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Astonishing Evangelism

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10,000 Sermon Illustrations Evangelism Defined

Evangelism Defined

How then should evangelism be defined? The N. T. answer is very simple. According to the N. T., evangelism is just preaching the gospel, the evangel. Evangelizing, therefore is not simply a matter of teaching, and instructing, and imparting information to the mind. There is more to it than that. Evangelism includes the endeavor to elicit a response to the truth taught. It is communication with a view to conversion. It is a matter, not merely of informing, but also of inviting.

J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, pp. 41, 50

1001 Illustrations that Connect Illustration 100: “I Gots Cookies”

“I GOTS COOKIES”

Topics: Boldness; Evangelism; Witnessing

Reference: Matthew 28:18–20

Our two older children, ages seven and nine, seemed to attract every child in our neighborhood for after-school games of hide-and-seek. Our youngest, Carrie, was not quite three and—in the minds of her older siblings—always in the way. Ten minutes into a game, our little one would get pushed aside or skin a knee.

One afternoon, Carrie came through the front door, again in tears. My wife, Elizabeth, tried to comfort her by giving her two freshly baked cookies. “Now don’t tell the big kids yet,” she cautioned. “I haven’t got enough for everybody yet.”

It took less than three seconds for Carrie to make it to the screen door, fling it wide, and announce to the big kids, “Cookies, I gots cookies!”

Great news should be shared with enthusiasm.

—Russell Brownworth, Thomasville, North Carolina

10,000 Sermon Illustrations Evangelism Defined

Evangelism Defined

How then should evangelism be defined? The N. T. answer is very simple. According to the N. T., evangelism is just preaching the gospel, the evangel. Evangelizing, therefore is not simply a matter of teaching, and instructing, and imparting information to the mind. There is more to it than that. Evangelism includes the endeavor to elicit a response to the truth taught. It is communication with a view to conversion. It is a matter, not merely of informing, but also of inviting.

J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, pp. 41, 50

10,000 Sermon Illustrations Evangelism Defined

Evangelism Defined

How then should evangelism be defined? The N. T. answer is very simple. According to the N. T., evangelism is just preaching the gospel, the evangel. Evangelizing, therefore is not simply a matter of teaching, and instructing, and imparting information to the mind. There is more to it than that. Evangelism includes the endeavor to elicit a response to the truth taught. It is communication with a view to conversion. It is a matter, not merely of informing, but also of inviting.

J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, pp. 41, 50

1001 Illustrations that Connect Illustration 100: “I Gots Cookies”

“I GOTS COOKIES”

Topics: Boldness; Evangelism; Witnessing

Reference: Matthew 28:18–20

Our two older children, ages seven and nine, seemed to attract every child in our neighborhood for after-school games of hide-and-seek. Our youngest, Carrie, was not quite three and—in the minds of her older siblings—always in the way. Ten minutes into a game, our little one would get pushed aside or skin a knee.

One afternoon, Carrie came through the front door, again in tears. My wife, Elizabeth, tried to comfort her by giving her two freshly baked cookies. “Now don’t tell the big kids yet,” she cautioned. “I haven’t got enough for everybody yet.”

It took less than three seconds for Carrie to make it to the screen door, fling it wide, and announce to the big kids, “Cookies, I gots cookies!”

Great news should be shared with enthusiasm.

—Russell Brownworth, Thomasville, North Carolina

“I Gots Cookies”
Topics: Boldness; Evangelism; Witnessing
Reference: Matthew 28:18–20

(1) There is no astonishment without understanding the chasm (v. 4 - 9)

Our two older children, ages seven and nine, seemed to attract every child in our neighborhood for after-school games of hide-and-seek. Our youngest, Carrie, was not quite three and—in the minds of her older siblings—always in the way. Ten minutes into a game, our little one would get pushed aside or skin a knee.

(1) There is no astonishment without understanding the chasm (v. 4 - 9)

One afternoon, Carrie came through the front door, again in tears. My wife, Elizabeth, tried to comfort her by giving her two freshly baked cookies. “Now don’t tell the big kids yet,” she cautioned. “I haven’t got enough for everybody yet.”
It took less than three seconds for Carrie to make it to the screen door, fling it wide, and announce to the big kids, “Cookies, I gots cookies!”
Great news should be shared with enthusiasm.
—Russell Brownworth, Thomasville, North Carolina
Larson, C. B., & Ten Elshof, P. (2008). 1001 illustrations that connect (p. 67). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.(1) There is no astonishment without understanding the chasm (v. 4 - 9)
(1) There is no astonishment without understanding the chasm (v. 4 - 9)
Though their name is similar to the city of Samaria, the Samaritans took their name from the phrase “keeper of the law” (שמרים, shmrym).
Maiers, B. (2016). Samaritans. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Sirach (late third century) records the earliest evidence for Jewish hostility toward the Samaritans, stating that “the foolish people who live in Shechem are “not even a people” ()
Maiers, B. (2016). Samaritans. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
The Samaritans initially supported Alexander the Great’s military campaign. However, while Alexander was in Egypt, they revolted and killed their Greek governor. Alexander answered by destroying Samaria with the help of the Judaeans. Many of the surviving Samaritans fled to Shechem, which has been the Samaritan holy site ever since.
Maiers, B. (2016). Samaritans. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
A primary difference between Samaritans and Jews is that they believed that Yahweh should be worshiped in Shechem rather than Jerusalem. Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John highlights this difference (). The Samaritans’ preference for Mount Gerizim was related to the primacy of the Pentateuch. They contended that Mount Gerizim was sacred because it was the site where the patriarchs made sacrifices, and where the Israelites made the first sacrifice upon arriving in Canaan. The Samaritan Pentateuch declared that God’s people should worship Him in Shechem, thereby making the worship in Jerusalem illegitimate (Purvis, “Samaritans and Judaism,” 89).
Maiers, B. (2016). Samaritans. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
We must approach lost people!

