I Intro Read Matthew 28:16-20.
A. In today's society it is easy to assume that everybody has heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With all our new space aged equipment, television, radio, the Internet and telephones that allow video conferencing. It is truly amazing to find out that not every body has heard the Gospel. Matter of fact you would probably be astonished to see the number of people who never had the Gospel presented to them.
Why? Because of Christians, just like me and you who think that
everybody has already been exposed to the gospel in one way or
another. But that's the wrong way to think. Our society needs
Christ more now than ever before.
These are not things that a Christian nation would be doing in such great numbers as we have seen. Just from listening to these statistics alone you can see the need for Jesus in America. Never mind actually living in the towns and actually seeing the effects of these statistics. Next time you are in a public place where there are a good amount of people present, just stop and observe the activity around you, listen to the conversations, watch the actions. And you will see that our country, our county, our city, our neighborhood needs Jesus.
Let me put it to you in an other way.
B. The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio, reported in September 1985 on a celebration that took place at a New Orleans municipal pool. The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans public pool. In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards. As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.
Today Christians, we are like these life guards, who are standing
around celebrating while somebody is dying. We are letting the
very people God has told us to witness to, slip right by into
the deep end of Hell, never to come back, never to be revived
again. It is my hope that after today's message you and me will
not be just like one of these life guards.
Lets look at some ways to not be like these life guards.
A. One way to keep from being like the lifeguards is to make witnessing our #1 goal. Not just doing it cause the preacher said or cause everybody is so I might as well do it so I don't look bad. But we need to tell others of what we found when we came to Christ. You see in the bible we as Christians are called ambassadors of Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:20 (read). As ambassadors we are direct representatives for Jesus Christ and we should do everything he did. No we won't be perfect but we are to try. And the on thing Jesus did most was to bring people to a greater understanding of God's salvation.
And that is what we are to do.
I heard a story from Josh Mcdowell one time and it really shows
this point exactly how we need to be.
An executive hirer, a "head-hunter" who goes out and hires corporation executives for other firms, once told me, "When I get an executive that I'm trying to hire for someone else, I like to disarm him. I offer him a drink, take my coat off, then my vest, undo my tie, throw up my feet and talk about baseball, football, family, whatever, until he's all relaxed. Then, when I think I've got him relaxed, I lean over, look him square in the eye and say, "What's your purpose in life?" It's amazing how top executives fall apart at that question.
"Well, I was interviewing this fellow the other day, had him all disarmed, with my feet up on his desk, talking about football. Then I leaned up and said, 'What's your purpose in life, Bob?' And he said, without blinking an eye, 'To go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.' For the first time in my career I was speechless."
God wants as many as possible to receive salvation. He has left us here to help others to receive this salvation and to stay true to Christ until the very end. Our whole lives should be orientated towards this purpose. Is yours?
Acts 26 24-29
B. Not only should it be our #1 goal but we should witness to people no matter what the outcome. Read Acts 7:54-60.
Here we have seen the outcome of someone witnessing no matter what the outcome was to be. Stephen stood despite knowing that what he said would bring about his death.
You say that's in the Bible of course it is going to say something like that. Well history is full of people who spoke the name of Jesus to other regardless of the out come. one such man was D.L. Moody.
D.L. Moody made an covenant with God that he would witness for Christ to at least one person each day. Then one night, about ten o'clock, he realized that he had not yet witnessed to anyone; so he went out in to the street and spoke to a man standing by a lamppost, asking him, "Are you a Christian?" The man flew into a violent rage and threatened to knock Moody into the gutter among other things. Later that same man went to an elder in the church and complained that Moody was "doing more harm in Chicago than ten men were doing good."
So the elder begged Moody to temper his zeal with knowledge, and
of course he didn't. So three months later Moody was awakened
at the YMCA by a man knocking at the door. It was the man he had
witnessed to awhile back. "I want to talk to you about my
soul," he said to Moody.
He apologized for the way he had treated Moody and said that he
has had no peace since that night on Lake Street when Moody witnessed
to him. Moody led the man to Christ and he became a zealous worker
in the Sunday school.
I'm not saying that we need to make a commitment like Moody made
but we should have no regard for the problems that may arise.
Whether death or a scolding from someone we should proclaim the
soul saving power of Jesus.
C. Proclaiming the Gospel is our responsibility.
Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; As
the Father sent Me, I also send you." (John 20:21)
You see God sent Jesus to proclaim the Gospel, to bring people
to salvation. Jesus is in turn telling us to do the same.
I was recently searching through some old paper work I had and found this letter. It is written by a neighbor, to another neighbor, from Hell. It goes;
I don't know who wrote it but I believe that said it pretty clear.
That sharing Christ is our responsibility.
. D. When witnessing to others we need to believe it will transform their lives.
Many years ago in St. Louis, a lawyer visited a Christian to transact
some business. Before the two parted, his client said to him,
"I've often wanted to ask you a question, but I've been afraid
to do so."
"What do you want to know?" asked the lawyer.
The man replied, "I've wondered why you're not a Christian."
The man hung his head. "I know enough about the Bible to
realize that it says no drunkard can enter the kingdom of God;
and you know my weakness!"
"You're avoiding my question," continued the believer.
"Well, truthfully, I can't recall anyone every explaining
how to become a Christian."
Picking up a Bible, the client read some passages showing that
all are under condemnation, but that Christ came to save the lost
by dying on the cross for their sins. "By receiving Him as
your substitute and redeemer," he said, "you can be
forgiven. If you're willing to receive Jesus, let's pray together."
The lawyer agreed, and where it was his turn he exclaimed, "O
Jesus, I am a slave to drink. One of Your servants has shown me
how to be saved. O God, forgive my sins and help me overcome the
power of this terrible habit in my life." Right there he
was converted. That lawyer was C.I. Scofield, who later edited
the reference Bible that bears his name.
The Gospel changes lives remember back to the story of Stephen.
Well his proclaiming of the gospel put a seed in the man Saul
of Tarsus who killed Christians then heard the gospel and went
on to write over half of the New Testament.
E. Salvation is the power of God.
John G. Paton, a missionary to the South Sea Islands, truly believed this scripture. He often lived in danger as he worked among the hostile aborigines who had
never heard the gospel. At one time three witch doctors, claiming
to have the power to cause death, publicly declared their intentions
to kill Paton with their sorcery before the next Sunday. To carry
out their threat, they said they needed some food he had partially
eaten. Paton asked for three plums. He took a bite out of each
and then gave them to the men who were plotting his death. On
Sunday, the missionary entered the village with a smile on his
face and a spring in his step. The people looked at each other
in amazement, thinking it couldn't possibly be Paton. Their "sacred
men" admitted that they had tried by all their incantations
to kill him. When asked why they had failed, they replied that
the missionary was a sacred man like themselves, but that his
God was stronger than theirs. From then on Paton's influence grew,
and soon he had the joy of leading some of the villagers to the
As we have seen before our society is in the need of the healing power of Jesus. I compared us as Christians to those life guards who allowed someone to drown right under their noses.
I can just see the billboard of our lives as it appears on judgment
day. There you stand infront of God and on the billboard is your
life as a Christian. is your report going to say while around
a Christian Tom Jones, John Doe and their friends slipped into
Hell, never to be revived again. This all happened while you sat
comfortable in your salvation.