Summary: We can fish for fun, or we can fish for dinner. When we fish for dinner, we take it much more seriously and consequently have much better results.
What would you say is the one thing that hurts our society more than anything else? I would say it is us; the people. We are seeing more and more violence in the streets of America, and we are building more and more jails to put the criminals in, but the violence just keeps growing.
And to make matters worse, just as quickly as we build another jail, it becomes overcrowded and to fit the new criminals in we must let a few more out early, way before their sentences are complete.
With America’s growing rate of lawsuits, it has resulted in our stepping all over the victims so we can hurry over to the criminal and offer him protection against somebody hurting his feelings or violating his rights. When we sit down and analyze the problem, it seems insurmountable. It seems so overwhelming that we might as well just give up before we even start trying to solve it.
But as much as we see the wave of lawlessness sweeping this country, something else is also happening. Did you notice there is the first stirrings of a breeze starting to blow? It is the same wind, that came rushing in on the Day of Pentecost. It is the Holy Spirit, and He is filling people all over this nation with the hope and power to make a difference in America for God.
The Holy Spirit is starting a revival in this country and He is using Christians to do it. As children of God, we have experienced the saving grace of salvation and now it is up to us to take this knowledge and help save our nation. But to do that, we must do something that Jesus has already called us to do, and that is to spread the Word through something called evangelism. That is a fancy religious word, but it really means telling somebody else what you already know. From that perspective, it doesn’t look so scary. Now, we are all used to folks spreading the word, aren’t we? The problem is, while most people are spreading the word; it isn’t the word of God they are spreading. Too often, it is the word of materialism.
For example, we have all received those solicitation calls that only seem to only come at dinner time. We answer the phone and we hear somebody who is obviously reading from a script in front of them as they try to sound like it is just natural conversation. How annoying is that? The only thing that makes you want to do is hang up, right?
But have you ever had somebody try to sell you something and you can tell they absolutely believe what they are saying? You may choose not to buy it, but you are intrigued enough to listen to every word, aren’t you? When telling somebody about Jesus, we must be sincere, and we must be excited about what we are sincere about – or we will have no success at all.
I will share a true story about myself. When I was in my senior year of high school, I only went to school for half a day. I was out by 11:00 am and I had two part-time jobs. I worked as a janitor at a Chevrolet dealership from noon until 4:00 pm, and then I worked as a janitor at the Air Force Base barber shop from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm.
I decided that I needed a job that was more befitting a young man of the world, so I scoured the want-ads, and finally answered this ad about a really cool job selling vacuum cleaners! I called and the secretary told me this job offered prestige; the ability to set my own hours; and the potential for unlimited income! My heart soared! I had found my chosen career. I was going to be rich!
It didn’t take me very long at all to discover what selling was all about. The first door I knocked on, a lady answered and I said, “You don’t want to buy a vacuum, do you Lady?” Can you guess what she said? She smiled and said, “No”, and then she shut the door in my face. What went wrong? I was delivering a line without any sincerity or personal knowledge to back it up. And because of that, I felt no excitement whatsoever about what I was doing or why I was doing it.
Today, we are going to be talking about evangelism; and how we misunderstand it to the point of fearing it.
1) LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MISCONCEPTIONS
Most churchgoers expect the pastor to do all the evangelizing. There seems to be the misconception that not everybody has to do it. I would think the Word of God speaks for itself.