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September 19, 2021 3:00 am
We need God, and we need each other.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” —Proverbs 27:17
The church is a place to find relationships, encouragement, and perspective.
1. They were a learning church.
It’s not only strong preaching we need, but also strong listening.
2. They were a loving church.
The Lord likes it when we talk about Him to other people.
The Lord listened and heard means “to prick the ear,” “to bend down,” “to not miss a single word.”
The stronger your vertical fellowship is the stronger your horizontal fellowship will be.
The first century church looked out for each other.
You have been blessed to be a blessing to others.
The early church met house to house.
3. They were a worshiping church.
From Genesis to Revelation, our faith is one of worship.
There are times we don’t feel like worshipping.
If a nonbeliever were to watch your everyday life, would they want to know more about Jesus or less?
When we come to God in prayer and worship, we see things correctly.
“The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests his head at night, giving perfect peace.” —Charles Spurgeon
4. They were an evangelistic church.
You are loved by God.
SoCal Harvest is back at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. If you are in Southern California, make plans to join us. Learn more at https://harvest.org/socal-harvest-2021/.
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Hey there, thanks for listening to the gray glory podcast, a ministry supported by harvest partners on Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries. To learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to harvest.org so I want you to grab your Bibles and turn to acts chapter 2. This is a part of our new series in the book of acts, but let's start with prayer father as we open your word. We know it is alive. We know it's powerful we know it does not return to you void it accomplishes the purposes you have for it. I pray that is the seed of the word of God goes out to people literally all around our planet that people would find hope they would find purpose. They would find perspective, the most of all, that they would find Jesus if they don't know one we commit this time a Bible study to you now in Jesus name we pray.
Amen. Okay, so I Jeannie appears to a woman, and he says I will grant to you is the many wishes as you want. Was he was very excited. She said will Jeannie let me say that my wish is that my husband's eyes should only be on me during all waking hours a Jeannie said okay I can do that. What else do you want she said I don't want him to be concerned with anyone except me without.
She says I don't want him to sleep without me by his side. Okay well it's list is growing.
Anything knows yes she says when he wakes up in the morning.
I wanted to see my face first.
The genie said all right. Anything else you want to add. Yes, he should not go anywhere without me all right are you done know one of the thing. If I get a single scratch on me. Jeannie, I want him to go crazy with grief. Jeannie said all right is that it she said yes and proof Jeannie made her into a smart phone, smart phone men if they ever changed our life. You know, instead of making a smarter think smart phones have made us more stupid.
Would you agree there was article in Inc. magazine that had this headline we lost the judges. One, they pointed out that the average smart phone user unlocks their phones hundred in 50 times a day. 85% of smartphone users check their phones while speaking to family and friends of your at someone do that.
You're telling them something important you're pouring your heart out to them and they're just, you know, scrolling or checking their text or whenever their phone service or vibrates.
They have to look at it is sort of interrupting life in general and I think in many ways.
Smart phones are making us relationally done.
Take some of the social media platforms like Facebook, which of course also owns Instagram on an average month 2.8 billion people are using Facebook and there's a new story out right now. You might've heard of that Facebook did some internal research among the people that use their platform and ask them some questions and these answers came back with a never published it but I believe someone leaked it and here's what they found out 32% of girls who use Instagram say it made them feel worse about their bodies if they were already having insecurities and also this research revealed that teenagers blame Instagram for increases in their anxiety and depression, 13% of British users and 6% of American users trace their suicidal feelings to Instagram. Those are fascinating and alarming statistics. I think we've never been more disconnected and connected at the same time I think you could say pretty accurately. Americans have never felt more alone. A Gallup poll taken 30 years ago described American culture with these words, Americans are the loneliest people in the world although I was 30 years ago. What would it be today with social media throw: on top of it with the lockdowns and other things that were facing today. There's an organization called Cigna. It's a global health service and they recently interviewed 20,000 people and came up with these conclusions number one half of Americans reported sometimes or always feeling alone number two only half of Americans have meaningful in person social interactions on a daily basis. And thirdly generation Z is the loneliest generation of all generations and is in the worst health of any generation. So what is the solution to all of this I think number one. It reveals that we need God and we need each other. You see, you are not meant to do life alone as it has been said, no man is an island or we need interaction we were billed for community God wired us that way effect the first thing that God said is not good in the Bible is the aloneness of man. He said not good is the aloneness of man we need each other. Proverbs 27 verse 17 says as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Ecclesiastes 49 reminds us to are better than one, and if either of them falls down the other can help them up in Harvard's women's health watch are recently reported this and I quote dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier and they have fewer health problems and they live longer so again were billed for a relationship with God and with other people and this is where the church comes in the church is not a building its people. It's God's people gathering together other churches like an oasis of hope in the desert of hopelessness. The church is a place where you will find interaction, encouragement, and it's a place where you will find yourself mentally and spiritually and even physically healthier than you've ever been before. Time magazine actually ran an interesting article titled the benefits of faith in the church and here are some of their observations. They said number one heart surgery patients who draw comfort from their faith have significant significantly higher survival rate than those who do not. Secondly, the blood pressure of people who attend church is lower than those who don't. Thirdly, people who have faith in attend church on a regular basis.
