We need to be reaching out with the love of God, and it's not an option. Evangelism is not an option. Why do we want to do evangelism? First of all, the command, the command from above.
It's not an option. If you're following Jesus, evangelism is not an option. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Every day we see headlines that point towards this world's end, and we often wonder when the Lord will return. If that is the case and He is coming shortly, we need to do all that we can, while we can, to reach all that we can. David McGee continues with this thought in Romans 10, with his teaching, God wants to use you.
Here's David. Romans chapter 10, verse 17. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Great verse, powerful verse. It's interesting that some of the things we can do to build our faith are so simple.
One of the easiest things to do, one of the simplest things to do, you've decided to do today in being here. Because I'm up here and I'm talking about the Word of God, I'm teaching the Word of God, and as you hear the Word of God, your faith grows. And so you've decided to do something very good here, and be here today and hear the Word of God, and your faith will grow, your faith will increase. When you listen to the Christian radio, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. What kind of faith? Understand, faith is an active power. It's not, and understand, you know, some people, St. Francis said, share the gospel, and if all else fails, use words. Now understand what he meant, and kind of agree to a certain point that we need to be living out our faith. But we also need to be telling people, but that statement suggests we need to have an active faith. Not just, hey, you know, I pretty much, I go and visit a church every Sunday, it's the same church, I'm not actively engaged, I'm not praying for them, I'm not praying for the pastor, not giving there, but you know, I'm going there and it seems like a good church.
How sad that is, that you're not engaged and you're not involved. So, as we look at this active faith, you have to ask yourself, is your faith active? Are there deeds, when you think about yesterday, last week, this month, are there deeds of yours that are tied into your faith? You did it because you're a believer. Not just attending church, attending church, great thing.
But are you engaged? James speaks about faith in James 2.17, he says, Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, it is dead. That suggests that your faith can be dead and it's inactive, it's worthless, or your faith can be active. James 2.20 says, But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? And again in 2.26, he says, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. Is your faith an active faith or is your faith a dead faith? Can you point to yesterday or this morning, something you did that you did because of your faith? If you're sitting here and you can't automatically think of something you've done lately, you should be concerned.
You should be concerned. Now understand, I don't buy into this whole spectator sport of Christianity. It's not a spectator sport. Most churches have people somewhere in the 5 to 8 percent of the people who attend the church or even are members of the church are actually serving in any form of ministry. I think that's horrible. And I'm delighted that in this church, over 50 percent of the people that attend the church are active in ministry in the church. Amen.
Over 50 percent. You guys rock. I'm clapping.
I'm clapping for y'all to the glory of God, but I'm clapping for y'all because in a lot of places that doesn't happen. And you need to understand, friend, if you're new here, go ahead and take a sidestep a little bit. And your plan is to kind of slip in and slip out.
That'll work for a little while. And maybe you're here and you don't yet know Jesus. And I'm not going to beat you up, throw things at you, yell at you. We're going to talk about the goodness of God and how He desires to forgive you.
We're going to talk about that today. But you need to understand, if you want to be a spectator Christian, I love you enough to challenge that. The Bible says that we're supposed to stir one another up to good works. And in the Greek, another word for that is agitate.
So let me put it like this. I love you enough to agitate you at some point. Now if you're sitting here and you go, oh, I just love you, just wait, I'll agitate you at some point. And that will be agitating you, not just to get you mad, but to agitate you up, to stir you up to good works.
Why? Because I want you, if anybody else later on asks you that question, do you have deeds of active faith? You can say, oh, absolutely. I just came out of children's ministry, awesome time, talked to kids. We had a couple come to the Lord. I showed up yesterday, I was helping clean the church. I said, you can know that you've had deeds of faith.
Why? Because your faith should be active. Life lesson here, we should have a living and active faith, not a dead faith.
We should have a living and active faith, not a dead faith. Verse 18, but I say, have they not heard? Yes, indeed, their sound has gone out to all the earth and their words to the ends of the world. Now, Paul did an incredible job, the apostles did an incredible job covering the known world with the gospel.
But I don't think in their wildest imaginations they could dream what is possible now. I think there's some prophetic significance in their words to the ends of the world, which is now possible. God wants to speak through us to the whole world. Now, I understand too, when we talk about evangelism, years ago I spoke to one church and I was talking to them about evangelism and stuff, and you know what they said? They said, well, evangelism is not a priority for us right now. That's an interesting statement for a church to make. I don't understand that. Man, I never understand that statement. I'm not church bashing.
