Date: May 2, 2019 (Midweek Service)
Bible Text: | Steve Damron
Series: Transcribed Sermons
The call for personal evangelism
- Four reasons to engage in personal evangelism
- Inherent in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Obedience to the Great Commandment
- A wise pursuit (Proverbs 11:30; James 4:14)
- Brings reward (Matthew 25:19-30; 2 Peter 3:10-12)
- Four excuses for not engaging in personal evangelism
- Evangelism is not my spiritual gift (Ephesians 4:11)
- I'm afraid of confronting people (1 Corinthians 2:3)
- I don't know enough to witness for Christ (John 9:25)
- People don't want to listen (Acts 13:46)
- Reasons for personal evangelism
- Every human being is a sinner
- There are consequences for sin
Tonight we are going to be doing kind of a refresher course, so the first part is going to be more of a challenge to us. The second part, in the same way, but kind of a reminder of why we need to be out soul winning. We are going to be looking at a lot of scripture. We do not have a text, that we are going to be starting out with because we have a ton of scripture that we are going to be looking at throughout the lesson.
I thought of this as we start out. What kind of Christian would we be or, are we, when we say that the Savior, and in some ways it is true, the Savior is for me. But if we are saying that selfishly, I got salvation and it is all for me. But there are a whole lot of people that do not have it. And what kind of Christians are we If we don't share that. It would kind of be like thinking of a group of men that were in a shipwreck and they were content to lower the lifeboat and get in themselves when there were a whole bunch of other people that needed to get into that life boat and we would not share and help them to be rescued. It would be, like people going through a famine. And we have the ability to help people out, but we hold it all in for ourselves. And so it is when it comes to soul winning and witnessing. I am going to divide it into two halves. So the first half is "the call to personal evangelism." So we are going to look at the call for personal evangelism, and then the second half is going to be "the reason for personal evangelism." So point 1, I am in outline form tonight because it is more teaching.
So the call to personal evangelism and then I have divided that into two areas. All right. And so we have two areas. One is four reasons why we should engage in personal evangelism. These are all scriptural reasons. So I am going to give you four reasons under the call to personal evangelism of why we should engage. And then I am going to give you four excuses that the Bible, gives us of biblical reasons to knock those excuses out. But normally, and there are probably other excuses, but I am going to look at four reasons to engage and four excuses that we normally give to not go soul winning. So let's pray as we begin. Heavenly father, I pray that you would help us as we look at this idea of soul winning and witnessing. I pray that you would help us to be engaged in giving the gospel to others. We will, thank you for what you do. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
So first, the four reasons to engage in personal evangelism. Number one, it is inherent in the great commission. What is the Great Commission? Matthew 28 and verse 18 through 20 if you are writing scripture down, I will list them out. Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46-48, and Acts 1:8. It is inherent in the great commission. What does it say in Matthew 28, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:..." So it is inherent in the great commission. The commission was given and some people, their excuse is to say, well that was given to the disciples.
Okay, well you know this in studing scripture, all scripture is given by inspiration and is profitable. All of it is given to me and to the disciples. This has been given historically as a church, as we have studied scripture, we know that that great commission was not just given to the disciples. It was given to the church or the disciples corporately. All right. And so that is passed down to you and I now. And why is that? So the 11 individuals, how would they be able to fulfill that great commission? Did you see what it said, that they need to teach all nations? There was 11 of them. How is that possible? Because it has been passed down now corporately, so that all of us, all churches, all Christians are responsible for reaching everybody with the Gospel. That is our job. Fulfilling it is well beyond the scope of an ability of any individual. Currently there is, and it may have grown even as we speak now is growing. The last I checked, there is well over 7 billion people. So how is our church going to reach 7 billion people? There is over 200 sovereign nations in the world. How in the world are we to reach 200 sovereign nations, preaching the Gospel to every soul, baptizing and discipling all who believe is a physical, geographical, and chronological impossibility. So how do we do it? Well we do it because corporately, it is handed down to us, all Christians are responsible. So by engaging in personal evangelism, we are fulfilling the great commission it was given to the church. And so we need to follow that.
It is a commission given to us to win souls. So number one, if we're looking at the four reasons to engage in personal evangelism, number one is it is inherent in the great commission. Number two, it is obedience to the great commandment. That is different than the great commission. Alright, the great commission, go ye into all the world. So what is the great commandment anybody know? Matthew 22:36-37 "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto Him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." So you would say, wait a minute, how in the world am I fulfilling the great commandment by going soulwinning? Because if ye, love me, you will keep my commandments. And is the command to go out and go, witnessing. Is that a command of God? Yes. It is a command of God, it is the great commission. So I am fulfilling the great commandment when I show love for God by obeying him. If I don't obey him, then I am not fulfilling the great commandment. The great commandment says that I love God with all my heart and all my soul, all my mind, all my strength. And that means one of the things that I do is I obey his commands. One of the commands is to go out and witness. Yes, I should come to church. There are other things that show that I love Him, but one of the things is by being a witness, John 14:15 "If you love me, keep my commandments." John 14:21 "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me,..." Luke 6:46 "And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? In all of those Christ was saying, if you are going to love God, you are going to do what he says. And God commands us to seek souls. Where does he say that? Matthew 4:19 "And he saith unto them, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." And in Acts 10:42 Peter is talking and Peter says this, "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of the quick and the dead." So two reasons quickly why I should be engaged in personal evangelism. It is inherent in the great commission. Secondly, I am, I am obeying the great commandment. Thirdly, it is a wise pursuit.
It is a wise pursuit. Proverbs 11:30 says this, "He that winneth souls is wise." Daniel 12:3 "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." So why is that wise? Why is it wise? Because James 4:14 says, "Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." It is a wise pursuit of my life to do that, which is the most important. I only have so much time in this life. I cannot do everything and you cannot do everything. And so then you have to prioritize things. We all have to do that. We all have to make choices and so someday we are going to stand before God and you are going to answer for the things done. That is the judgment seat of Christ. If you believe the Bible properly, in Corinthians, we are going to stand before Christ at the judgment seat and that is not for the unsaved. That is for the saved. And as a saved individual, God has given me talents, he has given me opportunities, he has given me time, he has given me opportunities here on this earth. And He is going to say, so you chose this, this, this, and I am going to answer for it. And so will you. I only have so much time, so I want to be using my time wisely. Why? Because life is short.
Wisdom, the Bible says this, wisdom focuses on the eternal. Where do I find that? Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto (guess what) wisdom." A wise Christian realizes eternity is at stake. And so we have to make choices. So I'm going to share with others about Christ. Why? Because it is a wise pursuit. A wise person sees that it is not just this temporal world that it is all about. And so that's why. And I can not force everybody to go soul winning, but I asked you, and even I was kind of knocking the college a few weeks ago when we started into the 'sow the seed.' Like, oh, what am I supposed to do? I got to handout, three tracts a week. And I was kind of chiding them a little bit. Why? Because a lot of the college students say that they are going to be in fulltime service and you can't pass out three tracts a week. I say you are a fool then because a wise person, especially going into fulltime service realizes that, guess what? This is my livelihood. If anybody should be thinking about eternal things, that should be those that study the word of God all the time saying, man, time is short. Eternity is long. Think about your choices. It is a wise pursuit. Why life is short. Wisdom focuses on the internal and wisdom produces true happiness. How do I know that? Proverbs 3:13 "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom..." So Godly wisdom produces happiness in my life. Godly wisdom produces happiness. So a soul winner is a wise person. Why he that winneth souls is wise. So what are some reasons that I should be engaged in personal evangelism? It is inherent in the Great Commission, it is obedience to the great commandment. It is a wise pursuit. Fourthly, I said there was four pros or reasons to engage. The fourth one is it brings reward.
So there are two ways that it brings reward, believe it or not in this life. It does, all right. It says in John 4:36 "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he, that soweth and he that repeath may rejoice together." Guess when some of that rejoicing is? Here on this earth. You are not going to lead someone to the Lord and then afterwards they are going to be like, man alive. Why did you do that? You just saved my soul from eternal damnation. As as I have studied scripture, do you realize hell has fire, torment, where the worm dieth not? I could have been there? You are normally not going to have somebody that saved doing that to you. You know what you are going to have him doing, rejoicing with you. That is what the Bible says. Remember in Psalm 126, it says this, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that going forth and weepeth bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." That sounds like in the present. So why should I engage in soul winning? It is inherent in the great commission. I am obeying the great commandment. It is a wise pursuit ,and it brings reward in this life, but then also in the life to come it brings reward.
