Summary: People underestimate the power of their testimony to change the lives of those around them.
I. A lot of people say that they can not witness of their faith to others - dynamite does a lot with so little.
II. All Christians are able to lead other people to Christ.
III. In fact, most of us are Xns because of some normal, average person – baptism, Sunday school, witness of a friend or neighbor
IV. One of my favorite people in the bible is the Apostle Andrew (one of the reasons we named our son Andrew) - leads to Peter being a disciple
V. Philip invites Nathanael
VI. Both men were soft-spoken and simple (Acts 4:12), but evangelized with testimony
VII. Paul was very well-spoken but we don’t see his God given logic at work in Gal 1. Here, he is merely sharing his testimony about how he came to be a Christian.
VIII. We view some conversions differently than others. Dr. Phil, Russell Crowe, Venus Williams
IX. Others - reputation, “Yeah right! Sounds like ‘fire insurance’ to me.
X. On June 1, 1953 a boy named David was born in New York. 22 years In 1975, however, I met some guys at a party who were, I later found out, heavily involved in the occult.
XI. Witchcraft, Satanism, occult, horror and Satanic movies, Satanic bible, occult rituals and incantations. Began to kill. David used a .44 caliber hand gun to take the lives of six young women. He wrote letters to the media and police department explaining how “Sam,” a demon who spoke through a dog, was instructing him to kill. Finally, in 1977, David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” was arrested and sentenced to 365 years in prison.
XII. David Berkowitz entered Attica Prison, Robert Alexander, was a prison guard.– demons, letters with blood, David "Bezerkowitz."
XIII. David was transferred to another prison. The inmate gave him a Gideon’s NT, but David mocked him but finally, David began to read the Psalms. Read Psalm 34:6, "this poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him from all his troubles." 1987
XIV. David Berkowitz leads Bible studies. He is up for parole, but he wrote the governor and told him that he did not deserve parole. David said that he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison because of the heinous acts he committed. He also stated that he believes the Lord has placed him where he is so that he can reach out to other prisoners.
XV. David Berkowitz and Paul have a lot in common – destroyers of life and church
XVI. Paul was a bad dude - Stephen was stoned to death as Paul gave his approval but God saved him in spite of himself and what he had done. Paul knew the message of salvation by grace, the grace of God, so well. He didn’t deserve God’s mercy and neither do we.
XVII. It was this very message that turned people then and now can’t - affront to “good” people
XVIII. Gospel by works permeated by works, every humanly devised system of religion. Has to be from
XIX. The world may judge you or snicker at our passion for a God, may never let you live down what you have done, but Christ has come to set you free so that you so that you can share testimony
XX. It is amazing what God can do with a grateful, forgiven sinner. John Newton –
XXI. John Newton was born on July 24, 1725 in London, England. Mother died when John was only six. While he was a young teenager his father got him involved on a ship.
At 17, in 1742 Newton was drafted into the British Royal Navy. For the 17-year-old Navy life was too much. Unable to hold up under the strain of its discipline and the stresses of its daily routine, he deserted ship. He was found and flogged. He was embarrassed and depressed and chose to leave the Navy for other work.
XXII. John Newton had left God far behind him. Atheist and could cuss like a sailor. Became a slave trader. Became Xn in 1748
XXIII. When he was 45 wrote: “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” John Newton went on to write some 280 more Christian hymns before he died.
XXIV. At 82, John Newton said, "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior." If there are but two lessons that you and I could learn in life then these are the two I pray that we learn again and again. “I am a great sinner, but Christ is a great Savior!”
XXV. I don’t at what point you are this morning – may have skeletons – God can take them all away – God is giving you a testimony