November 20, 2023 1:16 pm
Pastor Josh kicks off a brand new series entitled Altered. The word, Altered means to change in composition or character. When you encounter Jesus, your life is altered. In this series, Pastor Josh looks at 7 different encounters that people had with Jesus through the Gospel of John.
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Amen. Aren't you thankful for the cross?
And aren't you thankful that that's the only hope that we have? And I'll tell you this today that if you've kind of slipped in here today and you don't know Jesus as your savior that you need to know him before you leave here today so you can cling to him like that song says. And what a powerful, powerful song. Well listen, it is so good to see you in the house of God. If you're excited to be at church today, can you say amen today? And I'm so glad that you are here and I know I'm the pastor so I get excited about every Sunday but I hope that you get excited about Sunday and gathering with the church here today and I'm so glad that that you are here. Listen, if we have never met before and I recognize that we have newer people and guests visiting about every single week, I do want to introduce myself.
I'm Josh. I'm the pastor here at our church and I'm grateful that you are here. And if we have not had a chance to meet, I would love to do that after the service. I'll be down front. I would love the opportunity to meet and to connect with you and I just appreciate you being here in the service here today.
Well, if you have your Bible, go to John chapter number one. And I feel, you know, I've only missed like last week. I was not here and I feel like I should be filling out a new here card after being gone for one week.
But I am excited to be back. I'm grateful for our pastoral staff team and they do such a good job. Pastor Bailey, Pastor David, and I'm just so thankful for both of them. And I tell you, I know you guys tell me how grateful you are because you see me up here all the time.
You tell me how famous. You need to sometimes, hey, take some of that love and pass it on to those guys because they need that as well. And I really appreciate their friendship, their leadership to step in and speak when I'm not here and things like that. And I think it's good sometimes that we hear from different people.
And I know many of you have parented kids at some point. I tell my kids stuff over and over and over and over and then somebody else tells them the same thing and they're like, wow, that's amazing. And I'm just like, I've been saying that over and over.
Well, it's like that sometimes in church. We need that and we need some different voices speaking into our life. And so I'm grateful for each one of them. But listen, hey, you've chosen a great day to be here today. We are starting a brand new series and I always say this, that one of the most important weeks is when we're starting something new, being here, being a part of that.
And so you've chosen a great week to be here. The series is called Altered. Can we say that word together? Altered.
And I am really excited about this. And when you think of the word altered, it means that it's up on the screen to change or to cause to change in composition or character. That's the definition.
That's not unique to us. That's you look it up online. Google the word. You're going to come up with that. And the reason why we call this series Altered is we are going to be looking through the book of John, seven weeks, and we're going to be looking at different encounters from different people and their encounters, what happened to them when they met Jesus. And that's what we're going to look at. And I'll tell you this, that every single week you're going to have a little bit of a different encounter but the same result. And everything changes when Jesus comes into your life. And that's what you're going to find here in this series. And so our very first encounter is going to be in John chapter one.