Matthew 25: 19-29 is the story of the servants with the talents and what do they want to hear? They want to hear at the end from the master, well done, thou good and faithful servant. And it is talking about a judging time. We just talked about that in II Corinthians 5, it is the judgment seat of Christ. It is going to take place in heaven. And it is a judgment of the believers works. It is not a judgment of salvation. It is a judgment of your works. You will be judged by what you do. All right. And this is what is interesting. If you want to turn there, I have already marked a bunch of these it is second Peter chapter 3. II Peter 3:10 says, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness." So you see what he is saying. He says there is judgment coming. So because of that, you should be holy. Then it says, "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" You know what that is saying in II Peter 3:10-12? Earthly things, what is going to happen to them? They are gone, burned up. So guess what reward I can send ahead, eternal things.
Just so you know, you can stockpile all you want in your 401K. All right? You can build up all the equity in your house, but when you die, you are not going to be looking and be like, oh, okay, wow. They are not really going to be impressed by your house down here. They are not going to be impressed by your bank account. But it could be that there are some folks up there that will recognize you cause you were maybe in the nursing homes or, I have been talking about this a lot to our bus folks. All right. Our bus folks, we know it is hard. I am not going to say that the bus ministry is easy. It's hard. It is not for everybody. I understand that. But it is probably the top ministry that we do here. You know why? We have chosen that. I have chosen that. That is my job to pray and find God's leading on it. And going out, knocking on doors there are folks in every section tonight. I looked out and in every section sitting here they are sitting here with us because of the bus ministry. So why are we out there doing it? Yes, it is hard. I require a lot. Right? And even this weekend, ask Eric Ramos, we are having a fair day. Like, oh, why are you doing that? And some of you wine, you cry and you are like, ah, you know, like. I understand it. And so what are you going to do? Oh, I have to have my nappy. All right, I understand it. Right? But then understand also, then I can say you are an old geezer, right? Yeah. You got to have your nappy. Like, oh, I just feel tired. All right. I know, my three year old was tired at that stage too. All right, but guess what, we push a little bit. Why? Because we see past the temporal, because those temporal things are going to be burned up. I have folks that do, and it is taxing, it is hard, it is very hard. And I know that, but I still keep up, I still keep my CDL license. You know why I keep my CDL license, because if it happened to be that we didn't have enough bus drivers here, I will get in a bus. There is nothing more enjoyable to sit there and see little kids running up on the bus and see some of them coming down the hallways. It is enjoyable. Why do we do all that? We do it because there's something that you can take to heaven. That is souls. We can take souls to heaven.
Yes, and so we have some ministries. Yes. I know they cost a little bit and I know they take a lot of energy, but we have them, and what you will find is soul winning is the same way. I have my visitation. I understand that. But my challenge--and last summer some of you, it's sad to me if you never got out and knocked on a door. This is what I can pretty much tell you. You are not fulfilling the great commission and you are not fulfilling the great commandment--knocking on doors. I am getting set up. In fact, I am working on the staff right now to do this because June, July, August, what I am hoping to do. I want to take every excuse away from anybody that wants to get out knocking on doors. Every excuse. So I am going to be working on packets. So if you say, well I am a little shy, then will you go down streets and just hang packets on doors? Just hang packets. All right, I've got probably 20 to 22 areas that we have around us within 20 miles or so. You say, well, I am just a little shy. Can you just go up and hang something on a door? You don't have to say anything. You go up there, sneak up hang it on the door and run. Why? Because guess what? That packet, will have all the information for them and then we can follow up.
