Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Evangelism - The Attempt to CP2G

Four Functions of the Church - Worship, Nurture, Ministry, Evangelism

Today - Evangelism - 2 Cor. 5:17-20

Focus is on the message, NOT the methods. It is our Christian duty to present a clear gospel message. Note: Bridge Illustration.
Purpose today is not to convince, but to inform and prepare

The scripture teaches and the Bridge illustrates that:

I. We are separated from God by our sin(s).
1st. Sin is an action/attitude contrary to God's will, desire, intent. It is inherent (born that way), universal (everybody), *chosen (we come to a point in life where we KNOW right from wrong)

2nd. Separation does not mean no contact with the person or purpose of God. It does not mean you are separated from His love and concern. Eph. 4:17-18 - other words: "lost/dead/condemned.
We are hopelessly separated (can't fix it) - Rom. 3:20 - good works only make us aware of how separated we are.
We are eternally separated (hell???) John 3:18 - state that we live in, stay in, the way it is.

The tension (problem): On one hand you have God's unconditional love.
On the other hand God's uncompromising holiness.
The answer/solution is not either/or. The answer is BOTH as shown in Jesus Christ. He came down, emptied himself, paid the price.

II. The way to reconciliation is through Jesus Christ.
Rom. 5:1-2 (a) - "stand" Eph. 3:12
Crossing leads to forgiveness, reconciliation, new birth (nature), place in heaven

Most people don't object to Jesus as A way.
The objection is to Jesus as The way.
Note: Words of Paul: I Tim. 2:5 - one God and one Mediator
Peter: Acts 4:12
Jesus: John 14:6

I & II are the most important points, but the Bridge also illustrates:

III. The Freewill of man. - Rev. 22:17 KJV "whosoever" believes, confesses, calls upon....


IV. The Necessary Response of (free) man.
Rev. 3:20 - "hears and opens"
On one hand it is by grace, but, grace requires response.


V. The Need for Evangelism.
A. People are separated and stand condemned
B. They can't accept until they know - Rom. 10:13-14

VI. The Responsibility of the Evangelist
(obvious) the process requires God's presence - John 6:44/65
(also obvious) the process requires God's people - Rev. 22:17 - "Spirit and the bride (Christians)...."

Rom. 1:16 - "not ashamed" to accept/receive Christ. "not ashamed" to share Christ.

*animation from bellsnwhistles.com

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Combining Ministry and Eveangelism

4 Functions of the church - Worship, Nurture, Ministry, and Evangelism

Today we're addressing: Combining Ministry and Evangelism

Definition: Ministry - Doing good..... *to people.....on God's behalf.*
Evangelism - attempting to connect people to God and, perhaps, reconnecting people to God.
Combination - doing good * - * in hopes of connecting people to God. (or, doing temporal (here and now) good in hope of achieving greater good)

Our example/model/teacher is Jesus - Mark 1:29-39 He had a unique way of blending ministry AND evangelism - ministry through vs. 34. Evangelism - vs. 38-39.

Note #1 - His primary purpose was to accomplish eternal good.
Mark 1:38
Luke 19:10
John 3:17

Note #2. How He used ministry extensively to help accomplish that good.
Example: feeding the 5000 (healed, fed, taught)
Answer to John the Baptist - Luke 7:21-22

This does not mean.....every good deed requires a verbal gospel presentation.
Examples: raising Jairus' daughter - Mark 5
healing the deaf mute - Mark 7

but recognize - Jesus did not do these good deeds apart from His efforts to connect people to God!

So...... ministry is doing good because people are valuable and important
However, the New Testament model is doing temporal good in hopes of achieving eternal good (greater, higher good)

Note: it is very easy to slip in to ministry by itself which becomes "social gospel". Establishing the kingdom without the King fails miserably.

Lessons and Applications for Us??

#1. We are called to both ministry and evangelism. Comfort with one does NOT excuse us from the other!!! 2 Cor. 5:20 (a) God appeals to people "through" us.

#2. This does not mean you must always give a full gospel presentation. Example: John 8:10-11
Question? Why didn't Christ share the gospel here? and, more often?
Answer: don't know, BUT He is the model, He did it right, and He did it well!!

#3. Evangelism is more than giving a gospel presentation.
Evangelism is the process of connecting people to God.
Example: gestation period - the seed is planted, then grows to fruition over time. 1 Cor. 3:5-6, 8

#4. the greatest good cannot be achieved without a gospel presentation. Rom. 10:13-14

1. be intentional - visualize ministry as a means of connecting people to God.

2. watch for opportunity - but don't take advantage of situations when people are most vulnerable. Example: funerals

3. pray.... for the situation, for the individual, with the individual - WITH permission!!

4. be prepared to give a verbal witness of:
a. God's love and concern
b. the basic gospel story (bridge, ABC, wordless book)
c. the faith - 1 Pet. 3:15 On one hand, you won't ever have all the answers, but you already have the most important ones.

5. leave the results with God. 1 Cor. 3:6 - it is not our responsibility to get people saved!

2 faulty applications: presenting the King without the Kingdom (shallow evangelism)
pursuing the Kingdom without the King (social gospel)

You are called to present the King and pursue the Kingdom.