6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: The enemy has done a brilliant job in obscuring some very important truths about fulfilling the Great Commission and the way to salvation

The enemy has done a brilliant job in obscuring some very important truths about fulfilling the Great Commission and the way to salvation. The word “salvation” in the Greek means to deliver from the consequences of sin and protect against evil. The enemy knows that just saying a simple “Sinners Prayer” does not promise genuine conversion. Jesus had an inner circle of 12, and one of them never became Born-Again. That is a conversion success ratio of 92%. Since the turn of the 20th century, the success ratio of stadium and arena style revivals has been the complete opposite and constantly remained around 8 to 10 percent, even with the use of modern media methods and mass evangelism crusades.

The Bible explains that when the Messiah would come He would be "despised and rejected of men" (Isa 53:3 NIV). The simple truth is that people don’t want Jesus Christ because there is “none that seek after God" (Rom 3:11 NIV).

Most studies reveal the statistical evidence that 92+% of those who “come forward” to “accept” Jesus at revival meetings and large events will fall away and turn from the faith.

There are many reasons that people come forward, but most of them have nothing to do with seeking a conversion experience. Many come forward because of peer pressure, or loneliness, or that they need a change in their life circumstances, or way of living, or they want to feel “good” about themselves. The only legitimate reason to come forward is when a person is ready to humbly bow before the King of kings and Lord of lords!

It is Holy Spirit who was given the edict to convince “the world of sin" (John 16:8). No matter how well-intentioned or persuasive a speaker is; “No man comes to the Father unless the Spirit draws Him” (NIV - See Phil. 1:6; 1 Thess 5:24).

A person will only begin to search for Jesus when they are awakened to their need for Him by Holy Spirit, not by human-made marketing techniques or slick Hollywood production style services.

The only “techniques” that will lead a person to Jesus is reading God’s Word, hearing uncompromised sound biblical teaching, and the listening to the testimony of those who have willingly laid down all claims to their life at the feet of Jesus. The enemy will do everything he can to take "away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved." (Luke 8:12 KJV. The first words of evangelism recorded in the New Testament are, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Five times Jesus is found preaching repentance. That is because ‘God’s wrath abides on unbelievers.’ (John 3:36 NIV) Jesus said, “repent or perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5) Repentance is written 60 times in the New Testament and 45 times in the Old Testament, mostly in connection with salvation.

Even though people don’t want to be told what they can and can’t do, God’s law is the “schoolmaster” that brings people “to Christ." (Gal 3:24) The purpose of the Law is to show a person that they are a sinner, and need salvation found only through the Messiah Jesus. God says:

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Cor 7:10 NKJV)

Presenting the Risen, Living Savior

When the Church presents the risen, living Savior in all His glory and majesty, “the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience will lead us to repentance.” (Rom. 2:4 NIV) Jesus said that when He is “lifted up” He will “draw all men” to Himself. (John 12:32 IV) It is the responsibility of the church to see that Jesus is lifted up so that the whole world will be drawn to Him.

Many churches are lifting Him up, and they are showing record growth. But the Jesus they proclaim is often just the “gift giver”- or the “blessing giver”- or the “wealth maker”- or the “peace provider” – or the “great healer.”

The enemy wants the church to focus on buildings, bucks and bodies, not the broken, battered, bruised, beaten and bloody body of the crucified Lord of lords and King of kings who shows by His own example that Christians first must die before they can be revived.

As long as people continue attempting to meet their own needs, they will only be confronted by their sinfulness. But, when they set their hearts on things above, they will find their selves looking to Jesus first and finding a true identity (See Col. 3:1). They must lose their life by dying to self before they can find His life. (See Matt 10:39)

When people acknowledge the fundamental call to obedience and holiness, they will then seek first His Kingdom, and His righteousness and their needs will be met. (See Matt 6:33) Seeking Jesus first will bring peace. Sitting at His feet is where rest is found. Teaching repentance and reverence for God is of primary importance for the spiritual seeker because it will help bring purification to the Body of Christ and perfect holiness from within (See 2 Cor. 7:1).

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