Sermons

Summary: Using North American Mission Board (SBC) Statistics from 1998, this brief message challenges Christians to NOT be ashamed of the Gospel!

WHY DON’T WE WITNESS?

ROMANS 1:14-16

1998 STATISTICS

40,870 SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCHES

15,729,000 SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

407,264 CONVERSIONS/BAPTISMS IN 1998

412,027 CONVERSIONS/BAPTISMS IN 1997

4,763 LESS THAN PREVIOUS YEAR

AVERAGES OUT TO ONLY ONE CONVERSION PER 38.62 MEMBERS

6,000,000,000 PEOPLE ON EARTH NOW

1/4 OF THE EARTHS POPULATION IS CHRISTIAN

1/4 OF THE POPULATION IS BEING REACHED

3,000,000,000 OR ½ HAVE NEVER HEARD OF Jesus

WITH THIS NUMBER OF PEOPLE TO BE REACHED, WHAT SHOULD THE CHURCH BE FOCUSED ON TODAY. WHO IS THE CHURCH?

10,000 CHURCHES HAD NO BAPTISMS DURING 1998

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ONLY 15% OF THE CONGREGATION THAT IS NOT IN ANY STAFF POSITION IN THE CHURCH IS INVOLVED IN EVANGELISM. SO, ONLY 61,090 OF THE 407,264 CONVERSIONS CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO CONGREGATIONAL SUPPORT IN EVANGELISM.

LET US READ ROMANS 1:14-16

“I AM DEBTOR BOTH TO THE GREEKS AND TO THE BARBARIANS BOTH TO THE WISE AND THE UNWISE. SO AS MUCH AS IN ME IS, I AM READY TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO YOU THAT ARE AT ROME ALSO. FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF Christ: FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH; TO THE JEW FIRST AND ALSO TO THE GREEK.”

Paul SAYS HE IS DEBTOR TO BOTH GREEKS AND BARBARIANS. IN THESE TIMES THE BARBARIANS WERE EVERYONE BESIDES THE GREEK AND ROMAN PEOPLE. HE IS NOT SAYING HERE THAT HE OWES A MONETARY DEBT. Paul HAS HAD NO TRANSACTION WITH THESE PEOPLE, HE HAS HOWEVER HAD A TRANSACTION WITH Jesus Christ WHICH PUT HIM IN DEBT TO EVERY MAN, BECAUSE THE GRACE OF GOD HAD BEEN SO BOUTIFULLY BESTOWED UPON HIM.

Paul WAS IN DEBT AS WE ARE TO A LOST WORLD. CHRISTIANS SAY THEY PAY THERE HONEST DEBTS. DO WE REALLY? NOT UNTIL EVERY PERSON HAS HEARD THE GOSPEL OF Jesus Christ HAVE YOU AND I PAID OUR HONEST DEBT. WE OWE THE SAME DEBT Paul DID. Jesus PAID FOR OUR SINS FOR US, AND HE HAS COMMANDED US TO GO OUT TO THE HIGHWAYS AND HEDGES, UNTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL.

Paul WAS READY TO PREACH IN VERSE 15. ARE WE READY TO WITNESS AND EVANGELIZE FOR OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. THE WORD READY CAN ALSO BE INTERPRETED EAGER. ARE WE EAGER TO SPREAD THE NEWS OF SALVATION AND WHAT GOD CAN DO FOR THE LOST. HERE Paul IS ALSO SAYING HE IS READY TO PAY HIS DEBT. Paul IS SAYING HE IS NOT ONLY READY, HE IS EAGER TO PREACH. HOW WE NEED THAT ENTHUSIASM TODAY, HOW WE NEED THIS ANTICIPATION OF SPREADING THE WORD OF GOD. WE ALL SHOULD BE EAGER TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN COMMANDED TO DO SO.

NEXT Paul SAYS I AM NOT ASHAMED. HOW MANY OF US HAVE EXPERIENCED A SHYNESS (OR ASHAMEDNESS) OF DECLARING OUR BELIEFS PUBLICALLY.

I AM DEBTOR—THIS IS ADMISSION

I AM READY—THIS IS REMISSION

I AM NOT ASHAMED—THIS IS SUBMISSION

IF WE HAVE A SHYNESS OR FEELING OF SHAME AT PROCLAIMING OUR BELIEFS PUBLICALLY, WE SHOULD PRAY FOR THE BOLDNESS TO DO SO.

AND DO SO WITHOUT ANY HESITATION.

PARKERSBURG BAPTIST CHURCH HAS A GREAT PURPOSE IN THIS COMMUNITY. WE AS CHRISTIANS HAVE A GREAT PURPOSE. WE AS CHRISTIANS NEED TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE SET BY Paul. WE NEED TO GO OUT AND BE BOLD AND PREACH/SHARE THE GOSPEL OF Jesus Christ WITH THE LOST AND DYING WORLD. HOW MUCH OPPORTUNITY IS OUT THERE FOR THE 15 MILLION PLUS MEMBERS OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION. THERE ARE THREE BILLION SOULS JUST WAITING TO BE TOUCHED.

NOT EVERYONE WILL BE CONVERTED, AND IT IS NOT US WHO DOES THE CONVERSION ANYWAY, IT IS Christ WORKING THROUGH US WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

PAIGE PATTERSON THE PRESIDENT OF THE SBC HAS CHALLENGED THE CONVENTION TO HAVE 1 MILLION CONVERSIONS DURING 2000. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT OUT OF EVERY TEN ENCOUNTERS, ONLY ONE WILL LEAD TO A CONVERSION EXPERIENCE. IF JUST ½ OF THE 15+MILLION MEMBERS OF OUR CONVENTION WOULD HAVE TEN ENCOUNTERS, WITH ONE OF THOSE ENCOUNTERS LEADING TO A CONVERSION, THAT WOULD MEAN 7.8MILLION SOULS WON. THIS IS 7.8 TIMES THE GOAL THAT HAS BEEN SET BEFORE US.

IF 50 OF OUR MEMBERS WOULD COMMIT TO HAVE AT LEAST 10 ENCOUNTERS THIS YEAR, WE COULD INCREASE OUR MEMBERSHIP BASED ON STATISTICS BY AT LEAST 50.

I AM JUST AS GUILTY AS ANYONE ELSE FOR FAILING TO SHARE THE GOSPEL. I ADMIT THAT I HAVE BEEN IN SITUATIONS WHERE I DID NOT SAY OR DO ANYTHING TO PROCLAIM MY FAITH.

GOD WILL GIVE US A SECOND CHANCE. HE GAVE PETER A CHANCE TO MAKE UP FOR ALL THREE OF HIS DENIALS. HE ASKED PETER THREE TIMES DID HE LOVE HIM, AND PETER RESPONDED YES. THEN Jesus COMMANDED HIM TO FEED HIS SHEEP.

ARE WE WILLING TO FEED THE LOST SHEEP?

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