May 11, 2008pm    The Present      John 20:19-23

By Ronald E. George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

What is the Present?  It is the here and now, to give a gift, or to make a presentation of something by making it known. 

“Our business is people and
Our reason is Jesus Christ.
Our purpose is to personally live Jesus Christ. 

Because of His love for us,
We can love Him and one another.

We believe in the absolute necessity of conversion to Jesus,
The absolute reality of eternal life now in Jesus,
And the absolute need of each other in the fellowship of believers.

Our desire is to present Jesus Christ In compassion and understanding
To every individual who does not know Him,
And to encourage and develop every individual who does know Him. “
                                                                        By Gerry Hickman 

Scripture Text:   John 20:19 (KJV) Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.
 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22  And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained. [23 (NIV) If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."]

Christianity spread rapidly during the first century because all Christians saw themselves as responsible for disseminating the gospel.
   Erwin W. Lutzer (1941- )

I.  The time is now.  The here and now in the sense of time.  Our priority is to make the Lord known to all we know.  Why?  We should make this a priority because of the brevity of life.  Because of the importance of all knowing the Lord before the end of time.  We know that our time to live is limited.  The game of life is limited and there are not any second chances to make Him known.  We understand the importance of being saved since we have been there as in the sense of space.  Live with the Lord in the here and now to extend God’s hand of invitation.  God’s grace has appeared to all through you. 

II. The present or the gift.  Giving the Lord is giving our salvation to another.  He is the present.  He is the greatest gift that has ever been given.  Gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift/present/grace.  Give God’s gift/present/grace.  Are we willing that any should perish?  Are we willing that others would perish?  Have we realized that we are all sinners?  We need to be brought together with the Lord.  Jesus is the bridge.  Why do I have to be saved?  

III.  The presentation of the gift.  Jesus is to be given in compassion and understanding.  Our opportunity is to be the presence of the Lord of love to a world filled with hopelessness.  The ministry is a ministry of presence.  We must make his presence known.  Whose responsibility is it?  Our responsibility is to say no to ungodliness and yes to Jesus. 
Are we bringing people to the Lord or to the church?  That is the question.  Why should I be concerned?  Because of His love for us, we can love Him and one another.  Who should I try to bring to the Lord? If we are in the people business then what are we doing to touch lives.  If we believe in the absolute necessity of conversion to Jesus, then are we saved and what are we doing to convert others.  Our relationship to others should revolve around the fact that we want to bring others to Christ.  Our church should be designed to train us and give us opportunity to touch people’s lives. 

The do’s. 

  1. Do pray for them.  Have we prayed for them?
  2. Do tell them about the Lord.  Have we told them?
  3. Do share your testimony with them?  Who is Jesus to you?  Have we shared our testimony with them?  Teach them who the Lord is to you. 
  4. Do live your life before them.  Have we lived our witness before them? 
  5. Do give them opportunities to believe.
  6. Do give them Jesus.
  7. Do depend on the Lord for the results. 

The don’ts

  1. Don’t think that you can’t .  God can do anything through you.
  2. Don’t think that it isn’t important.
  3. Don’t wait until it is too late.  The opportunity is now. 
  4. Don’t give up. Don’t quit.
  5. Don’t leave anyone out!
  6. Don’t separate the physical needs from the spiritual needs of people.  Jesus didn’t.  People are people and people need the Lord. 

 

Share your love for your Lord and for them.  Begin today to pray for them or for a burden.  How should I bring them?