And I'm really excited about the opportunity that we can talk about this from this series. And so I'm going to give you a little bit of backstory here and we're going to read a little bit before we get specifically into the encounter because I think that what happens before the encounter will set up the encounter with Jesus a little bit more clearly. And so I want to pick up the reading of verse number 35 of John chapter number one. It says this, again, the next day after John stood and two of his disciples and looking upon Jesus as he walked he saith behold the lamb of God. Now I want to kind of speak in a little bit about what's happening here is in John chapter one the gospel of John is really talking about Jesus and introducing us to who Jesus is. And here we have John the Baptist. And John the Baptist during this day he was kind of if you would for lack of a better way of putting this he was considered like a religious celebrity of that day. In other words wherever John went when he would teach a bunch of people would would come and follow him so much to the point that people were unsure about him they were unsure who he was in fact you can look and you can read this in your own time earlier in John chapter one some people were so skeptical about who John the Baptist was was they were saying that this guy was a prophet maybe the greatest prophet that they'd seen since Elijah and since Isaiah and so there's all this speculation about John the Baptist and who he is but if you read in verse number six and verse number eight the gospel of John tells us specifically that John's role was to bear witness in fact verse number six of this chapter says that John the Baptist was sent by God to bear witness of the one true light that was coming to the world the messiah that was John's job that was John's goal that was John's purpose was to go and to bear witness of the light Jesus that is to is to come and when he sees Jesus he says behold the lamb of God behold the lamb of God now i want you to think and and we've heard this story and we've read this so many different times so for you and me uh this means something to you and and it's almost like you've heard this a lot but for them this meant something massive and the reason is is because you know they were he was speaking to all these Jews that were in the audience and many of them you know had had been in all these Jewish rituals and and all of this Judaism this this belief system that they had adapted as their family and grandfathers and all these different people that have come on on the scene that they had learned from and here for them when he said behold when he sees Jesus he says behold the lamb of God this meant something to the audience very specifically it meant something to them you say what did it mean this was the lamb was like if you would this central figure in Jewish culture it was this important thing in fact if you look and we're not going to look at all these scriptures but Genesis chapter 4 if you remember the story of Cain and Abel you remember God told him to bring a sacrifice to be accepted by him and so you know they bring a lamb and a lamb was in essence going to be um what accepts them you see in the old testament the lamb was always the substitute that satisfied or paid for the sins of the people so when when he said behold the lamb of God for all of them they're probably a little bit confused because up until that point the lamb wasn't was an animal wasn't a person it was an animal and so you can imagine the confusion but we can see that this meant something beyond that Genesis chapter 22 remember Abraham and Isaac God tells Abraham to go sacrifice his son and and so he goes up there and Isaac's starting to figure everything out and he's like hey dad um I'm kind of looking around I see everything here but I'm we're missing something very crucial little sacrifice there's no lamb and what is Abraham telling Abraham says hey son don't worry because God himself will provide a lamb or how about Exodus chapter 11 something that many of these Jews that were in the audience they observed the Passover and every time they observed the Passover they would remember something that happened way back in the book of Exodus chapter 11 remember the plagues that that God sent to Pharaoh because he would not let you know God's people go what happened with that was God sent all these different plagues and the very last plague that he sent was that he would send an angel and he would kill the first born of all the different houses but he tells the the nation of Israel that you can be spared you can be spared if you sacrifice a lamb and take the blood and put it on the doorpost of your house and then when the angel comes by he'll pass over your house you see the lamb was always a substitute if you would for the sins that they would they would cover in other words the sins of every family that was listening to John the Baptist the sins of all their families could be covered by the blood of a lamb so for them you're listening to this and you're hearing this man that you've been listening to speak and talk about this coming messiah and then he looks and he sees this man coming he says behold the lamb behold him that phrase means to look at him to recognize him to pay attention to him for some of you today that's probably the admonition for you that's the takeaway for you today you need to consider Jesus and his coming and how that impacts you in fact Jesus being the lamb of God it impacts every single person in this place Jesus coming as our lamb this substitute for all of us he comes to us and this should mean something to you and what I want you to do is behold him just like John the Baptist says behold the lamb of God for some of you you've never beheld him you've never considered him you're trying to do life on your own you're trying to do life in your own power you're trying to do life in your own strength and you try to do everything by yourself and you think you can make it on your