churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)
Text: Luke 24:46-47 Song: Trust and Obey
1. A long time ago, THE GREAT Creator
a. and Architect of the universe invaded our planet.
b. We had a "visitor from outer space,”
c. a visitor from Heaven,
d. the second person of the Godhead, Jesus the Christ.
2. He tabernacled here for about thirty-three years
a. reaching out to men.
b. He reached out to fishermen, business men,
c. religious men, non-religious men, poor men, rich men,
d. Jewish men, Gentile men, lettered men and unlettered men.
3. Listen to Jesus in Luke 24:46-47 (READ).
a. Jesus was saying to His leaders, the apostles,
b. you must reach out to all nations!
4. The apostles were arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin Council,
a. and charged, "...ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine" (Acts 5:28)
b. You have filled the city fathers with your doctrine.
c. You have filled this city that crucified Christ Jesus with your doctrine.
5. You have filled this city that King Herod is visiting with your doctrine.
a. You have filled this city in which Governor Pontius Pilate resides
b. with your doctrine.
6. You have filled the political structure of Jerusalem with your doctrine.
a. You have filled the social structure of Jerusalem with your doctrine.
b. You have filled the religious structure of Jerusalem with your doctrine.
7. What was happening here loved ones?
a. These Christians had captured the city of Jerusalem for Jesus Christ.
b. Until then, the Jerusalem church had stayed in Jerusalem
c. capturing that city for Christ,
d. but later there arose a great persecution
e. against the church at Jerusalem
f. and all except the apostles were scattered abroad.
8. The Bible says, “Therefore they that were scattered abroad
went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4).
a. In other words, the local church became involved in foreign missions.
b. Then they began to reach out in Judea and to reach out in Samaria.
c. Philip went down to Samaria reaching out for Jesus (Acts 8:5).
9. That is saturation evangelism, every congregation
a. using every available person at every available time
b. by every available means to preach the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
10. This is how the church of the first century
a. accomplished the most phenomenal results.
b. The entire pagan Roman Empire was undercut and overthrown
c. by the power of the Gospel of Christ
d. upon the lips of Christ-conquered disciples
e. who crossed seas and deserts, pierced the darkest jungles,
f. seeped into every city and town,
g. and finally into the senate and the very palace of Rome itself.
11. Turn in your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 4.
12. Christians of the 1st century felt a keen responsibility
a. to tell others about Christ and His salvation.
b. They were given “this ministry” to preach
c. the “light of the knowledge of the Glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:6).
13. The apostle Paul quoting from Psalms 116:10
a. described their commitment to the task.
b. He said (Read 2 Cor. 4:13).
c. Of all the “methods of outreach” ever devised, that one is still best,
d. “we believe and therefore speak!”
14. Turn in your Bibles to Mark 5.
a. The man with a legion of evil spirits had much to be grateful for
b. when Jesus cast them out (Mark 5:1-20).
c. Apparently, out of fear, the people asked the Lord to leave,
d. but this man pleaded with Jesus “that he might go with him (vs. 18).
15. Jesus had a better plan for him (Read vs. 19).
a. The man responded in vs. 20 (Read).
b. That is the way to get the job done! “Go tell your friends,”
c. Go tell your family!
d. Go capture your town, city or island for Christ!
e. Let your motto be: We Can, if I Will!
16. The challenge this evening to each leader, Christian
a. and family represented here is to capture your area
b. and the surrounding areas
c. and the areas of the world for Jesus the Christ.
1. Like all places in America and in the world,
a. your area has a high crime rate.
b. Your area has corruption in high places and low places.
c. Your area has all kind of man-made churches.
d. That is why you need to capture your area for Christ.
2. Sodom was a wicked city (Gen. 13:13),
a. and because ten righteous people could not be found there,
b. God destroyed that city.
3. Nineveh was also a wicked city,
a. but because of the preaching of Jonah,
b. Nineveh repented and the city was saved (Jonah 3:4-10).
