Summary: This is a call for all Christians to realise their responsibility for soul winning
Let your light Shine.
Recently I decided that I was going to look at the Gospels and ask myself three questions. Who did Jesus evangelise to? How did he do it? Finally what instructions did he pass on to us on the subject? I want the answers to these three questions so that I can improve the effectiveness of my own personal witness.
I know that many of you want to see this church grow. I want to see the same because with every new convert, we see one less person going to hell. Even if the leaders, or any of the ministers work night and day, the growth of the church will be very limited unless we are all effective in our responsibilities. I therefore want to look at what lessons we can learn from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount contained in Matthew chapters 5-7.
**Started where the people were at.**
How did Jesus start to witness to the people? The first thing we find is that he taught the people where they were. There was a crowd around him, and so he simply goes up the mountain side and starts to teach them. Very few of the converts Jesus made were ever made inside a synagogue. He made converts at the side of the road where people begged, at the lakeside where fishermen worked, at the well where the women came to draw water. In fact there isn’t any specific place where Jesus ministered, it was anywhere where there were people who had needs.
Don’t think for a moment that you have to be in church, performing a church organised activity in order to win disciples. Simply open up your eyes to the needs around you, whatever you are doing, and you will have opportunities to witness. It could be at work, it could be at home, and it could be at a sports hall.
I don’t just mean that we need to minister where people are in a physical sense only, I also mean in a spiritual sense. What topics did Jesus start with when he taught the people in the sermon? He starts with the law and then explains it further. Why was that? It was because that is where the people were at. Jesus is talking to Jews. They knew that laws of Moses, and so this is His starting point. He takes what they already know, and then leads them from there.
I am sure that this is a lesson for us as well. In order to lead somebody you need to know where they are. If we want to witness to somebody we need to find out where they are spiritually. What do they know about the Bible, what do they believe about God? The best way to do that is just to ask, that’s what Jesus did. He said to Peter, ‘Who do you say I am.’ Ask people and be willing to listen.
The last person I led to Christ was in July. It was a woman who had been a Christian but had backslid after a church split. She talked to me for an hour after which she asked if I could pray with her because she realised that she needed to straighten out her life with Christ. The truth is I hardly said a word.
I want to challenge you this week to ask somebody what they believe about God, and just listen to them. Don’t interrupt them, just listen to have they say. Next time that you witness to them at least you will know where to start.
**Our deeds should be a light.**
In this sermon Jesus states that his followers should be the light of the world.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Yet in the same sermon Jesus also says these same words:
1"Be careful not to do your ’acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
These two verses at first seem to contradict each other, does Jesus want our deeds to be seen by people or not?
This question can be answered when you look at both verses in context. When Jesus states, let you light shine before men, He then goes on to teach about adultery, murder, taking oaths, and how we should treat our enemies. Jesus commands, that not only should we not commit murder, which is all the law of Moses commanded, but also that we shouldn’t even hold a grudge. He says not only should we not commit adultery, but we shouldn’t even entertain lustful thoughts. The law of Moses had said that they should love their neighbours, and the people had interpreted that to mean that it was o.k. to hate their enemies. But Jesus tells them to love and pray for those that persecute them.