Or then as a staff, what I am asking them to do, I am trying to have Monday through Saturday, basically every day of the week. You know, I, I was doing it first, so I got to pick my day. My Day is Wednesday afternoon. Okay. But, somebody on the staff, hopefully on any evening is going to be out knocking on doors and we are going to post that. You can walk by and look and say, Oh, you know what I will call them. You don't have someone to go with, go with me. I will split up. Usually I go with my wife or I go with one of my kids. We will split up somehow. You get a hold of one of us. Why, I want, to take every excuse away. We have a time at nine o'clock in the morning and then, Brother Ramos has some commitments, through the end of May. But in June, we are going to start up at 1:30. He can go on Saturday. You know why we are doing a bunch of those times. I want to take every excuse away. You want to go door knocking. I even have talked to some people and if we can get somebody Sunday afternoon, we will get them. Why? Because part of understanding. how are the people in your neighborhood going to know about Christ? They are just going to feel it. I don't know. I'm not feeling it. Okay. We got to tell them. And the way they hear about it is sometimes knocking on a door. Knocking on the door, and telling them. I don't care if it is five doors a week, then knock on five doors a week. Why? Because people need to hear about Christ. And all my old goats here, are like, oh, they know about Fairhaven. I dare you to knock on a door. I knock on doors all the time. And this is what they say. Who are you? Who you are? And the reason you are saying that is to justify yourself for not knocking on doors. They don't know us. How many new people have moved into this area and they don't know Christ. And they need to hear about Christ. And one way we can do that is, we knock on doors. So it brings rewards.
So four reasons that we have, and I think we are only going to get through the reasons here. All right. I wanted to talk about the call to personal evangelism and that is four reasons to engage. And then four excuses. Let me give you the four excuses. All right? And then we'll, we'll kind of close with some reasons for personal evangelism. So the call to personal evangelists are four reasons to engage for excuses that are common for not engaging.
Number one, evangelism is not my spiritual gift. Pastor Armacost taught on spiritual gifts, and I am sure he covered this. There is no spiritual gift of evangelism. By that, in the serving gifts in Romans 12 and I Peter 4 evangelism is not included. Evangelism is not even found among the defined gifts in I Corinthians chapter 12. In fact, an evangelist is a gift to the church. Ephesians 4 11 and evangelism is a task for everyone. Acts 8 for the church members, we are in Acts 8 and it says they went everywhere preaching the word. That word preaching, the Greek word is evangelize. That's a lot of times in the Bible when it says preach and it's collectively, it's meant to all Christians evangelize. So evangelism is not my spiritual gift, that is not in the Bible. You're a heretic. All right?
Number two, I am afraid of confronting people. Proverbs 29:25, "The fear of man, bringeth a snare..." Yeah, we all have different temperaments and personalities. God created us that way. And great christians have always confronted people. First Corinthians 2:3, "And I was with you in weakness. and in fear, and in much trembling." That is Paul talking, the Apostle Paul. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. What does it sound like, the Apostle Paul was he afraid? Yes. I am afraid of confronting people. Great christians have always confronted people. We are called upon to bear the reproach of Christ. Acts 5, I Peter 4:14, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." I'm not afraid or I am afraid we are not supposed to be afraid of Christ. He bore our shame. II Timothy 1:8, "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..." Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..." And also I'm afraid soul winning is not about you, it is about Christ. It's about Christ. So remember to trust in him.
Excuse number three I don't know enough to witness for Christ. Well, here is a great verse for you, I Corinthians 1:27, "But God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise." Then go out there and be a fool, all right? Isn't that what God says? You do not have to be really smart. No study or learning is necessary. In fact, I have an example to show you in John chapter 9:25, remember when the blind man was cured of his blindness? This is what he said. He answered and said, "Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." What you can tell folks. I don't know a lot of the theology, but this is what I know. And you can even take a simple tract and go through the tract. Well, what you can tell him was what Christ did in your life, how he transformed you, how he changed you. And just say, you know, if you don't, would you at least, take some of these verses and (That's why I carry the Gospel of John, you know, I carry Gospel of John's because if they won't listen, take this and read it.) read the word of God, right? So I don't know enough to witness. That's not excuse, no study or learning is necessary. A desire to win souls will increase your thirst for the Bible study to show thyself approved unto God. Guess what it says next? A workman that needeth not to be ashamed. The reason that maybe you don't know is because you are not a workman for the Lord. A workman studies and he gets at it.
