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Summary: Basic message telling the church that the job of reaching people is up to us!

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Developing a Passion for Reaching People for Jesus.

Various Scriptures

February 20, 2005

Introduction

Today we wrap up our series on the five purposes of the church with a look at how we are to be involved in reaching our world for Jesus Christ.

This is the only one of the five purposes that we will not be doing in heaven. We will be worshiping, fellowshipping, becoming more like Christ, and even serving God and each other while in heaven. And in a sense, we are practicing here on earth for what we’ll be doing for eternity in heaven.

There are two things we can only do on earth that we will not do in heaven: sin and reach people for Jesus in evangelism.

This is one of the reasons this is such a heartbeat for me. I need to reach as many people as I can, because I won’t get another chance once I’m gone, and they won’t get a chance once they’re gone.

As Pastor Battey said a couple weeks ago, evangelism was the top ministry priority of Jesus himself.

And if we call ourselves followers of Christ, then we need to adopt his priorities, right?

The Biblical term for "good news" is the word evangelism. When someone hears about forgiveness and a home in heaven, evangelism has taken place.

When a person comes to Christ, three things have taken place: the message has been given, the Holy Spirit convinces the person of their need for Christ, and the person responds.

Evangelism is the first part - we simply give the message. We can’t do the convincing, ultimately. Only God can do that, and we can’t force people to respond to what Christ offers.

We should be ready to answer questions and objections, trying to see if we can help them see why faith in Christ is necessary for everybody, regardless of who they are, but ultimately, all we can do is tell them of their need.

So right off the bat I just want to tell you that your job is not to "save" anybody. You can’t do that - only Jesus can do that.

Today I just want to give you some things you need to give that message of hope and forgiveness effectively.

And if you don’t have any of these things, you need to ask God to give them to you, and you’d better believe he will - because he wants to see people in heaven, just as he’s going to see you in heaven, if you have Christ.

Four things we need to reach people for Jesus - are you ready? Here we go.

To reach people for Jesus we need...

* A knowledge of what the "good news" really is.

A father came home from a very rugged day at work and said to his wife, "I’ve had a bad day. Please! If you have any bad news tonight, keep it to yourself." To which she replied, "O.K. NO bad news. Now for the Good News. Remember our four children? Well, three of them didn’t break an arm today." (Autoillustrator.com, GOOD NEWS)

Just what is this thing we call the good news, or the gospel? Can you summarize it in a sentence or two? Let me give you a very quick summary:

Jesus came to pay the penalty we deserve for our sins, and by putting our trust in him and what he did, we have forgiveness for our sins, and a home in heaven.

That’s it! Nothing else!

The gospel is incredibly simple. But too often we complicate it by adding things like

becoming a church member, being baptized, reading the right Bible translation, wearing the right clothes, saying just the right words or saying just the right prayer to receive Christ, or whatever.

The problem is that none of that is in the Bible as being necessary to have forgiveness and a home in heaven.

I think some of these are important for maturing in your faith, but that’s another issue.

So often we clutter up the good news of Jesus, and we end up confusing people about what it takes to be

Three basic things you need in your discussion of Jesus:

Romans 6:23 -

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1. We are sinners who deserve hell.

2. God offers us eternal life.

3. This eternal life through Jesus.

Folks, that’s the gospel. If you communicate that to people, you are doing your job in evangelism.

Show them this verse. Memorize it. Have it ready to show them so they can see from God’s Word what it means to have eternal life in Jesus.

Using this one verse, you can lead just about anyone to Christ, because it tells the "good news" very simply.

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