2009-11-13 - M's of Evangelism
Note: This begins another series based on an old message from a few years ago. Hope you enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed writing them up from notes.
It's jokingly said that the average man's idea of a good sermon is one that goes over his head and hits his neighbor. By that standard I don't want to deliver a good sermon. If I do I have failed God and wasted all of our time. I want to speak in the spirit with my mouth from my heart and hit you between the eyes. If I speak a little long please forgive me, God called me as a Sunday School teacher first and then as a preacher so I'm used to having an hour not 20 minutes. Anyway today I want to talk about evangelism. Evangelism is the spreading of the Gospel. The word gospel comes from Anglo-Saxon "Godspell" meaning God's spell or God's story. So evangelism is the telling or sharing of God's story. Today I want to speak on the M's of Evangelism
This passage of scripture is one of 4 known as the Great Commission. If you'd like to read the other 3, they can be found in Luke 24:46-49, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:7,8. Skipping the first few words, the first thing I want to look at is...
The Merciful maker
...and [Jesus] spake unto them, saying,.
Jesus is our maker. In this passage, Jesus is the speaker. He is the author and finisher of our faith according to Hebrews 12:2. ("Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;") Without him there would be no Gospel, without him there would be no faith. All things were created through him but thankfully he loves us and has mercy on us.
The Master's might
...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
We see here that Jesus is all-powerful. He has it all and is willing to give the power to us, as we need it. What as shame that the old battle cry, "win the lost ant any cost", has become "win the lost unless it costs". Why? Because we have forgotten the power of God. And what incredible power it is. It is the power to remove obstacles or to move mountains, the power to convict and to move men's souls, and the power to compel and to move men's hands and mouths.
Beyond that, it is the power of restoration. John 1:12 says "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name". It is promised power. According to Acts 1:8a, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." And lastly it is heavenly power. As Luke records the words of Christ in his gospel, "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49)
I took a course on evangelism a few months back - the final exam worried all of us. We had to go out and knock on doors. It was scary but Jesus said in John 16:33b "be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." If He overcame the worst the world could do, He can overcome my fears. And He did with all of us in that course, many lead souls to Christ that night. He also has the power to take the most botched words coming out of one mouth and bless them as someone else hears them.
Philips Brooks in Lectures on Preaching wrote:
There is a power which lies at the center of all success in preaching, and whose influence reaches out to the circumference, and is essential everywhere. Without its presence we cannot imagine the most brilliant talents making a preacher of the Gospel. [but] where it is. present, it is wonderful how many deficiencies count for nothing. The power is the value of the human soul, felt by the preacher and inspiring all his work.
Adding to that a man named Bill Bright said, "Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy spirit, then leaving the results to God."
to be continued...
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted