WINNING OUR CITY FOR CHRIST
· Christ said “Don’t say harvest is for another season”, He said “lift up your eyes and see for the harvest is already ready”.
· The heart of God is always towards people coming to Christ. To us, winning people to Christ may seem to be an effort - but to God it is an ever growing vision. The lost people of the world - never leave the heart of God. He has vision to bring them into the Kingdom of God.
· Jesus said lift up your eyes. In our lives there is a general busyness that occupies our lifestyle (work, pressures, expectations, demands and pleasure) these get our attention, time, energy and resources. Christ said I want to show you something that I see and that which I live for (v34).
· As Christians we know there is an urgency about winning souls for the Kingdom of God. Judgment will come - because God has so much love for mankind. He will bring to conclusion the reign of sin and evil and judge it once and for all so that those who have committed their lives to God and are followers of Christ can live with God without sin.
2. GOD’S PLAN TO SAVE MANKIND
· Because of our sin nature God had to save us, - redeem us. Something more was needed than a fig leaf and a new set of clothes.
To redeem means (oxford dictionary)
- to get back or buy back – to recover
- to fulfill a promise
- to deliver from sin
- to make amends or to atone
- to restore ones self to favour.
Redeem (Hebrew Strongs 6299)
- to deliver all
- a ransom
- to rescue
· We need to know our standing in Christ when we’re working in the Kingdom. He has redeemed us and brought us into right standing with Him and through salvation His Blood has cleansed us from every evil work. Many Christians feel condemned for that which they know they should be doing and have not done, or because of guilt, shame and bondages in our own lives, God can’t or won’t use us because we are not good enough Christians.
Romans 5:1-2 “.. having been justified (just as if I have never sinned – past tense) by Christ, v2 through whom we have access by faith to stand in this grace in which we stand”.
· We stand in god’s grace every day of our lives – and it is this confidence which brings strength and boldness to live as victorious Christians.
Titus 2:11-14 who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people zealous for good works.
God has chosen us to influence and made a difference in the Hawkes Bay.
1 Tim 2:4 “He desires all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of truth”.
When God looks over our city he saw FORGIVEN
When God looks over our nation He says PAID FOR
When God looks over the just He says JUSTIFIED
When God looks over the lost He says MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT
MY LOVE IS COMPLETE
· When God looks at mankind he looks at His Son
· When He looks at His Son He looks at mankind.
· The saved – God never gives up
He’s committed to redeem us
From weakness to strength – Hebrews 11:34
· The Unsaved - God can handle them and their sin
Romans 5:20 where sin abounds – grace may abound much more.
· He sees through the shame we feel, he sees beyond the sin we struggle with and looks onto our heart. John 3:16
· He wants none to perish – but all saved
None to perish – but all saved
None Perish – all saved
3. WINNING OUR CITY
Reaching lost people isn’t for professional Christian evangelists or Bible College graduates – it is for all Christians who have a heart and zeal for the unchurched.
Luke 5:27–32 READ – I have not come for the righteous but for sinners.
Throwing a party with a purpose.
· Christ was our example
· Jesus met Matthew at his office.
· Matthew threw a party at his house with Christ and many others, friends and business colleagues
· A great number came because it was safe.
· Living life (having fun) using the influence he already had.
· The righteous murmured – you can’t do that
Why are you hanging around with those people?
2 Corinthians 5:18 READ – Ministry of reuniting people to God
Matthew 28:19 READ – the great commission
4. RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE UNCHURCHED
Use what you have and include people into your present lifestyle.
· Get creative and have fun – events with purpose.
· Your house – give yourself to hospitality
- once a week have someone extra for a meal
- many times Christ came to the home
· Your Resources – use what you have to bless and invest into the lives of others.
- your time, talent, resources and finances.
Use or plan an event with purpose to build relationships to win people.
- a BBQ meal
- Watching the rugby
Getting involved with community things with the mind of reaching our city.
- play sport
- council / business interests
- charity or community projects
Bill Hybels says “You’ll never lock eyes with another person who God isn’t interested in”.
5. ACTION STEPS TO WINNING OUR CITY
1. Build relationship with purpose
2. Incorporate people into your own lifestyle to influence them
3. Have fun in life with the purpose of winning the lost
4. Be encouraged it takes time.
Discuss practical ways to reach out to people, to
win them to Christ.
What ways could you incorporate people into your current lifestyle?
What obstacles or fears do you have that stop you from reaching people and how are you going to breakthrough them?