own and I'm here to tell you this that you are absolutely nothing without beholding the lamb of God that has come to take away the sins of the world and that's what John the Baptist is saying he's saying behold consider him and they were expecting a lamb not a not a man John here verse number 37 the two disciples heard him speak and they followed Jesus and Jesus turned to them and he saw them following and saith unto them what seek ye in other words Jesus looks at him and says hey what are you guys really here for they said unto him rabbi which is to say being interpreted master where dwellest thou and by the way let me tell you this is all of us to some degree are seeking something we are all seeking something that for for every single one of you in this place you might not even know it but you're seeking something we're all looking for fulfillment right we're all looking for fulfillment we're all looking for happiness we're all looking for these things that that only Jesus only the lamb of God can satisfy but yet we're trying to fill it with all this stuff we're like hey if I get more money then I'll be satisfied and more happy if I get a new relationship that'll make me happy if I can get this new promotion then I'll be happy if I can get you know whatever over here be in the end crowd or whatever then that will make me fulfilled and we're looking for fulfillment in all these different areas and the only thing that can fulfill your heart's deepest desire is to behold the lamb of God is to behold the lamb of God and so these people are following Jesus if you understand that he's coming he's the lamb of God is what John the Baptist just said and and as he's following these two people are with him and and Jesus just turns around and looks at him and says hey what what are you searching for and so they're just like hey where where dwellest thou so verse number 39 he saith unto them come and see they came and saw where he dwelled and abode with him that day for it was about the 10th hour around 4 p.m in the afternoon one of the two which heard John speak and followed him was Andrew Simon Peter's brother and he first findeth his own brother Simon and sayeth unto him we have found the messiah which is being interpreted the the christ and he brought him to Jesus and when Jesus beheld him he said to him such an interesting interaction here he said thou art Simon the son of Jonah thou shall be called Cephas which is by interpretation a stone right here Jesus in this quick interaction he renames Peter and so Peter comes to him his name is Simon and Jesus in this brief interaction that we have recorded he he calls him by name Simon that's his current name and then he says you're the son of Jonah which is his family name in other words his identity is in that name and then he says but your one day from now on going to be called Cephas which is your future name which means rock which Jesus would one day say on upon this rock I will build my church and so what an incredible interaction in this brief time he calls him by who he is today and then he calls him by his identity of who he is and then he's like hey I'm going to make you into this that progression is the heart of the gospel that you see here once you behold the lamb of God that's salvation you realize he is what you need and what you've been searching for the invitation after salvation is always follow Jesus and that's what you see here in this passage verse number 45 if you drop down it says this Philip findeth Nathanael and sayeth unto him we have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph so so here we have now I know there's a lot to this story and I wanted to give you some back story with John the Baptist so you can understand what's happening here John the Baptist speaking big crowds around him listening to his teaching Jesus comes walking by he says behold the lamb of God that's the messiah some people starting to now follow Jesus Jesus turns around he has this interaction with a couple of his disciples says what are you searching for and he has this interaction and then they go out and they start bringing more people to Jesus quite the evangelistic strategy by the way when Jesus changed them they immediately left and they went out to their friends and they they brought more people to Jesus in other words they're like hey come and come and see so you have this man by the name of Philip and he finds his friend Nathanael and that's the encounter I want to look at Nathanael comes because of Philip's invitation Philip invited Nathanael and told him in verse number 45 we have found him the one that Moses in the law that we've been studying and the prophets they write about this this is Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph so let's see if Nathanael's encounter with Jesus here and what happened verse number 46 Nathanael said unto Philip can there any good thing come out of Nazareth isn't that an interesting response isn't that an interesting response out of everything that he could have said you know to this incredible invitation hey we just found the messiah we found the one that the entire law has been talking about that is to come we found him he's here he's here he's come and the first thing out of Philip's mouth is can anything come out of Nazareth can anything come out of Nazareth no Nazareth was a small town and and the big cities they held Nazareth in low esteem it was kind of one of those small country towns if you would and how many of you are far I know our town's not big how many of you are from a little town raise your hand okay I'm from this town here's where I was born is I was born in a place called Ahoskie North Carolina any of you ever heard of that place any of you that's where I was born okay I didn't live there long I only lived there a couple of years I don't remember it but that's where I was born Ahoskie I hadn't been back in forever and honestly I ask myself all the time can anything good come out of Ahoskie okay now how many people