Reason Behind My Latest Preaching Series

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past 6 weeks, I have been preaching through a series called “The Grand Narrative” at Aletheia Church. The series focuses on the story of Scripture and how all of Scripture points to Jesus, starting with creation all the way through to the church age and beyond. I must say that this has probably been my favorite series so far. I thought it would be good for me to explain why I chose to do something like this in the first place.

As many of you are well aware of, one of the core elements of Aletheia’s mission is intentional evangelism; meaning, we are those people, you know the one’s that walk up to perfect strangers and strike up conversations with said strangers for the sole purpose of introducing them to Jesus. Now before you judge me for this (I’m well aware of the stigmas and the stereotypes behind intentional evangelism), come out with me some time and you’ll see that it doesn’t have to be archaic, over-bearing, and invasive. In fact, it is a great way to meet new people and learn from other cultures and walks of life (because let’s be honest, you’re not really meeting too many people that are different than you). And it really is all about one’s approach. I can gain somebody’s trust in a matter of minutes just by doing to them what nobody ever does; by showing them genuine love and care (see Philippians 2:3-5).

This little interaction D.L. Moody once had upon being criticized for his evangelism methods is classic: “One day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moody’s reply was “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” The lady replied, “I don’t do it.” Moody retorted, “Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”

I say all of this because in doing evangelism, I have been able to come to one conclusion: People don’t know what the Bible is about. And when I say “people” I mean nearly everybody, Christian or not. Through all of my conversations over the past couple of years here in Tampa, this one thing has been made very clear to me. People have absolutely no clue what the Bible is about. I make it a point to ask everybody two specific questions: 1. “Have you ever read the Bible?” and 2. “What is the Bible about?”. The answers to the latter question vary but are pretty consistent; consistently wrong. I usually get “it’s a book about good morals”, or “doing things right”, or “the golden rule”, or “a bunch of ancient mythical stories”, or “a history book”, or “a book written by men for men that has no significance on my life”, etc. I never hear anything about God or Jesus and this scares me. The most published and sold book in the history of the world, and hardly anybody knows what it’s about.

I love when I get to the point in the conversation and I can say “What if I were to tell you that the Bible is about one thing; really one person?”. The response is usually “Really!?”. Then I’ll say “Yeah. The Bible is about Jesus.” Of course at that point in the conversation, I am then able to tell that person about Jesus and why He is the central figure of the Bible. All of this leads me to why I chose to do my latest preaching series. Because people need to be informed. People need to be told that the Bible is not about them (it’s not even about humanity in general), it’s about Jesus. I think Tim Keller says it best. The Bible is for us, but it’s not about us. Let’s not make that mistake.

When I finally realized that the story of Scripture was all about Jesus, the Bible became a lot smaller. That is what I want to happen in the minds and hearts of our people. I want them to know Scripture because through Scripture, they can know the person and work of Jesus. And only Jesus can save.

If you want to watch the sermons from “The Grand Narrative”, you can do so here: The Grand Narrative

Grace.

 

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