TEXT: Matthew 28:19,20
TITLE: Intentional evangelism (vs. Accidental Evangelism)
SERIES: The Growing Church part 2 (# 2 of 4)
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, September 16, 2007
PROP.: In this message on evangelism, the GO TIME plan will be shared, and each person will be encouraged to realize that evangelism is something that even I can do!
INTRODUCTION: Good morning. This sermon I hope sounds familiar to you! Because it is a sermon I preached about a year ago. I changed the title, text, and sub-points. But I kept the main points, key illustrations. So if this sermon sounds vaguely familiar to you, then I’m happy about that because it means you were paying attention the first time! But I felt this was a lesson that needed to be repeated. I don’t know if you’re like me or not. But I’m slow to learn lessons sometimes. It’s only by repetition do I learn what I’m supposed to learn!
Having said that:
Our main text this morning is Matthew 28:16 - 20
How many of you could quote these verses? Please turn there in your Bibles at this time.
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
The title of this morning¡¦s message is: It’s Go time!
This month I promised to give you the tools to evangelize. The tools needed to share your faith. And I¡¦m keeping good on that promise!
In these familiar verses, Jesus has been crucified, died, been buried, and has risen from the dead. Here, is he having one last meeting with his disciples before He goes back to heaven.
Jesus’ very words are recorded. He reminds them who He is! All authority has been given to me!¨ He says! And now as Christ is getting ready to leave his followers and students for good, He commissions them and says I am giving YOU authority to make disciples! To share the message of truth! To be God’s love in the flesh!
So the very first thing I want to tell you about evangelism today is that if you’re a little unsure about telling others what Christ has done, be confident and bold! Christ (who has all authority) is the one now sending you with authority!
T.S.: And I don’t want you to be discouraged in thinking how difficult evangelism is instead, I want you to be encouraged after this mornings sermon to think: Hey, I can do that! So, today, I am going to encourage you in regards to intentional evangelism by giving you THE GO TIME PLAN to help you tell others about Christ!
The First part of this GO TIME PLAN is¡K
I. PRAY - Romans 10:1 - Jesus prays for more workers¡KPaul prays for the Israelites.
WOW! That’s REALLY, REALLY revolutionary! A preaching telling me I should pray!
Yes, I am telling you the first thing to do whenever you¡¦re faced with a challenge is to pray about that challenge! And listen, sharing Jesus with your friends, family, neighbors mail man is going to be a challenge!
1. You have heard these verses before. But I want to share with you from
37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Jesus PRAYS about Evangelism! He asks us to pray about Evangelism. Do we do it? And then we wonder why evangelism is difficult. And we wonder why we aen’t seeing results!
PRAYER IS THE FOUNDATIONAL AND FUNDAMENTAL
TOOL TOO ANY BIG CHALLENGE YOU
Whether it be health, money, relationships, and ESPECIALLY evangelism, prayer needs to be the first thing you do!
2. Pray with a purpose! 30 day challenge! Pray for this person for 30 days see what happens!
In your bulletin, I want you to write down the name of someone you want
and need to share Christ with! Ponder Romans 10:1 Paul writes
Brothers, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them that might be saved!
The Greek word translated prayer in this verse is: deh-ay-sis) It literally translated means to PLEAD. Paul is pleading with God to save the Israelites. When is the last time you pleaded with God to save one of your friends? Or one of your family members?
3. As you plead to God for your friend, here are some things to specifically pray
for: Sometimes we pray in generalities: We say be with me. What does that
mean? What do you mean when you say that?
1.Pray for God to reveal Himself to the person you are wanting to talk to.
2.Pray for God to prepare and soften the person¡¦s heart you plan to talk to.
3.Pray for God to provide opportunities to talk about spiritual things.
4.Pray for God to give you boldness to talk about Christ! Rely on his Spirit. Trust that Holy Spirit will give you wisdom and leading in what to say and how to say it!
ILLUSTRATION: We are going to have a time of prayer. I have asked the prayer team to come forward and we are going to have a time of prayer for you and the name of the person you’ve written down on the paper!
These are the four things you need to pray about. I want to challenge you to pray for this person for 30 days¡KI want to challenge you to be obedient to the opportunities God will provide! And see what happens! DON¡¦T LET THE PRAYER TEAM’S PRAYER BE THE ONLY PRAYER SPOKEN IN REGARDS TO YOU AND FAITH SHARING!
If you want to be a zealous advocator of the gospel; its going to require you to pray! This is your first tool!
The second tool we need to use after we have sincerely prayed and pleaded to God for the soul of the lost is to PURSUE the lost.
II. PURSUE - to chase 1st Corinthians 9:22
1. But how can you pursue? And what does that look like?
Lets read how Paul describes this act of pursuing:
1st Corinthians 9:19-23
19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
PAUL IS SAYING THAT HE DID WHATEVER HE COULD TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THOSE HE WAS TRYING TO WIN! He didn¡¦t change his core beliefs. He didn’t sin in his efforts to reach the lost. But he did whatever it took so that some might be won! He was a tenacious pursuer!
GREAT PURSUITS OF OUR TIME:
Dukes of Hazzard - Bo and Luke Duke were always being pursued by Rosco Pea-col train!
Wild E Coyote & Roadrunner -
Pepe Le-Pew and his female black cat - Pepe LePew was pursuing
Lessons we learn from these great pursuits(WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT??)
1. Dukes of Hazzard - BE SMART ABOUT YOUR PURSUIT!
WARNING: I hope you would understand this does not mean endangering your character, or placing yourself in temptation’s path. In other words, don’t go to the strip club hoping to evangelize. And to our youth, this means DO NOT GO TO PARTIES or DATE NON-CHRISTIANS. There are some things and some places Christians shouldn’t do or go. Be smart about your pursuit. Roscoe Peacole train was NOT smart about his pursuit. He ALWAYS ended up in the pond while chasing the Duke boys. Be smart about your pursuit!
2. Wild E Coyote & Road Runner - HAVE THE RIGHT GOAL IN MIND WHEN YOU PURSUE! I used to love (and still do) the road runner and Wild E Coyote. His goal was clear. His mission was obvious. And he never swayed from his mission. He was going to chase after the road runner. Now his goal is a little different from us pursuing non-Christians I hope I mean, if you want to pursue non-Christians so you can eat them, then I think you need help, ok? Remember, your goal is pursuing non Christians is to make them Christians. Introduce them to Jesus. Don’t treat non-Christians like a project that you’re working on. Remember, they are real people not just a number or a notch you can put on your belt. Don’t try to evangelize them if you don’t care about them!
3. Pepe LePew - DON’T BE OBNOXIOUS IN YOUR PURSUIT. This means don’t smother a person! You can’t MAKE them fall in love with Jesus just like Pepe LePew couldn’t MAKE that poor cat fall in love with him! In the end, it’s their decision. And sometimes, you need to walk away and not pressure them.
ILLUSTRATION: (get fish finder ready) Jesus said to Peter and Andrew when he first called them to be His followers. Do you remember what their profession was? They were fishermen. They were pursuers of fish! And what did Jesus tell them he would make them become? FISHERS OF MEN! He was going to change them to become pursuers of men. We are all called to be fishers of men, but sometimes I think we need a fish finder! We need to fish where the fish are! We need to be around non-Christians!
The third tool I want to give you today is really your plan of action! But it all falls under the category of
III. PERSUADE - to convince them of something
I won’t spend a great deal of time on these points, but I want you to understand them so you know what your plan of action is!
ATTEND - this is the easiest part and yet, it¡¦s one of the most difficult. People are good at making excuses as to why they can’t come with you to some church function. You may need to call their bluff! You want the person your trying to get into a relationship with Jesus to ATTEND a Church function! This has two purposes
1. It introduces them to other Christians
2. It will show them what REALLY to expect when they come to church.
BECOME A CHRISTIAN - You must persuade them to believe that Jesus is God’s Son that He died on a cross for the sins of the world, and that he rose three days later in bodily form to go to heaven. Then you must persuade them to accept Christ through baptism! There are a lot of books out there to help you prove that these things happened. Or go ask someone who can help you convince them.
CONNECT - You want the person you are trying to win to Christ to connect with other Christians! Listen, this is a church FAMILY. You will need other Christians to support and help them to grow! Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.¨ You need them to connect with other people in the church! You have been there you walk into a room of people and you immediately look for someone you know! Think of a person who comes to church for the first time!
The first three can happen in any order! Its alphabet soup.
DEVELOP SPIRITUALLY - Disciple them! Help them mature in their faith! Study the Bible with them! Teach them to study the Bible on their own! Pray with them! Teach them to pray! This is where we have missed the boat!
EVANGELIZE - This is when your evangelism has come full circle. When the person you have witnessed to, evangelizes to someone else! What a great feeling that is!
CONCLUSION: This morning, as we conclude our message I hope you have been encouraged. I hope this gives you a renewed excitement about telling someone you know about Christ. I hope you will begin to pray for the next 30 days about someone you know isn’t a Christian and then tell me what happens! Perhaps there is one this morning who isn’t a Christian. We are going to sing our invitation song and give you an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ through the waters of baptism so that your sins may be forgiven!
Let’s stand together and sing!