2007-12-09_The Need of Our Day_SL
The Needs of Our Day
Topic: Evangelism | Shaun LePage | December 9, 2007 (Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Topeka)
A. Pastor Hicks, Antioch MBC, My pleasure and honor to stand here; so enjoyed seminar last year, Praise Team in Oct—told them not to lead how we do, building still shaking a little on behalf of CBC thank you for this gesture of Christian love and unity (prayer?)—we are very happy to be with you today.
B. In some ways, we live in the best of times—comfort, technology, information; but as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission in our day and culture, these are difficult times—there are very great needs.
II. Body—4 Great Needs of Our Day in relation to Evangelism
A. Prayer for an impossible task
1. John 15:5—nothing eternal; we need God to intervene! Mt 19:26 “with God all things are possible; Only He can provide laborers (Mt 9:36-38—from compassion!), Col 4:3—opportunity, 2 Thess 3:1—spread of gospel; 1 Tim 2:1-4—save the lost
2. Andrew Murray said at World Missionary Conference in 1910, “We shall need three times more men, four times more money, and seven times more prayer.”
3. Before we talk to people about God, we must talk to God about people. All the time and money and sweat spent in evangelism training, organizing outreach events, studying latest methods of evangelism, going to conferences is wasted if we don’t pray.
4. Who will pray? Pray out of compassion for a lost and hell-bound world!
B. Clarity for a confused church—What is our “good news”?
1. Church of America confused: Much is weak: “You can wear jeans and have fun!”; Much is dangerous/false gospel: More than 1 highly visible preacher: “no literal hell”; another emerging movement wants to “rethink Christianity”—talk about “restoring relationship with God,” but stop talking about “salvation from God’s judgment”; others responding by adding requirements to the gospel; confusing and unclear! outreach event recently pastor’s “good news” was vague, “touch from God”—what was he inviting us to do?
2. Message for the world? Christ went to the cross for it; apostles martyred over it; Paul: Guard what has been entrusted to you! we must be clear: 1) “gospel” (good news) is broad, multi-level message—God offers peace, purpose, fulfillment, joy; good news is that we can know Him and put off sin and put on righteousness, etc. for believers; but for unbelievers (pre-believers/unsaved) “gospel” is simple: 1 Cor 15, Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead—Why? So that we could be “saved” from eternal separation from God and receive eternal life with God!; response required is to believe (trust; John 98X; KAT)—a free gift! (Rom 6:23; Eph 2:8-9); cannot have a relationship with God without first trusting Christ alone for salvation—only then peace, purpose, fulfillment, etc.; Death and resurrection of Christ removed barriers b/w Holy God, sinful men—good news!
3. Illus: Parachute make flight more comfortable? No! Save your life? Yes! Be clear!
C. Boldness for a hostile world
1. no longer post-Christian but anti-Christian; Golden Compass—first in trilogy anti-Christian, anti-God; author Philip Pullman 2003 interview “My books are about killing God”! can’t do church as usual; must be bold missionaries in a hostile world!
2. Peter at Pentecost (Ac 2) and Paul Acts 26:1-29
3. not lack of fear—letting boldness win over fear; You’re on a mission from God, sharing God’s message, with God’s authority! pray (Ac 4:29-31; 13) and be bold!
D. Unity for a damaged witness
1. perhaps greatest evangelistic tool? John 13:35— Love for one another!; many voices calling for unity, but what is it? Not sameness (husband/wife have unity, enjoy differences), but unity of purpose—primary purpose: Great Commission!
2. How do we get true, Biblical unity? Jn 17:15-23 (Set apart by truth—word; us v.20; “that they may all be one”; unity of mind, purpose like Trinity, why “oneness” that the world may “believe”)
3. Division among true believers (those set apart by the truth of God’s Word) is result of carnality (flesh; sin) acc. to 1 Cor;
4. 2 lists (1—different histories, cultures, amount of skin pigmentation; 2—common ancestors (Adam & Eve); Ken Ham (AIG) “we all have the same coloring pigment in our skin: melanin (I have little, T.D. has a lot)…different shades of one color”; common problem (sin) and common solution; common authority—gives us common standards of right and wrong for individuals, families, churches and societies; Eph 4: one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, common values: we value prayer, worship, Bible study, community, spiritual maturity, stewardship, servanthood; common message that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead; common future—soon raptured into presence of Christ, reign with Him after His Second Coming and enjoy His righteous rule forever; in the meantime—common mission: the Great Commission—to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded.
5. Brothers and sisters: We have opportunity to renew our witness! by this the world will know that we are followers of Jesus: by our love for one another! For the cause of Christ and the sake of a lost and dying world, let us be united in love one another that the damaged witness of the past may be swept away!
1. Will you pray that God will do impossible things in and through us?
2. Will you wipe out the confusion taking the clear and simple and free message of God’s grace to the world?
3. Will you be a bold missionary for a hostile world?
4. Will you be united in your love for one another and begin to repair a damaged witness?