Pray that we are evangelist

Pray that We and Our Children Are Evangelist, part 1 (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8)

Prepared and Preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, September 16

I heard a story about D.L. Moody.

D.L. Moody was getting on a train and the train was crowded. A man moved over to give D.L. Moody space to sit. Moody sits down and looks at him and asks, “Are you right with God?” The man says, the only person I would talk about the spiritual with is D.L. Moody.”[1]

Now, just think about that a minute. D.L. Moody was so known for sharing the Gospel that people were opened to talk about the Gospel with him.

D.L. Moody once shared to a critic:

It is clear you don’t like my way of doing evangelism. You raise some good points. Frankly, I sometimes do not like my way of doing evangelism. But I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.” [2]

In this sermon, or any sermon when I say “evangelical” what I mean is “one who shares the Gospel.”

I want to submit to you that the church across America has NOT been evangelical. Even the most conservative churches across America have not been evangelical. We criticize the methods people use in evangelism, but we do not share the Gospel anyway.

We are quite comfortable to let people go straight to hell.

Please understand, I do not want to be too “preachy” or critical. I do not want you leaving feeling bad. I love you, all of you. I love you and I love God and I am supposed to love everyone, and this means I have to declare the truth about the Gospel.

I have been preaching on Scriptures that I have been convicted to pray for myself and my descendants. Today is a two-part message on praying Scriptures about evangelism.

Please listen to my disclaimer:

I know you may believe you have heard me preach and teach on sharing the Gospel before. That is true. You will hear me preach the theme of sharing the Gospel again and again and again and I hope eventually we are all preaching this theme in our lives.

As I talk about evangelism today, my main focus is your sphere of influence. I am NOT talking about sharing the Gospel with strangers, though that is a good thing. Plus, we all should be trying to get to know people and then share the Gospel with them.

 My purpose is to challenge you to pray evangelically and have an evangelism mindset.

