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Reaching The Lost
One Mercedes-Benz commercial shows their car colliding with a cement wall in a safety test. Someone asks the company why they don't enforce their patent on the M-B energy absorbing car body; a design copied by other car builders because of its success. The reply: "Some things in life are too important not to share."
A. The church needs to be reminded of our mission.
1. We are the "pillar and support of the truth" 1 Tim 3:15
2. Jesus instructed His apostles: Matt 28:19-20
3. ... and us: 2 Tim 2:2
4. If people are to be saved, they must hear the truth!
B. How then do we go about reaching the lost with truth?
1. There have been several good books written, sermons,
preached, & methods developed but the basics remain simple.
2. Let's see how we can reach the lost.
I. Locate The Lost
A. Where are they? Who are they? Not hard to answer.
1. They are friends, family, co-workers, neighbors,
casual acquaintances and those we don't know.
B. Who are the best possible prospects? That can be
answered by a recent poll by the "Institute For
American Church Growth." The question asked
was " What was responsible for your coming to Christ and this church?"
1. I attended a gospel meeting – 0.5%
2. I visited before – 1%
3. I had a special need – 3%
4. I just walked in – 3%
5. I liked the programs – 3%
6. I liked the Bible Classes – 5%
7. I liked the minister – 6%
8. A friend or relative invited me – 79%
C. Make a list with 5-8 people you know.
1. Keep it where you see it daily so you'll be reminded
II. Learn About The Lost
A. Understanding where people are in life, how they got
there, can help you form strategies to lead them to Christ.
1. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
B. This worked for Paul
1. 1 Cor 9:19-23
2. Not that he lived as they did, but understood where
they were coming from to make the gospel
applicable to them.
C. How can we do it? "Friendship Evangelism"
1. Begins with those in your list but don't be limited to it.
Expand it to all people who have a chance to observe
a. This assumes you live a good life!
2. The principle is given in
a. 1 Cor 10:32-33, Rom 15:1-2
D. "People won't care how much we know until they know
how much we care!"
1. True to a big extent!
III. Love The Lost
A. First, realize that love is NOT some fuzzy affectionate
feeling toward someone.
1. It is a commitment you make that whatever you do
is always for their best benefit.
a. Gal 6:10
2. Begin by meditating on God's love for you
(1 John 4:19) and the love He has for all men
B. Develop a real concern for the lost like Jesus did.
1. Matt 9:35-38
2. Say "Here I am. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)
C. Realize you owe them something.
1. Rom 1:14-15
2. Why hoard what you have? If Jesus really means
something to you, SHARE HIM!
IV. Lift Up The Lost
A. First, lift them up in prayer
1. Col 4:2-4, Eph 6:18-20
2. Pray for the lost everywhere, that they have the opportunity to respond to the gospel. Pray especially for the ones you know mentioning them by name to the Father.
B. Lift them up by your example
1. Matt 5:16, 1 Pet 2:12
2. Don't make a spectacle of yourself. Just quietly
confess by your actions that the gospel has had
a real impact in your life.
a. Offer thanks for your food.
b. Read your Bible in public waiting rooms.
c. In conversation, look for ways to identify
yourself with Christ. Make mention of things
that indicate your faith in God.
(1) "I'll keep you in my prayers."
(2) "Lord willing, I'll do such and such..."
(3) "Thanks to God for my health..."
C. Lift them up by offering them the gospel.
1. 1 Thess 1:6-8
2. Begin by "indirect" teaching.
a. Take tracts, church business cards & leave them in public places. Restaurants, waiting rooms, sporting events, drop one in the
envelope when paying a bill, etc
b. Give them to people you know in letters or in person. Offer a tape of a sermon you think might apply to them.
3. Be more "direct."
a. Invite them to services.
b. Ask if they'd like to study the Bible. If you feel insecure, ask the preacher or some other member to help you.
4. Be creative! Think of ways that you can help further the spread of the message of Christ.
Conc: In all this, recognize the providence of God is at work,
A. "My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."
B. But YOU must have the motivation to speed the word
along on its mission!
1. "Motivation is an inner drive, an idea captured in the imagination.Motivation can be harnessed to an intense drive toward a goal. Men and women who are motivated push themselves forward, plow through the inevitable setbacks, heading ever onward to their
dreams. Motivation is essential to succeeding in any endeavor you try.
(From "The Joy of Working" by Denis Waitley)
C. With the right motivation and the right message,
we can win souls for Christ!
By Zeke Flores
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