Open Hands (3 of 4) by James Merritt

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Open Hands (3 of 4)
Series: Magnetic
James Merritt
2 Corinthians 8:1-5


1. When I talk to people who doubt the truth of Christianity, one of the evidences I give them is just the fact that Christianity and the church have survived for 2000 years. By any calculation, the odds against the church making it were astronomical.

2. Usually any type of movement that lasts either had political power, or military might, or financial resources, or the backing of the majority of the people. The early church had none of those.

3. The early church had no formal organization, no buildings, no government recognition, no political backing and some considered them members of a crazy cult. For nearly three centuries, they were pretty much powerless. They were social outcasts, under great persecution, in deep poverty and often physically tortured.

4. And yet, they didn't just survive by the skin of their teeth; they thrived. They exploded not just by mere addition, but the church became a gigantic magnet that began to draw people from every race, every color, and every socio-economic group like wildfire. We are in a series we are calling, ''Magnetic'' and we are examining what it is that makes a church or should make a church. We have already identified two marks. One is what we called ''crazy love''. Jesus said when we love each other the way we should, people will know that we are His disciples and hopefully, they will want to become His disciples too.

5. Then we found the second mark was ''straight talk'' that wherever the Word of God increased in the early church and wherever the Word of God spread the church grew. So, the church focused on preaching the truth of God's Word.

6. Today, we are going to discover the third mark that makes both a Christian and a church magnetic, because remember a magnetic church is simply made up of magnetic people. One of the great things the early church had going for it and leveraged and used to draw people to ...

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