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The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, Part 1 | Principles for Successful Evangelism

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, Part 1 | Principles for Successful Evangelism

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 1, 2024 3:00 am

Evangelism is at the heart of Pastor Greg Laurie’s ministry. From this radio broadcast, A NEW BEGINNING, to his television program, to his large Harvest evangelistic events, the gospel is always a central component. Our mission statement is Knowing Him and Making Him Known. And today, from Pastor Greg’s new series called Refresh, we dig deep into some principles for effective personal evangelism by learning from the most successful evangelistic outreach in history.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at harvest.org. When we make ourselves available to God, Pastor Greg Laurie points out today on A New Beginning that God will make His power and direction available to us. God is looking for people to show Himself strong on behalf of. He's looking for someone, well like you, who will actually say, use me Lord. I'll go where you want me to go. I'll say what you want me to say. Listen, will you be that person?

If so, a wonderful adventure awaits you. Evangelism is at the heart of Pastor Greg Laurie's ministry. From his radio broadcast, A New Beginning, to his television program, to his large Harvest evangelistic events, the gospel is always a central component. Our mission statement is knowing Him and making Him known. And today, from Pastor Greg's new series called Refresh, we dig deep into some principles for effective personal evangelism by learning from the most successful evangelistic outreach in history.

Okay, let's go back in time. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a very young Greg Laurie, age 17, came to believe in Jesus Christ. So I started going to church. I started reading the Bible for the first time I might add. And I heard the pastor say, you need to go out and tell other people about Jesus Christ. And I did want to tell people what God had done for me. My life had been transformed.

I found the answers that I and my generation were searching for. But I did not want to walk up to a total stranger. There was a fear of rejection.

They might ask me a question I don't have the answer to. But I got a little booklet called The Four Spiritual Laws put out by Campus Crusade for Christ. And I went out looking for someone to talk to. Understand I had a thimble full of theological knowledge at this point. I knew very little.

I saw a middle aged woman sitting on the beach in Newport Beach about the age of my mom. And I thought well maybe she will be nice to me. I walked up. I was very nervous. My voice was shaking. And I said, I talked to you about God and stuff.

And she says, yeah go ahead. So I sat down. And I was so new at this I literally just read this little booklet. I hadn't even memorized its contents. Page one. Page two. Page one. God loves you and has a plan for your life.

You are separated from God by your sin. And I read through it. And I remember thinking as I am doing this, this is not going to work.

Who do I think I am? This is the most insane thing I have ever done. I couldn't wait until it was over with. So at least I could say to someone, I talked to someone about Jesus. I was planning for failure.

Trust me. So I get to the end of this little booklet where a question is asked, is there any good reason why you should not accept Jesus Christ right now? I realize oh that is a question. So I looked up at her and she said, no. I looked back down. Wait. Does that mean you want to accept Jesus Christ right now?

She said yes. Oh no. I didn't know what to do. Well I had heard the pastor say, let's all bow our heads and a word of prayer. So I said, let's pray. Bow your head.

I am frantically searching this booklet for like what do I do now. And I found this little prayer which I let her in. And after she was done praying she said, something just happened to me.

And something happened to me too. I discovered the joy of sharing my faith. The thing I didn't want to do.

The thing I dreaded doing ended up being exciting and fulfilling and refreshing. So that is the title of my message. The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, which is a part of our new series that we are simply calling Refresh. Now I know it seems counterintuitive to talk to people about Jesus because it seems hard.

We too are afraid of rejection. But here is the truth of the matter. By the way I don't think Satan wants you to know this.

Listen. When you tell others about Jesus it will revive you. It will restore you. And it will refresh you as a follower of Jesus Christ.

I want to say that again. When you tell others about Jesus it will refresh you. It will revive you. It will restore you. Proverbs 11 25 says, a generous person will prosper.

Listen. And he who refreshes others will be refreshed himself. So this is a very important spiritual principle. Now we all know as Christians we are supposed to share our faith. You have probably heard of the Great Commission.

In case you don't know what it is. It is found in two gospels. Matthew and Mark. Mark's version has Jesus saying, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Matthew's version is go into all the world and make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. And lo I am with you always says our Lord. The Great Commission. We know we are supposed to do it.