have heard of how many of you have never heard of Ahoskie before raise your hand okay you never heard of it it's in North Carolina you guys live in North Carolina you don't even know your North Carolina geography okay you need to look at we're going to take a church trip write that down pastor Bailey we're going to Ahoskie the next senior adult activity Ahoskie okay I don't know what they have in Ahoskie these days but probably not a whole lot considering you haven't heard about it and but that's where I was I was born and some of you have born were born in places that nobody has heard of and you might be thinking you know what good could come out of it and that's kind of what's happening here is is Nathaniel he's saying hey listen there's no way that the lamb of god there's no way that the messiah the one that's supposed to be king the savior of the world there is absolutely no way that that guy that we've been looking for is coming from Nazareth there's no way so he says what good could come out of Nazareth I love Philip's response into verse number 46 Philip said hey come and see come and see listen I'll tell you this some of you you know you have somebody in your life who does not know Jesus as their savior they might be skeptical just like Nathaniel and some of you you might be in this place today and you're skeptical you walked in today like really is Jesus really able to change me if Jesus knew everything about me like could he change me could Jesus there's no way that a man would come and die for a bunch of wicked people is that really true some of you might have walked in today and you're just as skeptical as Nathaniel and you're in maybe different ways but but he's saying hey really really can anything good come out of out of Nazareth and instead of trying to get in this deep debate which sometimes we get into troubles with you know what Philip just says to him Philip just says hey come and see in other words hey come and see what I have seen for some of you that know people that don't know Jesus that's the invitation that's the invitation I wonder how many of you you know you know that these people don't know Jesus your co-workers your neighbors your family members and different people in your life when was the last time you told them didn't try to you know debate with them or convert them on the spot because that power is not in us and you just said hey listen all I want you to do is come and see come and see come and experience what what's happened in my life hey hey come to come to my church so so you can hear what Jesus has done for me and you can see it in so many other people just come and see come and see you see some of us when we think about evangelism we think we gotta you know know everything right and we gotta have all the answers and we're afraid a lot of times of of questions I know when I would I was growing up I grew up in a church and and we would do this thing called Saturday visitation how many of you did that at some point or you did on Thursday night that kind of thing right or Tuesday night and we would do this thing in my church and and I didn't know a whole lot but as a teenager my dad would take me and uh we would go to this visitation and uh and I would show up and I was scared to death half the time because you know they were trying to you know train us as teenagers and different things I really appreciated and value it and it helped me a lot but we'd go up to these doors of people we had no idea we had no idea who they were random strangers we'd knock on the door you know and there I mean there's an adrenaline rush if you've ever done this like oh man what are we gonna do you know you gotta psych yourself up in a way some a teenager they'd sometimes say hey josh why don't you lead this I'm thinking man I don't know nothing like I mean why am I I mean if he asks me any question I'm just going to look up at one of the adults around me and hope that they know we knock on the door say hey we're from you know east side baptist church and and uh we're here to just tell you about Jesus ask you about your relationship with God and there were times man we gotta ask questions that like I don't even know I'm just like man I'm not really sure the answer to that one aren't you a pastor yeah I am now but I just I mean there were times like that right and sometimes we're afraid and so what do we do we choose not to evangelize at all we're just like hey because we're afraid of the interaction and the questions that we might be asked that we don't know the answer to so therefore we're just not going to say nothing we're just going to avoid and hope that hey God's gonna you know he's gonna he's searching for him maybe maybe he'll use somebody else to bring the gospel to that person I know they live next door to me and God must have placed me next door to them for some reason and so maybe some way God will bring a neighbor on the other side that'll move in that will have a lot more knowledge than I do so we choose listen you don't have to if you want to evangelize your neighbors and people like that and you should you don't have to have all the answers all you need to have is a life changed by Jesus Christ and if you have that that's enough you get into a conversation with somebody where you don't know all the answers hey just tell them I don't know the answer come and see just come and see come and see what Jesus has done in me and that's all you need to do so that's what Philip does and so he tells him he says Nathanael listen I he didn't get in a debate about Nazareth and he didn't say well listen you know God could have you know come on a in a big city but he chose Nazareth he didn't get he just says hey come and see verse 47 so he brings him Phillips bringing him to Jesus Jesus saw Nathanael this skeptic this person that was skeptical didn't believe anything could come out of Nazareth and Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him and he saith of him behold this is an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile