Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Jerry Shirley for sharing this series on Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help. I have used these for our church, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
Effective Evangelism Acts 15:36-16:5
I know that today is Father’s Day and I should be preaching about the kind of men God is looking for. But I believe this message speaks to that issue and if every man in this room had the kind of passion for the lost that Paul had, we wouldn’t be seeing the things we see on the news. We wouldn’t have people with enough evil in their hearts to walk into a church and murder 9 innocent people.
If we, men, would receive, in our hearts, the truth of this message we wouldn’t need to preach about the NEED for godly fathers.
I don’t preach the way I do so any of you might feel as if I’m trying to beat you up because that’s not my goal. My goal is to wake US up to the reality of what the church is becoming and to see the need for us to get back to being the true church.
So the first essential for evangelism that we looked at, last week was the need for the right kind of passion. Last week I asked what drives you. I wanted you think about what you’re passionate about. I said Paul’s passion was, and our passion should be, reaching the lost.
The second essential for effective evangelism must be:
2. Having The Right Priority
Our priority should be keeping people out of hell!
Everything else is second to this one goal, yet we seem to be more concerned about parties and fellowships. We are more concerned about the next time we’ll eat than winning the lost.
I read about a community of people who lived along a dangerous sea-coast where shipwrecks were a constant occurrence. A small group of people decided to organize a rescue operation and do something about all the drowning people near their city. Soon they built a small life-saving station and the devoted members of the rescue team kept a diligent watch over the sea. Their little town became famous because of the many lives that were saved and more people joined the team, until a new building was needed.
It was much larger than the 1st building, and was beautifully furnished and decorated. But as more and more comforts were added, for the member’s the rescue station slowly became a clubhouse and some of the members began to lose interest in the rescue operation.
But then a shipwreck occurred, and the survivors were brought to the clubhouse for first aid. During the next several days, the elegant clubhouse became considerably soiled, by such things as blood stains, mud and the smell of salt water lingered in the carpet and the cushions.
At the next meeting there was a split in the membership. It seems that most of the members felt that the life-saving operation was a hindrance to their social life. Those who disagreed were told they could just leave and start another operation further down the coast. As the years went by, history repeated itself, and today, that seacoast is lined with a number of exclusive clubhouses but no one in the area seems too concerned with rescuing the perishing.
You know, there’s a church on almost every corner of every little community in Florence County. Some offer so many bells and whistles that it becomes easy to lose our priorities. With all the fun and games offered by many they become nothing more than a clubhouse.
I want us to understand that we, at EBC, are no different, if we lose our priority.
That great preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap into hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let not one go there unwarned and un-prayed for.”
That should be the attitude of EBC!
We need to have a passion for the lost. We need to have the right priority and finally, if we are to experience effective evangelism, we must,
3. Share The Right Message. Look at Acts 16:4-5.
We must have passion for the lost, we must have our priorities in order, but, hear me church, NONE of that will matter if we don’t have the right message.
**I stood in village after village, being shown membership cards to the “New Apostolic Church” that had come to the same area of Kenya I was in. The N.A.C. went into the villages and simply filled out membership cards for the villagers. After that they dipped their finger in a cup of water, drew a cross on the forehead of every card holder. This was salvation in their eyes and not one person had been told that Jesus is the only way.