POINT: LEARN TO OBTAIN AND MAINTAIN THIS NEW MINDSET
READING: II Kings 7:3-14
INTRO: There are certain qualities that define each community. Some of those qualities are so engrained into our culture that we practice them automatically. Nevertheless, sometimes well-engrained things can begin to wane and, once lost, are difficult to recover. Evangelism is one such quality that can flow naturally and without effort, once established. Yet, there must be elements in place to allow evangelism to thrive within a community.
Here are some important components to help make it part of our culture:
I) KNOW AND BELIEVE WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT IT
A) The Great Commission Is The Acorn Of Our Faith
1) It dictates: going, being, speaking, making disciples and teaching
2) It is housed in love, compassion and insight(Jesus was not unkind and narrow minded in Mark 2:5)
3) It is the ONLY means of spiritual reproduction:
(a) Does not demand church going. That’s not enough.
(b) Does require people to give their lives to Jesus Christ.
B) Some Of The Wealth Of Verses Are Familiar:
1) Matthew 28: 18-20
2) Mark 16:15,16
C) Become Convinced That Spiritual Needs Are More Important Than All Other Needs Or You Will Feel Like A Party Spoiler.
II) RECOGIZE THAT PRAYER IS THE STARTING PLACE IN SHARING JESUS
A) Jesus Saw Some People As “sheep without a shepherd,” and said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.” Matt. 9:36-38
B) An Effective Evangelistic Ministry Is Characterized By Faithful and Expectant Prayer. People Whose Hearts Are Hardened To The Gospel Need God’s Softening Before His Words Will Penetrate.
1) So, we should pray for unbelieving friends.
2) Also pray for that God will mobilize us to take action.
C) When This Happens Here:
1) We will have meetings of those interested in soul winning.
2) Our prayers will be for each team member and his/her needs.
3) We will pray “without ceasing.”
III) BE AWARE THAT THE TESTIMONY OF A GODLY LIFE IS ABOVE ARGUMENT
A) Godly Living Includes: dress, actions, thoughts, fidelity, dependability, loving enemies, forgiving and turning the cheek.
B) Revisiting The Scene Of I Peter 3
1) We see this Christ-following lady:
(a) In subjection to her non-believing husband.
(b) Her respectful behaviour and pure conduct.
(c) Her radiant beauty shining from inside.
2) Her life is designed to win her husband without preaching.
IV) SOME PRACTICAL HELPS:
A) Relate- See to relate to people daily. Be friendly; show interest.
(a) S- Reminds us to “say” something.
(b) A- Reminds us to “ask” questions; the way to find out what is really happening between God and them.
(c) L- Reminds us to “listen”; the best way to know what’s going on and gain opportunity to accomplish your goal.
(d) T- Reminds us to “turn” the conversation to spiritual matters.
2) Practice this until you can recall it with ease.
B) Create- The process of creating a spiritual atmosphere.
1) Inject a question turns the conversation to spiritual issues. Remember the (?) looks like a fish hook!
2) Here are some useable questions:
(a) “Do you have any spiritual beliefs?”
(b) “To you, who is Jesus?”
(c) “Is there a heaven and a hell? (If “yes,” -“Who goes to heaven? Who goes to hell?”)
(d) “Where will you go when you die?”” What do you base this on?”
(e) “If what you believe were not true, would you want to know it? (Or something else like, “May I share with you what the Bible says about these things
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a little life-saving station. The building was primitive, and there was just one boat, but the members of the life-saving station were committed and kept a constant watch over the sea. When a ship went down, they unselfishly went out day or night to save the lost. Because so many lives were saved by that station, it became famous.
Consequently, many people wanted to be associated with the station to give their time, talent, and money to support its important work. New boats were bought, new crews were recruited, a formal training session was offered. As the membership in the life-saving station grew, some of the members became unhappy that the building was so primitive and that the equipment was so outdated. They wanted a better place to welcome the survivors pulled from the sea. So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged and newly decorated building.
Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members. They met regularly and when they did, it was apparent how they loved one another. They greeted each other, hugged each other, and shared with one another the events that had been going on in their lives. But fewer members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions; so they hired lifeboat crews to do this for them.
About this time, a large ship was wrecked off of the coast, and the hired crews brought into the life-saving station boatloads of cold, wet, dirty, sick, and half-drowned people. Some of them had black skin, and some had yellow skin. Some could speak English well, and some could hardly speak it at all. Some were first-class cabin passengers of the ship, and some were the deck hands.
The beautiful meeting place became a place of chaos. The plush carpets got dirty. Some of the exquisite furniture got scratched. So the property committee immediately had a shower built outside the house where the victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next meeting there was rift in the membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s life-saving activities, for they were unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal fellowship of the members. Other members insisted that life-saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all those various kinds of people who would be shipwrecked, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. And do you know what? That is what they did.
As the years passed, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a place to meet regularly for fellowship, for committee meetings, and for special training sessions about their mission, but few went out to the drowning people. The drowning people were no longer welcomed in that new life-saving station. So another life-saving station was founded further down the coast. History continued to repeat itself. And if you visit that seacoast today, you will find a number of adequate meeting places with ample parking and plush carpeting. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown.
Thomas Wedel, “Ecumenical Review,” October, 1953, paraphrased in Heaven Bound Living, Knofel Stanton, Standard, 1989, pp. 99-101