4 27-38 Evangelism Changes Things
liberty bible church 2/17/08 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“evangelism changes things”
Illus. of major life changes that I have gone through. The first one was when my dad passed away. The second was when I got my driver’s license. Then the next was when I joined the Air Force. Another was when I got married. Another was when I became a father. Another was when I went away to Bible college. Although each of these had profound impacts on my life, none brought a greater change than when I trusted in Christ for salvation and experienced the new birth, as described by Jesus in John 3 in His conversation with Nicodemus. As the Apostle Paul said, I became a new creature, the old things were passed away, all things had become new. Because Cindi had the courage to share the Gospel with me, my life would never be the same again. Someone once said that prayer changes things. I am not disputing that because prayer impacts evangelism a great deal; but, evangelism carries with it the power to change people into new creatures. As believers, we have that message. If we believe that and have experienced it, why aren’t more of us involved in evangelism?
Prop. In this passage today, we see what positive changes result from evangelism and hopefully will be emboldened to be involved more in sharing the Gospel.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. The last few weeks, we have talked about evangelism. We talked about overcoming the fear of evangelism, we talked about a plan for evangelism, today we want to talk about the changes that are possible through evangelism, and next week we will examine a few methods of evangelism. REVIEW Jesus is speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well in Samaria. Although this would have been a cultural faux pas, He persists nonetheless, building a bridge spiritually to this woman, confronting her sin, and finally revealing to her that He indeed was the Messiah. This conversation would result in a lot of changes. Any time sin is confronted with the Gospel, change is possible. It certainly was here in John 4 and it still can be today. What changes are possible? First…
i. evangelism changes people vs. 27-30
Illus. of the testimonies we heard Sunday night at the baptism. The obvious “people” changes are to the ones evangelized, if they get saved. But others can be changed as well. Who?
a. the people who watch us
Illus. of John Burnham wanting to have “fish stories” to tell his kids. He wanted them to know that their dad wanted to share Christ with others. If he wanted them to tell others about Christ, he had to do the same. It’s the same for us. When we evangelize, it affects others around us, both good and bad.
V 27a 1. The disciples had been in town looking for food. V 8 It was dinner time; Jesus was hungry and thirsty, as were they all I’m sure. They were in “foreign” territory, not where “good Jews” were used to being. They return and they see Jesus alone at this well speaking with a Samaritan woman. They “marveled” that He would be speaking with any woman, let alone a Samaritan woman. Yet…
V 27b 2. It was one of those uncomfortable situations that they did not want to broach at this time. Yet, soon they would be forced to deal with this issue. They were learning for future ministry needs that they would have. They may not realize it now, but they were going to be changed by this.
b. the people who hear us
V 28a 1. All of a sudden, her mundane task of gathering water was not so important any more. At the excitement of Jesus statement about Himself and with the return of the disciples, she hurried back to town and left her water pot. Her priorities changed.
V 28b- 2. She shares with the men of the city how Jesus had shared with her that He knew all about her. V 16-18 She
29a was excited. She wanted to share this good news about this man. Perhaps some of these men had been her former husbands and perhaps they wondered if He knew all about them as well. Then she asks this question…
V 29b 3. Literally, this is “This couldn’t be the Messiah, could it?” Once again, grammatically, this question expects a tentative negative answer. She was an unbelievable witness, with such a seedy background. But, she wanted to stimulate their curiosity so they would seek Him out. In a way, she was building abridge to the others in her community.
V 30 4. The affects Jesus had on this woman has now spread to others as they are now seeking this man out as well. When one person is radically changed by the Gospel, others are bound to follow.
Trans. EVANGELISM CHANGES PEOPLE, those with whom we talk and those that watch us. But, it also changes the evangelist because…
ii. evangelism changes your passions vs. 31-34
Illus. of D.L. Moody. The more we evangelize, the more we will see people as God sees them…needing Christ. We must begin to think outside of the physical realm. The disciples needed to learn this lesson. We naturally have a…
a. passion for the material
V 31 1. The disciples goal was to get supper for the Savior. When they left Him, He was tired and thirsty. V 6-7 Since the disciples had gone for food, we can only assume that He was hungry as well. But now, something was different.
