Summary: The Lord commands His people to go into all the world and to preach the gospel to every creature, but in spite of this, we stay put at the light. We do not go. We do not preach the gospel. This lesson reminds us of our calling as disciples of Christ.
We have all been there… We are sitting at a red light for a few minutes… After what seems like forever, the light FINALLY turns green. But unfortunately, the person in front of us did not see it turn green. They are talking on the phone or texting. They may be focused on talking to someone who is in their car. This happens all the time to us, and even we may be the ones guilty of this at times. When it is the person in front of us, we may give them a moment to see the light, but after that moment, we lay on the horn to wake them up to what they are missing. Then, finally, they start moving forward.
This illustration, in my opinion, is very applicable in the area of evangelism. We are the ones who have a green light. The Lord commands His people to go into all the world and to preach the gospel to every creature, but in spite of this, we stay put at the light. We do not go. We do not preach the gospel. There are multitudes of our friends, family, and coworkers who, if it were possible, say to us on the Day of Judgment as the sobering hymn says, “You never mentioned Him to me: “You never mentioned Him to me; you helped me not the light to see. You met me day by day and knew I was astray, Yet never mentioned Him to me.” How many people do you see each and every day who could say this to you? I hate this song because it reminds me of all of the opportunities that I have allowed to pass and all of the time in the past in which I could have done more to get the Gospel out.
My hope and prayer for this series of studies is this: I am going to be the one who the Lord uses to lay on the horn behind you! We have the GREEN LIGHT. We have it right now. We have it each and every day. And we need to… we must… GO! My goal is to remind us of exactly what our mission as the Lord’s people is and to help us to follow the example of our earliest brethren; to evangelize like they did in the first century.
The things we will, Lord willing, be talking about over the next many lessons will be:
• What we are called to do.
• The Biblical pattern and definition of evangelism
• Today’s “evangelism” methods
• Removing the barriers to personal evangelism & dealing with our excuses
• How to start conversations and get to the gospel
• Apologetics and evangelism
WE HAVE THE GREEN LIGHT TO:
1. TEACH THE GOSPEL TO ALL
I would like to begin by looking at the parallel accounts of the Great Commission that Jesus gave before He ascended to Heaven. It is important for us to see exactly what Jesus is calling His people to in the Great Commission.
• "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:18-20)
• “And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned…” (Mark 16:15-16)