The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our July 8, 2018 message, The Outsiders: Why We're Reluctant To Rescue Outsiders. This message is part of our series, "The Outsiders." See other messages in this series.
Why is it that we are so reluctant to rescue outsiders? Everyone loves a good rescue mission! Do you know what makes a good rescue mission? There’s always resistance (something to rescue people from), people are always out of reach (or else they wouldn’t need rescuing), and there’s always a story to retell afterwards.
Using Luke 8:26-39—the story of the Gerasene Demoniac—we can learn three reasons why we are reluctant to rescue outsiders:
There is always resistance (Luke 8:22-26)
- You are working against the second strongest force in the world…the enemy who hates when people come to the faith.
- You will offend the devil every time you share your faith, and he is going to do everything he can to deter you. You are facing the forces of hell.
- Just because it is work doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Just because it takes time doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
- The difficulty for us in sharing our faith is that it’s uncomfortable, it’s awkward...we’re afraid what they’ll think of us. Compare this to what Paul experienced in 2 Corinthians 11:24-27.
We think they are out of reach (Luke 8:27-33)
- You’ve never shared the gospel with anyone as far gone as the Gerasene Demoniac.
- Don’t judge obedience by the outcome. Judge obedience by being faithful.
- Remember from Luke 5:27-32…your job is to have a patient hope.
- No one is too far gone. Every one is the same amount gone…they either have the Holy Spirit or they don’t.
- Satan is God’s Satan, and he has to beg Jesus for permission. This is a knife vs. butter or Brock Lesnar vs. a cupcake…it’s not even a contest.
We are reticent to retell the story (Luke 8:34-39)
- Rescuing outsiders will cost you something…time, money, your material possessions, comfort, etc.…it will cost you something.
- Retelling the story is the method of rescuing.
- This is the only rescue story we are reticent to retell.
- Some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell, I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. -C.T. Stud
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Where do you feel the most resistance to sharing your faith with outsiders? Share this place with your community group, and then commit to engaging someone at that place for the purpose of sharing your faith within the next week.
- When you think of the person in your life that is most “out of reach,” who comes to mind? Pray for that person every day for the next seven days and as you pray, ask God to show you how much He loves that person and ask Him to show you what being obedient and faithful toward that person looks like.
- Outside of the gospel, what’s the greatest rescue story you’ve ever heard? Share that story with someone in the next week, and when you do, find one way to compare and parallel that story to the gospel so that you can share both at the same time.
Mentioned or Recommended Resources
- Suggested Scripture Study: Luke 8:22-39, 1 John 1:4, 2 Corinthians 4:4, 1 John 3:8