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Why are we seeing so few conversions?Mark 16:19-20, Acts 4:18-33, Andrew Love, April 19, 2015
Apologies that the sermon recording ends abruptly just after the first point in the second section entitled 'Is there Hope for the Future?'
Why are we seeing so few conversions?
- Acts - 3000, then 5000
- Paul and Silas go to this and that city and see conversions
- Expansion of church in the 1st century
1. Our nation is under judgement
- Under judgement
- The Divorce rate has increased
- Child abuse
- Exploitation of the vulnerable
- Teenage binge drinking
- Pornography, etc
- Same sex marriage
- 3 or 4 parent embryos
- The Government voted against sex selection abortion
- Rom 1:18
- Do you believe that the wrath of God is being presently manifested against all wickedness of men?
- Some would say it is because the nation under judgement
- There is open and defiant rebellion on a scale not seen before
- This is not the only reason
- Consider the time of Nero and the immorality of Roman society
- It didn't stop conversions of the church expanding
2. Is there a lack of evangelists?
- Is there a lack of those learning languages to preach?
- Roman 10:14 - how can they believe if they have not heard
- Are we praying for God to raise up preachers
- What about rural Wales?
- Are we making known the gospel?
3. The disunity of the Church?
- Can God bless a disunited church?
- There are needless disagreements over
- Bible translations
- The Second coming
- Are true believers falling out over secondary issues?
- John 13:35 - the mark of a believer/disciple, to be recognised by all men
- John 17:20-21 - "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
- Disunity does seem to hinder strongly the blessing of God
4. A deficient message?
- Are we really preaching sin?
- Nobody will come to Christ unless they are convinced they are a sinner
- Are we preaching Jesus?
- We don't preach morality, how to do church or how to be a Christian
- We preach first Christ
- The 'foolishness' of the cross
5. Is their a lack of God's power?
- Is their power and authority in the message?
- Doctrine, practice and methodology - this is not true Christianity
- Doctrine, practice and experience - this is the true Christianity
- Experiencing God in a very real and deep way
6. Why our prayer meetings empty?
- John 14:12-14 - encouragement for us
- Jesus is not speaking about miracles but about the 'greater work' of conversion
- The Holy Spirit is sent in power
- Are we asking in His name, relentlessly in prayer?
- Do we fail to ask, seek and knock?
- We cannot blame the lack of God's sovereignty
- 2 Chr 7:14
- John 16:24
- It is not dependent upon one man (i.e. the preacher)
There are many reasons - The main reason is that we must look to ourselves
Is there Hope for the Future?
- Acts 4:13 - a difference is seen in uneducated men
- If God did it for them, He can do it for us
- God is the same God in the past and now
- God's sovereign will
- John 15:16 - It was the will of the Father, He appointed us - to bear much fruit
- John 17:20 - there will be conversions
- John 10:16 - there are more to be saved
- John 12:32 - people will be drawn to Jesus
- Let us first look to ourselves and not blame the sovereignty of God
- Let us look to Him with hope for the future
19So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (KJV)
18And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. 23And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. (KJV)
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