Summary: Four prinicples for sharing Christ
Dr. Jones wrote, “The concealing and neglect of certain truths and certain aspects of Christian truth has always been the chief characteristic of every period of decline in the history of the church. When the church did not seem to count at all you will find without exception the thing that has most characterized the church as such a time has been a time of denial or neglect of certain vital truths which are essential to the whole Christian position.” Many churches we see today are emotionally excited but are not experiencing a true life change for Christ. The church is not reaching the culture it lives in. Where do we find God in our public schools? Nativity scenes are not allowed in public places. The 10 Commandments have been removed. Gay marriage is an issue. Abortions are allowed. “Under God” is trying to be removed. Why does the church seem so weak when there is more Christian influence in our country than any other nation? I ask the question is our church based on the truth of God’s word or has it been diluted by men’s opinion of the Word of God? We cannot influence the world if we do not become a part of it by sharing our faith.
how to share your faith with OTHERS Acts 8:26-35
Is there any other word in the Christian world like Evangelism that brings to the mind a feeling of doubt or shame among Christians? Have you heard this word since you have been in church? What does it mean and what steps are we to take to “evangelize” the world for Christ. How do we actually go about doing it? Building bridges by developing relationships with others is one of the best ways to share Christ successfully. Do we believe that people are really spiritually hungry and open to talk about their spiritual life? If we know this, how do we bring God into our conversations, and how do we invite our friends to enter into a personal relationship with Christ for themselves? Let us look at the life of Philip as an example of principles we can use in our lives from Acts 8:26-35
1. We need to be personally Connected with God.
We first find Phillip having a spiritual conversation along the roadway. He had been in Samaria where he had preached Christ and many believed. To make this a little more challenging this was also the time Saul was going around trying to destroy the Christian church. We do not have a Saul in our neighborhood so it should be easy for us to preach and share Jesus. An angel of the Lord came to Philip and said “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he started out. . . .” The first principle we see is that sharing God’s love with others is linked to our own special relationship with Jesus. God said go and he took off. Philip was having a good time in Samaria and didn’t understand perhaps why he was going down this road. He was faithful to go and do exactly as God commanded him. Are you faithful in doing what God wants? If we want to be used by God it will require us to have an open and submissive spirit. We have to be listening for God’s to say, “This is the path for you, now go and walk in it.” The closer we are connected to God, the easier it is to hear His voice?
2. we need to sure the Lord is Leading Us.
Verse 27 says, “So he started out, and on his way he met.” To share your faith, you must already be on the way. It was while Philip was on his way that he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official. The road God directed Phillip to travel led to a particular city. It had a definite target, but God’s plan did not include Philip actually arriving at that destination. As he was on the way, God met him mid-course and gave him a God-given opportunity. It seems sometimes we get so wrapped up in the ultimate purpose of our life that we fail to live each day fully. It’s easy to live by the song, “When I accomplish my next goal, then I’ll have time to be used by God or give witness.” So we miss all the opportunities God brings to us as we are traveling the pathway and the way of life. Many people who have made it their ambition to get to the top of the company all their energy, all their resources are devoted to this goal. The few who make it to the top realize it’s a lonely place to be. The sacrifices they made during the process of climbing often left them unhappy than when they started. On the other hand, look at those people who commit themselves and say, “I’m going to enjoy this journey called life and I’m going to enjoy relationships and experiences along the way.” With this as our attitude, we allow God to bring many more opportunities for us to live life fully and to share the good news with others. It’s amazing how many opportunities we see when we begin to look for them. Don’t think, “ One day when I get things under control, when those home projects are wrapped up around the house, when l have more time to introduce myself to the neighbor next door or when I get a little more secure since I don’t know the Bible all that well. Some day when I get into some Bible study group, when I can pray out loud and actually talk to somebody about my feelings and my faith.” If you live according to the “one day philosophy,” that day will never come. You need to begin the journey today. Begin the adventure of traveling down the path God has set for you, but keep your eyes, ears, heart, and mind wide open for the experiences, encounters, and relationships God may have for you as you travel. Being on the journey is not so much about the destination as it is about answering the question, “What am I becoming daily, who am I influencing, and with whom am I traveling this journey called life?” What if Philip had not been obedient to God? What if Philip had not been truly connected to Christ himself and hadn’t been listening to God’s voice speak to him? Imagine if he had said, “You know, it’s kind of hot today God. I don’t want to travel down that path; maybe tomorrow.” What if Philip had gotten to the road God wanted him to travel and (realizing that Gaza was a full day’s journey) he began sprinting with blinders on to prevent himself from being distracted by anything else going on around him? One of the most powerful leaders in all of Ethiopia may not have heard the good news of the gospel in a way he could understand and respond.