I wanted to make a couple of resources available that may be helpful in regards to the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
1. Haustafel Part 1 – is a sermon where I spoke most directly to the growing influence of Homosexuality in our culture. The broadcast begins at the part of the sermon where I address the issue of Homosexuality. Forgive me for not including the textual exposition and context. Maximum Life Broadcast
2. Periscope Response – This is the broadcast that I released soon after hearing the Supreme Courts decision. Keep in mind that periscope allows any and all to comment or interact with the broadcaster. As such, I am responding to comments some of which and in strong opposition to a Christian perspective. Broadcast Video.
3. Ethics and Religious Liberty Commissions statement regarding the Supreme Courts ruling
It has been said that every individual is either in a storm, about to be in a storm or coming out of a storm. Such is the case for life this side of eternity. Thankfully, God has given us His Word to serve as a guide as we navigate the difficulties of life.
Over the course of nearly 20 years of ministry, I’ve preached thousands of sermons. There are a few, however, that get re-preached every year with only minor adjustments. “Not Everyone” is one of those sermons. The sermon is tied closely to my own conversion experience – spending the early part of my life as a lost “church member.” As is often the case, we typically are able to reach people who have a similar experience to ourselves. Maybe that’s why this has been the sermon that people most often ask me to preach when I am invited to conduct an evangelistic event. I recently preached it at Capshaw and now I’d like to share it with you all who follow this blog. Let me encourage you to share it on social media. I think you will agree this is a truth that people need to hear.
Luke 7:31-35 (NASB95)
34 “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
The Gospel writer Luke used the word friend more than any the other writers in the New Testament. As a matter of fact, it seemed to be one of his favorite words. Recently, I heard Tim Keller parenthetically say in one of his sermons,
“You will be about as good at evangelism as you are friendship.”
At first I reacted against the statement, thinking to myself – “I know guys that are not very friendly, yet who are very effective at evangelism”. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that their soul winning was primarily reserved for the pulpit. In “real life” they were ineffective. Then I thought through the people I had personally influenced for Christ outside of the pulpit, and almost without exception those who had borne the most fruit were friends before they were brothers or sisters. It seems, if you don’t have a lot of friends, you won’t win many souls. If you can make friends, you can win souls.
Filtering System Needed –
Why is the principal of friendship so important in evangelism? In his book – Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell suggestw that in business marketing and promotion makes very little difference in the overall scheme of things. Growth or success really happens through word of mouth, and then it is reinforced by effective advertisement.
You see, for every one hour of television you watch, you get nine minutes of commercials. The average person views 254 advertisements a day through billboards, radio, internet, etc. The more tech savvy you are, the more you get. Some are exposed to over 1000 promotions per day! Beyond that, information doubles every 2-3 years. In our lifetime we could see it double every two weeks. With all this stuff thrown at you, you need a filtering system to determine what is important and what is not. The way we filter what works and what is important is through the word of our friends. It is the recommendation of friends that gives us the information we need to know where to go on our next date night, which car to purchase, whether to go with a satellite or cable.
The word of our friends also helps us filter what is worthless religion from meaningful reality. The fact is, people make decisions about eternity based on the recommendation of their friends. For that reason, we must do our best to be strategic in giving our people opportunities to leverage the friendships they have developed for Christ. Evangelism begins with a friendship with a Christian, and ends with a friendship with Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, be a friend to sinners.