Summary: Using the "Good Samaritan" as an example, we have a three step evangelism process.
"How to reach People with the Gospel"
Leighton Ford tells this story of himself and Billy Graham. He says;
I was speaking at an open-air crusade in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Billy Graham was to speak the next night and had arrived a day early. He came incognito and sat on the grass at the rear of the crowd. Because he was wearing a hat and dark glasses, no one recognized him. Directly in front of him sat an elderly gentleman who seemed to be listening intently to my presentation. When I invited people to come forward as an open sign of commitment, Billy decided to do a little personal evangelism. He tapped the man on the shoulder and asked, "Would you like to accept Christ? I’ll be glad to walk down with you if you want to." The old man looked him up and down, thought it over for a moment, and then said, "Naw, I think I’ll just wait till the big gun comes tomorrow night." Billy and I have had several good chuckles over that incident. Unfortunately, it underlines how, in the minds of many people, evangelism is the task of the "Big Guns," not the "little shots."
But evangelism is for everyone who is a believer. Everyone can reach out to others and share Christ. It is really quite simple. This morning I want to show you through the Parable of the good Samaritan a process that is easily used in reaching people for Christ.
I. Step One-Open your eyes.
A. In our passage of scripture, three different individuals came by and saw the man lying in the road.
B. The Samaritan being the third man along sees him as well.
C.. Finding someone with a need is an easy thing to do if you open your eyes.
D. Finding someone who needs Christ is even easier.
E. We are too often guilty of wearing blinders.
F. We walk past those who are hurting as if we never see them.
G. The world can be expected to do that, but not the Church.
H. We are to be Seekers.
I. Luke 19:10 says that Jesus came to "seek and save those which are lost"
J. We are to do likewise.
K. You only need to open your eyes and with purpose look for the lost and hurting.
L. The Church sits with the greatest news in the world and will only tell someone if they happen to stumble into the building.
M. If we are going to reach people, we will have to "Open our Eyes" and look for them.
II. Step Two-Open your Heart.
A. The Samaritan like the Priest and the Levite seen the man in need, but only the Samaritan had compassion.
B. The word says when he seen the man, he took pity on him in verse 33.
C. We have to personalize our call to evangelism.
D. It is not something we should be doing for the numbers, but by the call of the heart.
E. There are things that I see in this world that bring me to tears.
F. But nothing more quickly than compassion.
G. What does it say about a Church if they have no heartfelt concern for the lost or hurting.
H. The church of today is too often filled with calloused hearts. People afraid to show their emotion.
I. Afraid to show any sign of what might be perceived as weakness. What a tragedy.
J. This often keeps us from opening up our hearts to the hurting.
K. If we are going to reach people, we must not only open our eyes, we must open our hearts and allow the Love of God to reach the world around us.
III. Step Three-Open your Hands.
A. The Samaritan opened his eyes and seen the man in distress. He opened his heart and had pity on him. Then he made a difference in the man’s live by opening his hand, reaching down and helping him.
B. James says in James 2:15-16: " Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ’Go I wish you well; keep warm and well fed’, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?"
C. Jesus never operated like that. He went in amongst the "Sinners" with open eyes, an open heart, and open hands.
D. If we are to be effective in reaching people for the kingdom, we will have to do the same.
E. We will have to open our hands and welcome those who are in need.
F. Those whose lives are filled with sin.
G. Then we can share with them the "Living Water" the "Bread of Life" that sustains us as believers from day to day.