Summary: An basic evangelistic sermon based on Paul’s declaration of the gospel in I Corinthians 15:1-3
The Message of Bayview Baptist Church
There has never been a greater need in our country to know what our message is. The message of a church, an organization, or a country is what drives its mission. When the message and mission are clear, it can cause ordinary people to do extraordinary things. A great example of this is the men and women of the USS Theodore Roosevelt that returned this week from deployment.
[Illustration: At the end of their recent deployment the USS Roosevelt logged some impressive statistics. “Five million emails, more than 815,000 pounds of mail handled. Some 32,000 flight hours logged. More than 41 million gallons of aircraft fuel pumped into aircraft.
The Roosevelt also entered the history books with its voyage, nine days longer than the typical deployment.
The ship spent 159 consecutive days at sea without a port call—a modern record for an aircraft carrier.
But the people who thrived and survived onboard said they treasured an even more precious number: zero. Not one sailor aboard the Roosevelt perished in combat.
That was my most important goal, said Capt. O Hanlon of the USS Roosevelt. (Matt Dolan, Virginian Pilot 3/28/2002)]
The reason why the crew of the Roosevelt could accomplish their mission with extraordinary results is because they knew their message and mission. Their message had been made clear from our President shortly after September 11th: Terrorism wil not be tolerated and it will be defeated.
Bayview Baptist Church has a message that is very clear. This clear message is the driving motivation for some pretty extraordinary people in our church. One such person is Lu Lisenby who I recently visited in the hospital and spoke to on Thursday. Lu has an inoperable condition that may eventually result in her death. Not once have I heard her complain or say why me? She probably has more faith in her little pinky than I have in my whole body. She said to me, “Pastor, I am in a race and the finish line is heaven.” I pray that I can be brave and strong in faith as Lu. Lu, you see, has a clear message. That’s the message I want to talk with you about today. It is the message of our church.
Our message is…
1. One man’s death can change your direction. (v. 3)
a. “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” What Scripture? Isaiah 53:5-6 Why did he need to die for our sins?
b. Ezek 18:20 "The person who sins will die.”; Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
NO GREATER LOVE
It was February 1941, Auschwitz, Poland. Maximilian Kolbe
was a Franciscan priest put in the infamous death camp for helping Jews escape Nazi terrorism.
Months went by and in desperation an escape took place. The camp rule was enforced. Ten people would be rounded up randomly and herded into a cell where they would die of starvation and exposure as a lesson against future escape attempts.
Names were called. A Polish Jew Frandishek Gasovnachek was called. He cried, "Wait, I have a wife and children!" Kolbe stepped forward and said, "I will take his place."
Kolbe was marched into the cell with nine others where he managed to live until August 14.
This story was chronicled on an NBC news special several years ago. Gasovnachek, by this time 82, was shown telling this story while tears streamed down his cheeks. A mobile camera followed him around his little white house to a marble monument carefully tended with flowers. The inscription read:
IN MEMORY OF MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
HE DIED IN MY PLACE.
Every day Gasovnachek lived since 1941, he lived with the knowledge, "I live because someone died for me." Every year on August 14 he travels to Auschwitz in memory of Kolbe.
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Source: Victor Knowles, Peace on Earth Ministries. Adapted from Crossroads Family Circle.]
c. What direction are you headed? Rev 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
2. One man’s burial can change your life. (v. 4a)
a. Jesus was buried. Why was his burial significant?
b. In Rom. 6:4 and Col. 2:12 The Bible says that we were buried with Christ. What was buried? Our old life was buried.
c. Col 3:3-6 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,