Experience less depression than people who don't attend church and finally, suicide is four times higher among non-churchgoers. Then churchgoers so going to church is not only good for you spiritually. Apparently it's good for you physically and even mentally. Remember, Jesus himself started the church of the church, which means, by the way, called out ones of the church. Jesus says this is my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
I bring this up because here in the book of acts were looking now at the birth of the early church. This is the original template for the church. This is the church that Jesus started this is the church that turned their world upside down and I titled this message better together because together. This church prayed together this church worship together.
This church studied the word of God and together this church shared the gospel and again together this church change the world. Listen, every believer should be a part of the church.
Why well, it's a place to be spiritually fed. It's in the church so we hear the word of God talk to us.
Secondly, it's a place to develop a consistent theology and to be accountable to other mature Christians of the church is a place to find your spiritual gifts and cultivate them and use them in so much more now. It's not just being in the building. It's been with God's people. That's really what the church is that I know that were living in the days of covert and I know that we all felt like it was over and then we have a new wave the Delta variance in the property. The other variants that will come along and I know there are some people because they have pre-existing medical conditions that makes it difficult for them to go out and gather with people in public spaces like a congregation of believers, and I understand that. And tragically, I even though some people who have died from covert as many of you do. Probably as well so were very aware of this and this is one of the reasons why Harvest at Home is here for you. This is just for the people were watching and I know some of you use this as a supplemental ministry. You have a church that you go to what you watch Harvest at Home as well. I know others of you can't get out because of covert or because you're sick of there some other reason, and so this is your main source of spiritual input or teaching or one of your main sources I should say I know that many of you will become a part of our extended congregation and were happy for that were glad to be here and we want you to be blessed by what we do, but I want to add something that doesn't mean you should not be interacting. Now let me appoint a couple of things out if you're watching firstname.lastname@example.org is a little place for you to chat and people come on right now if you look at it you'll see people are here from all over the country even the world talking to each other, bringing prayer needs up so this is a place for you to engage. Also, if you watch Harvest at Home in our YouTube page. There is ongoing communication between people and only wanted tell you about something else you may not be aware of the harvest groups that we have these at our church in our primary congregation is in Riverside we have a church in Orange County.
We have a church on the beautiful island about Sophia revisiting any of those places come and join us but we have small groups we call them harvest groups meeting among those churches, but we also have on line groups and were developing more on your screen right now, there is information on how you can join harvest online group.
Please do that because you need interaction in unique community. You need people to talk with and pray with and help you as you deal with the challenges of life. So here now is the early church and we want to see how they live their lives and how they impacted their world. So let's look at acts 242, redone the verse 47.
By the way I'm reading from the new King James version and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayers then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles to all who believed were together, you might underline that there were together. They had all things in common. They sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need continuing daily you might underline that phrase, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they eat their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Now remember in our last message we pointed out that Peter preached the gospel on the day of Pentecost.
He was filled with the holy spirit after he was done preaching 3000 people believed in the Lord.
So here now is the introduction to the church that's going to be on this planet.
