Summary: Explaning evangelism

The Dummies Guide To Christianity - Part 2

A living expression of helping people meet Jesus

March 13, 2011

The Christianity Quiz – (please mark true or false)

Christians are supposed to save the world – T/F

The birth of the church happened at Pentecost – T/F

The word gospel means “good news” – T/F

Only pastors can perform ministerial work – T/F

Paul wrote the King James Bible – T/F

The gospels are the first 5 books of the New Testament – T/F

I hope you did well on the test, either way it’s all in fun.

Today we’re continuing our series on Christian basics. If we had only a few things to teach you about being a Christian we would teach you these basics.

Now these are not the truths that helped you become a Christian per say, such as the sacrifice of Jesus and the truthfulness of God’s Word and such…

These truths are built on top of those truths.

After you become a Christ Follower, you’re given a life purpose and are part of the solution to what is wrong in our society.

I’ve noticed that today there’s a growing movement to open free speech for everyone unless your speech has anything to do with Jesus or Christianity. Have you noticed this?

There are even those who want to silence all preaching and do away with any kind of religion. John Lennon wrote his classic song; Imagine where he envisions a perfect world with no hate, violence and religion. It’s really a picture of what the world will be one day under Jesus’ rule only he removes Jesus from the equation.

Imagine there's no Heaven

It's easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today

Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will live as one

A wonderful melody but a misguided concept. Peace will never happen till the Prince of Peace, Jesus is in charge.

A really smart guy said, “To silence a preacher from preaching judgment is like being awoke from sleep by a fire alarm, and just silencing the alarm, and going back to sleep.” (Unknown)

As Jesus was leaving this earth after his 3 1/2 year ministry he tells His followers that they have a mission field right in front of them. He tells them that He will return one day and that His followers should work to spread this love of God and peace that He alone can bring.

Another really smart guy said, “We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” (John Stott)

The second priority: Tell others about God’s love

Now, many overzealous Christians have thought that it was their job to save the world! This is not true. They can’t even save themselves. God doesn’t ask us to save, He asks us to be obedient to His message and to tell it.

It’s Our Job to tell – its God’s job to save

Now one of the foundational concepts we thing you should know about this idea called evangelism.

Evangelism: (Greek: euaggelion (yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on); a good message, i.e. the gospel.

Evangelism is often called the “Good News.” Good news is never good unless it is shared. To have good news and not to share it makes it only news. It becomes good when it is passed on.

The fact is that God has given us some incredible news and He has placed us uniquely in places to share it. Here’s a tip:

God has me in relationships to share good news with others

Now there’s one verse in particular that lays out this idea of what the good news is very well, it’s 1 Cor. 15:1-6.

1 Corinthians 15:1-6 (ESV) “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel… that Christ died for our sins… that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day...”

So what’s the good news?

The “Good News” is – that Jesus died to pay for your sin debt and that He rose from the dead. This means that you can be free from your guilt and the penalty of sin.

That’s some pretty good news. Let me put it to you this way. Let’s say you just bought a $400,000 home. It’s the home of your dreams. You closed on it on a Friday and on the next Monday you found out you and your spouse both lost your jobs. You don’t have enough money to pay the first month’s mortgage let alone pay off the mortgage.

YOU’RE IN A BAD WAY. Let’s say the bank calls your house, of course you’re nervous as to what the call is concerning, they call and give you some news. The banker says, hey I have someone here who wants to pay off your entire mortgage and all I need is your approval to have him do it. What do you say?

Well after you wake up from the faint you just had you say – yes!

Now would that news from the bank be good if it was never shared with you? No, it would actually be a very bad thing to have no way to pay your mortgage and have an offer to pay it off but never even hear of the offer. You might even think the banker was liable for criminal charges if he withheld this offer.

Well I have to tell you, we have even better news than a mortgage payoff. God has given us the message that brings eternal life. For you not to share it is as criminal as or worse than the banker not informing.

So today we want to help you with this idea of telling the good news and helping people to live forever. How do we do it, what do we tell people?

How to Help People LIVE Forever

Numbers 21:9-10/John 3:14-15

There’s an interesting story in the Old Testament book of Numbers. The story is about when God’s people were living in the desert and encountered a terrifying ordeal with deadly snakes.

The people were being bit and many were dying, no fun and awful scary. In order to find safety the Lord gave them some instructions.

Numbers 21:8-9 (ESV) “And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.”

Now this same story is used as an illustration by Jesus in a conversation with another person. He plays off the need of physical salvation and correlates it to man’s need of spiritual salvation.

John 3:14-15 (ESV) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

Jesus here is referring to the time when like the snake on this pole, He would be lifted up for all the world to see and while it was a physical looking to the pole that saved the people in the desert, today it’s a metaphorical look, a spiritual surrendering to God that Jesus offers as we look at, or think about the cross that Jesus died on and what it means.

