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Summary: Why should we share the gospel, how should we do it and what is it?

The gospel- why, how and what should we share. 2 COr 5:11-6:2

WBC 29 May 2005

It was May 7, and Roger Simms was hitchhiking his way home, having been discharged from the Army. He flashed his hitchhiking sign at a car, but almost lost hope for a ride when he noticed it was a black, sleek, new Cadillac. To his amazement the car stopped. As Roger entered the car from the passenger’s side, he notice that the driver was a handsome, well-dressed man, who appeared to be in his fifties.

"Going home for keeps?" asked the driver.

"Sure am," Roger said.

As the two conversed, Roger was able to find out that the driver’s name was Hanover. Mr. Hanover owned and operated a business in Chicago-a rather successful business at that. The longer Roger talked to Mr. Hanover, the more impressed he felt to witness to him about Christ. Finally, when they were only thirty minutes away from Roger’s home, he got up the nerve to share Christ with Mr. Hanover, eventually asking him if he would like to receive Christ as his personal Saviour. To Roger’s amazement, the gentleman immediately pulled the Cadillac to the side of the road, bowed his head and received Christ. Mr. Hanover thanked Roger, and said, "This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me."

Five years later, Roger had married and was the proud father of a two-year-old son, and even had a business of his own. While packing for a business trip to Chicago, Roger found Mr. Hanover’s business card, given to him five years earlier. He decided he would look him up while in Chicago.

After arriving in Chicago, Roger looked up Hanover Enterprises. The receptionist there told him that it would be impossible to see Mr. Hanover, but that he could see Mrs. Hanover if he wished. He was ushered into a beautiful office where a keen-eyed woman greeted him. She extended her hand and said, "I understand you knew my husband." "Yes. I was hitchhiking home after the war, and he gave me a lift."

"When was that?" Mrs. Hanover asked. "It was May 7, the day I was discharged from the Army," Roger said. "Was there anything special about that day," asked the lady. Roger hesitated for a moment. "Yes ma’am. I shared the Gospel with Mr. Hanover. He pulled over to the side of the road and leaned over the steering wheel and wept. He gave his heart to Christ that day."

With that, Mrs. Hanover suddenly began to weep. She wept so hard her whole body shook. When she regained her composure, she said, "I had prayed for my husband’s salvation for years. I believed God would save him." "And where is Mr. Hanover now," asked Roger. "He’s dead," the lady said, struggling to speak. "He was killed in a car crash right after he dropped you off. He never got home."

Barely able to speak through her sobs, Mrs. Hanover then said, "You see-I thought God had not kept His promise. I stopped living for God five years ago because I thought He had not kept His word!"

J. Kirk Johnson, Why Christians Sin: Discovery House, 1992, pgs. 39-41.

And I could tell you so many other stories of how God works to bring people to Himself.. back to Himself. How faithful and incredible He is

- and He uses us in this

- we have an incredible ministry of reconciliation

o just think how different your life would be if someone hadn’t sacrificed to share the gospel with you

o if Jesus hadn’t sacrificed to save you

So- why should we share the gospel (the good news about Jesus) with others?

WHY?

Reverential fear- self: Motivation 1 in here is in V11: "since we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade people"

- what does Paul mean? Is he afraid of God who he has called ’Abba’?

o no: this is reverential awe and respect. Something we can know little of in these days of ’being all-matey with the Almighty"

Paul knows that he is going to have to give an account of his life to God (V10)- and for his OWN sake he does not want to be held to account for

- wasting his life

- the blood of other people who he could have changed

This is salutary stuff! Listen to how salutary it was for Ezekiel! (3:17)

17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, `You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.

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