WORSHIP in the PARK Thanksgiving Fellowship!
at 10:30 a.m. NOV 21, 2021
THIS IS A GOSPEL & FOOD OUTREACH EVENT MEANT TO LOVE OUR FRIENDS & FAMILIES!
Sermon: "Almost Persuaded"
This is the Thanksgiving season and I'm reminded of Paul the apostle's greatest source of thanksgiving. He reminds us to give thanks to God the Father...
"...giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." (Col 1:12)
How has the Father qualified you? Through Christ's death, burial and resurrection!
The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is not only one of the earliest claims of Christians but it's also the central claim. The apostle Paul tells us that it is of first importance to believe that Jesus Christ was crucified according to the scriptures was buried and on the third day rose again. He said this in 1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (ESV)
"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures"
This fact is what connects our faith more than anything else to history. But if you talk with people on the street they will reveal all sorts of mixed beliefs and contradictory ideas. Most people hold loosely to a subjective faith (whether Christian or not) that falls apart if tested for objective truth.
In Acts 26, Paul the apostle was giving testimony to the facts (objective truth) of the risen Savior to a group of important people. One of those important persons was King Agrippa. There Paul says,
26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”
Paul makes this bold and persuasive argument with the hope that King Agrippa and the others hearing him will become followers of Christ! Agrippa was "Almost Persuaded."
We have seen many in our culture and even in our churches who are "almost persuaded" by the gospel. These are people who are very nearly but not exactly or entirely...persuaded. It shows when they are asked to give an account of their faith. Unlike Paul, they will talk about their subjective experiences rather than the historical facts of the gospel. There are many reasons for this but the most obvious two are:
1) The objective truth about Christ's resurrection hasn't been well factually presented by the church, and 2) The commitments of a person who is "fully persuaded" come with a visible lifestyle change that most are not willing to make so they remain unpersuaded.
Until the historical objective truth about Christ's resurrection is clearly front and center in our churches people claiming Christianity will not be able to make a defense of the faith or be willing to make the lifestyle changes that accompany a person who is "fully persuaded." Our actions follow our beliefs. This is why our churches are weak because they are full of very nearly but not exactly or entirely persuaded people. (I'm preaching to myself when I say...) Repent and believe the gospel! Be ready in season and out of season to preach and share the hope that is in you! Know that if or when the bottom drops out that you have a Savior who was "fully persuaded" to face the cross in your place! It wasn't easy for Him either! He sweat great drops of blood while facing a horrible execution on a cross. We should not look with glee nor with utter despair when we face hardship or must make a defense of our faith, but look with fully persuaded minds.
Living with this fully persuaded disposition will spur others toward truth, love, and good deeds.
SUNDAY SCHOOL 10:30 AM
(POSTPONED for Worship in the Park)
LIBRARY PRAYER MEETING
SUNDAY 8 AM (POSTPONED for Worship in the Park)
- Pray that God will lead you to ONE person to bring to the WORSHIP IN THE PARK.
- Pray for Louise Benedict (Genny's mom) for recovery from the hospital.
- Pray for Bobby, Johnny, Jane, Tim, Lori, Mike, Amy, Johnny, Anthony, Sam, Taylor, Mikani, Rick, Mike, Sarah, and others who need Jesus and a church like ours.
- Pray for all the NEW faces that arrive in worship; also there are many people floating around without a Christ-centered family!
- The Lord's blessing! Pray for SALVATIONS!
- Pray for THAT ONE FRIEND to trust Christ this new year!