Summary: A message dealing with the first part of our purpose statement; this one deals with evangelism.
“…Bring Unchurched People into God’s Family…”
(July 15, 2001)
When people think of evangelism, there are generally at least three reactions:
First, there is, for some, excitement. They love the idea of getting out there and sharing the good news of Christ, and they are elated when people come to Christ. I happen to be one of those.
The second reaction is something like, “That Billy Graham is such a nice man. He should be on TV every night so my neighbor would see him.”
The third is something like this: “AAAAAAHHH!!!!”
I can tell you from first-hand experience that most people fall in the last two categories, and I’m willing to guess that most of those would put themselves in the last category.
During the next few weeks we are going to dissect the purpose statement of Aberdeen Wesleyan Church, as we seek God in how to implement it in our lives, so that we can have an impact on our area.
In fact, I would like us to read that together. It is found on the cover of your bulletin. Please read along.
“Our purpose is to bring unchurched people into God’s family, and to offer worship that lifts up God, ministry that heals hurts, a home for fellowship, and instruction in Christian living.”
Let me encourage you to memorize that statement, and ask God how He would have you personally involved in bringing it to fulfillment.
This morning we are going to look at the first aspect of the statement, “to bring unchurched people into God’s family.”
You probably have already figured out that this means evangelism.
My purpose this morning is not to brow-beat anyone into doing evangelism, but to help you gain a bit of God’s heart for the lost in our area.
Already some of you are thinking that evangelism is best left to the “professionals” like the pastor or Billy Graham.
Believe me, I wish I were one-tenth the evangelist Billy Graham is.
But as I have pointed out before, one of the jobs of pastors and evangelists is to prepare God’s people for works of service, and that includes sharing the Good News.
Please turn with me to Matthew 9:35-38. Matthew is the first book in the New Testament, and if you are without a Bible today, you can find the part we are reading on page 687 of the Bibles in the rows of seats.
By the way, if you don’t own a Bible, we would just be thrilled to give you one from the seats, at no charge. We believe that the Word of God changes lives, and we want as many people to have a copy as possible.
Please follow along as I read these few verses.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
This passage gives us a glimpse of the heart of God concerning the multitudes that are ready to give their lives to Christ but are not able to because there is no one to guide them to Him.
In an effort to help us in this effort, I want to offer how we can become involved. And to do that I want to offer three “C’s”. The first of these is…
A conviction is “a strong persuasion or belief; the quality or state of being certain, esp. on the basis of evidence.”
We need certain convictions if we intend to be effective in reaching the lost for Christ.
First, we need the conviction that
A. All people are lost and need a Redeemer. Scripture is quite clear that without help from God, we face an eternity in hell to pay the penalty we deserve for our sins.
Romans says that the wages of sin is death, and there is no way around that.
When a church loses this conviction, indifference and complacency set in.
But coupled with the conviction of man’s end because of sin is the conviction that…
B. Jesus Christ is the Redeemer. The only Redeemer. Jesus said that He is the only way, the only truth, the only life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him.
He wants to save everyone from the horrible penalty we deserve, and made heaven possible by shedding His own blood and dying in our place.
We need convictions that drive us to be involved in the lives of those needing Christ and what He offers.