I mean, that's just the reality of what they said. But here's the thing, life lesson, we should do all we can while we can to reach all we can. Here's Paul's heart, and this is a great, great verse. First Corinthians 10, 33 says, that is the plan I follow to.
I try to please everyone in everything I do. I don't just do what I like or what is best for me, but what is best for them so they may be saved. What an interesting verse. It's a New Living translation. A lot of us really need to register that verse because we think, well, I want it my way.
And it's got to be just like this. A lot of times we are really, we, I'm not just saying y'all, we are hard to get along with, and we say it's because God has spoken to us about this. So we're a jerk for Jesus to people, and we're rude, and we gossip, and we talk about people because God told us to do that. God never tell you to do that.
God will never tell you to be ugly to people because he loves people. Now that doesn't mean we have to sugar coat the wrong or the evil that's going on in the world. But it means, friend, that sometimes we need to lower our self-righteousness enough to have a conversation with me. It's interesting to me that Christian, you really, you understand we love to argue with other Christians? I've done it. I don't want to do it anymore.
But we do that. Well, where do you go to church? You know, people ask me, so, you know, and I talk to them about the Lord. So, you know, what denomination are you? Well, I'm not really part of a denomination. But you know what they're really asking for?
They want to argue about something. See, if I said I was this, they'd say, well, why do you believe this? If I said I was that, well, why do you believe that?
And so I've actually frustrated people. I'm just a Christian. What do you mean just a Christian? I'm just a Christian. I'm just a follower of Jesus.
What kind of Christian are you? I'm just, you know, I read the Bible. I believe it.
I follow it. And people who want to argue get frustrated with that, which to me is really bizarre. Because it seems like we could say, okay, Jesus, you're my Savior.
He's your Savior. Let's just get along. Let's not argue because, you know, you're probably not going to see and believe what I think.
And I'm not going to believe what you think. But let's just fellowship. You know, Paul here, please everyone and everything I do. So if you've ever walked in, I'm not going to do what they want. You know, be careful, friend.
Be careful. Because in the past, I have won the argument and lost the relationship. There's a verse that Paul talks about Christ and Him crucified, which the Lord used in a powerful way. Because years ago, I used to travel and do teaching in many different churches. I mean, I was all over the map. I went into Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Assembly of God, Vineyards, Calvary Chapels, Nondinoms, all these different churches. And it's like, okay, God, what should I really be focused on sharing?
And the Lord said, Christ and Him crucified. And we can disagree on a lot of stuff. I mean, you probably have different whatever.
Music preferences or clothing preferences or hair preferences or whatever. Okay. But we can agree on this part that we need to be reaching out with the love of God. And it's not an option. Evangelism is not an option. Why do we want to do evangelism? First of all, the command, the command from above.
It's not an option. If you're following Jesus, evangelism is not an option. If you're taking notes, I'm going to give you three reasons why we need to be sharing our faith. There's more than that. But Matthew 28, 19, Jesus said, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. That is called the great commission. It's not the great omission. It's not the great suggestion.
Jesus died for the sins of the world and people can be forgiven through that. That should not be the greatest story never told. God has continued to burden my heart to reach more and more people. I don't even I don't know where it's going. I don't know what that means. I just want to be obedient to that. That is my heart to share the word, see people reach and teach. And it's interesting because that should be the heart of any follower of Jesus. Do you understand? And it's interesting.
We don't pass a plate here. I believe in giving and I will talk about it. And I've mentioned it in passing today.
When I cross it in scripture, we'll talk about it in full. It's not because of the money. It's because it's in the passage. But I think a lot of times that's a cop out with us. Well, church is all about the money. Do you realize that in this country, we spent more money on ice cream last year than we gave to churches and missions? Do you understand that in this country, we spend forty three billion dollars a year on our pets? Now, I'm an animal lover, OK? I love dogs.
I love cats. I do. I do. You know, I make you. You know what? I really do.
I had and I'll share this now. I had a little kitten who really chose me. She didn't know I was a dog lover. And she starts sitting in my lap and all this stuff. So I kind of made her my kitten. And she had feline leukemia and she died.
I gave her IVs and all this little stuff, but she didn't make it. But anyway, so I love animals, but I've never looked at the dogs or the cats and you're just all about the money. I know what you want.
You just want food to eat and a place to sleep. We should be reaching people. Do you know and I understand when we're making decisions about radio, television, Internet, when we're making decisions about missionaries to support, those are financial decisions. We're basing them in part upon what you folks are giving.
That's the reality. So, you know, when we look at this and we say, well, the gospel needs to go out in all the world. This is a command from above. This is something we need to be doing.
