Summary: We all need to be committed to witnessing for Christ.
INTRO.- ILL.- You have perhaps heard the old story told about a pig and a chicken walking down the road together. As they walked along they read a sign advertising a breakfast to benefit the poor. The chicken said to the pig, “You and I should donate a ham and egg breakfast.” The pig replied, “Not so fast, for you it would just be a contribution, but for me it would be a total commitment.”
Total commitment is lacking today in many areas of life and especially, when it comes to the Lord Jesus and His church.
ILL.- A 9-year-old boy swam the precarious waters between Alcatraz island and the San Francisco shoreline Monday, raising $30,000 in donations for Hurricane Katrina victims.
Johnny Wilson, a fourth grader from Hillsborough, called the swim in the 53-degree San Francisco Bay "tiring" but said he kept telling himself, "I’m almost there, I’m almost there."
"The beginning was the hardest because I was all cold," said the boy, who had practiced swimming in San Francisco Bay to get used to the chilly, choppy water. The waters also are known for sharks.
His classmates were waiting on shore, cheering as he made it to Aquatic Park. "Go, Johnny! Go, Johnny!" the group chanted. Johnny finished the 1.4-mile swim from the infamous prison island in under two hours. He was accompanied by two adult swimmers. Two kayakers followed and a Coast Guard helicopter monitored from above.
That’s commitment for a cause! Would to God we were that committed to the cause of Christ!
ILL.- Adoniram Judson (1788-1850) sweated out Burma’s (between India and China) heat for 18 years without a furlough and six years without a convert. Enduring torture and imprisonment, he admitted that he never saw a ship sail without wanting to jump on board and go home. When his wife’s health broke and he put her on a homebound vessel with the knowledge he would not see her for two full years, he confided to his diary: "If we could only find some quiet resting place on earth where we could spend the rest of our days in peace. . ."
But he steadied himself with this remarkable postscript: "Life is short. Millions of Burmese are perishing. I am almost the only person on earth who has attained their language to communicate salvation." That’s true commitment to Christ.
Brothers and sisters, Adoniram Judson was a man of great commitment to Christ! WE CAN LEARN FROM HIM!
PROP.- I want us to think about a greater commitment to making disciples and/or witnessing for Christ.
1- The commission to witness
2- The omission of witness
I. THE COMMISSION TO WITNESS
Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and 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."
In Acts 1:8 When Jesus ascended back into heaven He said, "You shall be my witnesses..."
What do you believe in? I believe in many things: America, Chevrolet, Toyota (even more), baseball, apple pie, fishing, and I also believe in God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, etc.
II Cor. 4:13-14 “It is written: I believed; therefore I have spoken. With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.”
I believe; therefore, I speak! When you believe in something strongly enough YOU WILL TALK ABOUT IT TO OTHERS!
I am sure that some of you could talk to me all day about hunting or your hunting experiences, etc. Still others could fill my ears with stories about trips you’ve made, etc. Everybody has a story to tell or some information to share. And if we are sold on it, believe in it, excited about it, etc. we will share it with others!
I could tell you all kinds of stories about fishing, marathon running, etc. but these wouldn’t be as interesting or nearly as important as talking to you about the Bible or the gospel of Christ.
ILL.- Actor Tom Cruise is famously known for his action films, for Katie Holms and for the church of Scientology. In an interview with Reader’s Digest here is what he said.
RD: You were Catholic originally.
Cruise: Well, we went from Episcopalian, to atheist, to Catholic. (Mercy! Sounds like he doesn’t know what he believes)
RD: What does Scientology offer that those religions didn’t?
Cruise: First of all, there are Baptist Scientologists, other Christian Scientologists. (I question that, because if a person is truly a Christian they would follow Christ only, not some kind of worldly philosophy, which is what I think Scientology is).