I would like to invite you to start a new church. Our pastor is a rookie, he does not have a staff, his workers are untrained, most of them are newly converted. There is no actual building in which we can congregate, and there is very little money. Our evangelism technique is going out into the streets, door-to-door telling others about Jesus. Our purpose is to not only grow a church, but also, and more importantly, to bring a revival.
So whoâ€™s with me?!!
No? I understand…it probably wouldnâ€™t work anyway.
You see Bro Dave your technique and tools are greatly wanting. It takes much more organization and skill to begin a church than what you are proposing. You are going to need a church staff and a cadre with trained workers to bring the type of revival you seek. The Bible is very clear on that:
â€œAnd with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, â€˜Be saved from this perverse generation.â€™ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostlesâ€™ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.â€ (Acts 2:40-47)
…Um wait, well I see your point Bro Dave, but you have to understand that those were unique circumstances and today is much different.
Youâ€™re right, today is much different than when the infant church began. They had very little; we have an abundance. They had sandals and voices; we have the Internet and iPhones. They had only three thousand; we have supposed 100 million in America.
A Barna Group article dated January 31, 2005 reported that a survey they conducted found that most born again adults proselytize. Well thatâ€™s great Bro Dave! Yes, praise God for those obedient souls, but when you go past the sub-headline in the article, youâ€™ll find that the majority is a small one, like 55%.
That means less than 6 out of 10 born again adults took the time in the past year of the survey to share their faith in Jesus Christ with an unsaved person. And letâ€™s say that in the last 6 1/2 years since this report came out there has been a 25% increase in that. That would be good news indeed but still would amount to less than 7 out of 10 born again adults sharing their faith.
What that actually means is that over one-quarter of self-professing born-again adults are not sharing their faith, and have not done so in the last year. A week ago Sunday I told my Sunday school class that I could not remember the last time I talked about Jesus to a stranger. I ashamedly admitted that as their Sunday school teacher.
Beloved, Great Awakenings and revivals do not happen by magic. They happen with pastors and parishioners proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. And when we do that, Acts 2:47 promises that the Lord adds â€œto the church daily those who [are] being saved.â€
There are a number of evangelistic methods to use and Iâ€™ve decided weâ€™ll cover those this week, but suffice it to say that we have unlimited resources to reach the lost compared to our founding church fathers who had very limited resources. They did so much with so little while we are doing so little with so much.
Beloved, be there no doubt that if we were to actually begin proselytizing the lost that persecution will come. It always does:
â€œTherefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.â€ (Acts 8:4-8)
The â€œthereforeâ€ is there because of Stephenâ€™s death by stoning and Saulâ€™s persecution of the church and the dispersal it caused. You see, we donâ€™t need to worry about where weâ€™ll end up if we are persecuted, but rather or not we will go preaching the word, that is, sharing the gospel.
It is the good news that brings lost souls to Christ; thatâ€™s how it happened with you. Perhaps you were facing a difficult time when you came to Christ, what better time to hear of good news in the midst of sorrow? Yesterday I asked my class to make a commitment to invite at least one person to Sunday school for next week. We are studying the very powerful John 14. We are going to look at how Jesus cares for the troubled heart.
I asked them if they knew someone with a troubled heart? Most indicated yes and so I told them this was the person to invite to Sunday School. Who knows, they might even stay for church!
Beloved, souls are saved one at a time. And we have no idea what God will do with that one soul. The Saul referred to in Acts 8 is the very Saul who gets saved on the Damascus Road in Acts 9! Do you think anyone at that time would have thought Saul would become a Christian? We know Ananias doubted it.
Today we have been given a unique opportunity, with unlimited resources, to share Jesus with all those within our sphere of influence. I want to help you to discover those resources and equip you with some simple tools that will assist you in sharing the gospel.
The Bible says that Jesus added to the church daily those being saved. There are 170 of you on this devotional list, if each of us tells someone about Jesus and that person receives Christ and shares with another person. And that person receives Christ and shares with another person and…
If that duplicated itself this week, once each day, in one week there would 1530 new souls in the Church; in just one week! Would you not be excited about being a part of more than 1500 new souls being saved in a week? And that is with each of us just sharing Jesus with someone. I believe the Lord would bless that effort to His glory.
In the parable of the faithful servant and the evil servant, Jesus ends the parable with this very stark warning:
â€œFor everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.â€ (Luke 12:48b)
For those of us who claim to be born again, if I was to publish your testimonies of how much the Lord has given you, it would no doubt be a three-volume book. We have been given much, and with that comes a requirement, a commitment, and an expectation that more will be asked of us.
Are you up to the task?
And to those of you who are not born again, you cannot give what you have not received. You cannot tell of what Jesus has done for you if you have not received Him as your Lord and Savior.
I pray you will do so today.
And I will be praying the rest of you will tell someone about Jesus…today.
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers