Summary: Christ’s Principles of Evangelism (Matthew 10:5-42)Let us remember that we have to obey and trust Christ and His priniciples for evangelism to achieve success.
Christ’s Principles of Evangelism (Matthew 10:5-42)
Quote:It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction.
Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 162.
H. Richard Niebuhr summarized the core of liberal theology in a single sentence. This shows how and why many churches have lost their zeal for evangelism. "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ with a cross." (Source: Michael Moriaty, The Perfect 10: The Blessins of Following God’s Commandments in a Post Modern World. p. 86)
1. GO TO THE LOST SHEEP. It is expected that all who are Christ’s disciples will be engaged in some type of evangelism ministry. The function of a shepherd is to seek and to save those who are lost. Disciples of Christ will do research, strategize and carry out evangelism ministries first in their Jerusalem, then their Judeas, then their Samarias and even to the utter most parts of the earth to help reach all 18,800 people groups on the planet. (Acts 1:8) Jesus assumes that as Christians we will be going to seek to bring the lost back to reconciliation with the Chief Shepherd. Disciples who are not involved with evangelism are living in disobedience to the Lord. Worse yet, disciples who are not doing evangelism are not living in harmony with their identity as Christ’s followers. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Evangelism is not an option for a disciple of Christ Jesus. Let us be decisive, determined and directed about evangelism ministries.
2. PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD. The Kingdom literally means, “King’s dominion or control.” We are to declare the advantages of each individual personally making Christ Savior and Lord. Explain that it all begins with a personal relationship with Christ who is the door to heaven. Before people will agree to submit to Christ’s control they need to be introduced to the loving King and Shepherd. Jesus said, “I am the Door: anyone who enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and he will go out freely and will find pasture (all essential needs will be met).” (John 10:9) Everyone needs to turn from seeking any other king’s control of his or her lives besides that of Jesus Christ. By helping people learn how to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness they will see that all of their other needs are then taken care of through Lord’s blessings.
3. FREELY YOU HAVE RECEIVED FREELY GIVE. Evangelism is an expression of our overflowing gratitude for what the Lord has done for us through Jesus Christ. We are to do evangelism and outreach ministries with an attitude of grace. We are not to feel that we are doing something above and beyond the call of duty. Doing evangelism should come out of an overflow of our gratitude for what the Lord has done for us. We should be like the four lepers who discovered gold in the camp in 2 Kings 7:9 said, “This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” If people do not share the good news of Christ they will be held accountable for their failure to share the cure for sin and eternal life through saving faith in Christ Jesus. There are consequences for failure to share the good things God has given us.
4. MEET NEEDS. Jesus said, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” (Matt. 10:8) Christ teaches us that we are to meet physical, emotional, mental, social, cultural and spiritual needs of people we are ministering too. Jack Kemp, the former congressman from New York, once told Larry King on a CNN interview, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Missionaries in Africa are now reaping a great harvest of new souls because the pioneers set up hospitals, schools and leprosariums to meet the needs of the whole person in many of the 54 countries of the African continent. Around 1800 there were less than 10 million true Christians in Africa, today there are over 400 million out of the 800 million in Africa because of the seeds of love sown by the early missionaries.
Illustration: Once Napoleon told his soldiers to plant trees along the streets of Paris so they would provide shade for his troops. A top lieutenant said, “It may take twenty five years before those seeds come to full fruition. Napoleon paused and said, “Well, start now, no sense waiting any longer.” We need to begin where we are at, right now in sowing seeds of kindness to meet the needs of the people we are ministering too. God will see that His will is carried out if we will simply trust and obey His commands.