by Jerry Vines

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Matthew 13:1-23
Jerry Vines

Have you ever wondered why it is that when the Gospel is preached or when you share the Gospel
with someone in your personal witnessing, there are some people who respond to it and others who do not.
Why is it that when the Gospel is preached - a message as wonderful and glorious as the good news that
you can be saved from sin, go to heaven when you die - that some people will receive it and others will not
receive it.
I started preaching when I was 16 years old. At the age of 18 I had my first church. I've been a
pastor now for 40 years. When I started preaching I really thought that all I had to do was just give the
message and tell people that Jesus loved them, died on the cross for them, and if they would accept Him
as their personal Savior they would be saved. I thought that everybody who heard that message would
come forward. I must say to you in these 40 years I have come to the conclusion that not everybody will
respond to the invitation. They have not responded and do not respond. It makes us wonder why that
is true.
Our mission statement here at First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, is that Jacksonville may know
Christ. That's what we are all about, that's our purpose, our reason for existence. That's what we are
trying to do - give every person in Jacksonville an opportunity to come to know the Lord Jesus as their
personal Savior. Many thousands of people have responded positively to the good news of Jesus, have
been saved and are members of our fellowship. But there are others in Jacksonville who have heard the
message and yet they have not responded positively and have not come to the Lord Jesus as their Savior.
Have you ever wondered why this is true?
In just a little while the whole purpose of this service is going to come to a great c ...

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