OceanSide church of Christ
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Reaching Out To The Unlovable
SERIES: Sowing the Seed
TITLE: Reaching Out To The Unlovable
A.) A telephone company had an effective advertising slogan: "Reach out and touch someone."
B.) When you look at the life of Jesus Christ, He was the greatest "Reacher-Outer" who ever lived.
C.) In the church, we're called to be followers of this Man who reached out and touched people - 1 Peter 2:21.
1. We're called to be His hands, His feet, and His lips - Romans 12:5.
2. We fail to act as the Lord's church if we do not reach out to people with our lives and with the Gospel.
E.) Mark 5 presents an excellent example of Jesus Christ reaching out and touching a man - a man who was unloving and unlovable.
DISCUSSION: We need to understand...
I. THE REALITY OF REACHING OUT TO THOSE WHO ARE UNLOVABLE
A.) Mark 5:1-5
1. Immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him.
2. Here is a man who has been cast out of society; the people in the area could not restrain the man... He broke the chains, he broke the shackles, and the only solution was to cast this man out of society.
B.) The same crazed, possessed man now stands face to face with the Son of God.
1. This was the one who needed Jesus to reach out to him.
2. This was the test of Christ's willingness to reach out.
D.) Think about how Jesus could have responded to this need:
1. He might have said, "I'm too tired. It's late. I've had a long, hard day!"
a.) As a result, when the day's work is done, time and energy are gone.
b.) Little is left for reaching out to others; therefore church work does not fit into busy, tiring schedules.
2. He also might have said, "This is not My responsibility."
a.) One of the great needs of our society is a feeling of personal responsibility.
b.) One of the great needs of the church is a feeling of personal responsibility.
i.) James 4:17
ii.) Who is responsible for the one who knows to do good and does not do it?
3. Jesus might have said, "This is not a good 'prospect' for conversion."
a.) Many individuals will have loaded down life problems.
b.) ["Gospel Is For ALL"]
4. Lastly, Jesus could have said, "Don't you know that there's a risk involved?"
a.) Several of our friends may stop talking to us.
b.) The people in the country did not want Jesus around after the event - verse 17.
E.) Jesus could have given every excuse that I mentioned...
1. What enabled Him to overcome the natural barriers? ANSWER: His love for people.
2. Here was someone who need Him...
a.) Yes, the man was unloving and unlovable.
b.) Nevertheless, he was a person with needs.
4. In spite of the facts, Christ took the risk and reached out to him.
II. THE RESPONSE OF REACHING OUT TO THE UNLOVABLE
A.) Mark 5:9-15
1. Now a report came to the people concerning the event that just took place.
2. Jesus had reached out to an unlovable individual... and his life had been totally changed!
B.) We know He did it out of love, but here are a few other responses that Jesus provided:
1. He was sensitive to people's needs.
a.) He was always looking for an opportunity to help.
b.) There are souls that are still in need... Souls that are possessed by sin... and the church is called forth to reach out and touch these souls with the Gospel - Mark 16:15.
2. He was willing to start where the needy person was, not where He would have wished him to be.
a.) Jesus ignored the man's appearance and had cast out the demons... then, the text says, the man was clothed.
b.) We have to start where people are, not where we wish they were.
3. Jesus was willing to talk to the man - and listen to his problems.
a.) He listened to several thousand demons! - verse 9
b.) Listening demonstrates a desire to understand.
4. Jesus was willing to rely on God's power.
a.) The man's life was not changed by human psychology, but by divine power!
b.) Today, the church does not have miraculous power, but God has still endued us with power.
i.) The word of God - Romans 1:16.
ii.) God's power working in our lives - Ephesians 3:20.
C.) Therefore, let us learn and apply the same responses our Lord and Savior had shown.
III. THE RESULTS OF REACHING OUT TO THE UNLOVABLE
A.) A life was completely changed and turned around.
B.) Some, however, were not happy about all that had occurred - Mark 5:15-17.
1. Instead of being excited that a fellow human being had been saved, "they became frightened."
2. The people began to implore Jesus out of their region.
3. Jesus did what they asked... He never forced God's way on anyone... Neither can we.
C.) A final result needs to be mentioned: Reaching out begets reaching out. - Mark 5:18-20
1. Jesus would also say to us, "Go home to your people - to your friends, family, and neighbors - and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you."
2. A few may protest, "But I don't have any friends who are not members of the church."
a.) Go find some!
d.) Once you do, then sow the Seed!!!
3. A simple concept: evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where they can both find bread.
4. It is one sufferer telling another sufferer where they can both find relief.
CONCLUSION: [18-inch Ruler Illustration]
A.) We may know in our heads that we should reach out to others - even the unlovable.
B.) At the same time, it is possible that the message has never reached our hearts.
C.) Perhaps we have not been motivated to do whatever it takes to reach out.
D.) It is indeed possible that some of us could "miss heaven by eighteen inches."