Summary: This is part of a series of sermons that encourages members to take a personal responsibility for the growth and ministry of the local church.
RAISING THE BAR
THE BAR OF EVANGELISM
Each day as Paul Harvey signs on he says, “You know what the news is. In a minute you’re going to hear the rest of the story.”
POEM> What’s the News?
What’s the news? What’s the news?
Pray, what’s the order of the day?
I’ve got good news today to tell
My Savior has done all things well
And He’s conquered over death and hell
That’s the news! That’s the news!
Now when anyone shall say to you
"What’s the news? What’s the news?
Pray, what’s the order of the day?"
You tell them that we’ve just begun to work and pray
And lead everyone we can in the Savior’s way.
We’re joined together in a conquering band
And marching toward the Promise Land.
That’s the news! That’s the news!
The fact that Jesus Christ has gone to the cross in order to pay debt for our sins is great news! The fact that Jesus Christ was buried in a grave, but rose 3 days later is terrific news! Because of what Jesus Christ has done, all people, from all nations, of every race, every color, and every social level have the opportunity to be forgiven, saved, and brought into a right relationship with Jesus Christ with the hope of eternal life in heaven. That’s the news. As a matter of fact the Bible calls it the Good News.
So now that you know what the news is, let’s talk about the rest of the story.
The rest of the story has to do with what we are going to do with this Good News
QUOTE> Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church
“Strong churches are built on purpose! The starting point for every church should be the question, ‘Why do we exist?’”
Now that we know and understand what the Good News is, what are we going to do with it? What is our purpose as God’s Church? What difference do we want to make?
ILL> Several years ago (1985) a celebration took place at a municipal pool in New Orleans. The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans City pool. In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards. As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.
What a tragedy. But, it’s just as tragic when people are surrounded by Christians and still die and go to hell not knowing Jesus. The early Church was committed to reaching the lost for Christ We need to raise the bar in our commitment toward reaching others as well.
READ: ACTS 4:31-32
1. THE MESSAGE WE MUST SHARE (33)
Christ is the only way. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be forgiven, be saved by grace, and receive the promise of eternal life. Only through Jesus. One of the problems that we face as a church today is that not many believe truly believe that
ILL> According to the Barna Research Group, nearly half of those that were surveyed believe that “the bible, the Koran, and th Book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths.”
In other words, to many people it doesn’t make any difference what you believe as long as you believe in something. Because of that there are some who say that Christians are a little narrow minded–thinking that they are the only ones who will get to heaven. People say, “Do you mean to tell me that those that follow the ways of Islam will not get into heaven?” “Do you mean to tell me that those that follow the ways of Buddha, or Wica, or even Joseph Smith (the leader of the Mormans) will not get into heaven?” “Do you that people won’t find eternal life through crystals, or channeling, or finding their inner light?”
The good thing about it is that I don’t have to give you my opinion on that because the Bible answers it for us. Acts 4:12 says, Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Now that’s not me talking. That’s not simply what this church believes. This comes from Jehovah God Himself! In John 14:6, it says that “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The message we need to share. Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”