Summary: The unsaved are really looking for something that can work in your life. How can you convince others that Jesus has made a difference in yours?

OPEN: They tell me that being a “preacher’s kid” can be difficult for a young child. I read once of a preacher’s little boy who was told by his mother that he should wash his hands because there were germs living in all the dirt he’d been playing in.

He looked up at his mother and got this really disgusted look on his face. “Germs? Germs?” He said. “Germs and Jesus! Germs and Jesus! That’s all I ever hear around this house! And I’ve never seen either one!”

APPLY: At that young age, that little boy wasn’t sure he was comfortable believing in something that he hadn’t seen.

A lot of people are like that.

Remember how Thomas reacted to the news that Jesus had risen from the dead? John 20:25 tells us: ‘”…he said to (the other disciples), ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’”

Thomas had difficulty believing in something he had not seen and touched.

I. But now - here his first letter - we find the Apostle John saying:

“YES… I have seen,

I have heard

I have touched this Jesus

AND that’s what I’ve been preaching about.”

And John is saying that he believes so strongly in this Jesus (this Jesus that he’d seen and touched and heard) that he wrote that he was proclaiming “to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us….” (1 John 1:3)

Now, you’d think that it would be easier for us if we, like the Apostle John here, could claim to have seen and touched and heard Jesus. You’d think that it would be easier for us to convince people about Jesus if we our selves had actually seen and touched and heard Jesus.

But the Gospels repeatedly point out that even when people PERSONALLY SAW the miraculous power of Jesus, they still rejected Him. Even when they heard from the lips of those who had personally seen Jesus they still would not believe. Being an eye-witness to Jesus did NOT make it easier to convince people to become Christians.

Lee Strobe, in his book “Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary”, maintained that the unchurched aren’t necessarily looking for miracles and appearances of Christ.

• The unchurched haven’t necessarily rejected God - they’ve rejected “church.”

• Many of them are morally adrift, but they secretly want an anchor.

• They often don’t understand Christianity, but they’re also ignorant about what they claim to believe in.

• Often they’re not so much concerned with the question of “Is Christianity true?” Instead, they’re more concerned with “Does Christianity work and how can I experience it?”

In other words, just like the people in John’s day… the unchurched today want to hear about what YOU’VE seen…

what YOU’VE touched…

what YOU’VE heard

They want to know if it works for you.

ILLUS: A woman put an ad in the local paper: “Lost 50 pounds! Selling my fat clothes – they’re in good condition, sizes 18-20.”

She was bombarded with phone calls, but nobody wanted to buy the clothes – they all wanted to know how she had lost the 50 pounds.

You see, the callers wanted to know about something that had changed her life hoping that this something could change their lives too!!!

That’s what the unchurched are really looking for. They want to know if Jesus really works in your life.

II. Now… there are 2 ways I can think of that can help your friends decide Jesus works in your life:

1st they can hear your story

• Why did you become a Christian?

• Why do think Jesus has made a difference in your life?

• Or… why are you a Christian?

Now, I’m going to do something really scary for a preacher… I’m going to quit talking for a few moments. The reason that’s scary is that the moment a preacher stops talking people minds have a tendency to drift off into never-never land.

But I want you to take a few moments and answer at least one of those questions. You can write your answer on your bulletin, or you can write in some corner of your mind. But for the next few moments, I want you to ponder on these questions:

• Why did you become a Christian?

• Why do think Jesus has made a difference in your life?

• Or… why are you a Christian?

(silence for about 3 minutes)

The reason I’ve asked you to do this, is because some believers have never given much thought to those questions. They never give much thought to why they are Christians or even to why they first became Christians. They simply go thru the motions of going to church and Sunday school and Bible studies and youth activities… but they often times they don’t consider why they do them. And so they have a hard time explaining to others why they should love Jesus like they do

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Joel Rutherford

commented on Jul 16, 2007

Great sermon - to the point. Direct and challenging w/o coming across as nagging. The stories add to the flow instead of detracting.

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