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A FITTING MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE TO
A sermon preached on Memorial Day, May 31, 2004
Let us stand. We are gathered here to remember our soldier boys in Afghanistan and especially in Iraq. Most of them are fine men, and we should remember them, and the danger and sacrifice they are going through on behalf of our nation - to stop terrorism by Muslim fanatics.
Let us have a moment of silence to remember all of our military personnel in Iraq (moment of silence).
We should also remember the men and women who died that we might be free - in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. They were true American heroes. We owe our freedom as a nation to them. Let us remember them in a moment of silence (moment of silence). You may be seated. Mr. Griffith will now come to sing for us (Mr. Griffith sings "America the Beautiful").
In remembering the great trials and sacrifices the men and women went through to protect America, we should pledge ourselves to do something to commemorate their bravery. I think that the finest thing we could do, as a memorial to them, is to build our local church and make it a lighthouse of faith here in Los Angeles. The greatest tribute we could give to their legacy, and to America, is to build a church in our city that reflects the dedication and faith that they fought and died for.
Please turn with me in your Bible to Luke 14:23. Let us stand and read this verse together, out loud.
"And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).
You may be seated.
"How can we do it?" you may ask. "How can I actually bring someone into the church?" Here are a few simple guidelines.
I. First, pick someone out, someone definite, among your family or classmates.
Pick out a definite person. Give that person a copy of Dr. Hymers' great book on "The Passion of Christ." That person will read it. Give that person a week or so to read some of it. Then invite that person to church.
II. Second, don't preach to them.
Don't tell them they are a sinner or that they are lost. Let Dr. Hymers do the preaching. Your job is to simply get them to come. Tell them how much fun it will be. Tell them about the birthday party and the meal we will have right after the service. Emphasize the positive.
III. Third, work with your Deacon to arrange a ride for them to come to a service.
Talk to your Deacon about the person. Have them phone the person and arrange the ride. Come with them in the car when they are picked up for church. Sit with them in the service, and in the fellowship time afterwards. Make sure you sit with them. Also, make sure others in our church talk to them and are friendly in the fellowship time.
These are three simple points. I will repeat these points again: Pick out a definite person. Pray for him or her. Give him or her Dr. Hymers' book. Pray hard that they will read it. There is great interest in the passion of Christ right now. This is a tremendous opportunity. Next Sunday only we have reduced the price even more, to $5.00 each for an autographed copy of Dr. Hymers' book. This offer is good next Sunday only. Give them the book, and then pray hard every day that they will read it and be helped by it. Then, after a week or so, invite them to come to church with you. Tell them that they will have fun at the birthday party. Be very upbeat about inviting them. Then, arrange for your Deacon to phone them personally and arrange a ride for them to come. Finally, stick close to them throughout the service they come to, and make sure several people talk with them. Make sure they feel at home when they come to church. Let Dr. Hymers do all the preaching and counselling. You just make sure that they have a good time.
Can you do that? Sure you can! Steven brought his little brother. Now he attends all our services, and is even enrolled in Dr. Waldrip's Christian school. Then Steven brought two young ladies he knows at school. Both of them are now attending our church regularly. Finally, Steven brought his mother. She is now attending each and every Sunday.
If Steven can bring in four people (five including himself - because he has only been in our church a few months), if he can bring in four people, you can bring in at least one! Go for it! Do it! Tell them, "Why be lonely? Come home to church! Come home to Jesus Christ - the Son of God!" And may God help you to do it!
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
"America the Beautiful" (by Katharine Lee Bates, 1859-1929).
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."