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Summary: THIS IS A VALENTINE'S DAY MESSAGE. IT ASKS THE QUESTION "DO WE HAVE A HEART'S DESIRE TO SEE PEOPLE SAVED?"

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WHAT IS YOUR HEART’S DESIRE

ROMANS 9:1-3, 10:1-4

IF I WERE TO ASK , “WHAT IS YOUR HEART’S DESIRE”, YOU WOULD HAVE MANY ANSWERS. SOME OF YOU MIGHT WANT TO SEE A LOVED ONE YOU HAVEN’T HAD CONTACT WITH IN A LONG TIME. OTHERS MIGHT WANT TO CELEBRATE A SPECIAL DAY, LIKE CHRISTMAS, JUST ONE MORE TIME, WITH A LOVED ONE OR FRIEND THAT IS SOON TO DIE, OR HAS DIED. STILL FOR OTHERS IT IS A GOAL THAT WE WISH TO REACH:

A) I WANT A MILLION DOLLARS BY THE TIME I’M FORTY

B) I WANT THAT NICE BLOND, BRUNETTE OR REDHEAD. I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT. I TURNED GREY IN MY TWENTIES AND NO GIRLS WERE INTERESTED IN GREY HAIR.)

C) PERHAPS IT’S A GOAL OF POSITION

THESE ARE SOME OF THE ONES OUR HEARTS GO TO FIRST, AND I ADMIT THAT I HAVE A COUPLE OF PERSONAL HEART’S DESIRES, NOT LISTED HERE, THAT I THINK ON FROM TIME TO TIME. I DON’T BELIEVE IT’S WRONG TO HAVE A HEART’S DESIRE, AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T BECOME AN OBSESSION.

IN THIS PASSAGE PAUL REMINDS US THAT OUR FOREMOST HEART’S DESIRE IS THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD. SO WHEN YOU WERE THINKING ABOUT YOUR HEART’S DESIRE, HOW MANY OF YOU INCLUDED WINNING THE LOST FOR CHRIST?

THIS IS ONE OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS OF THE CHURCH TODAY. WE WANT TO KEEP OUR BUILDINGS COMFORTABLE AND ATTRACTIVE, TO DO THE THINGS THAT MAKE US FEEL GOOD, IN THE NAME OF EVANGELISM, AND NOT TRAVEL TOO FAR FROM OUR COMFORT ZONE. RATHER THAN BEING FISHERS-OF-MEN, WE’D RATHER BE KEEPERS OF THE ACQUARIAM. THIS MY FRIENDS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER WHEN IT COMES TO CHURCH GROWTH.

I DID SOME CHECKING, AND THERE ARE THREE PRIMARY WAYS THAT A CHURCH GROWS.

1. TRANSFER GROWTH: THIS IS CHURCH GROWTH WHEN MEMBERS OF OTHER CHURCHES COME AND JOIN THIS CHURCH, WHETHER THEY ARE MEMBERS OF LOCAL CHURCHES OR HAVE MOVED INTO THE GEOGRAPHIC VACINITY AND CHOSE TO MAKE THIS CHURCH THEIR NEW CHURCH HOME.

2. BIOLOGICAL GROWTH: THIS IS WHEN CHILDREN OF CURRENT MEMBERS COME TO KNOW THE LORD AND ARE BAPTIZED.

3. TRUE CHURCH CONVERSION: THIS IS WHERE CHILDREN, TEENAGERS AND ADULTS WHO HAVE NO CHURCH BACKGROUND, ARE BROUGHT TO CHRIST BY LOVING FRIENDS AND RELATIVES, AND ARE WON TO CHRIST, AND BECOME PART OF THE BODY.

I BELIEVE THAT THE MAIN THRUST OF GROWTH PRESENTLY IS TRANSFER GROWTH.

IN THIS PASSAGE PAUL IDENTIFIES THE PROBLEM OF THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH AS THAT OF CHURCH GROWTH. HE FURTHER IDENTIFIES THE PROBLEM AS A PROBLEM OF THE HEART OF THOSE ATTEMPTING TO EVANGELIZE. PAUL ASKS DO WE HAVE A HEART-FELT BURDEN FOR THE LOST? DO WE BELIEVE THAT IF OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS, NIECES AND NEPHEWS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WHO DO NOT KNOW CHRIST WERE TO DIE IN THIS STATE, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THEY WOULD SPEND AN ETERNITY IN HELL.

TODAY WE ARE GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME TO HAVE SINCERE AND FRANK DISCUSSION ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL. I ALSO WANT TO GIVE YOU SOME TIME FOR SELF REFLECTION. I HAVE THREE QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER.

1. DO WE HAVE A SINCERE HEART FOR THE LOST.

2. DO WE HAVE A SHATTERED HEART FOR THE LOST

3. DO WE HAVE A SORROWFUL HEART FOR THE LOST

CONTEXT:

IN THIS PASSAGE PAUL IS DEALING WITH THE REJECTION OF CHRIST BY THE JEWISH NATION. PAUL KNOWS THAT THE PEOPLE HAVE NO PROBLEM BELIEVING IN GOD, THEIR PROBLEM THE JEWS COULD NOT UNDERSTAND IS BELIEVING THAT CHRIST IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. THEY DO NOT SEE HOW A CARPENTER’S SON COULD BE THE MESSIAH.

MOST RELIGIONS TODAY HAVE NO PROBLEM BELIEVING IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD IN SOME FORM. THEY DO HOWEVER HAVE A GREAT PROBLEM IN DEALING WITH CHRIST AS THE MESSIAH. THEY FAIL TO RECOGNIZE THE DEITY OF CHRIST AND SADLY MANY STILL DO.

TO NOT RECOGNIZE THE DEITY OF CHRIST IS TO DESTROY THE WORK DONE BY CHRIST WHILE ON THE CROSS. HIS CRY OF VICTORY JUST BEFORE HE DIED, “IT IS FINISHED” WOULD HAVE NO EFFECT AT ALL.

NOT ONLY THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS, BUT THE PEOPLE IN GENERAL, WERE EXPECTING THE MESSIAH TO BE A GREAT MILITARY LEADER WHO WOULD LEAD THE JEWS TO VICTORY OVER THE ROMANS, AND RE-ESTABLISH A PHYSICAL KINGDOM AND RESTORE ISRAEL TO IT’S FORMER GLORY. WHEN THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN THEY REVOLTED AGAINST HIM.

PAUL WAS HEARTBROKEN THAT HIS PEOPLE, THE CHOSEN PEOPLE, WERE REJECTING THE MESSIAH. PAUL WAS LOOKING AT FRIENDS AND RELATIVES THAT HE LOVED AND KNEW THEIR REJECTION WOULD RESULT IN THEIR BEING ETERNALLY LOST AND OUTSIDE GOD’S NEW COVENANT WITH THEM.

PAUL UNDERSTOOD THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS THE JEWS WERE LIVING UNDER THE OLD COVENANT ESTABLISHED WITH ABRAHAM AND WAS PASSED DOWN FROM THERE. THIS COVENANT IS MENTIONED IN GENESIS 15:4 -16.

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