Thursday, March 13, 2014


Here are the notes from the message this past Sunday at New Life Community Church.  This is the first in the series DINNER WITH A PERFECT STRANGER, and is entitled "Questions."  If you would like to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless!

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, Part 1                                           Sunday, March 9, 2014

Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, … and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’  Matthew 22:4 (ESV)

What would you do if you could have a long conversation with Jesus?  What would you talk about?  What would you ask Him?

When we hit upon the perplexing questions of life, we often say, “When I get to heaven, the first thing I’m going to ask Jesus is ……”

Why did my father die?
Why does my child always have to suffer so much?
Why did He allow me to be abused?
Why did my brother or my sister turn out so different from me?
Why, if He’s so good and so powerful, is there so much suffering in the world?

We usually ask some very personal questions.  But we might ask about things of a broader nature.
How can I really know You are real?
Why have so many big mistakes been made in history?
It can get pretty deep. 

You hear it all the time.  I just can’t go to church any more.  I have too many questions.  If God is so good, why are so many preachers stealing from people and living hypocritical lives?  After all, how do I know the Bible is true anyway?
Isn’t it a bit arrogant to claim that Jesus is the only way?  On top of that, how can a loving God banish people to eternal hell just because they don’t praise Him?  Is God some kind of ego-maniac that kills everyone who doesn’t agree with Him?
Aren’t there other ways to view reality?  After all, science has some pretty good arguments that seem to run directly against what the Bible says.

The world is full of them.  Maybe you are full of them.  Your neighbor, your friend, your co-worker deals with life’s questions on a regular basis.

Years ago Francis Schaeffer wrote a small book about our mission in the world.  It was called Two Contents, Two Realities.  In it he says what’s needed above all else is Two Contents and Two Realities.
They are:
1.      Sound Doctrine
2.      Honest Answers to Honest Questions
3.      True spirituality
4.      The beauty of human relationships

This past week, a mother wrote on Facebook asking, “Do suicide victims go to hell?”
Real, hard questions. 
The answers are not just intellectual.  They are spiritual.  They are relational
In the book, Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, Nick Comiskey meets for supper with Jesus.
On pages 23-24:
Jesus:  I don’t think there’s much I can say that would actually convince you I’m Jesus.
Nick:  Well, that’s one true statement.
Jesus:  I have a suggestion.  Why don’t you suspend your disbelief for a while and proceed as if I am Jesus?  Surely if Jesus were actually here, you might have some questions for him.
Nick thought:  That’s not a bad idea.  We were getting nowhere with my trying to figure out his real identity.  And this had the potential to be interesting.  Assuming this guy knew his stuff, this might be the best philosophical discussion I’d had since …. Northern Illinois days?  We actually used to talk about Kant and Kierkegaard and even Feynmann back then. 
Nick:  Okay, fine.  I have one for you.  The other day I passed the church down the street, and their sign read, ‘“No one comes to the Father but through me” – Jesus.’  If you actually said that, I think you’re full of it.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:6 (NKJV)

There are some things that are extremely offensive about Christianity’s claims of exclusivity.  So we need to look a little further and ask some hard questions.
Our world is full of CYNICISM.
There is a belief that NO ONE knows the truth.
We are talking about the whole topic of worldview.  Every faith or philosophical position has a worldview.  Most people’s worldview is ME.
But, if you go a little further, you have to ask important questions.  Like: what is right and wrong?  What happens to us when we die?  Where did we come from?  Where are we going?  Where is history going?  Is anything worth living for?  What is life all about anyway?
There are a lot of philosophies out there.

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  I Corinthians 3:11 (NKJV)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!  Galatians 1:6-8 (NIV)

The Uniqueness of Christianity.

1.     The Offer of FORGIVENESS.

2.     The PERSON of JESUS.

3.     RELATIONSHIP rather than RULES.

4.     DO vs. DONE.

All He asks is that you pray.

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