Summary: As Christians we are called to be evangelists, God’s witnesses in all aspects of our life. This sermon explores why and begins to uncover how.
Bill the plumber had finally made it back to church
He was in His Sunday best
For years his friends had wished he would come,
they had prayed about him coming.
One of them casually suggested coming once
But he said “it’s not for me, the roof might fall in!”
And he was never asked again.
You see for a short time Bill attended church
But he does not have fond memories
It wasn’t the worship service or the music
It was he never felt welcome
People would rarely talk to him
And after a late Saturday night,
He never looked or smelt the best
And the few people he knew would be so busy that he rarely spoke to them
So he often sat by himself drinking a coffee
No one missed him when he left
But now he was back dressed in His Sunday best
as he lay at the front of the church in his coffin.
Do you know any Bill’s?
Do you think the next time you will see a friend or family member at church it will be at their funeral?
When life has ended for them.
Situations such as Bill’s highlights the continual need for me and you to be constantly reaching out and touching people’s lives with God’s love.
Being a Christian means we are called to evangelise.
To constantly bring God’s Great News into the lives of others.
But the truth is few Christians take Jesus’ command
to Go and make disciples of all nations seriously.
In 2006 only 16% of worshipping Lutherans indicated that they had shared their faith with someone in the last 12 months.
Someone once said "Too many Christians are no longer fishers of men but keepers of the aquarium."
That is why we are moving into the year of evangelism.
We are focusing on developing an intentional evangelistic culture.
Over the next 12 month we will be intentionally helping each other grow as evangelists.
To be active in sharing the Great News.
The News that changes our future…
And the first thing many of us need to do is to clear our mind of what it means to be an evangelizing.
When I mention evangelizing to some people their face almost goes white.
They think it is about leaving this place walking down the street and telling the first person they meet that that person’s life is full of sin and they will be going to hell.
Others see it as knocking on doors.
Rather I encourage you to see evangelism is about each on us getting amongst the lives of other people sharing the Great News of Jesus through our words and actions.
Our three texts today provide 3 foundational things about life for me and you as evangelists
In Isaiah 43:12 we hear
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
God is saying to you and me ‘You are my witnesses!
Each one of us is to reveal how Great God is!
How good God is to us!
We are to reveal to the other people in our lives and help them see that everything Good in our lives comes from God.
Lets do that now…
Over the next few moments I encourage you to turn to the people around you and share something that is good about God for you!!!
Thankyou for doing that.
In sharing how good God is we are connecting what is good in our life to God.
We are helping others see that how great God is.
And being witnesses also helps us
Listen again to what Isaiah 43:10 says
You are my witnesses
So that you may know and believe me
As we share our faith.
As we share how good God is, not only are we helping others see How great God is.
We are also nurturing and strengthening our faith.
God reveals to us as we be His witnesses we get to know and believe.
Now there is one more thing about this plan of God’s for us to be His witnesses.
He has no plan B
His only plan for getting His Great News out is through Christians like me and you
Ordinary everyday Christians who have received and experienced His Good News.
Is probably the most common text quoted when it comes to mission and evangelism.
Go and make disciples of all nations baptising people in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you
Some people mistake that most important thing in this text is that we must go.
But it is in fact to Make Disciples.