in other words Jesus is looking at him and and he says hey that here comes Nathanael and he's an Israelite and in him is no deception in other words he's a true Israelite he's a true Jew verse number 48 and by the way anybody that speaks and knows you when you don't know them you're always a little bit skeptical and Nathanael saith unto him whence knowest thou me in other words how in the world do you know me Jesus answered and said unto him before that Philip called thee when thou wast under the fig tree I saw thee what what an interaction what an interaction here he said hey listen you know Nathanael's like wait a second wait a second and and you know you got his friend you know Philip who just brought Nathanael to Jesus he's standing there and Jesus is there and and he knows everything about about Nathanael and then Nathanael's like wait a second how do you know me how in the world do you know me and and then this man Jesus the one from Nazareth the small town he looks at him and says when you were under that fig tree I saw you and I want you to know today that some of you wherever you're at with Jesus it could be a fig tree moment in your life he sees you he sees you for some of you who feel alone he sees you for some of you who feel deceived he sees you for some of you who are broken today and discouraged and depressed and anxious and you're broken hey listen let me remind you Jesus sees you he sees you and that's what he said verse 49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him rabbi thou art the son of God thou art the king of Israel Jesus answered and said unto him because I said unto thee I saw thee under the fig tree do you believe it says believeth thou now do you get it thou shalt see greater things than these and he saith unto you hereafter ye shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man now this is a direct response to what what happened in Genesis chapter 28 remember Jacob's dream he has this dream right and in Genesis chapter number 28 and what happens in in his dream is is there's this ladder right that goes up to heaven and there's this ladder that goes up to to heaven and and it's in essence saying that you know there's these angels on the ladder and and that's the way to get to God and and let me tell you this that what Jesus was saying is very very important because in Genesis 28 there was a ladder but Jesus is saying here to Nathaniel I am the ladder in other words Jesus is saying that that the angels and are going to be ascending and descending upon the son of man which is Jesus and Jesus is the only way to God he is the only way to God I say this every every single week because I want you to get it and I want you to understand it and it'll change your life and there's some of you who have never trusted in Jesus as savior I believe that you just come to church because it's the right thing to do because somebody tells you you need to get up on Sunday morning or whatever the only thing that can change your life and give you the hope beyond the grave that we sang about today it's trusting in the only way that can reconcile you to the heavenly father and that's through Jesus Christ you see the ladder is not through good works the ladder is not through being a good person the ladder is not through going to Sunday school the ladder is not through serving those things are all good the ladder is not through church attendance the ladder is not through any of those things you know what the ladder is it's a person and his name is Jesus Christ and once you trust in Jesus Christ then your life can be fully reconciled to the father so so here Jesus tells him he says listen you're going to see greater things than than these so much to the point that you're going to see this the angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man Nathaniel's life on this day was changed and he chose to follow Jesus after he encountered him I want to illustrate this in the clearest way possible because I want you to get it you know that fig tree I would love to know a little bit more about that right because we don't have a whole lot of information about the fig tree experience but I'll tell you this is like in under the fig tree I think that the only way that that this makes sense is that under the fig tree Nathaniel was having something happen in his life that was so personal and private with God God was pursuing him remember God's pursuing all of us right the story of the gospel is not about you finding your way to God it's about him coming to you and sometimes we fight about it right if you were in my Bible fellowship class we looked at that this morning about Jacob and how he wrestled with God some of us we wrestle right we wrestle with God and we're halfway into following him and halfway out the door and he's wanting he's wanting all of us right and so I think that there was something happening under the the fig tree that meant something so personal and private to Nathaniel that that made this make sense when Jesus says hey listen when you were under that fig tree I saw you the parallel is so important for us to understand and the interaction with Nathaniel and Jesus is what I don't want you to miss it and so I want to show you something that'll be up on the screens I want to preface this by saying this is like what I'm about to show you I don't watch it's a scene from a show that many of you might have seen called the chosen now I'll tell you this like upfront or whatever I don't agree necessarily with how they depict everything and that's not why we're showing this today but they have a scene of Jesus interaction with Nathaniel and this fig tree moment and I think it's something worth considering so if you're sitting there and you're against the chosen or whatever don't look at this man I'm not don't leave I want you to see this because I think it'll help illustrate the point here today so for just a second it's real brief if you could take a look at the at the screens this is a