North Anderson Baptist Church
Going After Your One
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Good morning! We are meeting today in the most different circumstances I have ever been in for the 40 plus years of ministry. Because of the coronavirus COVID-19, we are live streaming with no congregation. Your staff and leadership made the decision based upon the President’s recommendation that no more than 10 people gather together and still practice social distancing when you do. For that reason, I am here with Brian and Kiley and Kim. Please pray for us as we share the Word of our great and mighty God.

If you are tuning in today and you are not a member of our congregation, North Anderson Baptist Church, we welcome you and thank God for you being with us. We want you to know that the Lord is with you and that we have nothing to fear, for our God is the God of love and power and He will provide for His own, even in the midst of the unknown for nothing is unknown to Him. Today we are continuing a series we have started this year called, ”Who’s Your One?” Our title is “Going After Your ONE” from Matthew 18:12-14 and then 10-11.
We are continuing to look at the Word of God to obtain guidance on how we should “go after our One.” Our hope is for everyone to have “a ONE,” that one person who might be lost or could be someone who has stopped going to church and needs to return to their faith. Our prayer is that you are doing whatever it takes to reach out to your ONE.

Maybe you are already casually talking with them, maybe you have written a letter or two, maybe you have been praying for them on a regular basis and then it could be that you have asked them to come to church at some point during these last few weeks. Whatever you are doing, keep it up and if you have not yet begun “going after your One,” it might be the time to begin after this morning’s message.

Today we are going to look at a passage that speaks of children and sheep. There are a lot of things children and sheep have in common. So, as we consider these thoughts today may you gain some insight on what you should do or how to go about reaching that ONE person you have in mind to “bring to Jesus.”
1. Jesus wants to know what you think - v. 12

You might think that Jesus just doesn’t care what you think because He is God and you are not. He has all the answers and you do not. If that is true, why would He ask a question of His disciples in the first place? He does care enough to ask what the disciples thought and eventually what you and I think about the subject. He uses His parables to make points and teach lessons of life and spirit. God is concerned for every human being He has created.
The lost sheep had special consideration because of the condition it was in. It was better than the other sheep but the dangerous situation and position it was in called attention to it. There was special concern for the lost sheep because of the possible danger that destruction was upon it if it were not found.If the shepherd is to save the sheep, he may have to make a journey that might prove difficult in saving the sheep. The shepherd desires to lose none of his sheep.

We were once lost and astray. Isaiah 53:6,
And yet we have been restored by Jesus going out of His way - in danger - to redeem us.

Reading verse 12 we see that through the question He asked, Jesus wants to know what we think of the lostness of those around us, those who have wandered away from the fold of the church, and those little ones who have not yet come to the point of spiritual accountability.
When I was a teacher in the classroom, I would often ask questions of the class, based on the subject matter I was teaching, to see if the students had done their homework, to find out if they had read what they needed to have read, whether they understood the things they had read, or if they had any understanding of the subject in general. Based upon their answers, I could then help them come to a better understanding of the ideas we were discussing or I could give them some help so they could get a better grasp of the subject, or I could possibly give them the affirmation they needed because they had read their material and knew the subject well.
Questions can be used for many reasons. Was Jesus interested in their knowledge of shepherds and sheep, probably not? I think Jesus might have been trying to find out what they understood about the spiritual side of the question. Surely He wanted them to understand the great love and compassion God had, not for sheep, but for people who had wandered away from that love of God like the wayward sheep wandered away from the fold of the shepherd. They needed to know that God’s love was ever searching and a sacrificial love. You can run or wander for only so long, but while you do you need to know God is searching for you and loving you all along.

2. What do you do when one wanders off? - v. 12
There is another question, “Will he not go after the one who wandered off? The sheep has wandered away and Jesus uses this thought to help the disciples to understand His heart. In a way someone who has wandered off away from the church of God and has gone into the world is placing themselves in a position that needs the hand of God to rescue them from the clutches of the world. So, the answer to Jesus’ question, “Will he not go after the one who wandered off?” is, yes! Those who are safe and in the flock need not the attention of the shepherd but the one who has wandered off and is in danger or will be. Jesus, being the faithful Shepherd, will go after the one who is wandering because they need the help of the Lord to restore them to the fold of God. There should be a priority placed on looking for the sheep.
What is the result of finding the lost sheep, or man?
There was great joy in finding the sheep. Maybe the reason is that the sheep caused more trouble and the joy was greater when it was found. But remember, Jesus is talking about men and women.

