Share the Gospel - our call to evangelism
This is our third and final message in our purpose series… We have so far talked about our primary focus being to Glorify God. Thats the most important thing. That is why we do anything. Everything we do here will filter through that desire. Then last week, we discussed a need to be equipped. That it is the responsibility of the church to give you the tools and training that you need. We looked at how that equipping effect us, makes us stronger, bolder, and better prepared to face the world around us.. today we are digging into the fact that we are called, as the church - directed by Jesus - to share the gospel. We find that directive in what we typically call the Great commission. These were some of Jesus’s last words on earth to his people
The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
So today we are talking about evangelism. We are called to be evangelists. Many of you are probably sitting here thinking, “yeah - obviously”We have known our whole lives as believers that this is something that we are called to. This is who we are supposed to be - but how do we do it? That is what we are going to dive into today, and God willing really focus on in the year ahead.
The Word - with words.
The Word - with words.
n 2009, Dr. Robert Wang began meditating on the idea of building a smart multicooker, marrying his love for cuisine and computer algorithms. Along with two friends and no outside investment, the trio announced their creation in 2010: a remarkable new device that combined pressure cooking and slow cooking with the versatility of the rice cookers of their childhood: the Instant Pot.
By 2012, the Instant Pot Lux was the most advanced pressure cooker available on the market. It quickly became the best-seller in its category on Amazon, with more than 215,000 units sold during the 2016 Black Friday sale. A flood of media attention ensued, from sprawling editorials in The New Yorker and Los Angeles Times, to heartfelt plugs on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. This is taken directly from the About page of the Instant pot website.
So this device has been around for 11 years. It is a programmable pressure cooker. That people loved. And they loved it so much that they can’t stop talking about it. Because, this gadget is pretty cool. One of our favorite things to make in our house is a dish called Chicken Bog. The whole thing is just chicken, sausage, rice, and seasoning. But it is delicious. The original recipe, you cooked your chicken and sausage together in a slow cooker for 6 hours, then you added your rice and that cooked another few hours. The instant pot gets all that done in about an hour or less. So we talk about it.
Now 11 years later, the instant pot has books - forums - websites… all dedicated to a pressure cooker. because people talked about it. They had questions, doubts, concerns, wanted help and direction.. and the people that had experienced it already - wanted to share.
we liked it so much that one time we had some extra money, and we bought one for some friends. We shared it.
The instant pot company grew, from word of mouth - which turned into media attention, and it changed the world. The inventor is now worth over 3 Billion dollars.
Now think about the gospel. The Gospel itself is this - We were born sinners - the good news is what God has done to restore us.
The message has existed for our entire lives - and yet, there are people who don’t understand it, there are people who have questions about it, there are people who don’t know why it matters, there are people who have never heard it before.
Part of the reason for that is that for a long time now, the church took this position that they didn’t want to preach to anyone. They wanted people to see them and see a difference in them and come up and ask about it.
Christians who loved Jesus, hoped that inviting someone to church would be enough to share the gospel.
People who had salvation themselves were banking on that one short conversation at work that one time being enough.
Church members, entire congregations - have wanted to get by - by hiring a charismatic pastor or hosting events.
It doesn’t work that way. The bible never describes it that way. Jesus never gave us that direction.
In Romans chapters 9 and 10, Paul is discussing the reality that many of the nation of Israel had rejected Christ, and that salvation was in fact available to the gentiles. With in that discussion, he tells us what we have to do to be saved, and then tells us how that information is to get out.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
If you remember last week.. I explained to you that Jesus gave the offices of the church with the purpose that they would equip the saints. That is my job. Here though, when it talks about preaching and sharing the gospel - he’s talking to you!
We have to share the Word of God, with words from our mouths.
Prepared, practiced, and bold.
Prepared, practiced, and bold.
15 years ago or so, Pastor Dan suggested that we needed to be prepared to share the gospel in 30 seconds or less, and at the same time - ready to share the gospel in 5 or 10 minutes. The reality is that each interaction with people is going to be a little bit different. Some of our interactions, hey - you only got thirty seconds. Proclaim the gospel. Preach the gospel. Do it in whatever time that you have.
As believers, we have to take the opportunities that we are given, and go - with the boldness given by the Holy Spirit. There is temptation to skip those opportunities. Because it is awkward.. it is weird… hey nice hat, do you know where you will be in eternity? The most important thing, is that we have the conversation.
So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me his prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.
And, I gather from scripture that we shouldn’t be so concerned about what we might say. Though it is our responsibility to initiate the conversation - it seems like the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.
Whenever they bring you before synagogues and rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you should defend yourselves or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said.”
There are far more opportunities to share the gospel than there are to shelter homeless people. Because heres the deal. Unbelievers, need to hear the gospel.. People who know the Lord and serve him, need to hear the gospel. You and I need to hear the gospel.
The gospel is our response to the all of the things that ail the world around us. Because more than they need a belly full of food the need an eternity full of Jesus.
The gospel is also our response to the things that ail our own lives. Hello! Sometimes, we need to take time and preach to ourselves. Remind ourselves of the scriptures. Remind ourselves of the hope that we have. Remind ourselves of the peace that is offered. Remind ourselves how good God is. Because HE IS GOOD.
You see the Psalmist do this in the chapter 42..
Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.
So as we look forward, into this new year,
As believers we would call ourselves disciples of Jesus. And here, Jesus is telling us to go out and make copies of ourselves. Go and teach people to love Jesus the way that you do. Go and teach people to rely on God the way that you do. To develop the relationship that you have.
So as a church, we are going to do some things together to really get into our community and do this. We are going to get into the world around us, and share Jesus. And it is going to be weird. It is going to be awkward. It is going to be uncomfortable. And it is going to be incredible. In Romans 10 it says how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel.