Friday, November 28, 2008
John 4 Getting People To Heaven
Kelly Moore flight attendant for Air Florida. On January 13 1982 crashed into a Bridge spanning the Potomac River. One of the survivors clinging to that raft helped Kelly and the other four into the rescue harness of a hovering helicopter one by one before succumbing to hypothermia and slipping beneath the surface. And so that was how she was rescued the first time, by a stranger she had never met, who was later identified as Arland Williams. Two days later Kelly was rescued again, listen to her words. A couple of days later, when I was moved from intensive care to a regular room, I woke to see a nurse standing over me. She smiled, covering my fingers with her warm, gentle hand, and said, “Little girl, I could get in big trouble for telling you this, but God loves you and he saved you from that plane crash for a reason.” In response to my eager interest, my nurse risked her job to tell me of Jesus’ love for me. As she spoke of how he died for me, I responded by turning my life over to him. For the first time I felt real peace. When I prayed to accept Christ, I asked God to show me how I could know more about him. I knew he would answer me. I don’t know why God saved me from the Potomac that day when others died, or why he answered my desperate prayers for contact with him. But I do know God used compassionate, ordinary people to bring his love to me when I desperately needed it. In his infinite mercy, he rescued me not once, but twice.
We need to realise that there is a literal life and death battle being waged all around us, everyday.
He had to go through Samaria, that is the shortest route from Judea to Samaria”. True enough, but believe it or not that isn’t the route that most Jews took from Judea to Galilee. Why? Because Samaritans inhabited Samaria and because of the cultural, ethnic, religious and political animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans they stayed well and truly out of each other’s ways, even if it meant circling all the way around Samaria via the Jordan River. Even today people avoid going that way between Galilee and Jerusalem. Jesus “had” to take that route.
To Rescue Someone Spiritually We Will Need to Go Where They Are.
During the civil war and the union troops were taking a hiding from the confederates and the retreat had just sounded when this young private jumped up out of the trench ran across no man’s land over the ridge into the rebels trench. He belted a rebel with the butt of his rifle threw him over his shoulder and hightailed it back to his own trench where he dropped the unconscious solider at his commanders feet. “Where did you get him” asked his captain, “Yonder over the ridge” came the reply “and there’s enough of them over there for everyone”.
Jesus hung around with unreligious people enough that he was called a friend of sinners. He wasn’t looking for scalps for self aggrandizement and pride, He genuinely loved people.
2) To Rescue Someone Spiritually We Need To Build a Bridge
He opened a relational door by communicating to her that she mattered to him as a person. And it worked. You can tell that she was shocked that Jesus would even bother asking her for a drink.
There are a lot of these evangelistic turning points in our lives, and we make the decision about whether or not we will walk through the open door or simply continue on the path of our lives. While we are taking a walk around the block we can stop to meet the new neighbour who is washing his car, or we can keep right on walking. We can choose to take a few minutes and get to know the clerk at the dry cleaners, or we can dash home. We can invite a co-worker to lunch or we can eat our meals with Christians.
How many times do we rush past the opportunities to make relational inroads with unbelievers?
Building those relational bridges isn’t very difficult, especially when you know the key: listening to the other person. It’s taking a genuine interest in them and asking them questions, and finding out about their world. It’s expressing authentic curiosity about their situation in life.
When you do that you are bound to find some common interests that you can use to deepen your relationship, and at the same time you are doing what Jesus did that day at the well, you’ll be affirming somebody’s value and dignity just by taking the time to sincerely relate to them.
3) To Rescue Someone Spiritually We Need to Be Able to Lead them to Safety
It is imperative that if we are building a relationship to lead someone to the Lord that we will eventually have to talk about spiritual things. Jesus made a conscious choice to steer the conversation into spiritual waters.
4) To Rescue Someone Spiritually They Will Need to Have Confidence in their Rescuer.
Bottom line people don’t want to jump from the frying pan into the fire, if they are going to be rescued they want to make sure that what they are being rescued to is a better option then what they are being rescued from. They want to be sure the cure isn’t worse than the disease.
People will want to see what being rescued looks like and they will need to see that in your life. If what you do and how you live is no different than the rest of the world then what does it matter.
5) Those who have been rescued need to understand the urgency in reaching others.
The Samaritan woman makes her decision so quickly that she leaves behind the precious water jug that she has carried all the way from town, and rushes into town to invite people to come and hear Jesus themselves.
From an outline by... ?