There is "rejoicing in the presence of angels over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10). To God, people are a prize! We are important and valued, and the transformation of a single sinner brings joy, not only to God, but also to all who share His heart of love.

From the Applied Bible Commentary,“This teaching applies not only to Christians who have strayed but to all men. According to Luke 15:7, there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. That is, there is more joy in heaven over each new person that believes in Christ than there is over ninety-nine persons who already believe. Our God is a God who is always seeking the lost and rejoicing when each one is saved (see Luke 15:8-10;19:10 and comments).
One of our young church planters exhibits that spirit. John Michael Gibson and Brittany have shown that excitement going after the lost in the city of Miami. He is so excited looking for the lost ones who are in danger of losing their lives spiritually. The joy he has when one is found seems to be greater because of the search for them.

Are you going after your ONE like Jesus said to go after the “lost sheep” or the lost man or woman who has wandered away from His creator. Or, maybe you are going after the one who is saved, who has turned away from His Savior and Lord and become a ”backslider?” That old church word just means, you have not been living like you used to when you were right with God and serving Him faithfully.

Is your ONE lost or a backslider? It will make a difference how you approach your ONE. It is just a different kind of conversation as you talk about Jesus. For the lost ONE, your conversation eventually needs to be about salvation and eternal life in Jesus. Getting to know your ONE first is important and talking about things that are important to them helps break the ice. You want to make a friend before you lead them to the Lord, if it is possible. But when it is time and the Spirit of God leads you, you might walk to ask questions like:
“If you were to die tonight, do you know where you will spend eternity?” Or,
“If you were to die tonight and you stood before God and He were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into my heaven,” what would you say?’” Or,
you might want to talk to your ONE who is lost about the special love of God He has for them, shown His death on the cross of Christ. Or,
Jesus came from a perfect heaven to this old and fallen world where life is tough and people can be tougher, just to say to you, “I love you so much that I died for you so that you can have a relationship with God the Father.”
Share the Cross!

Now for the backslider, your conversation can be quite different. Why do you think that is so? They have seen and felt the love of God through salvation and the Spirit of God lives in them. Your conversations and dealings with them come from the heart of a brother or sister in Christ. Sometimes they have wandered away because of problems in their lives or because they have been hurt at sometime by a believer, or just a lost church member who was cruel to them. Sometimes it is not justified, but that they were just immature and stayed a baby and someone “took their toys away from them,” so to speak and hurt their immature feelings. Your conversations, in any case, need to be encouraging not condemning. You are there to help reconcile them to Christ the Savior.
You can help sometimes and you can hurt too. Whatever you do, be sensitive. Be sensitive to their needs and what they tell you and listen with love in your heart to love them back into the church. Sometimes you have to go the second mile to help people grow up and draw them back with the love of Jesus. Help them to understand what repentance from sin is all about. Help them to be reconciled to God from their sin.

3. Who Are the “Little Ones?” - v. 10-11, and 14
Who are the “little ones?” Jesus seems to be talking about children. In the first part of Chapter 18, Jesus is talking about children and how important they are and how they are the greatest. He speaks about how someone needs to become like a little child before they can come into the Kingdom of Heaven. He is speaking of humility and innocence of a child. Jesus says that if anyone harms one of the little ones they are in great danger and the punishment is grave and final. He speaks about causing one of them to sin and how they will be judged. How does this all relate to our subject of today?
Sheep and children are closely tied when it comes to innocence. Sheep and children wander away. They need special care and concern about them. Because children are important to the Lord Jesus we should be concerned for them as well. They should be protected and kept safe and taught with love and care. Using the sheep as an example, little children should be cared for and be introduced to the Lord Jesus so He can care for them and be close to Him. As Christians we should be teaching the children of the church and of the community as best we can so that all can have an opportunity to come to Christ as His child.
Maybe you have seen the heart of Christ and that His love for children is great. Maybe your ONE needs to be a child. I know some of you have been leading children to the Lord Jesus for several years now. We can see the heart of God and His love in your actions and your work. We praise God for your great concern for them.
Let me close by saying that no matter whether your ONE is a sheep, an adult or a “little one,” our God is concerned that they need to know His love and walk in His ways. What are you doing to go after your ONE? If they are lost, and don’t become saved, they will die in their sin. We need to see the finality of not being saved and dying. Don’t let another day go by without seeking to do something to touch your ONE with the love of God.
What are you doing to go after your ONE?

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com