WHY CAN'T I CONVERT MY NEIGHBOR?
1. Quite often we wonder why we can't be more effective in interesting our friends and neighbors in the gospel of Christ.
2. We hear sermons impressing us with our duty along this line.
A. And we go forth and make what we think is an honest effort to convert the lost.
B. But why aren't we more successful than we are?
3. Let's consider some areas where the fault just might lie:
I. THE FAULT MIGHT JUST BE WITH THE ONE THAT WE ARE TRYING TO CONVERT.
A. Man, in many ways, becomes a product of his environment.
1. Such environment many times will determine his religious attitudes.
2. It just might be that this background has caused him to become indifferent toward religion in general.
a. This attitude being brought on by the hypocrisy he has seen in those who claim to be religious.
b. Such an indifferent attitude makes it very difficult to arouse a person's interest in what he may consider as just another hypocritical religion.
B. Yet, he might be so steeped in error that he has become prejudiced against the truth.
C. So, the fault might just lie in the person that you are attempting to reach with the gospel.
1. Most of the time, we want to believe that the fault always is with the convertee.
II. BUT, THE FAULT MIGHT JUST LIE IN US.
A. We often become our worst enemy in the most important work on earth.
B. Let's examine some of these faults that just might lie in us, who are trying to convert others.
1. And if we find such a "beam in our own eye", let's remove it before we try to get the "mote" out of our neighbor's eye.
III. SOME FAULTS WE MIGHT HAVE IN OURSELVES.
A. We may not be able to convert our neighbor because WE ARE NOT TRULY CONVERTED OURSELVES.
1. When our neighbor sees that less important things take precedent over our loyalty to Christ, how can we expect to have any influence for good on him?
2. He sees that we give only lip service to our Lord.
a. So, we must keep our priorities straight if we expect to impress our neighbor that we love the Lord and want him to love Him too. Matt. 6:33.
B. We may not be able to convert our neighbor because WE FIND NO REAL JOY IN SERVING CHRIST OURSELVES.
1. If our neighbor hears us continually complaining about what little sacrifice we are called upon to make for the Lord, he will be reluctant to think that there could be any joy in it for him.
C. It may be that we cannot convert our neighbor because WE ARE NOT SOLD ON THE PRODUCT OURSELVES.
1. A person that sells a product must be willing to use it himself.
2. If our neighbor sees that we do not think enough of our product to apply it to every facet of our own lives, it will be futile to try to convince him that he needs such product.
a. Therefore, we will be unsuccessful in trying to get him to see the necessity of using the gospel to guide his life.
D. It may be that we cannot covert our neighbor because WE ARE NOT AS GOOD A MORAL MAN IN CHRIST AS HE IS OUTSIDE OF CHRIST.
1. If such is so, it is a crying shame.
2. As a Christian, we should be the very finest kind of mates, parents, citizens, workers, and neighbors as we possibly can be.
3. If applied Christianity has not made us better in every way, than our neighbor, who is outside of Christ, he won't likely be convinced that he needs the gospel.
E. We may not be able to convert our neighbor because WE, OURSELVES, DO NOT TRULY BELIEVE IN A HEAVEN TO ENJOY OR A HELL TO SHUN OR AVOID.
1. Oh, we might say that we do but by our actions and or lack of zeal we show that we don't really believe it.
2. If we really did believe fervently in heaven to enjoy and hell to shun, we would want very much to keep our neighbor from going to such an eternal torment as hell will be.
a. We would therefore, do all that we could do to get him to obey the gospel, that he might go to heaven.
F. It may be that we cannot convert our neighbor because WE ARE INDIFFERENT ABOUT HIS SOUL AND DON'T REALLY CARE WHETHER HE IS CONVERTED OR NOT.
1. Just as long as we know that we are saved, why should we care or worry very much about our neighbor?
2. Such a feeling of indifference can be easily sensed by anyone and will turn such a person off toward the gospel.
3. If we really care for a person's soul, we will do everything within our power to reach him with the gospel.
a. First, we would prepare ourselves in every way possible to be able to teach him.
b. Then, we would seek out every opportunity to be able to teach him.
1. There might be other faults within our own lives that keep us from being able to convert our neighbors.
2. But in looking back over the ones we have considered, we might just say:
A. Let us not be discouraged with the apparent indifference shown by our neighbor.
B. Look for ways to break down his prejudice.
C. Live the very best life possible before him.
D. Show him the joys of being followers of Christ.
E. Let him see that Christ and His word will help to solve every problem that this world might have to offer.
F. Show him tht we truly have the peace that passeth all understanding in our lives.
3. How successful have you been in converting your neighbor?
A. If you haven't been as successful as you would hope to be, maybe there are some faults somewhere along the way. 1
) They might just be faults of your own that you need to dispense with.
B. Most of the time, our major fault is that we are just not trying to convert anyone to Christ.
1) If such is true with us, we are not rally and truly converted ourselves.
By Jim Sasser
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