A. In a country where the church and Christianity are on the decline, maybe it's time we looked again at how to bring others to Christ.
B. Too many have just seen the kind of so called Christianity that Christian radio and T.V. presents who are always against things.
C. It doesn’t have to be, but overall, the church today is in a steep decline.
D. Listen to this scripture, and let's be reminded How To Bring Others To Christ.
I. Know The Barriers We Will Face.
A. The situation of society itself.
1. People who are suspicious of the church.
2. People who have been hurt by judgmental, condemning preachers and misguided Christians.
3. People have seen condemning Christianity plastered all over: sometimes in local churches but especially on Christian radio and T.V.
4. People who are very near being hopeless.
5. A world where people are so used to seeing Christians being just as judgemental and mean spirited as anyone else!
B. The endless search of people for pleasure.
1. Pleasure is a hard God to serve, but most are sold out to it.
2. We want and want; we buy and buy!
3. Our generation has more, does more, and still ... WANTS MORE!
4. It is obvious that our search in material things is fruitless, but be aware that this is what drives many we would bring to Christ.
5. There is so much available for families to do today instead of Church!
II. How can we bring others to Christ in this kind of world?
A. This scripture says we are the salt of the world! Salt is a
preservative! We have the answer that can save our world: Jesus Christ!
B. Dare to be a dreamer.
1. (Acts 2:14-17) Look at what Peter says!
2. If we ever stop dreaming, the world has us.
3. We need to take reality in hand and then show this world persons who still dare to dream with Christ.
C. Be Disciplined.
1. For others to want to be Christians, they must see that
it has made a positive difference in us.
2. We will never bring others to Christ if they see we are the same old person we always have been.
3. We will never bring others to Christ if we are negative, bitter, and bent on making the world conform strictly to our views.
4. Lack of discipline is killing the church.
a. People who will not study and learn.
b. People who will not keep their commitments and vows
c. People who refuse to let the love of God change the
bad habits and attitudes that sin burdens them
d. People who are more concerned with does and don=t than with letting the steadfast love of God transform them and shine through them. We are the light of the world! I am more and more convinced it is more about how we treat people, not a bunch of does and don=ts!
5. We need to let God take hold of us and change our lives!
D. Be like Christ: Love people.
1. If we are on an ego trip to draw attention to ourselves, we need to get off of it.
a. Too many are trying to draw people to themselves
instead of to Christ.
b. We do not have the answers; Christ does!
c. We need to resist the temptation to glorify
ourselves, and instead, let our lives glorify and
point to Christ!
d. I serve a ABig God.@ I don=t have to tell everyone what they can or can=t do! If God wants you to change, God will let you know!
2. If we are bitter, sarcastic, unloving, it's time to change
and let the warm love of God heal our hurt.
a. Bitterness turns people away from Christ.
b. Sarcasm " " " .
c. People who cannot show love make the love of God
d. How will people know that God loves them if God=s people do not love them?
3. If we want to bring others to Christ, We Must Get Ready To
Love! That is the key!
a. The good, sweet, kind, and loveable people.
b. The sour, the negative, and the complaining
c. The poor, the rich, the needy, the clean, and the
d. Black, white, and yes Muslims!
e. Ones with tatoos and ones with no tatoos!
f. Ones with long hair and ones with no hair!
g. Ones who dress like us and ones who do not!
h. Male and female, regardless of sexual orientation!
1) The whole debate around this in our denomination can best be understood as a debate about what it means to love.
2) If we understand it that way, it puts our attitude toward those who do not agree with us in perspective. They are just trying to love as they understand it.
3) So love Male and female, regardless of sexual orientation; we should all be able to agree we are to love!
4) Concentrate on loving as God loves and growing the
! Kingdom of God
i. The alcoholic; those who smoke.
j. The lyers and the cheaters!
4. If we want to bring others to Christ, we must be more concerned with loving them as they are than making them conform to what we think they should be!
a. If you are around me and my phone rings and it isn’t Donna, my mom, or one of our kids, the ringtone will be a song by the Gaither Vocal Band, “I Catch Em, God Cleans Em!”
b. God can clean em! I am just called to draw em in with the Love of God! I am a fisher of men (people)!
5. IF WE WANT TO BRING OTHERS TO CHRIST, THEY MUST SEE GOD=S
LOVE REFLECTED IN US AND IN OUR LIVES!
6. We need to go out into the Highways and Byways and compel or at least invite them to come in!
7. Methodist are typically people of grace! John Wesley famously said, AOffer them Christ!@
a. Oh, how our community needs to see Christ offered to them and not shoved at them! Oh, how people need to see Christians who really want to love them!
b. In the former tradition where I came from, at the annual Clergy session, they were more concerned with weeding out the people who had not had an acceptable divorce than they were with bringing people in it seemed. Where is the grace in that!
c. Methodist are the people who can be that salt and light, bringing people to Christ for the
transformation of the world!
A. Our scripture says we are the light of the world, but every light has its source.
B. This morning, We need to remember our source; it is Christ!
1. It is that same Christ who welcomed the publicans, sinners, and even the hated Samaritans!
2. Who are the publicans, sinners, and Samaritans of our day? Who are the Gentiles and greeks?
C. We need to ask ourselves; has the truth in this message convicted our hearts?
D. The last thing Jesus said while on earth was, AGo therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.@
E. If you have not brought anyone to Christ because you have failed to grow, mature, and share God=s love, as we have a time of commitment, won=t you recommit yourself to bringing others to Christ?