We talked about the command from above. Second thing, the cry from around us, cry from around us. When I go through airports and public places, I just there's I'm just so often grieved as I look at people and see their faces and try to look into their eyes. And man, there's just there's no hope there.
There's no joy. And sometimes I can just look at somebody and just be pretty sure they don't know Jesus as their savior. And that drives me that that compels me to do in part what I do. Act 16, nine that night, Paul had a vision and he saw a man from Macedonia in northern Greece pleading with him. Come over here and help us.
There's people crying out like that all around the world. Come over here and help us. Come tell us about Jesus. And the third thing is the love within us. The love within us. So got the command from above, the cry from around us, the love within us.
There's a passage. Second Corinthians 5 14 says, Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. Christ's love controls us. Another version says compels us.
Another version says constrains us. But this should be the driving force is that love. If you're talking to somebody and you're trying to talk to them about internal punishment, you're talking to them about hell and you don't love that person, please don't say anything else. It's this love.
This is we need to be motivated by this love. Let's move to verse 19. But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses said, I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation.
I will move you to anger by a foolish nation. God in his plan had Israel understand the terms of redemption, if you will. Jesus as the Jewish Messiah came and breached Israel.
Now we think, well, no, he didn't. A lot of Israel rejected him. Some of Israel rejected him. The Book of Acts records that priests came to the Lord, that Pharisees came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. The 12 disciples were Jewish. The first revival, if you will, in Jerusalem in Acts 2 was almost entirely Jewish. From that, Jerusalem, it spread from Jewish people to Gentile people. And in the Book of Acts, they voted, you know, they were discussing whether we as Gentiles would even get into the church. I'm glad that went well because God's intent was to what?
This is in Hebrew Scriptures. He said, you know what? I'm going to call this foolish nation. Well, we're non-Jewish people. Guess what we're referred to as? Foolish nation.
It's going to get a little more. Now, as we look at this passage, this is either going to set you free and liberate you or humble you or both, because it says a foolish nation. The Gentiles, non-Jewish people, really didn't, they weren't even looking for God. Hi, this is Pastor David, and I want to share something that's on my heart and the solution for a growing problem in all of our communities across the country, down the street, and probably in your own backyard. I'm talking about the issue of homelessness and what sometimes goes with it, substance abuse.
And perhaps you've seen people at street corners and intersections, and you're not sure the best way to help. Well, we're now providing food and shelter in our communities to those struggling with these issues, and we need your help. Not only are we providing food and shelter, we're sharing Jesus with them, teaching them the Bible and discipleship, helping them with job skills. The needs are overwhelming, but if we all do something, if you do something, we can help so many.
The Bible said we're to be doers of the word, not just hearers. And Jesus said, what you've done to the least of these, you've done for me. Please help us reach these people in our nation and our communities who are dying every day without our help. Please commit to give monthly or a one-time gift to The Bridge House by going to our website at crossthebridge.com. That's crossthebridge.com, or call on 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. And together, we can change the world. Now let's return to David Magee's verse-by-verse teaching in the Book of Romans. Let's look at verse 20, but Isaiah is very bold and says, I was found by those who did not seek me. I was made manifest to those who did not ask for me.
Foolish nation, didn't seek him, didn't ask for him. I mean, that just so reminds me of myself. You know, I was doing my own thing, my own life, my own priorities, my own goals, and then God did this divine interruption, intervention, whatever you want to call it.
And I'm glad he did. And still to this point, you know, it's interesting because occasionally I'll go to clergy meetings and that's when pastors get together. And, you know, they're looking at me and I can tell, they're thinking, God uses the foolish things of this world, doesn't he? Sometimes they'll even say that, but I agree.
I don't argue that. Like, man, you know, God wants to speak through people. He wants to speak through you. He wants to speak through me. He used the donkey in the Hebrew scriptures.
He's just using different donkeys now. I mean, here is God, and so God said, well, I want to use somebody. And some of you are going, now I'm starting to figure out what's going on at this church because I've been sitting here going, what is he about? I mean, people are getting saved, people are being discipled, but who is the yahoo on the platform? God is using the foolish things to confound the wise.
Why? Because when God uses the foolish things to confound the wise, man cannot take the glory. I can't take the glory. Everybody sits back and goes, you know, that's got to be God. That's got to be God. God wants to use you in that fashion. So if you're sitting there and you're full of excuses, all those do is put gunpowder in the cannon, bro.
That means all the more, you may call them excuses. God would call them reasons to use you. If you've got a checkered past, God will say, I'll be glorified through that checkered past. If you've messed up in the past, God will say, I'll be glorified through your mess-ups and your mistakes.
