Summary: This message deals with creating the atmosphere of evangelism so as to reach the unsaved.
Scripture: Matthew 9:36-38
Title: ¡§An Atmosphere of Evangelism¡¨
Introduction: As Jesus looked out across the multitudes He referred to them as sheep without a SHEPHERD. Jesus was moved with COMPASSION. No doubt His heart was heavy with the danger that faced these unsaved people.
Jesus also made the statement that there wasn¡¦t enough people that were willing to do the work of EVANGELISM ¡§The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;¡¨. Sheep without a SHEPHERD are at the mercy of wolves, bears, and any other ravenous beast that would make a meal out of them. Without a shepherd sheep wander aimlessly. This is exactly the CONDITION of an unsaved person. People without Jesus as the shepherd of their souls are at the mercy of the devil and all his demons. An unsaved person wanders aimlessly into one dangerous situation after another. But the WORST thing of all is when an unsaved person dies without Jesus he or she goes out into ETERNITY into a LAKE of FIRE forever, which the Bible calls ¡§the second death.¡¨ (Rev. 20:14-15)
This statement that Jesus made occurred two thousand years ago. How white do you suppose the harvest fields are today? Week after week I try to encourage you to reach out to the LOST during my preaching. I do this because EVANGELISM is the very LIFE-BLOOD of any church. Without evangelism any church, eventually, will dry up and die! It doesn¡¦t matter how big the church or how much money is in the bank, without EVANGELISM any church will die. By the same token any Christian that doesn¡¦t have EVANGELISM at their heart will also dry up and die Spiritually.
We face the same difficulties that Jesus faced two thousand years ago. We need people that will do the work of an EVANGELIST! Do we realize how many people there are that are looking for a church home? There are people everywhere that are starving for a good church to go to. There are literally thousands of people who are fed up with living a life without Christ!
I. GOD LOVES PEOPLE.
a. In John 3:16 we read, ¡§For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.¡¨
b. This verse shows us the degree God loves people. This is why Christ came and died ¡V for people.
c. This is the main reason the Church exists on planet earth ¡V to reach people.
d. We are to reflect the heartbeat of God for unsaved people!
e. It is God¡¦s desire to see lives transformed by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
f. The question is, ¡§Do we desire what God desires?¡¨ This is a question that is very troubling. It seems that from the behavior of most churches and Christians that we DON¡¦T desire what God desires.
II. CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE FOR EVANGELISM.
a. George Barna¡¦s surveys indicate that fewer than one in four Christians even believe that it is their responsibility to witness to others. Most Christians think that it is the job of the "professionals" to evangelize. In fact, most Christians never share their faith with someone else and few have ever led someone to Christ.
b. Dr. D. James Kennedy, founder of Evangelism Explosion, stated that ¡§One of the saddest statistics of our day is that 95% of all church members have never led anyone to Christ.¡¨ It has been said, ¡§We are content to be keepers of the aquarium, rather than to be fishers of men.¡¨ (Is he right?)
c. The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio, reported in September, 1985 a celebration of a New Orleans municipal pool. The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans City pool. In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards. As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.
d. We can¡¦t live on the strength of PAST ACHEIVEMENTS!
e. We can¡¦t IGNORE ¡§The Great Commission of Christ.¡¨ Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
f. This was not a suggestion, but a command. Adrian Rogers goes so far as to say that "There are two types of Christians: soul-winners and backsliders." Is he right?