Summary: A Disciple understands the Gospel clearly and shares the Gospel boldly
Discipleship Matters: Sharing the Gospel Boldly
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
I Just Wanted to Play Basketball
When I was a teenager, I used to go to youth group with my brother. I wasn’t interested in Jesus. I just wanted to meet girls and play basketball.
We would have to sit through the youth pastor’s lesson and then we would get to play basketball the rest of the time.
One night when we arrived, it was obvious this lesson would be different. We were informed that we would be going to a strip mall and getting the opportunity to share our faith with others.
I didn’t have a faith and I just wanted to play basketball but I ended up in a van headed toward a local grocery store.
We were dropped off with the instructions to share our faith, whatever that meant, with three people, and be ready to give the group a report of how it went.
I got out of the van and my brother headed off to save the poor people that needed bread and milk, and I hid behind the store until the adult came back to get us.
He asked me how it went and I lied and said that I shared my faith, whatever that meant, with three people.
I rarely went back to that youth group, even though my brother assured me that it had gone back to normal and they were playing basketball again.
The experience was bewildering, confusing, and terrifying. Interestingly, these are the same feelings that some of you have when we talk about the word evangelism.
A Disciple…So Far
We continue this morning with our Discipleship Matters series. We’ve learned that a follower of Jesus:
[Slide] Is a disciple who makes disciples who makes disciples
[Slide] Is passionately devoted to Jesus
[Slide] Is someone who loves people with extraordinary love
[Slide] Is someone who handles conflict in a Biblical, Christ-honoring way.
[Slide] is someone who understands the Gospel clearly.
Last week, we learned how understand the gospel in 6 words:
God. Our. Sin. Paying. Everyone. Life
God created us to be with Him
Our sins separate us from God
Sins cannot be undone by good deeds
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again
Everyone who trusts in Him alone, has eternal life
Eternal life starts now and last forever
This week and the next, we are going to learn that a disciple shares the Gospel boldly.
A Command to Share
Hudson Taylor wrote these powerful words nearly a century ago:
“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.”
Interestingly, we are never commanded to read our Bibles, pray, or even go to church. But, as Jesus was getting ready to ascend into Heaven, He gave this clear command to his disciples and those who come after them:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)
We are told to “go and make disciples of al the nations.”
If we truly know the joy of living in forgiveness,
if we understand that lost people matter to God,
if we are burdened with the knowledge that people without a relationship with Jesus will be forever separated from Him in a place the Bible calls hell,
if we truly believe we have the answer to life’s problems and the cure for spiritual deadness -doesn’t it follow that we should be ready, willing, and able to share this GREAT NEWS with anyone who will listen?
My favorite definition of evangelism is “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”
Turn with me to Acts 8.
Philip - a Little Background
As the early church started growing at an astounding rate, it became apparent that many of the widows were being neglected. There were only twelve apostles and the number of needy members continued to rise. There was a meeting and it was decided that seven men would be chosen that were “full of the Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3). These men would take over the responsibility of the daily distribution of food to the widows while the apostles concentrated their efforts on “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).
Seven men were chosen and one of those men was Philip. This was not the Apostle Philip but a layman who had been one of the larger crowd that followed Jesus. He was a deacon - a waiter of tables. He served the needs of the growing flock just as our deacon board so ably does in this church.