Soldiers Called to War: Mission: Possible - Evangelism - Altoona
MISSION POSSIBLE: WINNING RECRUITS
INTRODUCTION TO OUR MISSION
Jesus gave His people a great mission in this war – to win lost souls who are in the camp of Satan to the camp of Christ - that is what evangelism is all about – taking the Gospel message of the victory that Jesus gives to those who are on the losing side! (; )
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” ()
“And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned…” ()
This great mission is given to individuals to go out into the world to those who are under the dominion and rule of Satan, to preach the Gospel to them, with the hope that they would be won to Christ.
Everyone needs to hear the message every soul who is lost needs to hear it!
Coworkers Family & friends Classmates Visitors Strangers
We may be the only Christian that the people we see on a daily basis meet. We may be the only Christians on the street or in the city we live in. This should give us a greater sense of urgency for getting the word of God out.
But if there is anything that Christians leave undone, it is the great mission of evangelism – giving the good news to the lost – that gets neglected.
We as individual Christians need to be more intentional about talking to others about Jesus, the One who claim is the most important person in our life. We have a lot of work to do in trying to get outside of our comfort zones so we can share the gospel with the lost. We need to each find ways to make evangelism part of our daily life.
There are not any good excuses for going AWOL neglecting the mission (Absent Without Official Leave)
“It’s someone else’s responsibility.” It is for all soldiers, not just the “special forces”
##### “People don’t want to hear it.” How do you know? Do you know the hearts of everyone you would have a chance to talk to? Also, let’s just say this is true… So what? Does this mean we shouldn’t obey?
##### I am waiting for an “open door” to teach someone… Search for “open doors” – Find opportunities… And honestly, Every lost person IS an open door
##### “I am afraid.” So am I! And so was Paul at moments when He was doing the Lord’s work. But the definition of courage assumes there is fear to overcome. We need to remember the promise of the Lord that He is with us, just as He was with Paul in His work He is with us (). (Also See )
##### “I don’t know enough.” May there be objections or questions that they may ask you regarding areas other than the Gospel? Sure. But you know enough to at least give them the Gospel. Do you know the Gospel? We will talk some more later about how to deal with questions or objections you don’t know the answer to.
##### “I am too busy. I don’t have the time.” Someone had the time for you. Don’t we make time for the things that are important to us?
##### “I don’t want to evangelize.” If we have no desire to fulfill the mission that has been given to us – to help others be saved – then where do we stand with the Lord?
##### I am not a good example... if you are living rebelliously towards Christ yourself - if the Gospel is not being reflected in your life, then you would be a hypocrite in calling someone else to follow Christ. Get your life right with the Lord.
Whenever we neglect the mission, we are neglecting some basic principles of being a Christian that we need to grow in if we want to be on fire for the mission.
We must love our neighbor as our own self
See 37 And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
Does love not demand that we help people see their need to be saved?
A notable atheist, Penn Jillette quote: “I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there is a heaven or hell, or that people could be going to hell, or not get eternal life, and you think it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward… how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”
Let me remind you that this is a well-known atheist who said this. “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”
Although I do not agree with the majority of what he says because he is an atheist, he is right on in what he says here. At times, our lack of evangelism does send a message to others (including the Lord) about how much we really love and have compassion for the lost. If we saw our neighbor’s house on fire, would you not be banging on their door and try to call them to alert them to the danger they are in? If you saw someone walking through a crosswalk who was going to get hit by a car, wouldn’t you try to stop them or yell out to them to stop? These would be the loving things to do. If we would do these things to show our love for others, why not warn people about the spiritual danger they are in?
We must follow in the steps of our Lord
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost (). If we desire to be Christ-like, won’t we do the same? Won’t we be willing to deny ourselves and to focus more on showing love for the helpless and lost like He did?
We must trust that the Gospel still can save
Do we believe ? Paul said in , “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (). This was what Paul believed about the Gospel. Paul had seen this message change so many lives. He experienced it’s power first hand. He had great faith in the power of God. Do we have the same faith as Paul did? We may say we believe in the Gospel’s power to save, but my question for all of us today is, “Does our faith in this message show in our actions?” Paul showed his faith in the Gospel by desiring to preach it and by actually teaching it to others
Evangelism is not easy or comfortable, but there are things we can do to make it easier for us so we can be more successful… and even feel like this is a mission we can fulfill.
