In his current series, The Lost Sheep, Pastor Jeff Vines challenges us to be people of passion for the lost, and to take risks to pursue those who don’t yet know Jesus. How far are we willing to go for Christ?
Jeff’s heart for the lost has led him to share the word of God all over the world. But there is one truth that remains the same for everyone.
“Churches cannot expect people to behave and be like Jesus so they can come in. If that’s what we’re doing, we’ve got it backwards. We need to be a people that passionately go after the lost sheep.”
Jeff continues, “Self-righteous people have no joy. How can you have joy if it is based on how good you think you are, and not on what Jesus did for you on the cross for you? The bible tells us in Luke 15 that Jesus leaves the 99 to pursue the one who is lost. All of heaven rejoices when one sinner repents and comes home. Jesus is intention in his pursuit, but are we?”
Jeff believes that we become distracted from our real goal when we turn inward. Jesus is always relevant, but the church becomes irrelevant. We need to be preaching the doctrine of grace, and inviting people in to hear the good news. We are all sinners. It is not our job to make others live right, that is God’s job. He promises to finish the good work that He has begun.
“We need to take risks if we’re going to reach the lost”, Jeff says. “Church programs are great, but there has never been an improvement on a one on one conversation. The strength of the Christian message is the transformational work of Jesus Christ that happens in us.”
Jeff is adamant that we should not be focused on how many people are in our churches. We should actually be more concerned with those who are NOT.
“Jesus risked leaving those He relentlessly loved, to relentlessly pursue those who didn’t yet know him. People are not anti-Jesus, but they are anti pious, self-righteous people.”
God will keep sending up opportunities.
“Are we all in to reach the world? How far are we willing to go?”
Jeff has one final challenge for us all:
Are we unified in our vision to go after those who are far from God?
Listen to the two-part sermon in the podcast below.