William Stout / General
Biblical Christianity / Evangelism; Salvation
- Reaching the Lost
Matthew 9:37–38 NKJV
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
- There is an “urgency” in this command
- There is a passion in it
- Jesus was “moved with compassion” for them
- There is almost a desperation in the instruction
- imagine this, coming from Jesus Christ, Our Lord
- There is a sense that something will be lost, permanently lost, unless this is done
- Laborers are needed – Jesus says to pray for them
Do you Care?
- Please keep this question in your mind as we continue
- Jesus was “moved with compassion”
- what could “move” us?
- What could “move” us to be willing to labor for the harvest?
What is Evangelism?
1: the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ
2: militant or crusading zeal—evan•ge•lis•tic
1: to preach the gospel to
2: to convert to Christianity
- Winning people to Jesus Christ
- Saving the dead to life
- Ideas I would like us to consider today:
- The Necessity of Evangelism
- Methods of evangelism
- Who should evangelize
- When should we evangelize
- Where should we evangelize
The Necessity of Evangelism
- Jesus asked us to evangelize – pray for the harvest
- Jesus commanded us to evangelize in the great commission
Mark 16:15–16 NKJV
15 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.
- If we do not evangelize the lost will stay lost
- Those who die without Jesus, die in their sins
- Consider these three passages
Romans 10:13–15 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
James 5:20 NKJV
20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Ezekiel 33:6–9 NKJV
6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.
8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
- It is so necessary that we try to reach the lost for Jesus
- What could be more important?
- Or how could there be anything that is more important to us?
- This very cause for which Jesus Christ came into the world
- this very cause for which Jesus Christ endured the cross
- Now, He has sent us. Shall we not go?
John 20:21 NKJV
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
- How shall we not go?
- Consider the story of the Moravian missionaries –
- Or is it just a song to us now?
Daniel 12:3 NKJV
3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.
Methods of evangelism
- Christianity has become so much like a spectator sport that many people think that evangelism has to do with a pulpit and a professional preacher
- our hollywood mentality has us trained to think in terms of a star at the front who gets the attention and without whom the job just can’t get done
- evangelism should actually be a natural outflow from the heart of every converted Christian
- this is the picture that I see in the book of Acts
- As such, there are many ways or methods to evangelize, just as there are many personalities in Christendom
- Here are a few broad methods of evangelism
- Confrontational (direct)
- Intellectual (apologetics, debate)
- Testimonial (personal stories of God’s power)
- Relational (interpersonal)
- Invitational (events, etc.)
- This is the style you often see Paul using
- places like Mars Hill and Lystra
- Peter at Pentecost and at the temple
- John the Baptist
- Jesus in many places
- with he Pharisees, with those who didn’t repent, numerous others
- Some people seem to be specially gifted in this approach
- Often called “confrontational” this does not have to be negative
- Although some people are very uncomfortable in this method, others cannot seem to do it any other way –
- (Moody example)
- Be who you are!
- Some people are more gifted in reasoning
- appeal from apologetics, science, knowledge and debate
- this can also be seen with Paul at Mars Hill
- This method is an important way of reaching some people
Acts 17:1–3 NKJV
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
- we often see Paul “reasoning” with people
- Intellectual approach is helpful to reach people from their point of understanding to help change their belief concerning what they think they know
- Sharing personal stories of God’s power to transform lives
- Just about everyone can use this approach
- We all have a testimony (if indeed we are saved)
- A person with a testimony is never at the mercy of a person with an argument
- consider the man born blind:
John 9:24–25 NKJV
24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”
25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
- The woman at the well is another example of this approach
- Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood were seeking Jesus because they had heard someone else’s testimony
- Inviting people to church, Life group and other events
- Phillip said to Nathaniel “come and see”
- Doing good is an excellent way to open people’s hearts to be willing to receive the gospel
- All of the miracles have this end as their purpose
- examples include: —
- When people receive an act of kindness, especially one they know they did not deserve, they are often more willing to listen to what you have to say
- Jesus mentioned these works of service in Mat. 25 concerning His return
- He also mentioned them as being a reason the people should have repented
Matthew 11:23–24 NKJV
23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”
Methods have a Purpose
- In order for any of these “methods” to be “evangelism” there must be purpose, intent, and execution.
- Just because a Christian invites people to his house does not mean he is evangelizing
- Just because you do a good deed for someone does not mean you were evangelizing
- consider the man healed by Peter and John – and what it cost them
- or the man healed by Paul at Lystra – and what it cost him
- in both cases they could have simply ben silent after the miracle and there would have been no problem
- A hammer is one method of driving a nail, butt hat does not mean that swinging a hammer automatically drives a nail. In fact, unless it is swung correctly it can hit many things that are not a nail, and perhaps even do damage.
Evangelism should be intentional
- and finally, our last two points:
- When Should we evangelize?
- Where should we evangelize?
- The answer to these points couldn’t be simpler
- Everywhere you go
- Every chance you get
- If not why not?
2 Timothy 4:1–5 AMP
1 I CHARGE [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom:
2 Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.
3 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,
4 And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.
5 As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.
Will you go into the harvest for Jesus with me?