Bible Text: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. ” Proverbs 11:30
Sunday Service: 05/20/2018
Topic: Evangelism is a process
Scriptures: Mark 4:26-32; Luke 4:18; Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 6:7-12; Mark 16:15-16; Romans 10:14
Evangelism is about cooperating with the Holy Spirit in someone’s journey toward accepting Jesus as their lord and savior.
Evangelism is a Process while Conversion is an Experience.
Jesus talked about a woman in labor in John 16:21
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
In other words, the reward of having a new baby is worth the pain. The same is true of evangelism. Like physical birth, spiritual birth is not without its risks or the pain due to resistance. Some pain and disappointment might be involved.
The early church saw it as their Job (1 Corinthians 9:16; Act 5:42, Act 8:4). We also need to accept evangelism as a duty and obligation (Act 4:20, Mark 16:15)
Paul saw evangelism as a debt that must be paid
1 Corinthians 9:16, For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
Proverbs 11:30, The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
Adam and Eve sinned against God (Genesis 3). Every Human inherits that sinful nature. David understood that default state very well when he wrote in Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
The propensity to commit sin comes naturally to us; since Adam. That sinful nature translates automatically to being spiritually dead.
God – Our Creator, the Author of Life planned our Redemption because He loves us.
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Sharing all that with a stranger is daunting. It creates fear, anxiety or even high blood pressure for some people. Why?
There’s something the Farmer understands that we too need to understand because it’s relevant to Evangelism. Farming is a process which requires considerable time and energy/skills invested in cultivating the Soil, planting the seed before reaping the Harvest.
In the same way, EVANGELISM AS A PROCESS.
Understanding that relieves some of the pressure & guilt. However, if you do not witness verbally to everyone, you are still responsible for building meaningful bridges for the Unbeliever to find Jesus.
There’s no predicting how long a person’s conversion could take. Perhaps six minutes, six months, six years, or six decades? We never know how long the process will take, but it’s worth the wait and the weight of preparation and effort we put into it. Will you always get instant results? No.
The entire process is propelled by Love. God who planned and successfully executed and still maintains Redemption through Christ Jesus, His Son is motivated by nothing else but Love. Therefore, Love must be our motivation too.
1. Evangelism is about LOVING GOD the way He wants to be Loved.
John 14:15: If ye love me, keep my commandment
Mark 16: 15, And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
If we love God, Evangelism would be a lifestyle in loving obedience to His command.
2. Evangelism is the height of loving our Neighbor as ourselves. A direct quote from Jesus unequivocally makes this clear.
Luke 10: 27, So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”
Again – this is a COMMAND from Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
Romans 5:5 reveals that God has already given us the fundamental capacity to Love once we got saved and the Holy Spirit started living in us.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
God loves people more than anything and if God loves people we must follow that example. That’s why God gave us the ability to Love, so no Believer can claim that they cannot love i.e. they cannot evangelize.
Besides, loving others confirms our own conversion from death to Life.
1 John 3:14;16, We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [a]his brother abides in death.
3. We must PREPARE for evangelism:
Only God can change the heart of people
3.1. We must pray for God to give us a heart of compassion.
3.2. Pray for spirit of boldness. 2 Timothy 1:7, Proverbs 29:25
3.3. Pray for guidance as to whom to approach and when to approach them.
3.4. Pray for what to say and how to be relevant to their peculiarities.
3.5. Pray for the people you are going to minister/talk to. Pray for their souls to be SAVED!!!
4. Don’t be Afraid. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. The biggest mistake is INACTION – to say nothing. You may think you have made a mistake but God would use it as a miracle-producing opportunity. He blesses your obedience. He is in total control of the outcome because ONLY JESUS CAN SAVE.
John 12: 32, And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
5. All we need is to LIFT UP JESUS. No need to talk about hell, or anything else.
6. We MUST RELY ON THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Luke 12: 11-12, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Holy Spirit is our EVER-PRESENT HELP. Let’s use His help. Outside His help there’s only frustration.
7. Our lives should reflect the Redemption message.
a. Don’t be discouraged about excuses.
b. Don’t be discouraged about what they call you, how they mock you.
c. Avoid being drawn into arguments. The side-tracking spirit in some unbelievers would attempt to do that. Don’t fall for that trap.
d. Do not attract undue attention to yourself and your experience. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Be an ACTIVE LISTENER too. The Holy Spirit’s clues to and cues for effective evangelism may be included in what the unbelievers say – without their knowledge.
e. Dress with the broadest appeal in mind.
f. When opportunities arise, don’t back-out of sharing how Christ has worked in your life and what He’s willing to do in theirs.
g. Resist feeling inadequate. Moses the “Stammerer” ended up being a Bi-Testament Leader who joined Jesus in the New Testament when Jesus was momentarily transfigured before the disciples.
Exodus 4:10, Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Matthew 17: 2-4, Jesus’ appearance changed in front of them. His face became as bright as the sun and his clothes as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them and were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you want, I’ll put up three tents here—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
EVANGELISM IN ACTION:
A. The Parable of Lost Sheep, Luke 15:1-7.
B. Jesus sent out the twelve for Evangelism 2 by 2 ➔ Mark 6:7-12; Matthew 10:1; Matthew 10:5-16.
C. Charles Stanley’s Handbook for Christian Living (1996) illustrates how evangelism works in the story about Believer Brian. took a job at a large corporation. From the beginning, his goal was to reach his work associates for Christ. Brian wanted to move slowly and wisely, so he began praying for each of them by name. One afternoon, Phil who worked next to Brian mentioned the desire to get to know his neighbors better without becoming a nuisance. Brian explained that the Bible talked about irritating those who live near us if we spend too much time with them. His coworker was amazed. Brian went on to show him Proverbs 25:17 and other relevant passages. At that point, Phil was open to receiving some recorded sermons. Phil listened to the messages and was hungry for more. This was the first time he had ever seen any connection between the Bible and real-life. He began to realize that “becoming a Christian” meant having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just six months after that conversation about neighbors, Phil trusted Christ as his Savior.