4. Athens was an idolatrous city (Acts 17:16).
a. She was intoxicated with the wine of skepticism.
b. Corinth, a seaport city, was immersed in wickedness,
c. and needed to be captured for Christ.
d. Capernaum was an arrogant city
e. that needed to be captured for Jesus Christ (Matt 11:23).
5. Rome, the Imperial City, needed Jesus Christ to be preached there.
a. I hear the great apostle Paul saying: "I must see Rome" (Acts 19:21).
"I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome” (Rom. 1:15).
b. Paul had an urgency in his soul to capture the city of Rome;
c. there was restlessness invading his soul.
d. Therefore, Jesus said to Paul, "So must thou bear witness also at Rome"
6. Loved ones, the Jerusalem church filled the city of Jerusalem
a. with its doctrine.
b. We want to challenge you to fill your area
c. with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
d. We want the islands of the Caribbean and all the cities of America,
e. Russia, Japan and China to know that the church of Christ is in town.
7. We want everybody in the cities of Africa, England, and France
a. to know about the one way of God (John 14:6),
b. the one plan of salvation (Rom. 1:16),
c. and the one glorious church of Jesus Christ (Matt 16:18).
8. Let us reach out to those who are in despair,
a. to those who are lonely, to those who are in darkness,
b. to those who are confused by denominational error,
c. and to those who are lost in this world's jungle of sin.
d. Under the guidance and the encouragement of the leadership,
e. each member of the congregation here can help to do this.
9. There is a song that the Gospel Keynotes sing, that goes something like this:
a. "Reach out and touch somebody's hand,
b. Make this world a better world, if you can.
c. Reach out and touch somebody's hand,
d. And make this a better world, if you can." Sing it with me now!
10. Loved ones, people are lost this evening,
a. people need Jesus this evening.
b. People are lonely, confused, mixed up and depressed this evening.
11. So what we want to ask you to do as a member
a. or leader in the body of Christ is:
b. just take a little time to help someone who has fallen on the way.
c. Reach out and touch somebody's hand,
d. and make this world a better place if you can.
e. You don't hear me church!
12. We are asking you, every one of you,
a. to reach out and touch, just touch, somebody's hand,
b. and help make this world a better world if you can.
c. And remember, We Can, if I Will.
d. Say it with me! We Can, if I Will.
1. Those who are saved, those who have that passion for evangelism,
a. are to teach those who are not saved (2 Tim. 2:2).
b. If you follow God's plan, you will have success.
c. Leave it and you will fail.
2. Now, in order to reach out, you must have faith.
a. Faith is looking to God for help.
b. That is why I can sing, "All of my help comes from the Lord."
3. Unbelief is dangerous.
a. When you study the book of Hebrews,
b. the writer over and over again shows us that unbelief is dangerous.
4. What is the sin spoken of in Hebrews 12:1?
a. What is that sin that “doth so easily besets us?”
b. The context of the book of Hebrews shows that that sin
c. is the sin of unbelief.
5. Unbelief damns the souls of men.
a. Unbelief shuts us off from the blessings of God.
b. Most of Israel did not enter the Promised Land because of unbelief
6. In their faithlessness they saw the giants and the walled cities of Canaan
a. and said, "We are not able to go up against the people;
for they are stronger than we" (Num. 13:27-31).
b. Unbelief is negative thinking,
c. and there is no place for negative thinking in the Christian's heart.
7. Unbelief keeps blessings from others.
a. The man without faith has no song;
b. he is depressed, gloomy, despondent.
8. Preachers, leaders, we all need to be people with vision.
a. And vision takes faith!
b. Nehemiah, in far off Babylon, had vision.
c. Though many miles away, he saw the ruins of the city of Jerusalem
d. and had a vision of the restored city (Neh. 2).
9. You see, visions are dynamite.
a. The architect envisions a building before plans are drawn
b. and construction is begun.
c. The farmer envisions a crop before the ground is broken.
d. The Admiral in the Navy envisions the battle
e. and anticipates victory before a gun is fired.
