Summary: We are called to be living witnesses of the work of Christ in our lives
A Living Witness
Series: Spring Life
March 25, 2007
Material in this message was adapted from the SpringLife materials distributed by the Wesleyan Church genral Headquarters
In one of the many Peanuts animated specials Charlie Brown seeks advice from Lucy’s psychiatry booth. He drops his nickel into the jar and proceeds to tell Lucy his problem. Lucy asks Charlie Brown about his fears and then proceeds to list them off one by one. After each fear or psychosis Charlie Brown says that that one doesn’t seem to address his situation. Finally Lucy gives him the fear of everything. Charlie Brown screams: “THAT’S IT!”
What are some of things that you are afraid of?
Fear of heights
Fear of talking in front of people
Fear of snakes
Fear of closed in spaces
When you hear the word evangelism do you get nervous? Be honest now. There are some legitimate things to be nervous about especially if you’re not an outgoing person. Most of the time we get nervous because we have the wrong mental impression or the wrong idea of what evangelism actually is.
What do you think of when you think about evangelism?
Someone screaming to convince people to either turn or burn
People going around the neighborhoods and knocking on doors
Somebody forcing people to take leaflets or flyers
Evangelism is not really any of those things. Those are methods and evangelism is about the timeless message of Jesus. Evangelism flows out of a heart for people and a heart for Christ’s Kingdom. Evangelism flows out of having a proper focus on the reality of heaven.
With that in mind, let me ask you an important question: what is heaven going to be like? There are three important realities about heaven that we need to keep in mind when we witness.
1.) Heaven will be filled with the presence of God
It may sound a bit cliché but heaven is where God is. The fullness of His divine presence dwells in heaven.
2.) Heaven is filled with the power of God
Heaven is the place of the divine display of God’s matchless power. We will see the magnitude of God’s might.
3.) Heaven is filled with the people of God
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." Revelation 7:9-10
When John has his revelation of heaven, notice that it is filled with so many people that no one could possibly count them all. The truth is that heaven is filled with the people of God. This is the promise of eternal life that Jesus gives.
I cannot imagine how awesome heaven will be. Can you imagine what it will be like to just be in heaven? How would you feel seeing people in heaven because you helped them discover a relationship with Christ?
This is our motivation to share our spiritual journey with others. This is the motivation to be the witnesses that Jesus wants and needs us to be.
I want to look at one of the most pivotal verses about the topic of witnessing. If you have your Bibles, open them to Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
One of the reasons that I believe this is one of the most pivotal verses about witnessing is because of it’s timing in the ministry of Jesus. As Luke records this for us, he makes one thing abundantly clear. When Jesus says this to the disciples, it is His last day on earth with them. Jesus lays out a bold and dynamic vision for changing the world.
1. The people of Christ’s vision
The first area of Christ’s vision involves people. Notice what He tells the disciples before anything else - you. Jesus makes it clear that they will carry out the vision and make it a reality. Jesus was telling them that they would be the ones to carry on the work of the Kingdom. They were going to be the people who would complete His vision in the world.
Has anything changed from that day until now? Absolutely not
As believers, we have a continued mission to complete. Your work is only done when you die or when Jesus comes back. Our mission to catch the vision of Jesus and carry on its work until it is completed.