But frankly most of us don't. Listen. The Bible says that God is looking for people to show himself strong on behalf of.

He is looking for someone well like you. Who will actually say, use me Lord. I will go where you want me to go. I will say what you want me to say.

Listen. Will you be that person? If so a wonderful adventure awaits you. I believe that sharing your faith can be exciting, joyful, and dare I use the word fun.

Yes you heard me right. As Psalm 126 says, those who go out weeping carrying seed to sow will return with songs of joy carrying their sheaves with them. You have heard that old song, bringing in the sheaves.

Bringing in the sheaves. That is what that is about. You go out with sadness, concern for people that don't know the Lord, but you come back with joy because people have come to Christ. Jesus said there is joy in heaven every time a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ. And if there is joy in heaven because of that there ought to be joy on earth and in our hearts if we had the privilege of playing a role in that as well.

Listen. Next to personally knowing the Lord the greatest joy I know is bringing others to Him and then watching them grow and be transformed. There is joy in telling people about Jesus and seeing them grow in Jesus. Back to the story of Jonah. The book of Jonah is a story of a massive revival that came about through the efforts of one man.

And that man was Jonah. He was called to preach to Nineveh, which was a great city by the way. The population of Nineveh was around 300,000. It might have been a little smaller, but that was a mega city back at that time. The reason the population was so high is because it became the capital of Assyria. There was a magnificent palace built there. So it was a very very large city of its day.

300,000 strong. It was a great city we read in Jonah 1.2. But Jonah said I don't want to go preach to that great city. So then we read in Jonah 1.4 God sent a great wind. And then that wind brought a storm and Jonah was ultimately swallowed by a great fish. Jonah 1.17. But the ultimate story of Jonah is about a great God who showed great love to a lost city like Nineveh and offered them His forgiveness.

If we miss that we miss the whole point of the story. How was he able to do this? It started with Jonah himself. Of course he was swallowed by maybe the whale or whatever that creature was. And it was in the belly of that whale that Jonah had a personal revival. It was there that he repented of his sin and recommitted himself to the Lord and was willing to do what the Lord called him to do. And he has a message 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Wow what a story this is. But listen Jonah was the right man at the right place at the right time. I wonder if you know somebody right now that the Lord has been nudging you to talk to. Why don't you engage that person in a conversation? Did it ever occur to you that God has placed you right where you are right now to reach certain people?

So seize the moment. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We send these daily studies out via radio satellite and online and we don't always know how these messages are touching lives. But when we hear the stories of our listeners it really is encouraging. Pastor Greg has just watched the first episode of your new animated series Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog and it was wonderful.

I struggle to talk to my 16 year old son who has mild autism and ADHD. This animated episode called The Bridge is Out allowed me to have an open dialogue with him. He asked questions and was able to understand things more clearly.

It also tested all the Bible studying we've been doing together. Thank you again for always coming out with unique ways of teaching everyone. God bless you. It's a privilege to be able to provide so many resources through Harvest Ministries. Check them out for yourself at harvest.org.

That's harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg is anchoring our study in Jonah chapter 3 today as he brings us his message called The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith Part 1. What else did we learn about sharing our faith book of Jonah?

Number two. Jonah went to where the people were. Jonah went to where the people were. Jonah 3 3 says Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city. It took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day's journey into the city crying 40 more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.

Then we read these words. The Ninevites believed God. He went right into the middle of the city. He could have just shouted it from the shores of Nineveh. 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown.

Thank you very much. Well I need a ride back somewhere. No. He went into the city. He could have shot a tweet out.

No they didn't have Twitter back then. But he could have got the message out in other ways. But he realized I need to go into the middle of the city where people are.

This massive city of 300,000 people. Listen. We need to go to unexpected people in unexpected places to share with them what will be an unexpected message. That is why here at Harvest we are online for you every weekend. And you may be watching us at our website harvest.org. Maybe our Facebook page.

Maybe on YouTube. You might be watching this on television. You might be hearing this on radio.

These are the various media platforms that we use. We are always looking for ways to reach people that you would not normally reach. People who would not necessarily darken the doorway of a church. We read a letter a little bit earlier from that gentleman who was a trucker. He heard our ministry while he was driving his truck. And we were able to invade his world.

