Summary: The inner struggle between the natural man and the Holy Spirit intensifies until you give your life to Christ.
March 18, 2007
Text: John 7:12-13; 25-44
Subject: The Inner Conflict of a Lost Soul
Title: Ripples on the Water – Part 1 in the Conflict Series
I remember now how it all began. A pebble was thrown into the pond of life of a seven-year-old boy. The occasion: Vacation Bible School at an old stucco Church of Christ one block off of South Florissant Road in Ferguson Missouri. The recipient: me! The pebble; the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Little did I know then that a seed had been planted. That had to be the beginning because I never heard the name of Jesus Christ at home except as a curse word. It wasn’t long after that I remember waking early one morning and hearing what I now realize must have been the voice of God Himself speaking three words, “Welcome my son.” I know it was God because the voice was so rich and so loving and so real. And the ripple effect began.
As a young teen I had been invited to many churches. I went to a United Pentecostal Church where they had musical instruments – guitars, drums, trumpets – and remember thinking, “How cool is this?” I went to the Methodist youth group for a while, but there was nothing there to keep me coming. I used to go but never really understood what was happening or why I was even going. One young Korean pastor at a small Presbyterian congregation used to pick a bunch of us boys up in a 52 Chevy. He was so short that he could hardly see over the steering wheel. I know he had a real heart for young people but my time there ended when he ran off the road and down an embankment and back onto the road with a car full of kids. I wasn’t quite ready to go to heaven at that point. But the ripples continued.
In my later teen years I spent a whole summer with my sister Ruby. Her husband had deserted her with four kids (thank God she met Fred) and I spent the summer helping her and watching the kids while she worked. I’m not sure how much help I was. It was then that I became familiar with the whole concept of being born again. I remember one Wednesday night going to the altar to be saved but no one ever even explained what was happening to me so it didn’t really take. But the ripples began to swell in my life.
I could go on but I want to jump about 20 years into the future. The little pebble that had been thrown into the life pond of a seven year old finally reaches a crescendo as a thirty-six year old husband and father of three girls gives in to the ripples turned tsunami and relinquishes control over his life by asking Jesus Christ into his heart.
My story is probably the life story of most Christians. The time frame and the order may vary but it all begins with a little pebble thrown into a life that causes a ripple and disrupts the norm of a life living in the world.
I want to look today at the stages of inner conflict that take place in the life of a pre-Christian that takes them to the point of decision.
Walk through the scriptures with me as we determine the stages of inner conflict as the Holy Spirit draws people to Christ.