The people in the desert had to make a choice, look at the pole and live or reject what God provides and die. THIS IS THE SAME FOR US TODAY. Look to God’s provision and find eternal life, or reject it and die.

So what do we do with this message, the good news?

Tell people to:

Listen to their circumstances

Every disappointment in life, every struggle is a reminder of a person’s need for God. When we try to live apart from God’s plan it brings problems and pain.

People are looking for meaning and fulfillment in life but they are not finding it through pleasures, possessions or even pride.

I love the song by Rascal Flatts – “Bless The Broken Road” (Possibly have the praise team do this song)

"Bless The Broken Road"

I set out on a narrow way many years ago

Hoping I would find true love along the broken road

But I got lost a time or two

Wiped my brow and kept pushing through

I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you


Every long lost dream led me to where you are

Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars

Pointing me on my way into your loving arms

This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road

That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through

I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you

But you just smile and take my hand

You've been there you understand

It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true


Now I'm just rolling home

Into my lover's arms

This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road

That led me straight to you

That God blessed the broken road

That led me straight to you.

A Christian group has recorded that song also and used the premise of finding God.

If we allow them to, our circumstances can point to our need of God. The Israelites realized they had been wrong and sinned against God, their current circumstances made that clear – they needed God!

Numbers 21:7a (ESV) (The people) "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you.”

Now at some point, someone’s going to come to you with the problems of life – it could be your chance to help them see that God is the answer to those problems.

So use the circumstances then tell them to…

Identify God’s help

Look for God’s help!

The Israelites asked Moses to get God to stop these snakes. You can see all the problems in your life as a need and even wish that someone will do something about them, still that changes nothing.

There’s only one person who can change the circumstances of your life, who can truly help – IT’S GOD.

These people knew this…

Numbers 21:7b (ESV) (The people to Moses) “Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people.”

When people have issues or feel lost in life without God who do they turn to? If they look within, they’ll find a dead end, if they look without they’ll realize that other people will let them down.

THEY HAVE TO LOOK TO GOD. So Moses prayed and did what God asked him to do.

John 3:14a (ESV) “Moses lifted up the serpent…”

After they realize that it is God who alone can meet the need we help them to…

Value God’s provision

Numbers 21:8 (ESV) “And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole…”

Now the Israelites couldn’t save themselves so they needed someone to do it. God tells Moses to craft a serpent and put it on a pole. We know from further investigation that the serpent was a brass image of the very thing that was troubling them.

The correlation we see with Jesus is that Jesus is lifted up on the cross and the very thing that is troubling man; our sin is placed on Him.

Some people just can’t see it. They hear it but think that’s stupid, there must be another way. Remember the snake on the pole is a picture.

John 3:14b (ESV) “…so must the Son of Man be lifted up…”

Tell people that all of their problems and all of their sins can be dealt with through Jesus Christ. He removes the guilt and the penalty, the sting as it were of sin! He’s one the one to pay the debt that they couldn’t, just like the person who paid off the mortgage for someone else.

Finally tell them to…

Exercise obedient faith

Numbers 21:9 (ESV) “…and if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.”

The best medicine in the world as life saving as it may be is no good unless it’s taken by a sick person. You can know that you’ve got issues and that you need Jesus but that doesn’t fix the problem.

Some people I suppose in the desert refused out of pride and arrogance to look at the snake – they perished. How dumb?

There are people today who will do the same thing, they may even belief that Jesus will save them but they refuse to bow their knee to anyone.

Look at what Jesus tells the man He’s talking with.

John 3:15b“…whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

Circle word “believes.” This word is in direct correlation to the story in the desert. Those who were being attacked by snakes believed and evidenced their belief by looking to the pole.

SAVING BELIEF IS NOT AN EMOTIONAL ENCOUNTER OR AN INTELLECTUAL THOUGHT. It is a surrendering to God’s way. This surrender is a releasing of all in a desire for God to save us.

Jesus told us:

John 14:6 (ESV) “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

So Jesus is saying there’s one way to get to heaven, just like there was one way to be saved from the attack in the desert. Tell people that Jesus is the only way.

I wonder, what kind of commitment do you have to help others know Jesus? Are you holding the good news and not sharing it? If so you’re withholding life from those who need it.

WHAT IS YOUR COMMITMENT - Will you today commit to tell another person how to LIVE? It doesn’t have to be so formal like a sermon. It can just be one friend telling another friend the best news ever. Tell them what happened to you. Who can argue with that?

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: “Dear Jesus thank-you loving me and dying for me. Help me to love people enough to tell them about you. In Jesus Name A-men.”