Summary: An exhortation to personal evangelism.

A Life Changing Message

Mark 16:15-20

A friend at work told me that if every Christian in the world would witness to one person a day for seven days Christ would return on the seventh day. The premise being, that by doing this the Gospel would be preached in all the world and that would fulfill what the author of this saying thinks is the last prophecy needing to be fulfilled before the Rapture. I am not sure that is how it would work, but it is an intriguing thought that if all who named the name proclaimed the same how much more we could accomplish.

I heard Greg Laurie speaking on this topic the other day and he was looking at it from the perspective of getting the last person saved that is going to be saved, saved. He commented on what f you knew who that person was and he or she was sitting on the second row of your church on Sunday morning. Would you not be looking at them during the invitation and think, "C’mon get on with it. You’re holding up the show!"

We sing "Bringing In The Sheaves," while we’re out swinging in our Lees©! On the other hand, maybe it is "Bring Them In!" but we never go out to win. There is no one in the church house to encourage with "Why Not Tonight?" because we never got around to "Send The Light!" "Redeemed" how we love to proclaim it on Sunday, but we’d rather not talk about it on Monday. Hmm, we speak with forked tongue, my friends.

Mark 16:15-20

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (KJV)

We normally go to Matthew 28 for a Great Commission challenge, but Mark repeats it and gives us some other thoughts about that commission. Whatever passage you use, it is clear that we must evangelize! We call it the Great Commission but sadly, it is often our Great Omission. Sometimes we fail to do so because we are afraid or because we just do not know how to go about it. Some people think all you have to do is ring the church bells and the sinners will just flock to the church house and then the preacher and the elders will win them as they fall on their knees weeping in repentance. Folks that believe sure ain’t teetotalin’ Baptists because they are drinkin’ something mighty strong to have that kind of a delusion!!!

Evangelism is so easy it’s hard, I reckon. Maybe that is because we have given the job over to Evangelists and figure if we don’t have that gift we just can’t do it. There is a gift or office of evangelist and we need more of them. Men like my good friend, Johnny Campbell, are rare and the Church and the Country are feeling the effects of that lack. However, we must remember that like Timothy, we must all do the work of an evangelist if there is none available. The work must be done and we must all be ready to give a reason of the hope that lies within us. (2 Tim 4:5; 1 Peter 3; 15)

I do not possess the gift of evangelism and I am not in that office although at times I have wished that I could be one. I consider my calling to be more in the pastor/teacher arena. One who can proclaim the faith in clarity to unbelievers and answer all of their vain arguments is called an apologist. That does not mean he is apologizing like we think of today. He is not sorry for anything. When you were called to make an apology in the NT times, it meant to give a defense of your beliefs or actions in a sense of proving your thesis or justifying your conduct. We have left off the proof part and changed justification for the action into sorrow for the action.

I am a polemicist rather than an apologist. A polemicist is one who questions or challenges the theology of his particular group whereas the apologist challenges the theology of everyone else. An apologist seeks to correct the erroneous thinking outside his faith whereas the polemicist seeks doctrinal stability and purity within his faith. The Apostle John was an apologist. The Prophets were polemicists. Paul was both.

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