Message Transcript There are two kinds of people in the world: o red vines / twizzlers o coke – pepsi o TP over – TP under o readers – nonreaders o eat to live – live to eat o introverts – extroverts o lost – saved For the past 3 months we have zeroed in on the difference between the two and why that matters. Why it matters: · It’s a matter of life and death (in this life and into eternity) · Not just “people” but your “people” – relatives and loved ones · Lostness is growing…getting worse. o genuine human crisis . o We are looking down the barrel of a full-on epidemic of spiritual lostness. o So, so many people separated from God. They are Lost are getting “loster”. So…what are we to do? Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? Romans 10:13-14 (NLT) To be saved you have to believe. To believe you have to hear. To hear you have to be told. This business of “telling them”- lit. proclaim to them…is the business of evangelism. Evangelism - the art of persuading people to surrender their lives to Jesus. For lost people, evangelism is a matter of life and death. This weekend is my last shot to summarize all that we’ve learned and push us to a tipping point where we have a genuine groundswell of action… · We must get good at evangelism · It must become our “white hot why” of existence. So, let me kick off our review with this illustration (two gaps illustration) · lost people are separated from God because of their sin… Lost people “have sinned and come up short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 · saved people have surrendered their lives to Jesus, are forgiven of their sinfulness, (bridged the gap) and are thus in relationship with God. · but…there are lost people who are very distant from even considering their lostness due to the credibility gap…Faith, Bible, Church, Christians are not credible…so they are nowhere near considering their lostness.. Let’s go deeper… The Saved – who are they? I John · The saved are certain of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus…and have surrendered their lives to him. o conviction fuels their faith · the saved have had our sins atoned for – forgiven o Jesus paid the price for their sins · saved are in fellowship with God o the saved you now share a common life with God! o The saved “…share in God’s divine nature”. 2 Peter 1:4 o To share a common life with God is to have an utterly unparalleled life! o To share a common life with God is to have a supernatural life! o To share a common life with God is to become superhuman! · the saved have a new identity: o adopted – children of God o filled with the Holy Spirit o have become strong Important – how many people like this are in America? · 75% would tell you that they have some kind of faith…some kind of identity with Jesus o they are misguided, misinformed and mistaken § religious, a church affiliation, heritage, o but truth be told – the real number is much much lower and getting smaller by the month o some estimates that the truly really saved are more like 7% The Lost – who are they? They are the antithesis of being saved: · NOT certain of Jesus · NOT surrendered their lives to him · Sins are NOT forgiven · Do NOT share a common life with God · Do NOT have a new identity The lost are “…darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God…” Ephesians 4:18 They are stuck on this side of the sin gap. Because they have not believed in, become certain of, surrendered to Jesus. But there are different types of lost people · there are the religious lost – religious people live their life by a spiritual balance sheet – bad things they’ve done compared to the good things they’ve done. Sincere hope is that the good outnumber the bad – this is the essence of religious life. religious people are bridge builders to God. Trying to work their way over the sin gap. · the seeking lost o hungry/thirsty/trying to find o would be quick to jump on the possibility of life · the self-sufficient o convinced of their ability to find life o career builders – movers and shakers o adding to their personal resumes - need just that one thing they are missing o unwilling to surrender · notorious sinners o sawed off little social disasters o messed up and they know it · the skeptical, cynical, disinterested lost o they are skeptical of the Bible and claims of being THE truth. o they are apathetic about or turned off by the church o they are cynical about Christians § esp. they are sensitive toward perceived bigotry and intolerance o they are disinterested in faith o they are ignorant about Jesus o thus…they are comfortable in their agnosticism or atheism There are lots and lots of these kind and every other kind of lost people in the world. So…what do we do? Key: If Jesus is the bridge over the sin gap…who or what is the bridge over the credibility gap? You and I We HAVE to practice evangelism…HAVE to….these are not nameless faceless people! these are the loved ones of your life! So…how do you do that? 1. Identify your “1”. 2. Pray like mad. 3. Get in the room and stay in the room. a. presence and persistence 4. Tell your story. 5. Talk about Jesus. a. in conversation not in presentation 6. Persuade them to surrender to Jesus. 7. Invite them to Church. a. why? They have to see that their cynicism is unfounded b. we must turn this place into the most gracious welcoming place on earth Evangelism is a matter of life and death.