11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis,
12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days.
13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.
14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
The engine that drives the mission enterprise is the desire to find those who would worship the one true God. Should we be seeking out true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, or just finding people to join to bolster up the numbers? What are the motives to bring in the crowds? In order to make a living? In order to gain a reputation? If we don’t bring them in we may lose them?
1. What are the kind of people who need to be converted before being welcome into the body of Christ?
a. Every kind of people
i. The godless people
ii. The socially good and religious – Lydia falls into this category.
1. Lydia was a Gentile who was aligned with the Jewish tradition – “a worshipper of God”. But she was still dead in her sins.
2. It is possible for an individual to be near the kingdom but still be outside.
2. There is only one way to salvation. The Lord is the one who must bring them in. “the Lord opened her heart…” It is the supernatural work of God.
a. All are born into this world spiritually dead.
b. And no matter how religious a person may be, if they are unconverted they are spiritually dead.
c. Keeping the dead in the church building and “Christianizing” them does not make them any less spiritually dead.
d. It is only the work of God, not man, to open the eyes of the spiritually dead.
3. Conversion brings about a powerful change in a person’s life
a. Obedience to Christ – she was baptized
i. We have a church full of people who cannot come under the banner of “Jesus is Lord”
b. Others should know salvation – and the rest of her household
c. Love for others – she urged us to stay with her
d. Love for God – faithful to, or believing, in, God
So what do we do with the goats? Preach the gospel to them. God himself will convert the goats. But we have compromised in this area in order to get more and more people on the church rolls – by calling them sheep when they are goats. How can you worship one that you do not know?
Video available at G3 Conference