And this is the thing. As Christians we're not called to isolate. We're called to infiltrate. And we're called to permeate.

Number three. Our message. The message of the gospel must be delivered with urgency.

It must be delivered with urgency. Notice it says in Jonah 3 4 as he entered the city he cried out 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown. He cried out. This is by the way not the first time that Jonah cried. He also cried out in the belly of the fish.

In Jonah 2 we read Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish's belly and he said I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and he answered me out of the belly of Sheol. I cried and you heard my voice. Are you in a time of affliction? Are you in a time of difficulty? Are you in a time of trial? Cry out to the Lord. Jeremiah 33 3 says call out to me and I will answer you says the Lord.

I'll show you great and mighty things that you do not know. Jonah took the desperation he felt in the belly of the sea creature and channeled it in what God had called him to do in bringing the message to the people of Nineveh. Jonah had been transformed in the fish's belly. Jonah should have died in the fish's belly. He had been saved and preserved by God. Jonah was a resurrection man.

And people cannot argue with a transformed life. Jonah should have been dead but he was alive and well. Because of this there was an urgency and there was a passion in what he was saying.

Do you have an urgency and a passion in reaching other people? Jonah certainly had it. There was an authenticity in his voice. He was a changed man as I pointed out.

He probably was also a bleached man who smelled of vomit perhaps and fish. But he had a mission and he was going to fulfill that mission and the people of Nineveh could see this was a resurrection man. This was a man brought back from the dead. There's a lot of power in your personal story when you share your faith with others. But I want you to think of a story in the New Testament. It's called the story of the woman at the well.

It's in John 4. We don't know this lady's name but fascinating story. We know she was a Samaritan and the Samaritans and the Jews wanted nothing to do with each other. There was a lot of tension there.

Racial tension. And then also we know she was an immoral woman because she had been married and divorced five times. And she was living with some dude when she encountered Jesus. Now the thing with this woman is she would go and draw water in the heat of the day.

Why? Because she went when nobody else was at the well. The other ladies would go to the well earlier in the morning.

Catch up on the latest town gossip. But she was ostracized. She was rejected because of the lifestyle she had chosen to live. So she's there all by herself drawing water in the heat of the day. And who is waiting for her but Jesus Christ the very Son of God. He went out of His way to meet with her because unbeknownst to her she had an appointment with God. And there she was at that well and Jesus entered her world. And then she heard the truth of His message. How she drank of the water He gave she would never thirst again. But there would be a well of living water coming out of her life. And she believed she realized she had been talking with the Messiah. And we read in John 4 28 she left her water jar. She came back to town and said to the people come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah? Then we read this. They came out of the town and made their way to Jesus.

Why? Because she was a resurrection woman. She was a woman who had been changed. They knew her. She had a bad reputation. But they saw her passion and her excitement for what Christ had done for her. And as a result they came and wanted to hear Jesus for themselves. You know I love the way Jesus connected to her. He asked her questions.

He listened to her. He didn't come off as a know-it-all. Don't be a know-it-all. I know you know certain things as a Christian but sometimes they're talking to a non-believer and they'll say something. Well that's wrong. That's so stupid.

Why would you think that? Just listen. Don't be a know-it-all. Who was more of a know-it-all than Jesus? He literally knew it all.

I mean technically knew it all because He was omniscient, which means all knowing. Sometimes we are accused of being holier than thou. Don't be holier than thou. Who was more holy than Jesus? He was the holiest of any man who ever walked the planet because He was God incarnate. But He didn't come off holier than thou.

The Bible says He was a friend of sinners. He entered her world. He listened to her.

He took time with her and it resulted in a transformation. Listen. Effective evangelism is not a monologue. It's a dialogue. Now when I speak at our crusades I have the privilege of standing on a stage and speaking to 30,000, 50,000 people. Sometimes more.

Sometimes less. It's effectively a monologue. Occasionally someone might yell at me from the audience. But generally it's me speaking through a microphone, through a massive sound system to a lot of people. That's a monologue. But when I share my faith one-on-one it is a dialogue. I don't walk around with a pulpit like this on wheels.