Following up on these people and being the representative of Christ on this planet. There's some very important take away truth about this verse century church that should be true of any church today for that matter, they should be true of us as individuals if you're taking notes here is point number one, they were learning church. There were learning church listen if you want to be a strong Christian and if you want to be in a strong church. It has to be a church that focuses on the word of God to those of us were called to preach and teach the word of God. Second Timothy four reminds us preach the word of God. Be persistent. Whether the time is favorable or not patiently correct, rebuke and encourage her people with good teaching for a time is coming. Paul warns when people will no longer listen to right teaching the fall of their own desires and look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. The Bible says one of the signs of the last days is people will have an inch for novelty all boys that true right now seems like people get on these websites that have conspiracy type theories and sometimes they're sort of wrapped in Bible prophecy. So it makes them seem like there something we should be aware of as Christians and people will pass this information around and it seems like they have a greater interest in all of these theories than they do in the word of God, look at my job is to teach you the word of God. I'm not a political pundit. I am not an entertainer. I am not a motivational speaker on call to be a preacher of the word of God. And I'm thankful he's called me to do this and that's what a church should focus on focus on the word of God. What a big concentrate on we read. It was the apostles doctrine during harvest. We offer theology without apology. Our mission statement is as follows.
Knowing him and making him known. It's right there on the screen knowing him and making him know we come to know God.
The study of Scripture through prayer, through devotion walking with him and we make him known through evangelism. So this was of church that was learning the word of God, you know, I think we need strong preaching in the church today, but I think we also need strong listening. Verse 42. They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine fellowship. The breaking of bread impresses phrase continued steadfastly speaks of a passion seat.
They had a passion. Let me ask you, what are you passionate about everybody's passionate about something. Some people are passionate about sports. Not me. I could care less about sports.
I know I probably have to turn my men garden but I'm just telling you I never care that much about sports were boys. Some people that is what really fires them up other people are passionate about movies. Have you seen this movie. All this is the greatest movie other people are passionate about music.
Their favorite band.
Their favorite artist.
Other people are passionate about food other people. It's politics all get on the subject of politics and they lined up. Okay, listen, here's my question. Are you passionate about Jesus because your passion for Jesus should be greater then your passion for anyone or anything else and when this verse says that they continued steadfastly and means they had a passion so there's anointed preaching and there's anointed listening more than one occasion, Jesus said he that has ears to hear, let him hear. So I think will be watch harvested homework. We attend church, we should come within open Bible and an open heart to hear what God's word as to say I always encourage Christians to take notes. Some people do it by hand a little notebook is not a novel idea writing something down other people ported into their cell phone notes. I don't care how you do it, but I you don't retain as much information as you think you do.
And it's a good thing to write it down and crave the word of God. So this was a learning church if you want to be a growing Christian, you need to be a learning Christian you don't know as much as you think you probably know, is always more to learn.
Always more to grow. The apostle Paul. After years of walking with the Lord said, he managed waited, thinking that he just said hey it's not as though I've already attained her. I'm perfect but I'm pressing on for Moran and I think that the growing Christian knows there's always so much to learn and relearn. Because sometimes we forget things we know.
But they are not fresh in our memory.
So it's good to be reminded of these things again and again. They were all learning church number two. They were a loving church there were a loving church for 42 events to says they continued and fellowship. See the more we get to know God and his word.
The more we will want to share it with others.
Listen to this God really likes it when we talked about Kim to other people.
He likes it when we have what the Bible calls fellowship together. This is a unique word that is used here for fellowship.
