Summary: encouragement to evangelise
Hold this paper close to your nose and breath deeply.
If the sheet turns green, you need to see a doctor.
If it turns blue, see your dentist.
If it turns red, see your bank manager.
If it turns black, you need to check your will so see your lawyer
If, however, it does not change color, then there is nothing wrong with you and so there is no reason why you should not share your faith.
First – I will make you fishers of men “Go, and make disciples”
Testimonys of being scared to share the gospel
Paul was not ashamed of the gospel
1) Not ashamed because of where it came from
a) NKJV “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ
b) Reasons to be ashamed:
i) Writing to Romans … proud nation
ii) He was preaching about a poor Jewish carpenter
iii) Like you going to tell the managing director why you don’t want to work on Sunday … (because you want to go to church)
c) “of Christ” How could you be ashamed of a message from God?
i) Very often I would keep quiet because I thought my opinion didn’t really count much.
d) Who the message is from gives it authority
2) Not ashamed because it is powerful
a) Who is ashamed of something that has power
i) Have you ever tried to sell something that you didn’t believe in? … This is why men have such interesting discussions about cars.
b) Paul had experienced the power of the gospel first hand. Remember the story of Stephen being martyred. “Surely he must have been thinking, What kind of man is this?
c) In his own life: one minute he was on his way to Damascus killing Christians … next minute he was preaching the gospel
d) He experienced power when he was knocked to the ground
e) He experienced power when a prophet laid hands on him and scales fell off his eyes and he could see again
f) He experienced the power of God when he stood up and was baptised in the Holy Spirit
g) He had seen the effect on other people, while he was preaching, when he laid hands on them etc
h) We don’t need to be ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God
3) Not ashamed because of what it does … salvation
a) Many people don’t understand what salvation really is. Talk to them about being saved and they think that you are nuts.
Are you saved? From what?
b) The gospel saves us from sin and God’s wrath
i) They think that mans biggest problem is finding fulfillment or happiness or being successful – don’t realise that man’s biggest problem is overcoming sin.
ii) Sin is the thing that separates us from God, sin is the thing that, unless dealt with, will take us to hell.
iii) We have a natural bias towards sin (ILLUS ruler)
iv) Rom 7
d) God’s wrath – hell
i) Hell is an actual place. We choose not to talk about it that often. Jesus spoke about it. Jesus spoke more about hell than about heaven … he wanted to save us from it.
ii) Hell was not made from man, but for the devil and his angels Matt 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
iii) 3 divisions of hell
(1) Sheol or Hades
(a) It is referred to as being down, place of pain and sorrows. In the OT the righteous were promised deliverance from Sheol. It is the place of departed spirits and will eventually be cast into the lake of fire.
(a) This is a prison for sinning angelic beings 2:Pet 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
(3) The Abyss – bottomless pit. Also a jail and the abode of demon spirits
(a) Each dept of hell is a prison for a different type of created being
(4) Gehenna – the final and eternal hell
(a) OT Tophet. When Israel worshipped Baal they used a certain part of the valley to offer their children as sacrifices, and they used the same place to burn the refuse of the city with fire and brimstone. They called this part of the valley, Tophet or the valley of dead bodies.
(b) It was the place for the refuse of the city and fires burnt continually to consume the filth
(c) Jesus used this to describe hell “a place where the wicked are cast and the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever.