacher went around the room and reread the verse but substituted our name in place of the world to tell us exactly how much God loved us. When she read; “God so loved David that He gave His one and only Son,” it sent chills down my back. As she read the next part: that if David believes in him he would not perish but have eternal life, it changed my life forever. That night the minister gave a call for us to come to Christ and accept the gift of salvation. I went forward and entered into the Kingdom.
How did you come to know Christ?
As I look back on that week and how my life was changed. I owe my sister a big thanks for taking me to that VBS at that small Quaker church in the middle of nowhere. It was because of her that I came to know Jesus.
Who was it that helped you find the way?
This morning I want to look at a short passage that tells the story of how four friends helped one man come to Jesus. If you have your Bibles, please open them to the fifth chapter of Luke and we will be starting at verse 17.
I. The acceptance of all people (17-19)
A. There is no one that Jesus will not accept
1. Jesus genuinely loves people
a.) The compassion of Jesus revealed the depth of His love for people and it was this love that moved Him to reach out to hurting people all around Him.
b.) Jesus met the needs of those around Him in powerful ways
1.) Jesus healed those who were sick
2.) Jesus taught those who were suffering with spiritual misconceptions
3.) Jesus associated and spent His time with the outcasts of society. He walked among the dirty, the diseased, the disgusting and the down and outs.
2. Jesus accepted people as they were
a.) There was not one person that Jesus would not accept. Jesus even tried to win over members of the Pharisees and did sway several to belief.
b.) Jesus accepted people where they were in life because He loved them so much. Because Jesus loved them so much He couldn’t leave them, as they were, lost and alone.
B. There is no person too far gone
1. The way Jesus sees people
a.) Jesus saw people not as they were but as they could become. Jesus saw beyond the circumstances and looked into their lives to see the hidden potential in each person.
b.) Biblical examples:
1.) Simon Peter started out a lot more like a pebble than he was a rock but Jesus still changed his name
2.) Paul started out as a murderer but Jesus still made him the greatest missionary of all time
3.) Lazarus started out in a tomb but Jesus made him live again as a sign of the power of new life
4.) Jesus alone has the power to change and transform lives. Jesus alone has the power to save and to redeem
2. Jesus wants people to come to Him
a.) These men looked to Jesus for help
1.) The four men knew what they had to do and who they needed to go to. When they heard that Jesus was in their area and was healing people they loaded up their friend and took him to Jesus
2.) How many of your friends and family do you need to bring to Jesus? We cannot do it physically as these men did so long ago but we can take the people on our hearts to Jesus in prayer.
b.) These men had confidence in Jesus
1.) The four men were confident that Jesus could heal their friend. They were so confident that they went out to find Jesus and ask for His help
2.) Do you have full confidence in the power of Jesus? When you came to know Jesus as your Lord and savior you placed your confidence in Him. Shouldn’t you do the same for those close to your heart?
c.) These men would not give up
1.) When the men got to the house where Jesus was healing; there was a massive crowd and there was no way to get through. So they took a different approach and lowered their friend through the roof. They would not give up!