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Reaching The Lost - Part 1

"13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.
19 My brothers, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins."
James 5:13-20

Reaching the lost, is certainly one of the greatest works we have been blessed with in the world. Know that someone who was once lost, has come to Christ! God has entrusted each of us, that's every believer, He has given us this God given incredible responsibility. Can you take the bible and point a sinner to the savior?

Good Morning Beloved,

I'm so grateful that all of you are here today.
Thank you for joining us!

Today we are going to begin a study on the Gospel of James, chapter 5. Specifically, we'll be looking at verses 15-20. Now, with that in mind, we'll be discussing the idea of how to lead a Soul to Christ. I hope to be able to teach you five, relatively simple steps.  You will want to learn these steps when talking to someone about becoming a Christian. Get out your sermon notepads, so that you can write them down.

Before we open our Bibles, to this magnificent section of Scripture, let's pray, shall we?

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this wonderful text from the book of James. As followers of Christ, we have set before us the responsibility of sharing the good news and leading others to Salvation. Father, we ask that you would reveal to us, those opportunities, as they present themselves. Burden our hearts, with the people that You want us to talk to. Convict us to call, write them, or pay a visit to  them personally. Lay them heavy upon our hearts and then give us the joy! The joy of turning a sinner from death to life. To just spend a few moments in silent prayer with You Lord, and allow You to speak to their hearts, that none may perish.

Lord, seal Your Word in our hearts today, and cause us to be faithful, to hear the voice of Your Holy Spirit, prompting us to obedience, in rescuing even one sinner from death. Father, give us that great honor and privilege. May it all be for Your glory alone.
We pray in the name, above all names, Jesus Christ

Open with me please, your Bibles, to James 5:13-20. As you're following along, looking at your Bible allow me to read them to you.

"Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.

My brothers, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins."
So beloved, the first step in leading someone who is lost to Christ, is to show them they have a
"Need for Salvation."

I'd like to share a story with you, if I may. A number of years ago pro boxer, by the name of Hector "Macho" Camacho, who I'm sure many of you are familiar with. He is a four time, three weight class, boxing champion of the world. And he was being interviewed on television. He was bragging about his wild past, his prowess as father at age 15, all the drugs, living a party life style. The sportscaster asked him, "Don’t you think that a sports hero, someone like yourself, has a certain obligation to be a role model for our youth?" Camacho snapped back, "Look, I did my dirt, but I ain’t no Hitler."  Less than two years later he died, in 2012, I believe.  Hector had sustained injuries, resulting from a drive-by shooting in Puerto Rico.

However, Camacho’s response is the typical human response.
"Sure, I may have my faults, but I’m not totally immoral!"
"I've made mistakes, but I am not all bad."
"Sure, I might not be a Christian, but I am definitely not a sinner."

Sadly, a great many people see themselves in this way. Because, they don't believe they're that bad, therefore, they do not see the need for salvation. Which, I find it to be kind of alarming, especially when it is said out loud. But in the recesses of the mind. In the remote corners of the heart and soul there is this quiet deception: That because I am really not so bad, I won't forfeit my soul and so there is no need to be "rescued" or for salvation. The first step in bringing a soul to salvation is get them to realize, they need to be saved. And Unfortunately, some people never do.

However, when you are talking to someone about the gospel and salvation, their initial response may not be to say yes the first time. That's why it's important not to give up. Plant the seed, and allow God time to cultivate it
Every word we hear is stored in our subconscious mind. Every word you say is put away for safekeeping in their heart. The next time you talk to them about the same thing the brain and the heart will begin to resume the work you started the last time.
Plus you have the help of the Holy Spirit. Salvation originates from God the Father. It is brought to us and made visible by the Son Jesus Christ on the cross and resurrection. It is revealed and communicated today through the work of the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches, "When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory."

