Here is a copy of my message at Evangel Sunday morning:
In the first year of our marriage Lois and I served a little country church and lived across the road in a tidy cape cod parsonage. It was their tradition to have a revival service every year. After the meetings one night Lois and I took the evangelist and his wife to a restaurant for dinner.
They were telling us about their children. One of their sons was a pastor. The evangelists wife said, “Our son has a nice church of about a hundred people with a new parsonage and a nice building and some well-to-do people. He has a comfortable salary. He really doesn’t have to worry about the church growing.”
Lois and I stopped forks in mid-air waiting for the man and his wife to tell us it was a joke. They were serious. It’s been almost thirty years later I still haven’t fully recovered from the shock of an evangelist and his wife telling me that it’s not important for a church to try to reach unbelievers in its community. I wonder how you can consider yourself an evangelist and not care about lost people all around you.
How can you call yourself a follower of Jesus and not care about people who are going to Hell? Jesus was moved with compassion for people.
But when [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-40)
Believers with the heart of Jesus should carry a continual burden for those in their communities, families, and circles of friends who are without hope and without God in the world. We should always be plotting something creative to connect with them and connect them with God.
The Spirit of God is at work in the lives of people and we should always be trying to find them and do our part to invite them to Christ.
I read of a man who organized a kickball game in his neighborhood once a week just to connect with this neighbors so he could influence them for God. It worked. Dozens showed up week after week and he was eventually able to get all of them in range of a gospel presentation. What have you done lately? How did you come to know the Lord? Who was the first person in your family to come to Christ? Who told them? Do you have a burden for people who don’t know the Lord or are you more concerned for your own comfort and convenience.
February 22, 2010