Nicodemus, Unbelief

For those who haven’t read Nicodemus #1 & #2, this is a simple Youth Ministry outline. This series covers some basic topics in the story of Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus. (This is not an exegesis of the text, just a simple devotion type message)

Alright, tonight we are going to examine Nicodemus and the result of unbelief. The story of Nicodemus refused to believe the truth which Jesus testified. Let us check it out:
John 3:11-12  11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

The Apostle Paul wrote, The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 2 Corinthians 2:14
The Jewish people did not accept the testimony of Jesus and His disciples, and their unbelief was what fueled their spiritual ignorance.
The question is do you believe? And what are the dangers of unbelief? Nicodemus’ unbelief did not allow him to even understand the earthly things like being born again, the Kingdom of God or even salvation for that matter! John MacArthur states, There are two sides to Nicodemus’ unbelief, .. Intellectually and Spiritually.[1] Like many Jews Nicodemus admired Jesus’ miracles but refused to commit his life whole-heartedly to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Maybe you’re here tonight in the same boat, you like coming and hanging out with other students and you may even like the music and games, however you have yet to give your life over to Christ. If you are here and have yet to give your life to Christ I urge you and ask the simple question, WHAT HOLDING YOU BACK? GAME – (Three Lies and A TRUTH)
Game Instructions: Students circle up in a large circle. Next have each student think of three lies and one truth about themselves. One at a time each student will give their answers and the group has to figure out which one is the truth.
We see in verse eleven that Jesus told Nicodemus the truth, and he testified.. This brings up a word that you hear a lot in church settings, which is Testify. What does it mean to testify? Or to give your testimony? Jesus gives us a great example of testifying right in verse eleven, “I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen,” The first thing we see is that their testimony was of the Truth. The testimony we give should be truthful, honest and sincere. Second, we see is that they speak of what the know. When giving your testimony be clear and give the information about your relationship with Christ through the things in which you know. So often I hear testimonies of people who go off on rabbit wholes and theological terms that go way over the average Christians head and no one is edified (built up). And Lastly, we see they only spoke about what they had seen. When giving your testimony just simply tell your story. The story of how you came to an understanding of being a follower of Christ. BE TRUTHFUL, BE HONEST AND TELL YOUR STORY.
[Have two student leaders (you should have chosen these students before hand and given the ample time to prepare their testimonies) come up front and give their testimonies of how they were born again. After testimonies share the Gospel.]
Tonight we come to the end of our teaching time and want to give each of you the opportunity to experience what these two leaders have shared with you. There is no magic formula, no secret hand shake. There is only you and God right now. Jesus came to this earth in the form of a man, He took on human likeness so that we would be able to connect with Him. He showed us that He was both God and man able to live a sinless life, He was crucified, buried and rose again from the dead to give us freedom from sin. The Bible tells us that, all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. There is no one in this room who is without sin. The Bible also goes on to tell us that the wages of sin is death or the penalty of our sin equals death. This death represents a separation from God, and if you were to die tonight being separated from God you would spend eternity separated from Him, this is Hell. The Bible goes on to give us the Good News, that while we were sinners Christ died for us! This is a GIFT of God!
(READ) Ephesians 2:8-9 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.
So God has offered the free GIFT, so now what? Romans chapter ten verse thirteen tells us, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” This is a sincere calling out to God asking for forgiveness of sin and a whole-hearted commitment to follow after Him. If your decision tonight is to receive this GIFT of God I simply say from where you are talk to God, open your heart up to Him and believe that Jesus is Lord and you too will be saved. In closing, Romans chapter ten verses nine and ten say this, 9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

[1] MacArthur, John The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago, Moody Publishers 2006) 112

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