I would like to encourage you to pause for a moment, and think about those words "He is the down payment our inheritance." That is what the Holy Spirit does. The first things it guarantees that we belong to God! And that is true, then God will do what God has promised to save us. The Holy Spirit is like a down payment,a deposit, a guaranteeing signature on the contract of eternity. The presence of the Holy Spirit is what gives each person that blessed assurance that says, "Yes, you are forgiven. Yes, you are a child of God."

The power and work of the Holy Spirit is what transforms the fear into faith, the doubt into belief, the defeat into victory, the lost sinner into a saved believer. The most important thing that you can do as the person who is working to lead someone else to Christ is to pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you. Ask God to anoint you. Ask God to give you a double portion of His Spirit. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Ghost. Have you made room in your heart to receive the Holy Spirit? Have you ever prayed "God, fill me with more of your Holy Spirit?"

Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged."

John 16:13 tells us, "A little while and you will no longer see Me; again a little while and you will see Me."

The Holy Spirit is what goes before us to open the way for us to lead others to salvation. The Holy Spirit guides us in all truth and knowledge about Jesus Christ.

Luke 1:17 "And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers
to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people."

This verse is the work of the messenger. Their job is to go out and proclaiming repentance and baptism. To preach and teach and prepare the way for the Savior. This is like the work you and I have to do, to prepare the way, for the lost sinner to hear about salvation.

I'd like to direct your attention to the phrase: "And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah." I am drawn to the stories in the book of Kings about Elijah. Elijah had just gone up against the most wicked King and Queen Ahab and Jezebel.

Elijah had prayed for it to not rain. And for 3 ½ years God stopped the rain. Do you happen to remember the story where Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal? Baal was a type of idol god the people prayed to Baal for rain. Elijah said, let’s put your god to the test. Let’s make an altar and sacrifice. The God who answers with fire will be the true God.

The prophets of Baal sing and dance and even cut their skin to bleed as they call on Baal.
But Baal does not answer. Then it comes to Elijah’s turn. Elijah says, bring 12 barrels of water. Pour the water over the wood on the altar. Where did they get the water?
I would imagine, it was out of their reserve supply. They had probably thought we can hold out for rain for quite some time. But just maybe Elijah was making it more pressing for them to turn and have faith in the Lord God.

So, they pour the water on the altar. God answers with fire Burning up all the wood, water and even soil around it. Elijah has just had this great victory. He has just won this great challenge against the evil King and Queen. You would think after such a victory Elijah would be full of life and energy, right?

"Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “May the gods punish me and do so severely if I don’t make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow!”
Then Elijah became afraid and immediately ran for his life. When he came to Beer-sheba that belonged to Judah, he left his servant there, but he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, “I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers.” Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree.
Suddenly, an angel touched him. The angel told him, “Get up and eat."
I Kings 19:1-5

Anyone remember what happened next? That's right! The sky began to grow black with clouds, heavy winds brought a rainstorm. Ahab had left to go back home to the city of Jezreel.

1 Kings 19:46 says Now, the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. (Think about the words “special strength” Elijah tucked his cloak into his belt And ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot All the way to the entrance of Jezreel.

Now, it was 17 miles from Mount Carmel to the city of Jezreel And Elijah is out running the kings horses and chariots. Faith is one of the most essential part of a healthy daily Christian life.

Hebrews 11:6 says, "Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him."

Jesus taught us to pray in faith, Jesus also taught us, in Mark 11:24, to believe we will receive what we ask for, and that even the smallest amount of faith will do powerful things, in Matthew 17:20.
Beloved, it’s not enough to just pray about something. We must pray in faith, believing that God will answer our prayer!

There are a lot of things that seem impossible for us, but Christ will give us the super strength, His strength, to do things that seem unlikely. It is all about "Faith." When it comes to things of faith, we are unable see it right in front of us. So, it will first need to happen inside you. It needs to happen in your heart and in your soul. You can actually believe something on the inside and not see it yet on the outside. It takes saving faith to get us to heaven. We as Christians have saving faith or we wouldn’t be a Christian. The writer of Hebrews 11:1, so graciously reminds us, "Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. ."

