Summary: This message is a call to evangelism.
“GIVING THE GREATEST GIFT” Isaiah 43:1-13
INTRO – (Craig’s "Operation Christmas Child" testimony)
“Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Is this how you are living your life? Are you living your life for Christ in such a way as to leave a lasting legacy? Steve Green recorded a song several years ago – “May all who come behind us find us faithful.” Will those who come behind your life be able to say that they found you faithful to Christ? This is the only thing that matters in this life.
“Only one life…” – This is the only shot you’ve got to make an eternal difference in someone else’s life. The only opportunities you will have to tell someone about Jesus will come in this one life you are living right now. There are no second chances, no “do overs.” This is the only life you have, the only period of time for you to share the life-changing good news w/ those who are lost. This is the only chance you have to give the greatest gift you could possibly give to someone.
“…twill soon be past…” – Ask anyone who is a senior adult and they will tell you that they don’t know where the time has gone in their lives. And the older we get, the faster the time seems to go. We simply do not have time to sit around talking about witnessing and evangelism. We don’t have time to waste fussing and fighting over things that simply do not matter. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Even Scripture says, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (Jas. 4:14). We must get busy telling a lost world about Jesus! We must get busy giving them the greatest gift we could possibly give them!
“…only what’s done for Christ will last.” – There are lots of good things that we can do during this short life that we are living. Lots of good organizations to serve. Lots of good people to know. Lots of good deeds to do. But if we are not using the opportunities afforded to us in those organizations to tell lost people about Christ, it doesn’t matter. If we are not concerned about whether or not those good people know Jesus, it doesn’t matter. Hell is populated w/ tons of good people. If we don’t do those good deeds w/ a focus on telling the recipients of our good deeds about Christ, it doesn’t matter. If we don’t give them the greatest gift we could possibly give them, it doesn’t matter.
This past week, nearly 70 people were commissioned by our IMB to go out into an extremely lost world with the Gospel. In the crowd that gathered in Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY, was a couple who could not even be publicly identified b/c they are going to serve Christ in an area of the world that is so anti-Christian that their lives would be in danger if they were identified. “Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
You and I know that we cannot give anyone the gift of eternal life. That is a gift of G. But we can give our lives for the cause of Christ. We can commit our lives to the task of sharing the Gospel w/ the billions of lost people in our world. Why would we do that? What is our motivation for witnessing?
I. WE HAVE BEEN SAVED – v. 1-7
A. Aren’t you glad that you are saved? Aren’t you glad that there was that wonderful time in your life when the Spirit of G spoke to your heart, convicted you of your need for a saving relationship w/ Jesus Christ, and led and empowered you to respond in faith to the love and grace of G? Isn’t it a wonderful thing to know Christ as your Savior and Lord?
B. There are so many benefits given to us as saved sons and daughters of G. Look at what Isaiah says:
a. We do not have to fear.
i. No fear of death.
ii. No fear of the future.
iii. No fear of enemies.
b. We have been redeemed.
i. We have a Redeemer. In secular terms, this word designates a “near kinsman” whose duty it was to help and protect a distressed relative in various circumstances.
ii. In spiritual terms, this means that G Almighty has obligated Himself to help us, an obligation which He will not break. We have an intimate, personal relationship w/ Him in which we can trust Him to help us.
c. We have been called by name.
i. When G saved you, He called you by name. It was a personal invitation to a personal relationship. The moment of your salvation was YOUR moment, the moment when He called you by name.