Application: We must approach lost people!

(2) The chasm is surprisingly bigger than initially thought (v. 10 - 14)

Jesus initiated the conversation and turned the conversation intentionally to what mattered most.

Application: We must approach lost people intentionally [with specific intentions]!

We must approach lost people intentionally [with specific intentions]!
Here are three simple ideas for approaching people to witness. Explore, Stimulate, Share [Reid, Alvin. Evangelism Handbook (p. 257). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition]
(a) Explore: Get to know the other person. Ask questions, listen, and be alert. (Questions can help you transition to speak about the gospel)
Reid, Alvin. Evangelism Handbook (p. 259). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
(b) Stimulate: Raise their interest. Simple questions are effective:
If you ever want to talk about the difference between religion and Christianity, let me know.
When you attend church, where do you attend?
Reid, Alvin. Evangelism Handbook (pp. 257-258). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Have you thought more lately about spiritual things?
Would you say you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, or are you still in the process? This question has been very effective!
In your opinion, what is a real Christian?
What do you think of ______? (God, Jesus, the Bible)
Who do you think Jesus Christ was?
We’ve been friends for a while. Could I share with you a very important part of my life?
(c) Personal Testimony

(3) The astonishment comes when Jesus Christ ALONE bridges the chasm (v. 15 - 27)

Note how Christ bridges the gap:
What common string is evident in the broader context?
What common string is evident in the broader context?
, , Christ is continuing to increase in influence
ties the import of the Spirit upon Christ with
John 3:28, 30, 4:1 Christ is continuing to increase in influence John 3:34 ties the import of the Spirit upon Christ with John 4 - worship in Spirit and in truth - CHRIST, IS ANOINTED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD, TO BRING THIS SPIRIT TO MEN/WOMEN SO THAT THEY COULD WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. The will of the Father is another constant theme - John 5:30 The thirst and hunger of Jesus [and our work too] is wonderfully astonishing!
- worship in Spirit and in truth
CHRIST, IS ANOINTED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD, TO BRING THIS SPIRIT TO MEN/WOMEN SO THAT THEY COULD WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.
The will of the Father is another constant theme - , , , , , ,
The thirst and hunger of Jesus [and our work too] is wonderfully astonishing!
The work of evangelism is the work of leading people to exercise faith in the sufficiency of Christ, thereby leading people to genuine, God-required, spiritual worship.

(4) The result of this chasm bridged is worship irrespective of location (v. 28 - 30)

The work of evangelism is the work of leading people to exercise faith in the sufficiency of Christ, thereby leading people to genuine, God-required, spiritual worship.

(5). The challenge of the disciples is to allow this astonishment to cause urgency about the will of the Father (v. 31 - 42)

This work requires laborers who are continually exercising this kind of initial faith. (see disciples upon their return)
The disciples, having been astonished by the temporal, still did not get the point. Christ’s message to them shows to us what he expected the disciples to sense:
(a) Christ wanted them to see the urgency of seeing people receive everlasting life (v. 34)
(b) Christ wanted them to stop delaying and be urgent about the harvest (v. 35)
(c) Christ wanted them to see their joy/reward for the labors of another (v. 36 - 38)
It is true that believers get to enjoy the fruit of Christ’s perfect and complete labor.
The real challenge for us to be continually astonished at the work of Christ; to see what He has done; and to allow that to make us urgent about reaping the reward of the labor he has performed.
This work requires laborers who are continually exercising this kind of initial faith. (see disciples upon their return)
1001 Illustrations that Connect Illustration 105: Catching the Fire

CATCHING THE FIRE

Topics: Abundant Life; Evangelism; Fellowship with God; Joy; Knowing God; New Life

References: Matthew 5:13–16; John 10:10; Titus 2:9–10; 1 Peter 3:15

Evangelism is not what we tell people, unless what we tell is totally consistent with who we are. It is who we are that is going to make the difference.

If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch the fire of enjoyment from us. If our lives are not totally centered on Christ, we will not be Christ-bearers for others, no matter how pious our words.

—Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Yearling, 1980)

Questions:
(1) Would you say that you know lost people?
(2) Has your approach been intentional?
(3) Are you regularly astonished at the work of Christ?
(4) Is there urgency about the work of reaping?
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