10. If we who are Christians don't catch the vision of saving lost souls,
a. and understand that those who die on the outside of Christ
b. will suffer forever and ever (2 Thess. 1:7-9),
c. we have missed the mission of our blessed Lord.
11. Loved ones, such a vision will blast us out of our indifference.
a. Such a vision will chase away our laziness.
b. It will drive away our carelessness.
c. It will cure our stinginess.
12. This vision will stop the leadership
a. from cutting mission work from our budget
b. and will cause them to send more workers into the world.
1. But remember, a vision like this takes faith...
a. And faith serves! (Gal. 5:6).
b. True faith always results in action.
2. We learn much in Hebrews chapter 11
a. about a working, serving, saving faith.
b. The Bible says Noah built the ark by faith (Heb. 11:7).
c. It was by faith that Moses served God and His people.
d. He turned his back upon Egypt
e. and chose to suffer affliction with the people of God
f. rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Heb. 11:23-25).
3. By faith, conquering Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land (vs. 30).
a. By faith the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
b. Enoch walked by faith.
c. Abraham lived by faith.
d. Joshua fought by faith.
e. Gideon conquered by faith.
f. King David subdued kingdoms by faith.
4. The question that we want to lay on your hearts and souls this evening is,
a. “What are you…what is this congregations doing for Christ
b. besides coming to the church building for worship?”
5. If you believe that coming to the church building for worship
a. is the extent of what Christ requires,
b. you do not understand the A B C’s of the Christian faith.
6. Church work is NOT passing out the communion or the collection plates.
a. That’s part of our worship.
b. Church work involves getting tired from knocking on doors,
c. going from house to house talking about Jesus,
d. going into the hospitals and visiting the sick and shut-ins,
e. visiting the fatherless and widows,
f. going into the prisons with the message that Jesus saves.
7. These are some of the things that church work involves
a. and you cannot do these things worshipping in the church building.
b. Now, leaders and church members let me ask you again,
c. “What are you doing for Christ besides coming to the church building?”
Loved Ones, Reaching Out Demands Speaking Out
1. We must talk about Jesus.
a. We ought to be like the apostles when they were told
b. by the Sanhedrin Council not to speak anymore in the name of Jesus.
c. They had a bad case of the we-can't-help-its.
d. They told the Sanhedrin, "Whether it be right in the sight of God
to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard"
2. Neither can we be silent on the issues of life that plague men and women.
a. We must speak out on abortion, adultery,
b. shacking instead of marriage, and homosexuality.
c. We must speak out on racism, poverty, gambling,
d. the lottery, smoking and drugs.
3. We must speak out on false religious ways and religious racketeers.
a. We must speak out for the one Lord, the one faith, the one church,
b. the one baptism, and the one way to Heaven.
c. We must speak out and tell men the plan of salvation.
4. Loved ones, men are not saved by tarrying and shouting.
a. They are not saved by faith only,
b. or by having a strange, unusual feeling that they have never had before.
c. Men are not saved by voting on a candidate for baptism,
d. or by sprinkling as baptism.
5. But if a man is ever saved, he must have faith in Jesus Christ (John 8:24),
a. for without faith he cannot please God (Heb. 11:6).
b. He must repent of his sins (Luke 13:3),
c. for God commands "all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30).
6. He must confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord, the Son of God
a. Jesus said, "Whosoever shall confess me before men
him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven"
b. And if a man wants to be saved he must be baptized into Christ
c. for the remission of his sins (Acts 2:38).
d. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved"
7. During baptism, as you are buried under the water,
a. your sins are washed away by the blood of Christ (Rev 1:5).
b. Now that is what the Bible teaches saves a man (1 Peter 3:21).
c. At the same time the Lord adds that saved soul to His church (Acts 2:47).
8. And once you become a member of the church,
a. you ought to be on fire about reaching out to someone
b. who is still lost in sin.
9. Acts 2:46 records the activities of the people of God who were on fire.
a. They were talking about Jesus daily, publicly, and privately;
b. continuously teaching and preaching the Gospel of Christ.
c. They were not side-tracked, but they kept on telling
d. the old, old story of Jesus and his love everywhere.
10. Brethren, the greatest enemy we face today
a. is not atheism or denominationalism;
b. it is not the Buddhist or the Muslims;
c. but the greatest enemy of the church today is apathy –
d. Christians just don’t seem to care.
11. The tragic, justifiable criticism of the 21st Century church of Christ
a. can be summed up in those two words: "NO FIRE."
b. No fire for evangelism,
c. No fire for personal work,
d. No fire for worshipping God in Spirit and in truth,
e. No fire for Christian education,
f. No fire for the program of the church,
g. No fire in raising up elders, deacons, and preachers,
h. No fire in giving sacrificially to the work of God.
12. Fire is a powerful metaphor as use in the Bible.
a. Over and over fire is used as a symbol of God.
b. It reveals His awesome presence and might;
c. His holiness and glory.
13. We wish we had time this evening to tell you about
a. the "Angel of the Lord" who appeared to Moses
"in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush" (Ex. 3:2).
b. Or how our God used a pillar of fire
c. to guide the children of Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 13:21-22).
14. If time would only permit, we would tell you how
a. God's people were reeling and rocking with polytheism,
b. and going after Baal, when Elijah, God's prophet of fire,
c. challenged the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal.
15. You know the story, fire came down from heaven
a. upon that water saturated altar
b. as the determining factor as to who had the approval of God
(1 Kings 18).
16. In the Bible, fire is used figuratively many times.
a. It is used as cleansing power (Isa 6:6-7).
b. It is used as spiritual power, for the Psalmist said: "Who maketh his
angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" (Ps 104:4).
17. The old prophet Jeremiah got tired
a. and no longer wanted to speak in the name of the Lord.
b. But God's Word was in Jeremiah's heart as a burning fire,
c. and he could not help but speak (Jer. 20:9).
18. Loved Ones, the church of our Lord was started by "Tongues like as of fire"
a. and it is perpetrated by fire.
b. I hear Jesus saying, "I am come to send fire on the earth,
and what will I, if it be already kindled?" (Luke 12:49).
19. You know, there is something about fire that won't let you rest.
a. It does not matter how exhausted you are;
b. you cannot rest if your house is on fire! AMEN?
c. Can you rest when your car is on fire?
d. Can you rest when the clothes you are wearing are on fire?
20. I said there is something about fire that won't let you rest!
a. Fire illuminates, fire purifies, fire refines, fire melts, fire unites.
b. Every Christian ought to be a flame of fire for Jesus.
c. If the Christian is not aflame in winning lost souls to Jesus,
d. then it means that he is not on fire.
21. And it is an incontestable fact that an un-growing fire will die of itself.
a. The way that you know whether anything is on fire
b. is whether it will start another fire.
c. Are you listening leaders? You don't hear me.
22. The church is dead in so many places because the fire has gone out.
a. And we know that our God does not want a dead church! (Rev. 3:1-2).
b. In 1 Thess. 5:19, Brother Paul said, "Quench not the spirit."
c. That is just another way of saying, "Don't Put Out The Fire."
1. Preachers, those of us who are doing the work of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5)
a. must comprehend the sense the urgency
b. which Jesus had for evangelism.
2. The mission of the church is an extension
a. of the mission of Jesus Christ Himself,
b. and that mission was to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
3. Men are lost this morning, separated from God,
a. and dying in that condition without the Lord Jesus Christ,
b. and we preachers and teachers have the power
c. in the Word of the Gospel to save them (Rom 1:16).
4. But do we possess the fire, the sense of urgency
a. and the love that says, "I must tell them?"
b. Love for souls is the proper motive for evangelizing the lost.
