Sermons

Summary: The second of a series of sermons about breaking through the Christian subculture to reach people for Jesus.

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INTRO

ƒ{ The stumbling block has become the Christian Subculture

ƒ{ Much of what we do today at Citipoint is not only trying to tell people about Jesus

ƒ{ But getting them beyond this Christian subculture barrier that we've created

ƒ{ Jesus never wanted us to create a subculture

ƒ{ Jesus hung out with the non-Christians

„X Talked with them

„X Listened to them

„X Cared for them

„X Cried with them

„X Partied with them

„X Died for them

ƒ{ He only rebuked religious people

ƒ{ Last week we started and talked about

THE BUBBLE

ƒ{ Today I want to talk about

THE BATTLE

THE BARRIERS

THE BREAKTHROUGH

2. THE BATTLE

* The enemy has always waited to destroy Christianity

* Starting with Christ himself

* Paul killing Steven

* Disciples

Disciple Death By

Simon Peter Crucified upside down

Andrew Beaten then crucified

James the Great Beheaded

John Exiled, died of old age

Matthew Speared to death

Bartholomew/Nathaniel Flayed alive then crucified

Philip Crucified

Thomas Speared to death

Simon Crucified

James the Less Stoned to death

Judas Suicide by hanging

Thaddaeus (Judas son of James) Stoned to death

* And Christianity has always had misunderstanding and bad representation

* In the first few hundred years of Christianity

* Christians were thought of as:

o Cannibals

o Atheists

o Perverts

Cannibalism - Because rumors got out about Christians

Drank blood and ate flesh when they were partaking of communion

Atheists- Because prior to Christianity, most Greek and Roman religion worshipped statues

Since Christians didn't have a physical representation

of their god

They were accused of being Atheists.

Perverts - Because of calling each other brother & sister

Outsiders hearing even husbands and wives call each other brother & sister

It looked like incest

* Today, there are a lot of misconceptions also:

„X Mean

„X Judgmental

„X Spooky

Video

* Bombing abortion clinics

* Telling people they are going to hell

Video Walk the Line - Divorce scene

* Language we use is spooky

„X I am covered in the blood

„X The Holy Ghost came on me

„X Y2K

„X And what's up with Christian TV?

3. THE BARRIER

* Have you ever invited someone to church

* Only to get snubbed

* Perceptions of church is the barrier to God

o Not relevant

o Judgmental

o Boring

o Political

o Homophobic

o Exclusive

o Weird

* When I was a kid

o I remember the classic bridge illustration of man needing God

o And Jesus was the bridge

EXPLAIN Easter Message

* But in our world today, it's become more complex

o I was driving Aaron & Amanda over Deception Pass

o 2 bridges

o And came to realize that it takes

o 2 bridges to get people to God

* If we don't realize this then we are deceived

* Man needs a bridge called friendship

* To get over -

o The wrong perceptions

o And attitudes of the church

o Then we can discuss

o The theology of sin & salvation

o And the bridge of Jesus

o To get them to God

* And we can't build the bridge of friendship

* If we piously live in a bubble of Christianity!

* I understand

* That this gospel is a stumbling block to some -- 1 Corinthians 1:23

* But I don't want to be guilty of...

* Making them stumble before I even introduce them to the gospel

* We've become so impersonal with the gospel

o Picket signs

o Mass mailings

o Turn or burn tracts

o Preaching like they're not in the room

* If we don't get out of the bubble and become;

o Missionaries

o Friends

* It doesn't matter how cool our service is

o We can serve coffee

o Have cool bands

o Good preaching

„X But it doesn't matter if they're afraid to come

„X Or don't want to come because of who they see outside the service

* Let's face it...

o I am a Christian

o But even I view Christians as

o Weird and mean

* We can't get over emphasized on how good the church service looks

* Because it doesn't matter if we don't:

o First build a bridge of friendship

o That's what eventually will get them to church

o Then we can help them cross the

„X Chasm of sin

„X And find God

* But finding God is a process (explain)

* The Holy Spirit will convert

o Explain the Dove & Raven

o John 16:8-13

* The bridge of friendship must be genuine

o Not with a purpose

o Or ulterior motive

* People aren't:

o Objects

o Targets

o Goals

* The bridge of friendship breaks the barriers of misconception

EXAMPLE: My Dad's friend said to me

"I wish more Christians were like you"

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