  1. The high importance of sharing the Gospel.
    1. Sharing the Gospel is a command from Jesus. He commanded us to share the Gospel with others.
    2. Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    3. This a command from King Jesus.
    4. You do not make disciples unless you talk about Jesus with people. Also, disciples make disciples. In other words, we could think we are doing everything Jesus asks of us, but if we are not making disciples we are missing something very important. If we are not making disciples we are also in sin, or if we are not sharing Jesus with others we are definitely in sin.
    5. Next year’s vision for Bethel will include a heavy emphasis on evangelism. Why do you think that is?
      1. Evangelism is commanded by Jesus.
      2. The United States is the number one mission field for many countries.
  • Bethel needs to grow.
  1. But most of all people need the Lord.
  1. Mark 16:15: And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
  2. Let’s look at one more Scripture about evangelism for today.
  3. Acts 1:8: “…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
    1. Notice the Holy Spirit empowers us to share the Gospel.
    2. We make the Holy Spirit’s empowerment too much about us and too little about God’s Kingdom.
  4. Evangelism begins with Prayer.
    1. Dwight L. Moodyshares:The Christian on his knees sees more than the philosopher on tiptoe. God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.”[3]
    2. Pray these passages. This sermon series has been all about Scriptures to pray. Pray that you live out these passages.
    3. Pray about sharing the Gospel.
    4. Pray for opportunities.
    5. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s lead.
    6. Pray that your children value sharing the Gospel.
      1. If you or your descendants do not value sharing the Gospel you may not really know the Gospel.
      2. If we really know Jesus it matters when others do not know Jesus.
    7. Look at Paul’s prayer in Eph. 6:19: and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel…
    8. In the New Testament they spoke out boldly with the Gospel:
      1. In Antioch Pisidia, Paul and Barnabas “spoke out boldly” when the Jews publicly reviled them (Acts 13:46)
      2. In Iconium, they were also vigorously opposed, “so they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord” (Acts 14:3).
      3. In Ephesus, Apollos spoke “boldly in the synagogue” (Acts 18:26).
      4. In Ephesus, Paul taught in the synagogue “and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8).
      5. In Caesarea, when Paul was imprisoned, he spoke “boldly” to King Agrippa (Acts 26:26).
      6. And the last thing we know about Paul is that, while under house arrest in Rome, he went on “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31).[4]
  • Applications: have an evangelism mindset.
    1. The devil does not want you to share the Gospel and will work against you in this way. The devil will make you think about anything other than sharing the Gospel.
    2. L. Moody shared: “I believe Satan to exist for two reasons: first, the Bible says so; and second, I’ve done business with him.”[5]
      1. The devil will make you think that it is good enough just to be nice to others and maybe they will ask about your faith.
      2. The devil will make you think someone else will share the Gospel.
  • The devil will make you think that all you have to do is invite them to church and then they will hear the Gospel.
  1. The devil will make you think all you have to do is serve people and they will ask you about the Gospel.
  2. The devil will make you think that you do not know them well enough to talk about the Gospel.
    1. I know the devil works this way because he does it to me.
    2. Seriously, the devil does this to me as well.
  3. Suppose you know someone with cancer. Suppose that you know there is a cure for cancer. Now, let’s apply all the excuses the devil gives us for not sharing the Gospel to not sharing about the cure for cancer.
    1. It is good enough just to be nice to others and maybe they will ask about your cure for cancer.
      1. Why would they ask?
      2. Do they know that you have the cure?
    2. Someone else will share the cure for cancer with them.
      1. Maybe, but why not you?
      2. Why make them wait for someone else?
  • All you have to do is invite them to church or a seminar and they will hear about the cure.
    1. But you know the cure, why wait for the seminar or church service?
    2. They know you and they trust you.
  1. All you have to do is serve people and they will ask you about the cure for cancer.
    1. Again, why would they ask?
    2. Do they know that you have the cure?
  2. You do not know them well enough to talk about the cure for cancer.
    1. When someone is giving something away that is good and free does it matter?
    2. Would you hesitate to give away something else that is free and good?
  3. Do we desire that we are obedient to Christ?
  4. Do we desire that our descendants are obedient to Christ?
  5. Do we desire that we are loving?
  6. Do we desire that our descendants are loving?
  7. We are not being loving to God and our fellow man when we do not share the Gospel.
  8. We could make the case that we are being hateful when we do not share the Gospel.
  9. Refusing to share the Gospel is a sin against God and our fellow human beings.
  10. It is a sin of omission to NOT share the Gospel.
  11. It may be a sin of commission to NOT share the Gospel because we are not being obedient to Christ.
  12. In the beginning of this sermon I shared, “even the most conservative churches across America have not been evangelical. We criticize the methods, but we do not share the Gospel anyway.”
  13. I want to prove my point, when was the last time you used your words to share the Gospel in verbal or written form?
  14. Again, it is not my goal to make you leave feeling bad. I love you, and we are also to love everyone else and when we do not share Jesus we are hateful.
  15. What did I mean by “evangelism mindset”? What I mean is that every day you are thinking about the high importance of the Gospel.
  16. I believe when we pray these Scriptures and when we are thinking about the Gospel you will eventually end up sharing the Gospel.
  17. Your actions will follow what you are thinking and meditating on. If I do not want to eat ice cream I should try not to think about it. If I sit in my chair thinking about ice cream all night, eventually I will end up eating ice cream.
  18. So:
    1. Meditate on the Word of God.
    2. Meditate on your relationship with Christ.
    3. Meditate and think on how important it is to share the Gospel with others.
    4. Think about who you know that does not know Jesus and pray for them daily. Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with them. Don’t pray that someone else shares Jesus with them. Pray that God will use you.

Close:

Greg Stier is founder of Dare2share ministries. As a youth pastor I heard him speak to youth pastors on multiple occasions. On one occasion he challenged us to write a letter to our family members sharing our faith in Christ. Greg has been a writer, pastor and Promise Keepers speaker. He is all about sharing the Gospel. Greg was saved as a teenager and he came from a really rough family. Still, as a teenager he wrote a letter to his relatives about his faith in Christ. One by one his family members were saved. Many of them were in jail, but God saved them.

I am going to challenge you today. I challenge you to write a letter. I will do it as well. This week go home and write a personal letter sharing your faith with someone. It can be something like this:

Dear aunt __________,

At church my pastor talked with us about the high importance of sharing our faith. I already thought this was important but for various reasons I have not talked about my faith that much with you. However, I would like to share with you how Jesus has impacted my life and encourage you to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Here is how I came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior:

Insert testimony here:

Life before Christ

How I met Christ

How Christ has changed my life

I would like to talk with you more about Jesus. Even if you are not ready to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, I would still like to talk about Jesus. I may not be able to answer all your questions, but we can consider them together.

Let’s pray.

God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

[1]Jack Hibbs shared this on his radio message.

[2]D.L. Moody to a critic

“Real true faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength.” Dwight L. Moody. https://www.kevinhalloran.net/d-l-moody-quotes/

[3]https://www.kevinhalloran.net/d-l-moody-quotes/

[4]This list is from: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lord-make-me-more-bold

[5]https://www.kevinhalloran.net/d-l-moody-quotes/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s