5. However, many preachers seem to have little conception
a. of the emphasis needed concerning
b. the world-wide mission of the church.
c. Are you listening preachers?
6. Some preachers are satisfied to "pastor" their congregation and survive.
a. They do not want to make waves or rock the boat.
b. They have children to educate and retirement to reach,
c. so why get too excited about anything?
d. For shame!
7. Preachers are God’s spokesmen!
a. Our task is unique, and the Lord and the lost are depending on us.
b. If we do not awaken, arouse and motivate the brethren, who will.
c. We are God's crusaders; we are God's conscience.
8. Our world is pregnant with error and we are the ones
a. to throw down the gauntlet.
b. We must not stop until the last enemy is routed
c. and the last error overthrown.
9. Preachers, arise and make the battle cry known!
a. Alarm the complacent and the conforming.
b. Put power in your message by putting the message in your preaching.
c. Confront the false teachers of our day.
d. Proclaim the world wide mission of the church (Matt. 28:19).
e. If we don't who will?
f. Turn in your Bibles to Romans 10.
10. Leaders of God's people, we're begging you
a. not to put out the preacher's fire!
b. When the preacher man starts a flame burning
c. in the heart of members and non-members,
d. don't put out the flame with a non-cooperative spirit.
11. Nothing can put out the preacher's fire
a. as fast as a non-cooperative spirit among the leaders.
b. Nothing can put out the preachers fire as fast as leaders
c. who won't fulfill their responsibility to the flock.
d. As fast as leaders who consider spiritual things unimportant,
e. but physical material things of the utmost importance.
f. As fast as leaders who refuse to use the funds of the church
g. to evangelize the lost.
12. I hear Brother Paul saying in Romans 10:13-15 (READ).
a. That is another way of saying, "Don't Put Out The Preacher's Fire."
b. Leaders of the church, you too have been entrusted
c. with carrying the Gospel to every creature in every generation
13. How can this job be done unless leaders arise
a. who can see the need and supply the seed?
b. A congregation is constrained to follow her leaders (Heb. 13:17),
c. therefore the leaders are the key to local and foreign mission work
(1 Peter 5:1-3).
14. If the leaders are not alert, awake and advancing,
a. how will the church boldly go forth to the far flung reaches of the earth
b. to mine the great riches for God?
c. How can we reap the fields white unto harvest (John 4:35)?
15. The congregations need leaders who love the lost
a. and have a great vision for the lost world-wide.
b. What is wrong when hundreds of congregations across the land
c. have no plans for world-wide evangelism?
16. Who is to blame? What can be done?
a. If only our leaders would demand more for Christ.
b. If they would push more for mission work
c. and excite us to the job before us.
d. Oh, how we need leaders on fire
e. for the world-wide mission of the church!
f. Are you listening leaders?
17. Church member, you too can put out the fire of evangelism
a. by refusing to get involved in the service of the Lord.
b. The church is the instrument which Jesus now uses
c. to accomplish His mission.
18. We are to be His hands and in a sense His voice.
a. Do we dare imagine that His hands would be idle and His voice silent?
b. God forbid!
19. The whole of the life of Jesus was characterized by
a. love, compassion, and activity.
b. So it must be with the life of the church,
c. and so it must be with the lives of each of us since we are the church
(1 Cor. 12:27).
20. We are the body of Christ!
a. To follow Jesus demands that the sharing of the Good news
b. be a priority in our life.
21. Jesus gave His all, so anything less than total commitment from each of us
a. is to look but never see; is to listen but never hear;
b. is to seek bot never find; is to run but never arrive.
22. Church member, you don't have to be a Christian
a. for five or six years before your fire starts to burn
b. and you start to reach out.
c. We have baptized people who on the same day of their baptism
d. started reaching out to the lost.
23. They could tell others what they did to be saved.
a. They could tell others as much as they knew,
b. and then bring them to someone
c. who had more knowledge of the Bible.
