Summary: Recognize the importance of the personal touch in evangelism. A brief devotional type message.
A Man Called Peter:
Brought To Christ
Our neglect of evangelism is a big concern to all of us. It is intimidating due to its consequences. What if I mess it up? What if my failure/shortcoming/lack of memory leads to the eternal damnation of someone’s soul? Let’s consider a few thoughts today that might help us realize that evangelism can actually be a joyful experience that we look forward to.
Here’s two Biblical facts about bringing your loved ones to Christ.
1. Fact #1 : Nobody encounters the message of Jesus unless somebody who already knows Jesus introduces you to it.
Sometimes, the first time doesn’t last. We too often think of evangelism as a one-shot sales pitch--"If they don’t get it today, there may not be a tomorrow." According to the harmony of the gospels, Peter did not immediately drop his nets and follow Jesus at this time, his first meeting with Christ.
Read John 1:40-42. It may well have been three meetings with Christ before Peter truly believed. Like most of us, he needed multiple exposures to Christ.
Every time you drop a seed, you create an opportunity. When you speak up and in any sense say, "I have found the Messiah", a spiritual powerhouse is set in motion.
Romans 10:13-14, 17
You may not know the latest in soul-winning techniques or programs, but neither did Andrew or Peter or anyone else following Christ. Too bad Jesus hadn’t been to any of our excellent Outreach Seminars! Guess what? You don’t really need a 13-week course what to say in every evangelistic circumstance.
You can share 4 things:
a. My life before I met Christ:
b. How I came to realize my need for Christ:
c. How I accepted Christ and what happened:
d. What Christ has done and is doing in my life:
That’s all Andrew really did. Read Paul’s courtroom testimonies in Acts and see if that’s not the pattern he followed.
Then there’s another fact that should also take some pressure off you:
2. Fact #2: Nobody becomes a Christian until they have a personal encounter with Jesus, a real experience of His power and presence.
Read Luke 5:1-11. This may well be Peter’s third, but at least his second, personal meeting with Christ. This is the moment of belief for Peter: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man."
In order to be saved, people must experience His power and His holy presence. This is not something you nor I can artificially manufacture.
When Christ meets a human need, they are inexplicably drawn to Him. Notice this incident:
Peter & Co. This was their job--if there’s no fish, no dinner on the table. Following the advice of a "land-lubbin’" carpenter was something no self-respecting career fisherman would consider.
Look how the amount of fish broke the net and caused two boats to start to sink! Jesus moved in a way they HAD to listen to Him. This was not just a good catch, this was record stuff.
But notice one thing, they don’t ask Jesus to become a partner. Could have made a lot of money with talent like that! But when Jesus met their need, they adopted a whole new perspective. Life was no longer about survival.
Does a church exist for the purpose of paying someone’s rent?
Does Jesus come into a person’s life for the purpose of making them matrially wealthy?
Jesus comes into your life and meets a need in order that you might come to realize what Peter realized:
LUK 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Jesus does this to make you realize He is the Messiah. He is not average, He is not a teacher, He is not Santa Claus. Peter realized his sinfulness.
A personal encounter with Jesus Christ will always result in this.
Conc. Two simple requirements for evangelism--(1)you must personally touch another person with your own experience with Christ, and (2) Christ must personally touch that person whom you wish to reach. One you can manufacture by being alert, always ready to give a reason for the hope that’s in you. The other depends on Him. Trust Him to carry His end of the responsibility.