Summary: A disciple is one who understands the Gospel clearly and shares it boldly.

Discipleship Matters: Sharing the Gospel Boldly (Part 2)

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Pastor Jefferson M. Williams

Chenoa Baptist Church


A Bible for Penn Jillette 

Penn Jillette is one part of the magician duo Penn and Teller. He’s an author, thinker, inventor, and outspoken atheist.

A few years ago, after a show, a man walked up to him and handed him a Bible.

That night, Penn made a video talking about that experience. I want you to watch this.

[YouTube - “A Gift of a Bible 1:55-4:54]

Do you hear him? “How much do you have to hate someone to not share the Gospel with them?”

[Slide] This morning, we are going to see that a disciple of Jesus shares the Gospel boldly. This is part two of the message and if you remember from two weeks ago, BOLD stood for: [Slide]

Be in consistent prayer

Offer to tell your spiritual story

Let your light shine before all men

Don’t be weird, just be yourself.

This morning, I want to give you some practical tools to help you feel more comfortable with sharing your faith.

Stats don’t lie

In 1993, The Barna Group did a research project and one of the findings was that 89% of Christians who had shared their faith agreed it was a responsibility of every Christian. When they followed up on that question 25 years later, only 64% said so - a 25 point drop!

In a study by Lifeway, 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith. Yet despite this conviction, 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.

Why has evangelism waned in churches over the past 25 years?

Here are several reasons I found from my research:

Mainline liberal churches who do not believe in hell or that Jesus is the only way, have no reason to think that sharing their faith is important.

In one research project, 46% of Millennials (1981-1996) believe sharing one’s faith is wrong and can be damaging to others.

Factionalism, or in-fighting, in conservative churches has distracted our focus on sharing our faith.

A lack of urgency and intentionality is too common in conservative churches today.

[Slide] A sense of urgency is what led my friend Willard to share his faith. Willard was dying of cancer. He knew he didn’t have long so he asked that all his grandchildren be brought to the hospital. As they stood around his bed, he shared the Gospel clearly and then called each of them to commit their lives to Christ. He told them that he wanted to make sure that he would see them again.

Research tells us that cultural Christianity is all but dead. The United States had the lowest birthrate in 2020 in the history of our nation. Transfer growth from other churches is minimal. If our churches are going to survive, it will be because we take the call to go and make disciples serious and evangelism becomes part of our DNA.

The Jesus Film Project asked people what kept them from sharing the Gospel with others. Here are the most common answers:

Fear of rejection, fear of hostility

Lack of Opportunities

Too busy

Too shy

Didn’t feel equipped

This morning, I hope to help you feel more equipped to share your faith. When you feel more equipped you will be more confident and less fearful.

Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 5.


Corinth was a Mess

The church at Corinth was a mess. There were factions fighting each other, sexual immorality running rampant, a lack of care for others, misuse of the Lord’s Supper, and false teachers that were leading sheep astray.

Paul wrote two letters to this church in order to rebuke them, challenge them, encourage them, and help them become healthy again.

At the end of chapter 5, Paul takes on their lack of love for others, particularly their lack of evangelistic fervor for the lost.

[Slide] Compels

What is “all this?” Paul is referring back to the previous verses.

[Slide] “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

The word “compel” means to “press together, constrain, confine, or control.” It was not our love for Christ that compelled us but Christ’s love for us that was to be the controlling factor in our lives.

John wrote:

“We love because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19)

Notice this is in the present tense. It is an ongoing action. It is the knowledge that Christ loves us that compels us to love others.

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