Summary: The Right PASSION, The Right PRIORITY, & The Right PRESENTATION. Link included to formatted text version and Powerpoint Presentation.
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Do you know anyone who cannot sit still? They always have to be doing something. Even when sitting, their motor is running [leg shaking]!
The Apostle Paul was like that…he always had to be preaching or witnessing or discipling or visiting. He could have settled down comfortably in the large church at Antioch, but he didn’t…not as long as there were more people who needed to be reached, he had “itchy feet.”
He didn’t view the church as a parking lot, but as a launching pad!
This is the beginning of Paul’s 2nd Missionary journey…and we’ll see here some essentials of effective evangelism:
1. The Right Passion
Today we would say “drive.” Some people are just driven…some have a passion for money…some for fame. And Paul’s passion was reaching the lost.
1 Cor. 9:16
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
He’s saying, don’t pat me on the back because I witness and preach and proclaim…I have to do these things…it’s in my bones!
He’s saying, for me, witnessing is not an option…reaching the lost is not a suggestion…for me, it’s a command! He was passionate about it.
Another word for it is enthusiasm, which comes from 2 greek words: en and theos… “in God”! We can’t go wrong w/ enthusiasm. It helps us do anything and do it better.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…
You can’t have too much enthusiasm.
Ill.—one man may have had too much enthusiasm. He ran an open air fish market in NYC…he had a very good day and had sold almost all of his fish…matter of fact, he only had 1 small fish left in a barrel. He was closing up shop when a lady came by and said, I’d like to buy a large fish for my husband’s supper. He looked down in his barrel at that one little fish. He reached in and threw it up on the counter… “how’s this?” “It’s a little small” she said. “have another?” He took the fish, swished it back around in the barrel and lifted it out and said, how’s this? “Still too small” she said. He tried a 3rd time, and w/ all the enthusiasm he could muster he got excited and said, “ooooh, take a look at this guy!” She replied, well…they’re all a little small…I believe I’ll take all 3!
But spiritually, we really cannot have too much passion…the opposite of spiritual passion is spiritual sleep.
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
That’s a spiritual sleep he’s referring to, and he was right…the church is sleeping in a noisy room full of lost people. A vast majority of our city doesn’t know Christ as Savior…but we walk right past them in stores, at work, on the street…and we’re “sleep-walking!” 6 billion people are alive on this planet but most are spiritually dead. And there’s a small minority of us which are supposedly spiritually alive but we’re in some kind of a stuper…stumbling around spiritually at best! Once in a while we trip over some sinner accidentally, and we have one saved now and then…but it’s time to wake up…imagine what we could do w/ some passion! Alive! Alert! Awake! Enthusiastic!
We come by it honestly. Here’s some of our predecessors from scripture:
• Jonah—he was a good sleeper…he slept the sleep of unconcern. God told him to preach to the wicked Assyrians in Nineveh…but he went the opposite direction. He boarded a ship and went to sleep…a sleep of unconcern. It wasn’t just that he didn’t care if they went to hell…he WANTED God to punish those people! I could get riled up thinking about what Jonah did…but what about us? Aren’t we sleeping the sleep of unconcern? When we can talk to our neighbors about ANYTHING BUT the gospel, aren’t we sleeping the sleep of unconcern? Is there a hell or not? Do we care or not? If we saw their house on fire, we’d surely run get a hose or grab a phone, right?
Ill.—soldiers heading to an almost hopeless battle on a great ship cornered their chaplain and asked him if he believed in a literal hell. He was a liberal who didn’t believe the Bible completely and he said “absolutely not…take courage and don’t worry. I do not believe that a loving God would send anyone to such a place as hell.” They then asked him to resign saying, “if there is no hell…we don’t need you…and if there is a hell…we do not wish to be led astray!”