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Summary: Encouraging Christians to share their faith - PowerPoint slides aere available for this sermon on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info

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Evangelism talk

Reading: Colossians chapter 1 verses 1-12.

Ill:

• Back in 1820 the average person in England wrote only three letters a year.

• And with good reason.

• Letters in those days were mailed without a cover and could be read by anyone.

• But William Mulready had an idea to ensure privacy—the envelope.

• It was an idea he stole from the French;

• On a visit to France Mulready noticed that important messages;

• Were completely enclosed in a little paper case...

• Making them impervious to the peering eyes of the curious.

• On his return to England he introduced this new way of sending mail,

• It was an instant success, and the rest as they say is history!

Colossians was written not on paper but on a scroll or a codex:

• But just as a modern day letter is kept safe and protected by an envelope;

• The letter of Colossians will remind us that are kept safe and protected by Jesus Christ!

Ill:

• Talking about letters,

• There is the old joke of a soldier who wrote to his girlfriend everyday;

• When he eventually returned home on leave,

• He discovered that she had run off with the postman!

The city:

• Colosse was a city in Asia Minor,

• Which is a region of Western Asia (modern day Turkey);

• It was one of a trio of cities: Hierapolis and Laodica being the other two;

• They get a name check in chapter 4 verse 13,

• That were located about 100 miles inland of Ephesus.

• These three cities were almost in view of each other.

Ill:

• This area used to be a meeting point of East and West

• At one time an important trade route passed through there:

• When the road system changed;

• Colosse’s trade business declined.

• By the apostle Paul’s day, this one time a wealthy and populas city.

• Had been reduced to an insignificant market town.

• Quote: William Barcley:

• “Today there is not a stone to show where Colosse stood and her site can only be guessed at”

The Church:

• Paul had never visited Colosse (chapter 2 verse 1).

• But he did spend three years working 100 miles away in Ephesus.

• Acts chapter 19 verse 10 tells us that; People from all over Asia visited that city;

• They heard the gospel, got converted & returned home with the message

Ill:

• One of those visitors to Ephesus who was converted;

• Was a man named ‘Epaphras’ - he gets a name check in verse 7:

• Verse 7: "You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant".

• Ephaphras was a citizen of Colosse,

• And when he returned home he shared the gospel with his relatives and friends.

• And as a result folks were converted and a church was planted.

Note:

• The church at Colosse was probably about five years old,

• When it received this letter from Paul.

• Although there were some converted Jews in the Church;

• It would seem that the Church was mainly made up of Gentiles.

• These sins mentioned w in chapter 3 verses 5-9;

• Were commonly associated with non-Jews.

The crisis:

Ill:

• A man with three sons won £1 billion on the lottery.

• Since he now had more money than he knew what to do with,

• He offered to buy his sons anything they wanted.

• He stressed money was no object.

• His first son said he had always wanted a Jaguar car,

• So his father bought him seven Jaguar cars in seven different colours,

• So he would have a different one to drive every day of the week.

• His second son wanted a motorcycle.

• So the father went out and bought him 30 new motorcycles,

• So he would have a different bike to ride every day of the month.

• His youngest was only 8, and he said he wanted a Mickey Mouse outfit.

• So his father went out and bought him the Southampton Football Club.

This Church was facing a crisis:

• Relegation was not the issue;

• But it could split or even destroy this local Church if help was not given.

Ephaphras who helped start the Church and in verse 7 is called its minister:

• He needed help and so he went to his good friend and mentor the apostle Paul;

• Paul at this time was a prisoner in Rome; (this is mentioned in 4:3, 10 & 18).

• Epaphras came to see Paul and reported to him about a dangerous new teaching;

• That was spreading through the Church.

Question: What was the crisis/problem?

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