24. We have baptized people, who before they were one year old in Christ,
a. had been instrumental in leading five or six souls to the Lord.
b. Now that is church work.
1. Sometimes I'm afraid many members say:
a. "I'm going to let the preacher do my visiting,
b. my personal work, my knocking on doors."
c. But I want to lay this question on your souls:
d. "Do you plan to let the preacher go to heaven for you?"
2. How many people on your block or in your neighborhood
a. know that you are a Christian;
b. a member of the body of Christ; the church of Christ?
3. How many of them know where you attend services
a. and how often you attend?
b. What about those with whom you work?
c. What about your friends and relatives?
d. "Go tell them!" (Mark 5:19).
4. Don't wait for some "organized program"
a. or special requests from the church leaders
b. to get involved in telling others of Christ.
c. The statement is still true: "He that winneth souls is wise" (Prov. 11:30).
5. There is much that you can do to win souls,
a. if you really want to do it.
b. Say it again church, We Can, if I Will!
6. You can get involved in evangelism by mailing Bible courses to the lost.
a. Efforts such as this are reaching, teaching and causing thousands
b. of people all over the world to be baptized into Christ (Gal 3:27).
7. Some teachers using these correspondence courses
a. have been responsible for the conversion of dozens of people each year
b. for several years, and that without ever leaving their home!
8. You can also get involved in the same kind of program at home,
a. or organize one of your own.
b. You can learn how to teach "one on one"
c. by meeting with other Christians who are doing such work,
d. and you can encourage and help one another.
9. You can ask the Lord to help you get involved in reaching out,
a. for he promised that if you ask, it shall be given unto you,
b. if you seek, you shall find, if you knock, it shall be open unto you
10. You can provide a good tract, or good Gospel literature
a. for the lost to read in the waiting rooms
b. of plane and boat terminals, hospitals,
c. doctor’s offices, and many other places.
11. You can send a good bulletin or publication
a. to a friend or relative on a weekly basis.
b. You can share a good web site, such as TrustInGodAmerica.com
c. with a friend on Face Book or Twitter.
12. For too long we have left it to others,
a. but if the world is to be told, we must tell them.
b. The Bible says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so" (Ps 107:2).
13. If we really believe that Jesus is the Christ (Matt 16:16),
a. if we really believe people are lost (1 John 5:19; Rom 3:23),
b. if we really believe that only Christ can save them (John 14:6; Acts 4:12),
c. then let us tell them: "I believed, therefore did I speak."
d. It was simple 2000 years ago;
e. and if we will only do it, it will be that simple today.
1. As we close this evening, our challenge to each of you
a. is to Reach Out and touch somebody's hand,
b. and make this world a better place, if you can.
c. You ought to reach out for Christ because:
d. He is the artist's ideal portrait.
e. He is the astronomer's bright and morning star.
f. He is the banker's hidden treasure.
g. He is the biologist's life of everything that exists.
2. You ought to reach out for Jesus because:
a. To the carpenter, he is the door.
b. To the doctor, he is the Great Physician.
c. To the educator, he is the Master Teacher.
d. To the farmer, he is the seed of righteousness
e. and the Lord of the Harvest.
3. You ought to reach out for Christ because:
a. to the geologist, he is the Rock of Ages.
b. To the jeweler, he is the pearl of great price.
c. To the sculptor, he is the living stone.
d. To the sailor, he is the pilot across life's stormy sea.
e. To the preacher-man, he is the Word of God.
f. To the poor sinner, Jesus is the Lamb of God
g. who takes away the sins of the world.
4. Preachers and leaders, we are wondering,
a. will you help us to reach out to this island
b. and to the lost souls of this world?
c. Young people, will you help us to reach out
d. and capture this world for Christ?
5. Husbands and wives, will you help us to reach out?
a. New members and old members,
b. will you help us to reach out and touch somebody's hand,
c. and make this world a better world if you can?
d. We are calling on every Christian to help us to reach out to the lost,
e. and capture them for Jesus Christ.