Summary: This is a two part message inteneded to show the absolute need we have for the Holy Spirit’s presence in evangelism. God uses us in the process, but it is His work from start to finish.
BIBLICAL LESSONS CONCERNING EVANGELISM
A. Evangelism – What are we to think?
1. For some Evangelism is a program dilemma.
a. Just a quick look in our own Lifeway catalog sets the tone
2) The NET
3) Share Jesus Without Fear
4) Servanthood Evangelism
5) The School of Biblical Evangelism
b. Add to that
3) And more!
c. All advertising to be the program that will help us to get our evangelism program on track.
2. For some Evangelism is a maze of statistics: according to information survey by Barna Group in 2004
a. Nearly half (43%) of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (2004)
b. Two out of three born again Christians (64%) accept Jesus Christ as their savior before their 18th birthday. (2004)
c. One out of eight born again people (13%) made their profession of faith between the ages of 18 to 21 years old. (2004)
d. Based on these numbers only 23% got saved after their 21st birthday
e. And when it came down to making that decision only 10% did so in a church setting or service.
3. For others Evangelism is a collection of questions.
a. “How do I do it?”
b. “Can I learn enough to do it right?”
c. “What if I can’t answer all their questions?”
d. “How can I mark my Bible?”
e. “What if people reject me and make fun of me?”
f. “How do I find the time?”
B. Now I understand people have questions, statistics give us trends, and programs are supposed to help us do things better.
1. But, folks evangelism is more than questions, statistics and programs.
2. In its most essential elements it is a GOD thing.
a. I can answer all your questions, explain all the statistics and provide you with a program, yet without the Holy Spirit doing the real work, it won’t happen.
b. Evangelism, the activity by which we express the gospel, in any form, is empowered and directed by God!
3. So, if we want to learn about this activity, the Lord invites us to be a part of, the best place look is in His word.
4. And that is what I want us to do this morning.
C. I originally outlined Acts chapter 10 about 6 months ago
1. When I went through it initially I intended to preach chapter 10 in 5 messages – then I got to thinking If I pull it out that long the people will loose their train of thought and get bored.
2. So I decided Tuesday that I would do it all in one message, but again I got to thinking If I do it all at once I will overload them and they will get bored.
3. So, half way through the message on Tuesday I changed my mind and decided to do it in two parts. I figured this way they won’t lose their train of thought and I won’t overload them, but they might still get bored – 2 out of three is not bad!
D. So in Acts chapter 10 I believe we can glean some Biblical Lessons Concerning Evangelism. In fact we have four, of which we will look at the first two this morning and the second two next week.
1. Lesson 1: God Prepares the Heart
2. Lesson 2: God’s Messenger Follows God’s Leadership
E. So lets look to God to help us become better at proclaiming our faith and relating it to others so that we might proclaim the gospel better!
We begin with what is arguably the most important lesson of them all – certainly all else depends on it
I. LESSON 1: GOD PREPARES THE HEART, Acts 10:1-23 This preparation is two fold. In our text we first see the Lord
A. Preparing The Heart Of The Lost To Accept The Gospel, Acts 10:1-8 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,  A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.  He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.  And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.  And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:  He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.  And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;  And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.