Faith is having confidence that what we pray is going to happen. Faith is really "now faith."
Now Faith, says God, I believe right now that what I am praying for you are going to bring to fruition. You will complete my request. The end result of my pray of faith is an answered prayer.

When I am saying I can’t run that far or that fast, my prayer says, God is going to somehow make a way for me, I don't know how, but I believe it to be so! And somehow, some way, I'll get to where I need to be. Beloved, THAT is faith!

The Bible says, "the hand of the Lord was on Elijah." In Hebrew, that means: power, strength, means, direction. It means God doing something that we just can’t do on our own accord. So, God places His hand upon us, we can call it The Power of God! We begin to use His superior strength, His means, with His direction. We can think of it as "His Spirit" as being  upon us. To do the work to accomplish the task enabling us to fulfill our duty To serve as God’s servant and to lead a soul to Christ.

In Closing.....

People are ready to be picked for Harvest, however, we are to do the work necessary to lead them to Jesus Christ, be lead them to salvation. But that also means we have to be open and receptive and willing. There has to be heart conditioning. When we have Faith and our heart in the right place then we can be used of God.

Every day, there is so much negativity in the world around us, therefore, we really have to try to be a positive influence on this world. To be encouraging, uplifting, while speaking truth. Emphasize what is working well in your relationship with Jesus, and church life. Beloved, we really need to put great effort, our time and energy into doing that. If there is something you are unhappy about, you should never talk about it in an open class setting, or in an area, where it can be overheard by first time visitor or other church members. Talk to this individuals involved privately.

Philippians 2:14-15 teaches, "Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world."

One report that I read, on a study of healthy congregations, said that it takes as little as 5% of a church’s average attendance complaining and being negative to cause harm of a churches reputation in the community. The false impression that a church lacks unity reduces a congregations ability be a transformational church. Our Spiritual life is reflected in the things we do and say.

Are you witnessing for Christ?
Or is your life plagued by complaining and negativity?

"No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house."
Matthew 5:15

Let you light shine for God!

You can show someone else the need for salvation. But if you're not living yours, it's going to go nowhere!  It must come out of a genuine relationship with the Savior in our own life. A healthy Christ relationship, requires talking about Jesus with others, it takes prayer, it requires faith, trusting in the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we are commanded to share good news of the gospel with the world. We are all evangelists for Christ and witnesses of the Gospel.

Who is waiting for you to talk to them about getting saved? Think about a time when you gave food to the hungry. Think about a time when you gave a coat to someone who was cold. Think about a time when you gave a gift to someone who had little to be thankful for. Why did you do it?
Can you think of a time when you missed the moment to share the story of the cross, the tomb and the salvation?

Imagine yourself encountering someone who is starving from lack of spiritual guidance and direction, they're hungry for spiritual food.
Imagine yourself sharing with someone who has been turned off by the church, their heart has grown cold, because all they have seen in the churches they've attended is hypocrites and people who are always complaining.
Imagine yourself talking to someone who is broken spiritually and desperately needs to hear the Good News.

Leading someone to Christ, is the greatest privilege and honor we have in this in the world.
God has entrusted each of us, every believer has this God given incredible responsibility.

Can you point a sinner toward Jesus Christ?
The first step is Show the Need for Salvation!
Through your own personal story and witness your faith and be a role model of forgiveness, and patience.

But I want to give this invitation today, to introduce someone you know, you work with, a neighbor or even someone that you've just met, come to the cross.
It is my prayer, to convert as many we can, before the Coming Day of thee Lord

Many hearts and lives
To our great good
And to Your greater glory;
And this we ask in Jesus Christ. Amen
The reason people get saved is because the people in the church have their heart and mind in the right place. When the church has its heart in the right condition, we will be where we need to be lead someone else to Christ.

Wherever it ends, is up to the Lord. But, where it all starts, is with us.

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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