Summary: Suppose everyone was a soul winner like you, read the Bible like you, prayed like you, attended church like you, what would the world be like?
Suppose every person in the world was the same type person you are. Husband or wife, son or daughter, father or mother, church member, citizen, employer or employee. Suppose every person was a soul winner like you. Read the Bible like you, prayed like you, attended church life you, had an attitude like you. Are you willing for your companion, children, fellow coworkers, schoolmates, neighbors to be changed into the same type of Christian that you are? Why or why not? (I’m not a Christian.) I tell you this day just as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3 “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” And as you become a Christian your life must be in perfect harmony to the will of God. Your life should be contagious to those around you. If you are a Christian you will “Christianize” those around you. Godly influence is not something that you should have to be always concerned about. A Christian is a “Christianizer”; Christ- like in thought, in word, and in deed. The influence part will take care of itself. Are you an example of a Christian that God would have you be?
I’d like to talk about the Parable of the Leaven. Today we find it two places and I would like to read both. Matthew 13:33 (Jesus said “The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal til the whole was leavened.” Look also at Luke 13:20-21 And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.” In the parable Jesus used leaven as a symbol of the wholesome influence of his Kingdom, the Church. I would like to look at some of the qualities of leaven and the application of such to our lives.
1. Leaven works inwardly-God works from the inside out. From the heart flows the issues of life and builds character. In the parable the leaven it was hid in three measures of meal, and here it started its work. Conversion and reformation must spring from the heart, from within. In Luke 17:21, Jesus says the “Kingdom of God is within you.” Paul in writing to the Church at Colosse in Colossians 3:1-4 is saying God works within to change the without. Colossians 3:1-4 -3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Christ changes our ambitions to the heavenly-we seek those heavenly things by recognizing Jesus, who is in Heaven as our head and as members of his body we do his will in our life. He changes our mind from earthly to heavenly. To set our affection is to direct our thoughts and desires toward things in Heaven, cultivate an earnest desire for them, following the paths that lead to them. By faith we are crucified to ourselves, we have died to our own life and now we appropriate the life of Jesus into ours.
2. Leaven must make contact .It influences and is not influenced. In the parable the meal would have remained unleavened unless the leaven had been placed therein, so many will remain non-Christians unless we make contact with them. Church buildings don’t fill up on their own. Do you know of someone you can invite to church, or share the Gospel with?
Luigi Tarisio was found dead one morning with scarce a comfort in his home, but with 246 exquisite violins, which he had been collecting all his life, crammed into an attic, the best in the bottom drawer of an old rickety bureau. In his very devotion to the violin, he had robbed the world of all that music all the time he treasured them; others before him had done the same, so that when the greatest of his collection, a Stradivarius, was first played it had had 147 speechless years. Yet, how many of Christ’s people are like old Tarisio? In our very love of the church we fail to give the glad tidings to the world; in our zeal for the truth we forget to publish it. When shall we all learn that the Good News needs not just to be cherished, but needs to be told? All people need to hear it.
We don’t have to have a special day at Church to invite someone. If we are growing spiritually each one of us will see to is that we grow numerically because we will freely share our hope (the Gospel) with others. Paul says as we should also “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. “ Romans 1:16