Sermon Outlines

The outlines are very fully-developed, making them ideal for personal study, young preachers, or men doing occasional fill-in appointments. Audio recordings are added to each posting after the outlines are preached.

Tuesday
Jan112011

Murder

Updated on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 8:05AM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

In more than two decades of sermon composition, I have discovered that I have never written a lesson specifically on the subject of murder. It just seemed a little too obvious, I guess, but what if people think I’m pro-murder because I do not preach on it? The New Testament deals with it as sin, of course, so to be clear, we had better take a firm anti-murder stand today.

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Tuesday
Dec212010

In The Night Watches

Updated on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 4:47PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Modern life is so busy and hectic and noisy; it’s easy to imagine a person not having a free or quiet moment from the time he wakes up to the iPod alarm to the time he falls asleep in front of the bedroom television. Whether you are a student, a professional, a laborer, or a panhandler, there seems to be nothing but frenzied activity all day long. Of course, on further inspection, much of that is by choice. When the power goes out or we suffer a broken leg, we quickly find out how much of this cacophony was self-inflicted. When we explain that we have no time for meditation and devotion to quieter, spiritual pursuits, what we are really saying is that we have little interest in them. There should be a time when we can ditch the little white earbuds, silence the television, go into a quiet place, and commune with God.

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Tuesday
Dec142010

Visitation

Updated on Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 7:50PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

We use the word “visitation” frequently in church circles. Every week, we compile a visitation list that includes people who have visited our services and members who were absent and presumably might require a visit. If someone should pass away, a viewing or visitation precedes the funeral service, and the Bible uses visitation as a way of describing episodes of judgment or rescue. Visitation is an important function of the body of Christ, but all too often, it is dismissed as someone else’s responsibility. Imagine what we could accomplish if we understood that visitation was everybody’s business.

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Tuesday
Dec072010

Without God

Updated on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 1:32PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Atheist groups in America wanted the people of Fort Worth to know that they were out there, so they bought up advertising space on the side of city buses to tell us, “Millions of Americans are good without God.” They chose December for their promotion for obviously offensive reasons, but it is the falseness of their advertising that concerns us more. Surely, millions of Americans are without God, but not a single one is good.

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Tuesday
Nov302010

Peculiar

Updated on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 1:07PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

There is little doubt that among all the churches in the Yellow Pages, the churches of Christ are usually a peculiar bunch. They’re not as distinctive as they used to be, at least in general terms, but there are still a few congregations here and there that cling to peculiar beliefs that are eminently scriptural, but not terribly ecumenical. The lines separating most Protestant denominations are blurring so that people can easily transfer among them without noticing much difference and that is becoming more true of churches of Christ that are altering their worship and reducing their requirements for membership. The distinctiveness of the churches of Christ is at stake and we need to be equipped to defend, debate and practice those distinctive beliefs that are rooted in Scripture, rather than tradition or compromise.

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Tuesday
Nov092010

Renewed Like the Eagle

Updated on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 9:04PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Maybe you can remember a time when you were in trouble with your parents and for a few minutes or even hours, they seemed only to scowl at you and their very presence made you feel both guilty and uncomfortable. What you wanted was for them to forget about your transgression so that things could get back to normal. You wanted a second chance and a sense of being forgiven and reclaimed. Really, isn’t that what we’re seeking from God as well, whether we have lived in sin for years or merely detoured into it a few minutes ago? God offer the kind of renewal that lasts.

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Tuesday
Nov022010

At The Apostles' Feet

Updated on Friday, June 10, 2011 at 1:08PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Someone has observed that money makes the world go round, and that is probably not an arguable point, but an inspired somebody else tells us that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Money is a necessary evil throughout most of the world. Christians labor to earn it and rely upon it to purchase food, clothing, shelter and iPods. Even churches find it necessary to solicit financial contributions from their members in order to fund the work – to support the teaching of the gospel, to provide a modestly comfortable place in which to assemble, to lend aid to needy brethren. As the early church had a treasury, we can learn from them to leave our funds always at the apostles’ feet.

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Tuesday
Oct262010

Chosen Race

Updated on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 1:27PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

What should be the solution to all of the world’s racial animosity is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially in the idea that God has chosen a race to be his own. The sweet truth about that is that everyone can subscribe to that chosen race, without exception.

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Tuesday
Oct192010

There Remains a Rest

Updated on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 1:16PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

According to the song, “We’ll work ‘till Jesus comes,” but through all that labor, we are apt to get tired, and the truth is that we will also look for opportunities to rest. We don’t ever want to rest so peacefully or thoroughly that people mistake us for dead, but there must be in this life an earnest of the rest we envision for eternity. Even Jesus rested in spite of having nowhere permanent to lay his head, and if we can master the rest of the sojourner, we will likewise be all right.

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Tuesday
Oct122010

I Will Be With You

Imagine happening upon a bush that is burning, but is not being consumed. No matter how long you stand there watching, the fire does not die out, nor does the bush diminish in size or structure. A voice calls out and instructs you to remove your shoes in a sign of respect for the presence of God there. You’re going on a mission, to liberate your people from an evil oppressor, but who will believe any of it? That was the task set before Moses, perhaps the greatest mortal ever to live.