good night you know who stands beside you there this is my friend Nathaniel yes the truth teller I'm sorry man is often deceitful and Israel began with Jacob a bit of a deceiver yes yes but one of the great things about you is you are a true Israelite and home there is no deceit what did you say about me what is this how do you know me I have known you longer for a Philip called you to come and see don't look at him look at me when you were in your lowest moment and you were alone I did not turn my face from you I saw you under the fig tree rubber there it is you are the son of God the king of Israel I knew it well that didn't take long he doesn't mess around because I said to you I saw you under the fig tree you believe you are going to see many greater things than that like Jacob you are going to see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man I want to ask you two questions here from this passage is the first thing I want you to ask yourself what are you searching for you know what Nathaniel realized that day is when he had this encounter with Jesus he had to ask himself what are what are we really here for what are what are we really searching for why are we here what's our purpose here and let me remind you today for some of you you're looking for it in all of the wrong wrong places and nothing can fulfill you like him nothing can fulfill you like Jesus nothing can fulfill your life and speak into everything that you're looking for more than him and by the way let me say this that your calendar your bank statements that will tell what you are really searching for today what are you searching for why are you here for some of you stop searching for all of these things like money and material wealth and and things and stuff and start realizing that everything that you need to fulfill your life is found in a personal relationship with Jesus you see that was the first question Jesus asked right here verse number 38 let's seek ye let's seek ye why are you here what are you what are you really looking for I really believe this that some people come to church and they want a relationship with God just because they're looking for something like healing or or that God would fix something or that whatever and those things are good and yes our God's a healer and yes our God's a provider and all that but what you really need to realize is that if everything else was stripped away and and what you wanted healed didn't get healed or or what you thought you needed didn't get provided for in the way that you wanted if everything else is stripped away and only you're left with Jesus I wonder how many of you would come to worship him I wonder how many of you would be here next Sunday if I told you hey listen nothing that you want the way you want it might happen that way and and but we're coming next week and we're only worshiping Jesus despite all that I wonder if that's enough for you that's what Nathaniel realized Nathaniel realized that listen all the other things that he thought mattered doesn't matter what he needs more than anything else is Jesus and so I ask you today what are you searching for what are you searching for he's the treasure a relationship with Jesus he is the answer and by the way he knows everything about you that's the beauty of the gospel is the fact that God knows everything about us and loves us and came to us anyway think about that like that's what's amazing to me about the gospel is the fact that really me yes and every single one of you the people that you see on the street corner every single person that's who God loves and that's who God died for he knows everything about us and loves us anyway what are you searching for but then the other question I want to ask is will you follow him will you follow him that's a question that you see here it's it's discipleship are you going to live your life for him now in this day and we've looked at this in our recent series on discipleship is in jewish culture what these young jewish boys would find is they would you know be assigned a rabbi and this rabbi would would like lead them and teach them and what they would do is they would follow the rabbi they would do what he did and they wanted to act like he acted and they wanted to know what he knew and and so they would just walk with him and everything that the rabbi did they would do right and that's what discipleship that's what follow him means that here that's what Jesus is asking is he saying how many of you are willing to follow me are you willing to leave everything and just follow him to do what he said to believe him to take him at his word for some of you you're you're like like the old testament Jacob version that we looked at in my bible fellowship class this morning you got half your foot in with following God and half your foot in doing whatever you want I'll follow God as long as it's convenient I'll follow God as long as everything lines up the way that I think it should I'll follow God as long as you know fill in the blank as long as things come easy for me hey I'm good I'll follow him I'll do what he said but the moment that things become hard I'm running things on my own you see we do that too often so what are you searching for will you follow him and then the third question that I want you to see is this will you tell others to come and see will you tell others to come and see you see here Philip went out to his friend didn't try to debate him he didn't try to do all that you know and figure it out he just said hey come and see come and experience what I have experienced for some of you I know we all talk about it all the time we want to grow this church right we want to reach more people our mission here at Union Grove is to reach as many people as possible and to disciple them into becoming devoted followers of Jesus that's our mission it's simply reach people disciple people that's it and we're doing that in a lot of ways but I'll tell you this every single one of you would be like man that's what we need to do thumbs up pastor let's keep doing that it's good and there's people that live right around you they don't even know their names you don't have a relationship with them we got to do a better job of getting out of our homes and our comforts and stuff and sharing the gospel you know I'm challenged I go to the baseball field all the time with my son I'm thinking man I got an opportunity in front of me with tons of people around me that I gotta you know reach with the gospel that God has put into my life and some of it it's not about having all the answers it's not all about knowing everything it's not all about having the theology degree and and you sitting back and saying oh I'll let the pastors reach everybody in this North Davidson community it's up to them it's up to those deacons if you're a bible fellowship teacher then I'll do something no the mandate is for all of us every single one of us are called to go are called to go and it doesn't mean you need to have all the answer it just means you need to go to them and say look I might not have all the answers but Jesus altered and changed my life I want you to come and see I want you to come and see come and be a part of what Jesus has done for me because if he did it for me he can do it for you would you bow your heads with me today three simple questions nothing too complex but what a miraculous story and interaction with with Jesus today nobody looking around as our instrument plays I want to ask you these questions I just want to find out where you are if you're in here today and you say pastor I've never trusted Jesus as my savior I don't know him I've been trusting maybe in works I've been trusting in church attendance I've been trusting in my family upbringing I've been trusting in all this can you say pastor I don't know Jesus as my savior I've never my life has never been altered my life has never been changed my life has never been changed by the power of the gospel and I'm here in here today and I'm going to be honest before me and I'm not going to embarrass you I'm not going to call you out I'm not going to come find you right now I'm not going to embarrass you at all I promise you that but if that's where you are today and you admit I do not have a relationship with Jesus would you be honest before God and before myself and just slip up your hand high enough for me to see it long enough for me to recognize it if you don't feel comfortable you can look at me make eye contact with me I just love to include you in my closing prayer and show you how you can know for sure anybody anywhere how many of you would say this hey pastor I'm a Christian but I find myself sometimes having half my foot in the door of following Jesus and half my foot kind of outside of the door and I'm kind of on the fence and and I've never really I'm a Christian I believed on Jesus but I've not surrendered my whole life to him and you say that's kind of where I'm at today would you be honest before God and before me today if that's where you are today would you slip up your hand you say I still have some things I'm not surrendering yes I see hands going up throughout the place be honest hey we're all there right we all have areas that we can surrender yes I see that hand thank you for your honesty and then how many of you would say pastor I know people who do not know Jesus as their savior and I have not been doing a good job of telling them to come and see I haven't really been sharing much with them I haven't been inviting them and that's what I need to do I need to be a Philip to the people that are around me the people that God has put around me you say pastor I know people like that and I need to do a better job of telling them to come and see would you slip up your hand if that's you yes I see hands going up throughout my hands there that's where my hands is today I'm with you in a moment I'm going to pray and we're going to stand if God spoke to you about any of those things maybe it's salvation and you need to walk the aisle we've all been there where we need to come forward and say say talk to a pastor or somebody down front we'd be happy to show you how you can know Jesus as your savior maybe you need to come pray and and say God I'm surrendering my life to you I'm surrendering everything to you I'm gonna follow you with my life and then some of you need to come to an altar and pray for some people that are directly impacted by you maybe through a sports team that don't know Jesus that God's put you on that or maybe through where you work or the neighborhood that you live in and you need to come down front and say God give me the courage to just go to them and say hey I don't have all the answers to every question you have but come and see come and see would you stand with me heads bowed hearts lifted in prayer I'm going to pray if God spoke to you about anything in those questions I'd invite you to come this is an altar that you can pray and you can do business with God father speak to our hearts today God I pray Lord for all anybody in here who doesn't know you as savior their life has never been altered by the power of the gospel God I pray that before they walk out God that you would just bind the arms of satan today as he tries to deter them from that decision to follow you God for some who haven't surrendered their life to you and surrendered things and their future and their career and their time and talent and money and everything else God I pray that today they would surrender it all and follow you and then for all of us in here you've placed us in our communities you've placed us around people at work and school that we need to tell them to come and see God I pray that you would speak to our hearts speak in this invitation time for it's in your name as the music plays if God spoke to you about any of those things this altar is open it's an opportunity for you to do business with God as the music plays you come
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