Summary: Helping One Who’s Gone Astray.

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The Fugitive: Helping One Who’s Gone Astray

Question: When did you leave home for the first time?

Did you ever run away from home? Where did you go and what happened?

James 5:19-20

My brothers and sisters, one of you may wander away from the truth. And another person may help him come back to the truth.

Any person who brings a sinner back from the wrong way will save that sinner from death (hell). By doing this, that person will cause many sins to be forgiven.

What Causes One To Become A Fugitive?

1. He was never really a Christian

I write to you, young people, because you are strong; the word of God lives in you, and you have defeated the Evil One. (I John 2:14)

He was put down by other Christians

If you continue hurting each other and tearing each other apart, be careful! You will completely destroy each other. (Galatians 5:15)

He spent too much time thinking about. past sin

My life is ending in sadness. My years are passing away in sighing. My troubles are taking away my strength. My strength is leaving me. (Psalms 31:10)

2. He overdosed on sin

Don’t be fooled: You cannot cheat God. A person harvests only the things he plants. (Galations 6:7)

3. His friends led him astray.

Don’t be fooled: "Bad friends will ruin good habits." (I Corinthians 15:33)

4. He didn’t get grounded in the Word of God.

But those people don’t allow the teaching to go deep into their lives. They keep that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly quit. (Mark 4:l6-17)

5. He got sucked into a cult

Many people will follow them in the morally wrong things they do. And other people will say bad things about the Way of truth because of those people. (II Peter 2:2)

6. He got offended and became bitter

Be careful that no person fails to get God’s grace (kindness). Be careful that no person becomes like a bitter weed growing among you. A person like that can ruin your whole group. (Hebrews 12:15)

(Show DVD segment about The Fugitive)

Sometimes when someone is running, they will try a variety of techniques to lose someone who’s trying to find them.

How Do You Spot A Potential Fugitive?

1. His heart will be filled with his own ways

His sins will be like ropes holding him…and in the greatness of his folly, he will go astray. (Proverbs 5:22-23)

2. He gets heavily involved in sin

A person is a slave to the thing that controls him…if those people go back into those evil things and those things control them, then it is worse for them than it was before. (2 Peter 2:19-20)

3. He develops a defensive attitude toward other believers

A person that is not spiritual does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. That person thinks that those things are foolish. (I Corinthians 2:14)

4. He no longer has time for Bible study, prayer or fellowship

But then these things come into their lives: the worries of this life, the love of money, and wanting all kinds of other things. These things stop the teaching from growing. (Mark 4:18-19)

5. He begins to look for “offenses” so he will have a reason to stay away from other Christians.

Those false teachers boast with words that mean nothing. They lead people into the trap of sin. (II Peter 2:18a)

6. He will try to talk others into following after the flesh

They lead away people who are just beginning to come away from other people who live wrong. (II Peter 2:18b)

How To Reach A Fugitive?

1. Pray for them.

When the Helper comes, he will prove to the people of the world the truth about these things: about sin, about being right with God, and about judgment. (John 16:8)

2. Keep loving them.

Most important, love each other deeply. Love hides many, many sins. (I Peter 4:8)

3. Keep an open line of communication and friendship.

Don’t be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of other people, too. (Philippians 2:3,4)

4. Keep talking about the Lord and His Word in your life.

But answer those people in a gentle way with respect. Always be able to feel that you are doing right. (I Peter 3:16)

Question: What is your biggest risk in stepping out to bring back one who has strayed?

Running scared invariably blows up in one’s face.

All who fly risk crashing.

All who drive risk colliding.

All who run risk stumbling.

All who 1ive risk something.

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental

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