He can redeem what we've done in his hand. Life lesson, God wants to use you to reach the world. God wants to use you to reach the world.
And maybe some of you even can identify with this verse, you know, those who did not seek me, those who did not ask me. Maybe you're sitting here this morning and maybe a friend invited you, or you're here because of a friend, or you're here because your parents invited you, or maybe your kids or whatever, and you're sitting here and go, well, I'm here. I don't know why I'm here. You're here because God brought you here. God drew you here.
And that doesn't mean the skies parted and an angel poked his head out. If he did, I'd love to hear that story, but no, that means you came to be here. And maybe, friend, you're not seeking God. And maybe you're not looking for him.
Maybe you're not asking for him. But he's here right now, and he's looking for you, and he's seeking for you, and he's calling out your name, and you can respond to that. Now, in that divine moment, you think, well, I'm not worthy.
Exactly, you're not, and I'm not either. But God still in his grace reaches out with that nail-scarred hand and says, I want to forgive you. Will you turn from all the stuff and turn to me? Will you turn away from the things that are hurting you and killing you and turn to me, and I will restore you? I'll give you joy. I'll give you peace. I'll give you forgiveness. You'll have a relationship with him.
You'll have a relationship with others. That describes me in verse 20. Sought me not, asked me not. I wasn't looking for him, but praise God, he was looking for me. But to Israel, he says, all day long I've stretched out my hands to disobedient and contrary people. It's interesting. Finish this chapter up, and, you know, it's to Israel, it's about Israel, but it's so obvious, our personal application, isn't it?
Because we can sit there and go, oh, look, he's calling. Oh, and it even says, but to Israel, so he's not really talking to us, right? But to Israel, to a disobedient and contrary people. Let me ask you a question. Could you describe America as a disobedient and contrary people? Let's get a little closer to home. Could you describe yourself as a disobedient and contrary person? Yeah.
I would describe myself that way. And yet God still reaches out to us. It's interesting in a story in Exodus 17. And in the book of Exodus, it talks about, and it's an interesting phrase to me in the Hebrew and in the English, it says that I have redeemed you with an outstretched arm. And it's talking about the exodus and being released from Egypt, but I'm reminded of the outstretched arms of Jesus. And he's still stretching forth his arms to this world. People that hate him, people that make fun of him. Do you understand that if Bill Maher today turned to Jesus and said, Jesus, I want you to forgive me.
He'd say, absolutely. Friend, maybe you're in here and you're not sure you've been forgiven. Maybe you're not sure if you know Jesus as your savior. Maybe you've been saying, well, soon I'll do that.
I'm even thinking about doing it soon. You know what? Today's the day. The Lord is outstretching his hand to you right now. In these passages, he's painting you a picture that he's reaching out to you with this nail-scarred hand saying, you know what? I love you. I'm looking for you. I'm calling out your name.
What will you do now? And in that moment, maybe you think, well, no, no, I've, boy, I'm messing up. I've been messing up.
God knows you've been messing up. He wants to see you set free. He understands the shame and the guilt and the condemnation and the stuff you're walking around with.
And he says, come to me, you who are burdened, you that are heavy-laden, you that are weary, you that need rest, come to me. Friend, I wonder, is there something you need forgiveness for? Maybe this past week or this past month. Maybe you've drifted a little bit. Maybe you've drifted a lot.
You can come home today. Maybe you're in here and you've never just thrown yourself on the grace of God. You've never just said, Jesus, please forgive me.
I know I don't deserve it. Maybe you walked in here today thinking Christianity is all about, well, you know, you do the best you can and hope your good outweighs your bad. Friend, that's not Christianity. That's religion. Biblical Christianity says that when we do wrong, we forever tip the scales in terms of our wrong.
If we've broken the law in one place, we've broken it in every place. And in our good works and good deeds, there's no hope for salvation. But when we realize that, in that moment of despair, is when hope walks in, in the form of Jesus Christ, who says, if you'll let me, if you will respond to me, I will forever tip the scales for mercy and grace. He's willing to do that this morning, right now. He's willing to do that today. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Please pray this prayer with me, out loud, right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things.
Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.
You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would love to hear from you. You can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Jesus. Also, if you have been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David McGee, would you consider supporting us with a financial gift? This month, when you give to Cross the Bridge, we will send David's powerful booklet on biblical fatherhood, entitled, A Father's Blessing. The number to call is 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. While you're there, make sure to sign up for David's email devotional and begin receiving daily inspiration in your inbox. That website again is crossthebridge.com. Thanks for listening today. We pray you will join us next time as we cross the bridge.
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