Tonight I would like for us to begin to talk about a subject that is really not very enjoyable to discuss. The subject is A.I.D.S. I am sure that we have all heard about it, and that many of us have formed some opinions concerning it. However, I believe that it is time for us to consider it as a church. A.I.D.S. is coming to Grace Baptist Temple, what will we do when it arrives?
Note Some Statistics:
Right now, A.I.D.S. is the number one cause of death for all people from age 25-44. That is a frightening statistic.
It is estimated that there are a million people infected with the H.I.V. virus, and 90% of them are unaware of it.
H.I.V. (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes a person to develop A.I.D.S.
A.I.D.S. is not just a disease of the homosexuals.
A.I.D.S. stands for ‘acquired’ ‘immune’ ‘deficiency’ ‘syndrome’ that means that you have to do something in order to get it.
There are basically three ways to get A.I.D.S.
1) Exchanging bodily fluids with someone who is infected.
2) Through exchanging needles with one used by an infected person.
3) From an infected mother to child, sometimes through birth also through nursing.
35% of all A.I.D.S. cases are in the U.S. but it is a world-wide epidemic!
78% of the patients in hospitals in Zambia are there because of A.I.D.S.
Now, you might say "What does that have to do with me, and what does it have to do with a Bible study at Grace Baptist Temple"? The answer: A.I.D.S. is coming to church, what will we do when it gets here?
I. We have been commissioned to go into all the world and to every creature.
A. That does not mean that we choose to whom we take the gospel.
B. We are to go to every nation and to all people.
C. So we have a biblical command from God to minister the Word of God to the growing number of people, world- wide, who have been infected.
D. Does that make us feel uneasy?
II. We have established a purpose for this church and a covenant for its members.
A. Note: Article I. Section 2.
Its purposes are to spread the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to make converts to the Christian faith, to carry on divine worship and services, to raise funds by voluntary contributions to defray the cost and expenses of such objectives, and carry on the regular and ordinary functions of the Church.
B. Note these taken from the church covenant.
1. "...to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances..."
2. "...to advance the kingdom of our Saviour..."
3. "...to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech..."
III. Did we mean what we said, or was it just something that sounded good on paper.
A. It is estimated that at this time, one in every four hundred people are infected.
B. Do we minister to more than four hundred people in a year?
C. Last year we had over a 170 visitors to our services.
D. Chances are there was at least one person who was infected.
E. If not, there will be some in the future.
IV. How would Christ deal with the sickness and suffering of A.I.D.S.?
A. The A.I.D.S. crisis provides an unusual opportunity for the church to communicate the unconditional nature of God's love and the ultimate hope found in Christ Jesus.
B. When Jesus encountered individuals who were suffering, He joined in their suffering by associating with them, He communicated His love and mercy to them.
C. We must remember to hate the sin, but not forget to love the sinner.
D. Note: 1 Co. 6:9-11
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."