Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Hard to Believe" 3rd message in the series DINNER WITH A PERFECT STRANGER

Here are the notes from the message at New Life Community Church, Sunday, March 30, 2014.  Third message in the series DINNER WITH A PERFECT STRANGER.  Entitled "Hard to Believe".  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 3                                                                     Sun., Mar. 30, 2014
 “Hard to Believe”

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)


1.     The Offer of FORGIVENESS.
2.     The PERSON of JESUS.
3.     RELATIONSHIP rather than RULES.
4.     DO vs. DONE.

“Good Enough”
Question No. 1: What’s the problem?
Question No. 2:  How can BAD be made GOOD?
Question No. 3:  Who measures up?
Question No. 4:  What must I do?

Hard to Believe
Next week:  Heart Hurdles
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  Mark 9:23-24 (NKJV)

Chair No. 1:  CONVINCED – “I believe

Chair No. 2:  QUESTIONING – “I don’t know

Chair No. 3:  CYNICAL – “I don’t believe

Movie Clip:  The Bucket List


For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.  II Timothy 1:12 (NASB)

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  I Peter 3:15 (NIV)


Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.  I Kings 18:21 (NLT)

25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” Acts 26:25-28 (ESV)


P. 61.
I leaned back and folded my arms. 

Nick:  “And to be honest, I really don’t believe that God asks people just to take a blind leap of faith about him.”

Jesus:  “You’re right.  He doesn’t.  That’s what the world’s religions do.”

Nick:  “What’s the difference between them and what you’re saying?”

Jesus:  “About one hundred eighty degrees.  In this case God gives proof before he expects faith. ….”

Nick:  “But Jesus is the same.  What evidence is there that Jesus was God?”

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,  Romans 1:1-4 (ESV)

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  II Peter 1:16 (NKJV)

Top 10 Objections:

1.      Christians are hypocrites.

2.      What about all the atrocities Christians have committed?
Religious wars, crusades, Spanish Inquisition, condoning slavery, burning witches, colonialism, repression, genocide…

P. 68
Nick:  Why has Christianity been such a mixed bag?
Jesus:  Several reasons.  Most of the people who have done these things didn’t really know me.  They have been outwardly religious, but they weren’t mine.

3.      Religion is a crutch.
Karl Marx:  Religion is the opiate of the masses. 

4.      Believing Jesus is the only way is narrow-minded.

5.      Being a good person is all that matters anyway.

6.      What about the millions who have never heard about Jesus?

7.      The Bible is full of contradictions and errors.

8.      If God is so good, why is there so much evil in the world?

9.      Why is there suffering?

10.  How can a loving God send people to an eternal hell?

27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”  28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.  29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”  John 20:27-29 (NLT)

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.  John 20:30-31 (ESV)

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