V 32- 2. Has someone else fed Him? How could He not be hungry anymore? Where did He get this food? Is He holding
33 out on us? The disciples were stuck in the material world. They could think of only satisfying physical needs. They needed to learn that there was something more to life than the material. They needed to develop…
b. a passion for the spiritual
V 34 1. Jesus clarifies His statement. Even though as a man, Jesus needed physical food, His priority was in the spiritual realm. He had spiritual passions that needed to be fulfilled. His greatest desire was to do the will of the Father and to please Him. Cf. John 5:30; 6:38; 8:29
2. He knows that man does not live by bread alone. Cf. Deut. 8:3 in bulletin. His priority was to do the work that God had given Him to do. Cf. John 17:4 The spiritual needs around Him took precedent over the physical. Jesus had a passion for the spiritual. In this case, His sharing with these people changed His desire from needing to receive physical food to needing to give spiritual food.
Trans. EVANGELISM CHANGES PEOPLE and EVANGELISM CHANGES OUR PASSIONS. We realize that the physical is not as important as the spiritual. Finally, here at least…
iii. evangelism changes your purpose vs. 35-38
Illus. of “Second Guessing God” God puts us all here to accomplish His will. In general, that is making disciples. For that to be done, we are all to be doing the work of an evangelist. When we can have that focus, we have a different purpose than just fulfilling our own desires.
A. we can all be reapers
V 35a 1. All farmers have a time of waiting while their crop matures. They are busy planting and then comes the time to reap. In the spiritual realm, reaping can take place without sowing or right after the sowing. It is different. Now is the time to expect a crop!
V 35b 2. Jesus was teaching the disciples to have a spiritual view of the world. It is very possible that as the people streamed out to see Him, they may have appeared as a wheat field that was white and ready for harvest. These people were spiritually hungry and ready for the Truth. But, the disciples had to have the proper vision and purpose for their life.
V 36a 3. The harvest of souls has eternal benefits, not just food for a season. It is very rewarding and a great privilege to share the Gospel with someone and see them trust in Christ for their salvation. Illus. of Natalie asking me what it was like to baptize someone. It’s even better to see someone get saved.
V 36b 4. Harvest time was a time of great celebration. Only a farmer knows that feeling. City folk just know the joy of having a house full of groceries on pay day. There is also great joy in the day of salvation, as we read in our Scripture reading. Everyone rejoices.
5. Most of the time on the farm, the sower and the reaper are the same. But that is not true spiritually. We can all be reapers, but sometimes…
b. we may be sowers
V 37 1. Cf. 1 Cor. 3:5-9 This is not always easy. Sowing sees no immediate benefits. Sowers, in evangelism, may be rejected, made fun of, perhaps even persecuted. I.e. Stephen in Acts 7.
V 38 2. The disciples, for the most part, would be reapers. The O.T. prophets and John the Baptist had paved the way, but were never able to reap the souls. The disciples saw thousands saved on the Day of Pentecost alone. They were reapers.
3. Understanding this changes our purpose in life. We pursue relationships for the purpose of sowing the seeds of the Gospel and reaping when God gives us opportunity. It is His responsibility to draw people to Himself. It is ours to plant the seeds as evangelists.
EVANGELISM CHANGES PEOPLE, EVANGELISM CHANGES OUR PASSIONS, and EVANGELISM CHANGES OUR PURPOSE. The Gospel has been changing the world for 2,000 years. It still can and we are its voices. Every one of us can do our part. But, most Christians don’t. Why?
1. It’s possible that they don’t really believe the GOSPEL. They talk about Jesus but don’t really believe in eternal separation from God.
2. It’s possible they are mature enough to have an eternal vision of people. They need to develop a mind that thinks of the possibilities. Illus. of Pastor Mike having us write some names on paper of who we would like to see come to Christ. Many of them did. But we had to think of our relationship in that vein.
3. They may be afraid of what they may encounter. Fear of the unknown is worse than reality.
4. They may not be confident of what needs to be shared. We’ll talk about specific methods next week.
Illus. of “Making Something” Someone once said that we are all manufacturers. Some make good, others make trouble, and still others make excuses.
If evangelism is going to affect the changes that God designed it to do, then we cannot be excuse-makers. We all have the ability to plant seeds of hope and sometimes reap souls when God allows. Ask God to give you the chance and watch Him bring the changes. Then we can al rejoice together.
“evangelism changes things”
Someone once said that ___________________ changes things. Evangelism carries with it the power to…
i. evangelism changes vs. 27-30
a. the people who…
b. the people who…
ii. evangelism changes your vs. 31-34
a. passion for the ______________________
b. a passion for the _____________________
Cf. John 5:30; 6:38; 8:29; Deut. 8:3; John 17:4
iii. evangelism changes your vs. 35-38
a. we can all be ___________________________
b. we may be _______________________
Cf. 1 Cor. 3:5-9
Every one of us can do our part. But, most Christians don’t. Why?