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Tuesday
Oct052010

Be Subject

Subjection is one reason that the mainline denominations are mostly in a membership free fall these days. The rejection of authority structures that took shape four decades ago has led to a condition bordering on anarchy – in our schools, our streets and often our spirits. Of course, we suffer no sadness that unauthorized sects should be diminished, but the same effects are being felt among churches of Christ and the individuals and families within them. It might take us a little longer to join the course of this world, be we usually catch up to the devil eventually. We need to be reminded of the importance of authority, subjection and biblical structure.

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Tuesday
Sep282010

Spiritual + Religious

Updated on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 1:32PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

We hear many people today who believe in God – 86 percent of Americans do after all – proclaiming that they are spiritual, but not religious. They mean, I think, that they believe in a god that is an amalgam of the God of the Bible and the kind of god they would create if they got the chance – which they are taking. They see little personal need for the church, with its schedules, offerings and discipline, and instead seek out a warm feeling in nature, Eastern philosophies and their own self-ordained system of tolerant ethics. They are spiritual, in their own estimation, but not religious, in a systematized way. And they feel secure, if not superior. And they’re missing out, because the religion they so disdain is essential to salvation.

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Tuesday
Sep212010

Desire

Updated on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 12:49PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The word lust at one time simply connoted a strong desire and could have been applied to things that were holy or harmful. Over time, lust became confined in the English to things that were wicked and today it is almost exclusively used to describe sexual longing. That brand of lust has been creating conflicts in man’s natural desire to procreate almost since the dawn of time, but it is also has become a perfect arena in which to polish our spiritual mettle and strengthen our resistance of the devil.

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Tuesday
Sep142010

Out of the Heart of Man

Updated on Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 1:09PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Jesus dealt with many very religious people throughout his ministry. There seemed to be two categories – the everyday people who were striving and struggling to understand, apply and follow God’s will and prophecies and the clergymen who often lorded their education and authority over everyone else with high-handed hypocrisy. Jesus, the greatest religious leader in history, is frequently seen siding with the common believer against the hypocrites among the Pharisees and scribes because true religion must not only reach into the heart, but wholly reproduce its character. Who we are is not so much what people see or believe, but what God sees and knows in our hearts.

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Tuesday
Sep072010

Numbered With Transgressors

Updated on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 1:31PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The story of the cross has always fascinated readers, but of all the characters who make their brief appearance on the Bible stage there, the thieves hanging on either side of Jesus hold a peculiar place in peoples’ hearts. Many, for some reason, look to one of those robbers for an example of their own salvation, and yet while he was promised paradise, it is undeniable that he took an unusual path to get there, and surely not the best.

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Tuesday
Aug312010

Bad Things

Updated on Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 7:33PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

We still wonder, I suppose, why bad things happen to good people. Of course, no one is really altogether good except God himself, but we are curious why apparently innocent children are afflicted with birth defects or abusive parents, why little old ladies can get fleeced by smooth talking con men, why entire communities can be wiped out by a hurricane, tornado or drought. Some people reject the existence of God on nothing more than dissatisfaction with this question, while the devil is able to reclaim saved souls or interrupt the salvation of seekers by emphasizing it. Why do some bad things happen to some comparatively good people?

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Tuesday
Aug242010

Bread of Life

Updated on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 1:29PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

Jesus never backed down, even when his disciples warned him that he was offending the religious leaders in Jerusalem and provoking their wrath, whether by healing on the Sabbath or calling them a brood of vipers or blind guides. Truly, some of the things that Jesus taught are hard on modern ears as well, even for believers, for turning the other cheek and surrendering your coat are challenging requirements. It was his teaching on the Bread of Life, however, that almost instantly turned away a throng of disciples who just could not handle the truth.

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Tuesday
Aug102010

People of the Book

Updated on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 1:31PM by Registered CommenterJeff Smith

The phrase, “People of the Book,” is used to describe a certain subset of Christians or churchgoers who are more intimately acquainted with the Bible than is usually true among disciples. In many churches, the dirty work of studying the Bible and sharing its truths with others is left to the clergy or the priesthood and ordinary members are not expected or even authorized to expound upon the Scriptures. It was formerly said of members of churches of Christ that they were people of the book, who could be expected from top to bottom to give book, chapter and verse explanations of their convictions. One wonders how true this is today, when the pressures and pleasures of our culture have pushed the Bible to the back of the table.

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Wednesday
Aug042010

Major Prophets

The term “Major Prophets” refers to the relative size of the five books by four likely authors that fit under that category. It is not that major and minor describe their significance, for each prophetic book is equally inspired and vital to the unfolding of God’s will.

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Tuesday
Jul272010

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God

The man named Jude who wrote a little letter that is situated near the end of the New Testament is likely one of the fleshly brothers of Jesus Christ. Although these brothers were skeptical about Jesus during his lifetime, they became believers after his resurrection and at least a couple of them became noteworthy pillars in the early church. James was a leader in the congregation at Jerusalem while Jude is credited with writing a boldly worded warning against the infiltration of false teachers among the saved. Jude provides us with a blueprint for overcoming the allure of error and maintaining our own fellowship with a holy God.

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