So four excuses, evangelism is not my spiritual gift, I'm afraid, I don't know enough and number four, people don't want to listen. So is your job to get people to listen? No. No, we are not held responsible for what men do with Christ. We are held accountable for what we do with the gospel of Christ. Acts 13:46 "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." God rewards persistence. Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." And there is a time to sow, and there is a time to reap, to everything there is a season, Ecclesiastes chapter three Sometimes there are seasons when you are just sowing and sowing and sowing and you are not reaping much. You are still doing your job, right. So are you saying that a person that is a farmer and he goes out there and he sows the seed, and he stands there like, now, that was worthless. I am not seeing anything. You are like, well, wait a minute. I mean nothing would grow if you didn't sow the seed. I think sometimes we forget that sometimes it takes a little while. Sometimes it may take years, so be faithful in sowing. Let me just then quickly give you a couple of things and then we will close. All right. We were longer than what I wanted to on the call to evangelism.
I want to give us some reasons for personal evangelism and these are more doctrinal I would say. Why do I need to share the Gospel? One, every human being is a sinner. Man is a sinner by birth, by nature, by choice, by deed. All of that is scriptural. He is a sinner. There is no way on their own they can get to heaven, no way. So we must bear that truth to them. Another reason for personal evangelism, is all sin is offensive to God. All sin is offensive to God. That is found in Isaiah. Isaiah chapter one, Romans 3:10 through 18 and so then the third reason for personal evangelism, every being is a sinner, all sin is offensive and three, there are consequences for sin. We know this. Why? Because we have found the truth. And so here is a person out there and they are just living the life, doing whatever. Come on, man. Just live it up. There are consequences to sin. We know that. And the consequence for an unsaved person in their sin is eternal death. It is not just dying and, you know, they go into limbo or something. It's eternal damnation, it is burning in hell forever and ever and ever. We know that. That is a reason to share the gospel with others. Man is lost. And so what does that mean? Man does not know the way. They are in peril. They don't have an excuse. We were reading through that in Romans one. They cannot please God on their own. Those are all reasons because the consequences of their sin is death.
I will close with this, you know, a soul winner. I understand you should have some tact, but part of soul winning is just flat out giving the Gospel. I read a story of a lady and she was visiting in a ministers family and the people in the family told this lady of a family right in the neighborhood and they were irreligious and they never went to church. And The lady in the home said, you know what? I will go and see them. I want to see if they want to come out to church or if they, if they know about Christ. One of the people in the home said, well, what are you going to have for an excuse? Here, I have been meaning to give this to this family. So you take it with you and then you have an excuse to go up to the door. And the lady, this, this was convicting to me. This is what the lady said. I don't want an excuse.
I want them to know that someone is interested in their soul. I was like, you know, cause sometimes, I've got to have a reason. No, you don't. You know what reason you have, they are dying and going to hell. And that alone is enough. And that should motivate us and say, Hey, nobody may have told you in the neighborhood, but I care about you. I care about you. And you know what, maybe you don't have time right now for us to sit down and go through some of these things, but would you take this? Would you let me come back? Would you let me come back because I care about your soul. It's going to spend eternity somewhere. And do you know what is happening in America. Less and less people are thinking about it. Less and less people are thinking about where they are going to spend eternity. And now it's just like, ah, I don't really believe in that. Well, that's why we need to give them the gospel. The gospel transforms people. It has changed our lives. It has made us different and yes, we are not perfect people. And yes, we don't do everything perfectly because we are still on this earth and we are clothed in our flesh. But even enclosed in this flesh, this life is so much better as a Christian.
And we know that. And there are lost folks around you, and I know it can be frustrating, but you don't need any other excuse than that you care for their soul. That's enough. So tell them about Christ. Heavenly father, I pray that this would be a good reminder as we come into the end of May and June and July and August, I prayed that it would be a reminder to us, to be always active in this area of soul winning and witnessing. Bless our efforts, Lord, even next Thursday, I pray you'd give us good weather. And I pray that even then we would see some fruit, in our church services more, not even just in our church services, but just folks that get saved. Lord because their life will change by being saved. I want to thank you for what you do in Jesus name. Amen.