EvangelismWe want you to be involved in sharing the Gospel but the unfortunate truth is that most believers will not.  The reasons are usually related to fear or ignorance.  We launch new programs and campaigns and offer training in our church and we still have the same results; those people who are predisposed to sharing the gospel do  and all others have just add another area of their spiritual life where they feel failure.

I want you to be a success in your journey with Jesus. I want you to be able to think about the Gospel, about missions, about soul winning without feeling like a guilt-ridden failure.  I want to show you how believers can freely and enthusiastically be involved in evangelism.

Two Observations about Evangelism

  1. When Jesus and the Apostles talked to people about the Gospel they were often in a large group but sometimes in smaller groups and one on one.  In each of these groups, they were invited to speak about the Gospel.  The group expected to hear it, the group came for that purpose, or the group asked a leading question.
  1. In our culture, the people reject any effort to impose the Gospel on them.  They will resist an unsolicited presentation. However, if they initiate the conversation about Jesus, they will freely talk and listen.

You are at this moment freed from ever having to interrupt a person’s day with an unsolicited Gospel presentation.

 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, – Colossians 4:3

How can we all be involved in evangelism in the local church?

Pray

As the text tells us, pray that God opens a door for the message.  In 1 Timothy 2 we told to pray for everyone because God’s wants to save them all, in Luke 10:2 we are told to pray that God will send workers into the field.  The Bible is clear that God wants us to pray and to pray for people to hear the Gospel.  The movement of a non-believer to believer is a supernatural event that requires a supernatural force. We ask God to do the work in preparing the non-believer and the believer.

If you don’t do anything but pray you are heavily involved in evangelism.

Pause

Then we wait. John 6:44 tells us that no one comes to the Father except the Spirit draw him.  So we must wait for this drawing to take place.  We must wait on the Spirit to prepare us and to prepare others.

This is evangelism you can do every day for as long as you want.  You haven’t spoke to a soul yet you are still involved in the ministry.

While you are in Pause, you could still Pray.

Proclaim

Now, this is where we could have a break down but we won’t. See, we are waiting for the invitation.  When you are “prayed up” and watching for God’s movement, you’ll also be ready.  Someone will say something to you that indicates they are ready to hear from the Lord.  You are not going to miss it, they will ask you a question and all you have to do is answer the question.  I don’t know what they’ll ask, but if you have  a good handle on your own salvation story and a good handle on Jesus’ story you’ll be able to answer those questions.

I  was working  in a “serving” type ministry one day when a person who had been watching stopped me and asked “Why do you do this?”  This is a clear invitation to speak.  I simply answered the question.  “I like people.  I became a follower of Jesus Christ and He lead me to this job to help people.”  They person continued, “what does following Jesus have to do with this?”  I said,  “When I heard the Good News that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, was buried and rose again on the third day and is alive today and that I can be forgiven and changed, I became his follower and have been in this process of becoming like Him.  He has put into me this desire to love people as He does and to serve them as He does.  I wouldn’t  be able to do this without Jesus Christ.”

It was that easy.  I just answering a question.  The fellow was not offended  and didn’t yell or argue or do anything negative.  He said, “Interesting” and wandered away.

You might not get an opportunity everyday, but you’ll get them. You’ll be able to enthusiastically talk about your faith because someone asked you a simple question.  You’ll be involved in the ministry of evangelism every day and we’ll be fulfilling the Great Commission of “as you go make di
sciples… “

Advertisements

A Firm Handshake

Posted: February 25, 2014 in People
Tags:

“Hi, I’m Jim Parker,” he would say while extending his hand.
Strong and firm. He’d look directly in your eye, a twinkle in his, and a smile. It was very friendly and inviting.

It was one of the big characteristics of my father that I picked up. He was friendly with everyone, met everyone and treated them all with respect.

That firm handshake was the sign of maturity to me. It is what men did. They greeted one another with that same look, that same squeeze, that same eye contact, that same smile. It set them apart. It marked out the difference between the men and the boys.

My dad taught me how to shake hands, he told me the importance of it, he let me practice. Each night, before going to bed, my father required that we kiss our mother good night and them we shook his hand. A firm, manly handshake and then off we’d go. We did this each night until I moved out.

So I stood beside the bed of this same man, his frail body withering away, his breathing difficult, his words slurred and weak. He didn’t seem to be fully aware, fully conscious, fully engaged in the event. He was in and out, sometimes making sense, often not. But then, for one brief moment, he looked at me, reached out his hand like he always did, let that friendly smile cross his lips, that little twinkle, and “Hi, I’m Jim Parker.” Solid.

images

You’ll need to read Revelation 11 for this story

“The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.” – Revelation 11:10

Have you ever wanted to punch a guy in the face for something he said, even though he was right?

John gives the prophesy of the Two Witnesses being killed because of what they were saying.  Why can’t people just ignore them or change the channel or walk away or laugh?  Why did they rejoice because the Two Witnesses were killed?

People Hate to be Displayed

John 3:19-22 tells us “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

People want to keep their sins hidden, in the dark, out of sight, beyond scrutiny, beyond judgment.  Sinners try to keep it hidden and when someone brings the sin to light, that person is attacked.  How many of us fear bringing something up to our friends and family because of the excoriating reaction we know we will encounter?

People Hate to be Disproved

“Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.” – Proverbs 15:52

“A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.” –  Proverbs 15:5

Few people seem to respond well to correction.  It’s bad enough to be told that your behavior is sinful, but then to be told that you are wrong is even bigger.  Our culture has created the environment where it is offensive to be told you are wrong, or that your decisions are wrong or that you are on the wrong track.  “Who says it’s wrong?”  “That’s your opinion.”  “Don’t judge me.”  People will continue to make bad decisions which cause more issues and drama which will be met with more bad decisions and cause more problems and rarely will they think they are the problem.  It is always something or someone else.

People Hate to be Disputed

“Bad doctrine leads to bad living.” – Larry Tapp

People generally have a contradictory mix of personal philosophy and religious sentiment which is the basis of their moral judgment.  The bottom line or precept for them is selfish; what’s in it for me and what satisfies me right now.  As a result their decisions are often immoral and hurtful to themselves and others.  When confronted they have very little logic or reason for their philosophies even though they may claim to be free or even “free thinkers.”  Confrontations to their belief system usually ends in name calling and irrational comments.  They hate to be challenged or disputed.

These are behaviors we see today from people who live apart from the truth of God’s Word.  During the Great Tribulation, as John prophesies, people will be even worse and they will react even more violently than we see now.

How about you?  Can you take it when people challenge your thinking and your beliefs?  Does your behavior line up with the Word of God and when it doesn’t, can you deal with people correcting you?  Arrogance will always keep you from spiritual growth.  Allow God to use other people to speak truth and correction into your life.