Summary: Let’s explore the issues of why we don’t evangelize!!!
TITLE: FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD…
SERIES: The Growing Church (part 2)
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, May 4, 2008
PROP.: Let’s explore the issues of why we don’t evangelize!!!
INTRODUCTION: Good morning! During the month of May, our focus now turns to becoming the Growing Church part two. What does that mean? That means that during the month of May, we are going to be teaching and preaching about the one Christian discipline is the most necessary for Christianity to continue, but it’s also the most dreaded: EVANGELISM!
The Wizard of Oz. This was one of the first movies I can remember watching as a kid. The characters were memorable and vivid. The heroes were real. The villains were scary! Raise your hand, and be honest now. How many of you were scared of the wicked witch of the west? I think the wicked witch of the west was played by my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Whaley…she was scary!!!!
I’ve entitled this morning’s message: Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Because that’s what we’re called to do in life!
You see, as I think about the Wizard of Oz and think about that movie, there are many parallels that compare to the Christian life.
We are on a journey to get home!
We have an enemy who wants to prevent us from making it home!
We have companions with whom we will travel until our destination is reached
Be on the look out for flying monkeys!
We are on a journey to get home. As we travel this life, we will have many encounters…some good…some bad.
Today, I want to use this beloved movie and more importantly, the characters IN the movie to teach us about the difficult topic of evangelism.
T.S.: Let’s look at the reasons we aren’t reaching the lost…
First, let’s look at the
I. The Scarecrow syndrome (I don’t know enough!)
If I only had a brain, THEN I could reach people for Christ!
This is the excuse that says: I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH!
A. The Bible is complex!
--66 different books
--1,189 different chapters
--nearly 3500 years old
--dozens of authors
--thousands of characters
--inspired by God
--hundreds of prophecies
It’s true, the Bible is complex. There are things that we will never understand nor comprehend until eternity.
You see, this excuse comes up often. Well I just don’t know the Bible well enough.
We feel inadequate to share the good news because we can’t even tell you the books of the Bible in order, or name the 12 disciples, and while that is a problem, it’s not an excuse to not share the Good news!
Because here’s the TRUTH:
B. The Good news of Jesus Christ is simple!
--Salvation was intended for all men. Educated and non-educated a like! Colossians 3:11 tells us that Jesus Christ is for Slaves, free men, barbarians, Jews, Greeks, and Gentiles. He is intended for EVERY person! Regardless of I.Q. or social skills. So the message of Jesus Christ is simple! Here’s the message:
1st John 5:12
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
1. God hates sin
2. You are sinner
3. But God loves you.
4. Jesus came to die to get rid of your sin.
5. Those who accept the sacrifice of Jesus will go to heaven.
6. Will you accept the sacrifice?
But what if they ask me something else that I can’t answer?
--I think we all have this fear that they are going to ask us something like: “Do you believe that we as a society are returning to the antediluvian civilization that occurred during the days of Noah?” What??
--Be honest. If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, just tell them, “Hmmm. That’s a good question that I’ll have to do some thinking on. But I’ll get back to you!”
Illustration: Do not allow the fear of not knowing enough of the Bible keep you from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ! If you feel you don’t know enough about the Bible, that’s an easy fix…STUDY THE BIBLE! There are so many tools that you have at your disposal!
“The Bible for Busy people” - overview of both the old and new testaments
“An introduction to the new Testament”
www.gotquestions.org stay away from the salvation issues! They are WAYYYY off!
www.biblestudy.org - good resource for just Bible facts and topical studies!
--Other Christian friends
The second problem in regards to evangelism is what is called…
II. The Tin Man syndrome (I don’t have the heart (or desire))
I don’t tell people about Jesus because I don’t care whether they know or not.
“If I only had a heart of compassion and love, THEN I could evangelize!”