Summary: download-for the people to understand all they need to know in order to help lead someone to Jesus for the people to feel confident that they can know all they need to know in order to share their faith; feel excited about sharing their faith;...
pass out handouts: This helped lead me to Jesus… or I helped lead someone to Jesus this way…
Countdowns. We know what they are. It means there’s so much time between some future event and the present. There are 62 days until we take up the special offering for Rancho San Jose. 62 days! That means, on schedule, we’re only $16,500 away from having it all together!
And then, each week, we often have some kind of countdown on the screen. It tells you how much time you have to get a drink and take care of necessary things before we get started.
Yeah, we understand countdowns, don’t we?
Here’s a picture of the tombstone of my grandfather Bert Elmo Nichols and Aunt Norma Jean. At the time, this stone had my aunt’s name on it. It was there from the day the stone was first put there some 50 years ago. But, until just this year, my aunt wasn’t buried there. Still, for almost 50 years, here was her tombstone in Lowell, IN.
Now, why hadn’t they filled in the 2nd date on that stone? Because she hadn’t died. They only knew what year she was born. So, why did they buy that stone 50 years ago and put her name and birth year on it? Because she was going to die!
From the day you are born, there’s a countdown. The clock begins ticking. There’s the day you are born. That’s the starting date. There’s a dash, and then, for those who are living, there’s a blank space yet to be filled in. And the clock is ticking.
Sometime, around 3-4 weeks from your very first day of development, your heart began to beat. Ideally, it never stopped. Everyone will get a set number of heartbeats, because, after that number is over, your time here is over. So, what’s your number? Here’s an “on-average” chart:
per min 72
per hour 4,320
per day 103,680
per year 37,869,120
80 yrs 3,029,529,600
There was a king in the Bible - good King Hezekiah – whose final date was given to him by God. Isaiah 38, the Lord told him “You’re not going to recover from this sickness.” Hezekiah’s clock was winding down. He prayed that the Lord would extend his life, and he did, for 15 years. But have you thought about it? After 14 years, do you supposed Hezekiah was joining in singing the Auld Lang Syne song at that year’s New Year’s Eve party? Probably not. Most of us don’t get to know the date of when we’re going to die, but one thing is certain, we’re going to.
We started this series, “Getting Evangelism In-Hand” last week. I’m planning 2 more weeks before we’re through it. Now, I’m not sure of the day when you or I are going to leave this earth. But I am sure of this: 2 weeks from now, every one of us will be 2 week closer to our last day here in this life, and 2 weeks closer to where we’re going to spend forever. 2 weeks.
That’s also true of everyone who’s not here today. You can’t change that, but you can affect where that will be. In fact, if you’re not helping to change that in someone else’s life, if you’re not helping someone to be closer to heaven, you’re living in direct defiance to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Let me say that again: if you are not directing people to a life that’s drawing closer to Jesus, you are defying the One Who said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
So, “Getting Evangelism In-Hand” isn’t just another attempt at a catchy title for a sermon series. It’s 4 weeks to concentrate on the Lord’s commission for His Church and the necessary focus that CCC must have to fulfill our mission and to do something more than just get by or survive.
When these 4 weeks are over, I can’t guarantee how much more focused you’ll be on evangelism, but I’m sure of this: there will be 4 fewer weeks to share the gospel. Your lost neighbor will have 4 fewer weeks, 28 fewer days, to get it right. Your lost family member will be 4 weeks closer to eternity without Jesus. Your friend at school who doesn’t know Jesus will have used up 4 more weeks of his or her total allowance of time, whatever it is. 4 Weeks. 28 days. For me, I’d like to know that 4 weeks from now, someone is closer to Heaven because of something I’m doing. Wouldn’t you?