Summary: Evangelism is communication. Communication is something we do every day. We communicate to our children that it is time to get out of bed, we communicate with our wife or our husband, we communicate with our co-workers and supervisors. We use communicatio

Transforming Witness

October 7, 2012

Acts 4:23-36

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Prayer for Boldness

23 After they were released, they went to their own people and reported everything the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they all raised their voices to God and said, “Master, You are the One who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David Your servant:[a]

Why did the Gentiles rage

and the peoples plot futile things?

26 The kings of the earth took their stand

and the rulers assembled together

against the Lord and against His Messiah.[b]

27 “For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people[c]of Israel, assembled together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness,30 while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” 31 When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness.

Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), the world-famous violinist, earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, he wasn’t able to buy it. Later, having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument. But to his great dismay it had been sold to a collector. Kreisler made his way to the new owner’s home and offered to buy the violin. The collector said it had become his prized possession and he would not sell it. Keenly disappointed, Kreisler was about to leave when he had an idea. "Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?" he asked. Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled the room with such heart-moving music that the collector’s emotions were deeply stirred. "I have no right to keep that to myself," he exclaimed. "It’s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it." 

Our Daily Bread, February 4, 1994.

Evangelism strikes fear in our hearts! When I was growing up our church had Thursday night visitation, and the intended purpose of this “program” was to go out into our community and share the gospel. The reality of this program was that we used it to go and visit with other members of the church that hadn’t been coming, or were hindered by medical conditions. It was a great thing to do, for it is always good to keep in contact with those who are falling aside, but it didn’t exactly fulfill the great commission where Jesus commanded: 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Some of that fear and anxiety undoubtedly stems from our expectations of what evangelism is. We have built it up in our minds so that the very mention of the word is terrorizing. Evangelism isn’t something for us to fear, and it’s not some great theological endeavor that we must prepare to embark on.

Evangelism is communication. Communication is something we do every day. We communicate to our children that it is time to get out of bed, we communicate with our wife or our husband, we communicate with our co-workers and supervisors. We use communication every moment of our day.

Sometimes we can communicate with a look. Every one of you who has ever been a child recognizes the mom look. The mom look can stop you dead in your tracks and cause a ball of despair to work its way out of the depths of your soul. Sometimes we communicate with a touch, or with our words.

In today’s world, communication is instant. Gone are the days of waiting for a telegram, or waiting weeks for the mail to come. Today we have instant messages, email, text, facebook, and scores of other electronic methods of communication. Almost everybody carries around a cell phone so they are constantly in contact with everyone else.

Evangelism is communication. It is telling a story. Telling the story of Christ, and what following Him has done for us. In order for evangelism to be effective in transforming our church we must recognize that it is every Christian’s job. It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction. 

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