It's the word coined in Neah. It's not the easiest word to translate it can translate, fellowship, communion, but it but it's a word that speaks about a special kind of communication that happens among followers of Jesus Christ. I'm amazed so I can travel around the world meet someone I've never met before, but there were a fellow Christian and immediately there is a connection immediately. There is so much we have in common because we have fellowship one with another, and when we talk about the Lord he pays careful attention. There's a fascinating passage in Malachi 316 it says those that feared the Lord talk with each other. Listen, and the Lord listened and heard this phrase here in Malachi 4 listened and heard can be translated correctly here to bend down so as not to miss a single word of principal my grandchildren come up to me and say Poppa I might be talking to a bunch of people pop up, to stop the conversation I'm having with you. Yes, I'm directing my attention to them in the same way when we talk about Jesus with each other. The Lord sort of eavesdropping on our conversation a. What is it you're saying about me all I love to hear that that's fellowship that's all we need each other fellowship is praying together in the early church prayed. They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine, the breaking of bread and prayers asked to tells us that they pray constantly. They prayed about everything and will explore that more is the growth of the book of acts together. They served together at times they suffered together, they were blessed together. The aged together. These are the fibers of fellowship. Listen to this when you're walking with God. You'll be walking with God's people and when you're not walking with God. You probably won't want have much to do with God's people really your reaction to being around Kristin says a lot about you spiritually, I found that when you're in tight fellowship with the Lord you love together with other Christians listen, the stronger your vertical fellowship. The stronger your horizontal dealership will be so vertical fellowship. Your relationship with God then affects your horizontal fellowship also makes the cross doesn't know some people say will II don't know about the church that I don't really like the church. I don't want to be a part of the church there so many hypocrites in the church. Hey, there's always room for one more now, let's be honest, these are excuses that we often use. Some people will say when I go to church. Ideally people are judging me, let me say something some of you may not like. Maybe you need to be judged a little below domain and the Bible says judgment list to be Giants. Everyone knows that verse very few people understand that verse. When Jesus said Judge not lest you be judged. He was nothing.
We should not make evaluations or judgments if you will the better translation would be condemned, not lest you be condemned. If you went to a church in your condemned or rejected. I apologize that is not a representative of Jesus got a good representation of Jesus Christ. But having said that, if you went to a church and you were living outside of the will of God or you were engaged in some sinful activity in some Kristin had the courage and the love to confront you. That's a good thing not a bad thing because the Bible says faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
You see when you love someone, you tell them the truth because the Bible also says open rebuke is better than secret love.
A true friend will tell you the truth interview were in the worst outfit of all time US your friend for their opinion and they tell you that you don't wear that are him and he got a student at staying in the middle of your shirt that's a true friend that's a good thing you see in a true Christian friend will say should be living that way, you should be doing that thing you're doing shouldn't be saying those things you're safe because I love you see we could use a little judgment of that kind. The Bible says judgment begins at the house of God to the church is a place to be accountable. Maybe that's what we don't want to be in the church. We don't want someone to hold us accountable but it's good to be held accountable. This is one reason why people church shop by don't go to church anymore and I don't like what's people said to be no.
I go to this church. But I'm leaving this church and in a week. I'm going to another church, always changing and never getting stabilized.
I heard about a guy he was stranded on island in the middle of the ocean for months he was there. Finally, people were made aware of him being on that island. They came to rescue him, they saw that this man had built actually three buildings and so they said while these are very impressive buildings tells about the results of the first building that's my home.
That's right, lit. Oh what's this building right behind you.
That's my church will there. There's another building behind that. What is the third building that's a church I used to go to to that's how some people are that they won't get stabilized in one place with one group of believers, but it's so important to do that. Another thing I would point out about the first century church achieves a world as they looked out for each other. They looked out for each other. Look at verse 44 the believers met together in one place and they shared everything you see, they pull the resources understand they were under persecution. Some people have lost our livelihood because of their faith. So other believers helped out. This was never forced on anybody. It was voluntary. It was not something they continued to do, but they didn't at this particular time, but certainly there's a take away principal here of caring for each other, you know, if I know a fellow Christian who is in need. Maybe they need food maybe they need clothing. Maybe they need employment or they need encouragement they need something else up by the ability to help them should I not help them see it's very easy to critique all the time.
I think some people think that they have the gift of criticism. There is no such gift which you need is a willingness to pitch in and help in these believers took care of one another. They cared for each other and ministered to each other and this is a mark of spiritual maturity. We grow and realize that church is not just a place to come and receive. It's a place to come and serve. Sometimes it was I don't I don't get good at that church. I'm going to this church was very important that your fed your fed the word of God become. To be honest with you that's to come a moment when you come to grow up and you learn to feed yourself. I mean the pastor job is just to preach the gospel and teach the word of God and a little bit like all my sons were young like would cut up their food in small bites and sometimes of faith, our meeting there that would make airplane noises and and I would bribe them.
If you take three more monster bites out give you ice cream or something like that.
