Who's Your One?May 17-21
Who’s Your One?
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
Paul W. Powell, in The Complete Disciple, described this condition: “Many churches today remind me of a laboring crew trying to gather in a harvest while they sit in the tool shed. They go to the tool shed every Sunday and they study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and then get up and go home. Then they come back that night, study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and go home again. They come back Wednesday night, and again study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and get up and go home. They do this week in and week out, year in and year out, and nobody ever goes out into the fields to gather in the harvest.
In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus gives what is commonly known as The Great Commission. It’s here that He commissioned His followers to go into the world and make disciples. The word Christian is used only three times in the whole New Testament. Acts 11:26; 26:28 and First Peter 4:16. The word disciple is used 272 times. The purpose of evangelism is to make disciples. And the way we make disciples is by sharing the good news of Jesus. All disciples of Christ are called to go and make other disciples of Christ.
Last Sunday we heard a powerful sermon about evangelism. We encourage every Christian to learn how to share the gospel of Jesus and to share how that good news has changed their life. Have you ever taken the time to write your own personal testimony? Ask God for an opportunity to share your story with someone who isn’t already a disciple of Jesus.
Thank God for making you a disciple of His. Thank God for the privilege of being invited to be a part of His mission to share His love with the world.
A Command To Share
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. – 2 Corinthians 5:9 (ESV)
Mary Brumbaugh’s husband, an airline pilot, often has difficulty locating items around the house. One day he asked Mary where the salt was. Annoyed, she responded, “How on earth can you find Detroit at night in a blizzard, but you can’t find the salt in your own kitchen?” “Well, darling,” he replied, “they don’t move Detroit!”
The bible describes people who have not become disciples of Jesus as “lost.” In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul is defending his way of trying to help lost people by sharing the gospel. Paul revealed that one of His motives was “to be pleasing to Him.” When Jesus called His disciples He said “follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” All believers are commanded to be evangelists. And when Jesus rose from the dead He commanded them, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:18-20)
Paul wanted to please God when He was at home and when He was away from home. Basically, we are called to make disciples in every arena of life. It’s not just a responsibility at church or for “professional ministers.” What area of your life are you the least likely to share Christ? Ask God to give you an open door in that area.
Thank God for finding you when you were lost. Thank God for the people in your life who He is using you to show and share the love of God.
Compelled to Share
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; – 2 Corinthians 5:14 (ESV)
In 1879, Charlie Peace, a well-known criminal in London, faced execution by hanging. When he was marched to the gallows, a minister walked behind him. In keeping with custom, the minister read aloud this passage from a prayer book, “Those who die without Christ experience hell, which is the pain of forever dying without the release which death itself can bring.” When the minister read these chilling words, Charlie Peace stopped marching, turned to the minister, and shouted, “Do you believe that?” The startled minister stammered for a moment, then said, “Well, I suppose I do.” “Well, I don’t,” said the criminal. “But if I did, I’d get down on my hands and knees and crawl all over Great Britain, even if it were paved with pieces of broken glass, if I could rescue just one person from what you just told me.”
The Apostle Paul used the word “controls” to explain his motivation for sharing the good news about Jesus. Some versions use the word “compels.” The word “compels” could be described as an irresistible force. Jesus’ love for Paul had such a grip on his life that he wanted others to know. The more Paul understood the depth of God’s love for him, the more he wanted others to experience that same amazing love.
The love of Christ expressed in the suffering, the shame, and the pain we deserve for our sins on the cross drives believers to tell others about Him. The more we believe that, the more driven we are to share. When have you most sensed the depth of God’s love for you? What is something you’ve felt “compelled” to do because of Jesus’ love for you?
Praise God for proving His love for you by dying on the cross. Thank God for wrapping His loving arms around you.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (ESV)
There’s a story about Billy Graham when he was visiting a city for one of his crusades. He had written a letter to his wife and was looking for a place to mail it. Outside the lobby of his hotel, he came across a young boy. He asked the boy if he knew how to get to the post office. The boy gave Billy Graham the directions and before leaving, Billy said to the boy, “Come on over to the arena tonight and I’ll tell you how to get to heaven.” The boy looked at him and replied, “How can you know how to get to heaven? You don’t even know the way to the post office!”
God has given every Christian the privilege of telling others how to get to heaven. 2 Corinthians 5 calls this the “message of reconciliation.” The word “reconcile” refers to the exchange of hostility or enmity to a friendly relationship. Jesus made it possible for us to go from being enemies of God to being children of God by His death and resurrection. Our mission is to share that message.
A witness faithfully tells what he or she knows. If you were placed on trial as a witness to testify about how to get to heaven, what would you say? God is making His appeal through you.
Praise God for reconciling you with Himself. Praise God for giving you the role as an ambassador of Christ.
Consequences of Sharing
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. – 2 Corinthians 5:11 (ESV)
There was a story about a guy who applied for a job as an usher at a theater in the mall. As a part of the interview process, the manager asked him, “What would you do in case a fire breaks out?” The young guy answered, “Don’t worry about me. I can get out fine.”
Is it possible that’s how some of us feel about heaven and hell? “Don’t worry about me. I will get to heaven fine.” Much like a movie usher’s responsibility would be to help get people safely out of a fire, a Christians responsibility is to help people escape the judgement of hell. Paul told the church at Corinth we know the fear of the Lord so we try to persuade people to trust Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.
There is a sense of urgency in Paul’s ministry and writings. He desperately wanted to see people saved. Unfortunately, many of the people around us don’t understand the consequences of dying without a relationship with Jesus. Christ will reward our evangelism because among the many ways to love our communities and relieve suffering, evangelism is our highest priority because it rescues people from eternal suffering in hell.
Thank Jesus for providing a way of escape. Thank God for choosing you to help lead the way for others. Pray for anyone you know who needs to be saved.