In all things, ALWAYS be praying (for boldness to speak, for those you want to talk to, etc)
One of the most important things we do to prepare ourselves to work.
No matter what it is that we are doing for the Lord, prayer is so important. This is especially true in regards to evangelism. We need to pray:
To see “open doors” to share the Gospel. The vast majority of the time someone we know won’t come up to us and say to us, “What must I do to be saved.” Most of the time, we need to bring up the discussion. So we need wisdom to pick the right times.
We also need boldness to speak up. This is something Paul asked for prayers about in . “and [pray - v18] for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” ()
In , after the Apostles were persecuted by the Jewish leaders, they went amongst the disciples and told them what had happened to them. They said, “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word…” ().
We need to pray to have wisdom in the things we say as we share the Gospel We need to pray for specific people that we want to talk to
Starting conversations: The hardest part of sharing the gospel! Here are some tips to get the dialogue going:
Tracts: a good way to start conversations about spiritual things is to hand out Gospel tracts. Simply hand them the tract and ask them if they had gotten one yet. Sometimes they ask what it is, giving you an open door to talk to them about the gospel that it talks about.
If it is someone you know or are close to, give it to them and ask them to read it, and tell them you would like to talk to them about it later. They will often do it to prepare themselves for the follow up discussion.
Ask questions: One thing that I (and others) have found to be helpful is to ask people questions. This is going to be a theme that runs through all of our studies today. Asking people questions about what they believe makes conversations much more comfortable and shows the person you are interested in what they have to say. (more about this later)
My favorite question to ask people to start a conversation is, “Can I ask you a question?” The majority of the time the person says yes, and without even knowing, just gave me an open door to ask them about spiritual things!
Can I get your opinion on something? Is there something I can be praying for you or your family members about? Do you go to church (or read the Bible)? Are you a Christian? Can I read something and ask you a question about it? (, , and , etc.) Interviews/surveys
If someone goes to church, ask them what they believe the Gospel message is. (6 weeks to live scenario)
Take someone with you – Jesus sent his disciples out two by two – there may be many reasons for this, one of which is the strength that we can get from having someone with us
Sharing the Gospel – So once the conversation is started, the goal is to get it to the Gospel…
With this said, I would like for us to break up into groups and do some group work…
I have a scenario that I often use with people who go to church to try to understand what they understand the Gospel to be. I would like to share this with you and get you all to break up into groups and to answer this question as a group. It is called the “6 weeks to live scenario.”
PASS OUT WORKSHEET TO EACH TABLE
If we were close friends who worked together, and I told you that I had six months left to live, what would you tell me? (assuming I am a non-Christian)
So let’s break up into groups. Each group, write something down, and then we will talk about what you all put together…
Memory help. In case you just need an easy way to remember what the content of the Gospel is, here are some helpful lists that use alliteration that give the main content of the Gospel message the Apostles preached. All of these don’t necessarily have to be a part of every discussion, but it would be helpful to at least keep these things in mind.
We will talk more about this in our second session, but the gospel message includes it’s own apologetic… it’s own defense that it is true… Fulfilled prophecy and the eyewitness testimony to the resurrection. If you were going to point to something to be the reason why you believe the Gospel is true, where else could you go but to the content of the gospel itself? These two things are the greatest proofs to the truth of Christianity.
Show them what the Bible says about how one is saved if needed. This part is not necessary. It seems to me that in New Testament preaching, how to become a Christian was most often given after the person said they wanted to know how to become one… But you can share it if you would like, especially if someone is part of church that teaches error in this area. It can help them see that they are still in their sin if they have not obeyed the Gospel properly
At times we skip straight to this step and think all we need to do is convince someone they need to be baptized to be right with God, or we give them “the five step plan of salvation.” How to obey the gospel means very little without the Gospel being given first. Someone needs to see they have a disease before they will desire to have the cure… Sometimes we can put the cart before the horse…
We can be guilty of teaching a works righteousness Gospel if we only focus on what we must do to be saved and neglect talking about the grace and mercy available to us through the cross and how it is the ONLY reason we can have hope of eternal life…
Ask them if they understand what was shared with them
Ask them if there are things that would keep them from obeying Jesus and becoming a Christian… We will discuss how to deal with some of these things in our next part of our time together.
QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS MATERIAL???
Role Playing… I want you to pick at least 2 or 3 people in this room to talk to. Start a conversation with them Attempt to go through the Gospel with them Practice sharing the gospel with one another, not just today, but often.