So I understand that's my job. When a child is small but as a child matures, should they not be able to cut up their own food, should they not be able to cook their own food, should they not be able to feed themselves as something that will not always be a place for those who are called to teach and expositor the word what it is to say, we need to feed ourselves and we need to realize church is not just about me having my needs met.
It's a place where I can go and meet other people's needs, because I've discovered my spiritual gifts and I'm using them to help others grow spiritually.
Listen, you've been blessed to be a blessing. Jesus put it this way. Where review the desires to be first shall be slave of all. Freeman the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
So this church ministered to one another. They serve one another and it also tells us they met house to house.
Look at verse 46 they met house to house breaking bread they didn't have mega buildings like we have today. We have very large building and Riverside. We have a good sized building in orange county.
So actually in island of Maui.
We just meet like in a little shed that's on the golf course for the used to keep golf carts and that's all we have our morning services is actually very cool. The churches the church when God's people gather.
We gathered together at Angel Stadium on October 3. That is a church service. If you will. It doesn't matter that were in the stadium. We don't need aspire. We don't need the steeple.
We don't need a cross to say it's a church were God's people, and when two or more gather together in his name is there in the midst of them.
So the church is when God's people gather. So this church met in the temple, but they also met house to house. So you might say this was the first century equivalent of small groups of harvest we been really focusing on getting our folks into small groups which were doing in person. As I mentioned were doing online for all of you who watch as well but one is a small group important of small group is a way to make a big church.
A small church.
It's a way to get to know other people. It's a way to go more in depth into the word of God. We've even developed a curriculum for this series were in a in the book of acts we have summaries of what each chapter is teaching. We have questions that can be asked and it's a great way to dig in deeper to what were studying together general. Another good thing about small group is it's a place to to give and receive support a we have found that people were in small groups need less counseling. They have less problems because they have a place to deal with these things already. They have a network. They have a family they have friends there for them so this first century church. They were a learning church. They were loving church is point number three. There were a worshiping church a worshiping church to give verse 47 praising God and having favor with all the people the Lord added to the church daily those that were being say now and the beginning of Harvest at Home. We have a time of worship we put the lyrics on the screen. I hope you sing-along it really is meaningful when we do that together. I hope when you're watching that that you find a quiet place and try to reduce distractions and engage is much as possible with your family and your friends. But will we gathered together in person something wonderful, something supernatural happens when God's people worship together. The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of his people and listen when were worshiping God or doing what God created us to do your wired to worship everyone worships something or someone you bellow it some altar.
The real question is who do you worship Democrats worship Republicans worship independence, worship Christians worship even atheists worship the water they worship will the Christian worship the Lord and we understand one of the greatest ways to do that is lifting our voice in song the Christian church is a singing church and you find the worship of God expressed in song from Genesis to Revelation effect when we get to heaven. According to Revelation 15 were going to be worshiping the Lord. We read in Revelation 15. They sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb. And they cried out great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
Let's be honest, there are times week don't feel like worshiping a Hebrews 1316, Tuesday, 15 says by him. Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lives, giving thanks to his name. Sometimes our praise will be a sacrifice. Sometimes we praise God even when we don't feel like it.
You think Joe felt like praising God when he lost his family and he lost his livelihood and he lost his health project, we read that Job worship God and said, naked came I into this world they could go. I out, blessed be the name of the Lord. That's called a sacrifice of praise. The Bible says give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his mercy endures forever. It does not say give thanks to the Lord.
When you feel good listener.
This did you know your worship is a witness to give verse 47 of acts two. Again, praising God and having favor with all the people of the Lord added to the church daily those that were being say is that there's a direct connection between worship of God and our witness to the world. Consider this volunteer Bible study and fellowship and worship does not make you want to share your faith something is wrong. Evangelism is the natural overflow of the spirit filled life because when we worship God as Christians it's a witness to a lost world example of Paul and Silas were whipped for preaching the gospel there were thrown into a Roman dungeon and then we read in the book of acts. At midnight Paul and Silas began to sing praises to God, and then we read in the other prisoners were listening. A great earthquake came the walls collapsed.
Paul and Silas were released and they could've run, but the jailer who would imprison them was ready to take his life because the loose your prisoners would've been a death penalty.
Paul said don't hurt yourself or still here that Roman jailer said what must I do to be say.
So you're being watched by a lost world you're being watched by people that don't know the Lord and they want to see what you do when adversity comes your way. When hardship comes your way.
Maybe when you're laid off that job. Maybe when you get sick maybe when you face some other kind of challenge, how do you react to it. If you give glory to God and don't lose your faith through it. That's a powerful witness to those people. Here's a question for you to think about of an unbeliever or to watch her everyday life where they want to know more about Jesus or less. Let me ask him again if an unbeliever were to watch your everyday life where they want to know more or less about Jesus Christ is another advantage of worship, especially with God's people. When I worship God.
I put my problems in their proper perspective because sometimes my problems can seem so big and so overwhelming. Maybe I have big problems with a small God.
But when I realize how big my God is. Then I see how small my problems are in comparison. Jesus taught us in what we call the Lord's prayer to pray as follows.
Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
And then he tells us to break. Give us this day our daily bread.
See before I get to my petition before I get to my need.
I'm instructed by Jesus to say my father who art in heaven how that would be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done in other words, God you're so powerful you're so awesome you're so much bigger than any problem I'm facing any need that I have such a good way to sort of set the stage before you start to pray CH Spurgeon, the great British preacher made this statement and I quote the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rest his head at night giving perfect peace."
Let me explain that the sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that God is in control. God is sovereign and so when I lay my head down on the pillow at night I lay it on the sovereignty of God. Lord, you're in control.
Whatever, I'm facing your bigger than my problem and that gives me peace but you see when I isolate myself from other Christians. I am alone. My problems can be magnify. That's why David said magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. So when I worship I see God in his glory. Thus, I see my problems in a different way.
Asaph, the book of Psalms was grappling with the age-old question, why do the wicked prosper and then it dawned on him. He got perspective while he was worshiping with God's people. The rights and Psalms 7316.
When I tried to understand all of this, it was oppressive to me. Listen until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then they understood their final destiny. Speaking of wicked people. Surely, you place them on a slippery slope you because them down to ruin. Basically, he is saying and I don't get why that people get away with bad things. I don't understand why good people go through hardship. What is this all mean because I worship God as I saw God in his glory and the sovereignty says I got the proper perspective so they were a learning church there were a loving church.
They were a worshiping church in one final point, they were an evangelistic teacher and evangelistic church which means they shared their faith to give verse 47 the Lord added people daily to the church were being say, listen, the early church's evangelism was not sporadic or an occasional activity.
Just as there worship was daily, so was there witness and the result was a constant flow of new believers in the church. You show me a church that does not have a constant flow of new believers.
I'll show you a church that is stagnating. Sometimes churches grow through church transfer growth. In other words people leave one church to join this church and they leave the church to join another church is just people moving around. That's not the kind of church growth. I want to see the greatest church growth is people coming to Christ. I actually love when I meet a brand-new believer that doesn't know anything like a blank slate, and I can disable. Let me explain what the Bible says about that and when you see them here these things for the first time. It's a joy to you.
Here's why new believers are important in a church, new believers energize older believers in older believers stabilize younger believers. You see, we need each other. The younger believer need some of his older mature in their faith who can mentor them disciple them in the older believer need someone full of zeal and faith to remind him of how awesome it is. They have this relationship with Jesus Christ, so we all have a part to play. We all have a role to fill. I was in a small group last night. My son Jonathan has a small group that he leads and it was such an interesting collection of guys, one guy runs a jujitsu studio and that he uses his platform to tell people about Jesus. Another guy is a realtor and he uses his platform to talk about his faith and another one of the guys is a barber and I told him a joke I heard of the Barbara was going to church and the pastor said you should talk about your faith more and so this Barbara decided to do that and he had a guy sit down in his journey put the little apron around his neck and he got out that straight razor and held it up to the guys neck and then he said to them, are you ready to meet God. And the guy got up and ran out apron and also maybe don't do that. But the idea is you use the opportunities that are in front of you. Listen as I said before, the hardest parts of evangelism or takeoff and landing. By the way most dangerous times of a plane flight or takeoff and landing to so the hardest part about evangelism is getting started in the next hardest part of of evangelism is finishing what you started by asking the person that they want to accept Christ. So you start with a question and by the way, we give you a great tool in the so-called harvest. It's a nice little catalytic moment. You can see if you heard about this thing called the so-called harvested Angel Stadium and they'll say no or yes or I saw harvest Crusade sticker is speaking of the bumper stickers with our harvest Crusade sticker looks like this year, but the her destroyed from a few years ago of of a man who had a neighbor and the men noticed that his neighbor had a harvest Crusade sticker on his car so the men knocked on his neighbor's door and said what is that sticker about what is this thing and is friend told him that it was a harvest Crusade, and this meant that I want to go in them and ended up going and getting saved all of his family came to the Lord. So a little reminder is a good thing but anyway we have those opportunities to start the conversation.
So here's one.
Hey have you heard about what's happening on October 3 in Angel Stadium is called the so-called harvest. Once that I would send event that is amazing music. And then there's this bald guy is kenneling, but he gets up and he gives a message about how to know God. I would love you to go to that with me in person or I would love you to watch that with me and my home 11 meal before or I would love you to go to this link and watch it. Then I want to talk to about a great way to start the conversation but in another way to start a conversation is just talking about your faith coming back to the Christian barber we were asking him how he shares his faithful even when you're in the barbershop or in a beauty salon people just talk away don't think it's over there cutting your hair he'll just talk a little bit about his faith as a way you know the other day I was facing this problem and I prayed about it, that's called shunning. That's called putting the breathe and the water. Some people don't respond to that.
Some people change the subject. Some people will say what what you mean God answered your prayer boom venture open door so you're trying to find creative ways to get a conversation started. That's takeoff if you will. And then there's landing landing is when you say have you ever asked Christ to come into your life and would you like to do that right now. The other day. I have a friend who invited me to go to coffee with someone that he knows of my friend is a strong Christian and he says I have this buddy that I think is really ready to accept Christ were you common freedom to crisis it will only the Lord can bring them to faith, but I'll come so we met there for coffee and my friend just did it perfect job of sharing his testimony, talking about how Christ did change his life. I could never written it better myself. And then the. The man was asking questions I just listened a lot and I asked a few questions and listen some more and then I realize that my friends are like were playing volleyball.
He got the ball up there for me. The spike only had to do was just close the deal. So I turned to this man and I said let me tell you what the gospel is explained the gospel gospel tells us that were sinners separated from God and you've sinned and I've send them we've all sin, but God loved us so much he sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sin and the rise again from the dead three days later.
Now Jesus is ready to come into your life in the my friend said say that thing you always say before you pray with people. I said what think you know the thing you always say I realized I guess there is a thing I always set as it okay if you want to fill the void in your life if you want your sins forgiven.
If you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven if you want to find the meaning. The purpose of life than pray this prayer with me so I set it that I said that this man you want to pray and ask Jesus to come in your life that I do said pray this prayer after me. And as we pray right there right in front of this coffee place I went and get on her knees. I wasn't sending behind a pulpit like this is sit there with them having coffee.
He prayed the prayer he started to choke up toward the end of the prayer and I told him let me tell you after were done pray this and let me tell you what God just did for you as a God just forgive you of all of your sins, your sins are forgiven and your sins are forgotten because God is set as far as the east is from the west is as far as he is put your sin from you and he said well that's a big thing, it sure is is and it so let me close this message in the same way as someone watching me right now that is lonely here feeling isolated. Maybe you've turned to drugs. Maybe you've turned alcohol use feeling nobody cares about you. I wanted tell you that God loves you and God cares deeply about you and he wants a relationship with you and I wanted tell you that there is a family meeting for you.
It's not a perfect family but it's God's forever family. It's called the church and were saving the seed for you to join us be a part of the family of God. So let me say what I already said one more time if you want your sins forgiven.
If you want to fill that hole in your heart if you want your guilt taken away if you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven when you pray this prayer after me just like that man pray in the coffee place you can prayed after me right here right now if you want Jesus to come of your life.
I want you to pray these words Lord Jesus come in the my life.
I know that I am a sinner but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross and rose again from the dead. I choose to follow you, Lord. From this moment forward.
Thank you for hearing this prayer in answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen. Everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it. Just go to a harvest.org and find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God