You know on the market pushing it down the aisle. I've got my bread, my bottle of water. Hey how are you doing? Let me tell you about Jesus. No I don't do it like that. I enter people's worlds. I listen to them. I don't tell them I'm a pastor up front if they're a stranger because they'll run away in terror if they're talking to an actual preacher.

But I just try to be a friend to them. And so here's some interesting stats for you to consider. 79% of unchurched people agree with the following statement. I don't mind talking to a friend about their faith if they really value it. Isn't that interesting? 79%.

That's the majority. People who are not believers are saying I don't mind talking with a friend about their faith if they value it. So they want to see do you actually believe this yourself?

Do you value this yourself? The Barna group asked non-believers what they value most when talking about spiritual things with someone. Listen they answered they want people to listen without judgment. Listen without judgment.

This isn't easy for some Christians. You want to judge people. You want to condemn people. You want to yell at people.

That's not how you're going to reach people. The objective is not to win the argument. It's to win the soul. The goal is not to burn the bridge.

It's to build the bridge which means you listen with love. You let them tell you their story and then you appropriately apply the message of the gospel. Such good counsel today for all of us because we're all called to share the life-saving message of the gospel. Pastor Greg Laurie with his study called the refreshing power of sharing your faith part one and this is a new beginning. Hopefully you're learning some great takeaway principles for sharing the hope of Christ with others. But then again maybe you're not clear about the hope of Christ yourself. Maybe you don't really know what the gospel message is or how you're supposed to respond. Pastor Greg they can take care of that right now can't they?

They can and it's so simple and I think because it's so simple people think oh it can't be that easy. Well look Jesus did all the heavy lifting. He carried the cross for you. He died on that cross that he carried. This isn't about what you do.

It's about what he's done. But here's what the bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. You say well okay how do I do that? You do it through prayer and if you pray this prayer after me I believe God will hear it and answer it and Christ will come to live inside of you. So if you want Jesus to come into your life and forgive you of your sin if you want to know that you'll go to heaven when you die if you want to fill that big hole in your heart pray these words if you would. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the savior who died on the cross for my sin. I am sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Be my savior and my Lord. Be my God and my friend. Thanks for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Listen if you just prayed that prayer I want you to know that God has heard you and has answered it. The bible says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the son of God that you may know that you have eternal life that you may know it's yours now God has given it to you because it's the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Congratulations and welcome to the family of God. Yeah that's right and we want to help you get started in this new relationship with the Lord.

Would you let us send you something? It's free of charge. It's Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible. Scores of people have read this edition of God's Word. New believers love the study helps written just for them and they appreciate that it's in an easy to understand translation. We'll send it to you today. Just ask for the New Believers Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300.

You can call anytime again 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg we're making available a new book called The Truth in True Crime and author Jim Wallace is with us. That's right. Now I'm not saying that I'm nervous about interviewing a police detective today but I did wipe all the fingerprints from my car before we came into the studio. But our guest does have such a fascinating and unique outlook on the issues of life doesn't he? He really does. Jay Warner Wallace that's the name you write as but you're known as Jim and but you were a detective you worked SWAT you worked undercover with gangs and you know to be a police officer especially today you see the worst people lie to you all the time you have to be suspicious it's kind of the nature of your job you can become jaded really easily and yet you became a Christian at age 35 as a detective as a guy who was not really raised with these beliefs and you've been a Christian now 27 years tell us what prompted you to be open to hearing the gospel and how you became a Christian well I think your story about how you were raised with your mom is very similar to my story and I just wasn't raised in an environment where I knew any Christians but my wife was interested more than I was now she wasn't a Christian either but she was way more interested than I was yeah so when I walked into the church the pastor said Jesus was really smart the smartest man who ever lived that provoked me enough to buy a pew bible I think I spent six or seven dollars on it and I started to examine the gospels to see what was so smart about Jesus that started me looking at him forensically I was looking at him like eyewitness account so how do you test an eyewitness account do all that and so there's also another aspect of this for me that I think you learn by watching the people you take to gym interestingly a lot of the stuff that we would say lead to human flourishing and we're discovering these things in the surveys and research of the last say three decades well to be honest it's very ancient stuff that has been the consistent teaching of scripture for two thousand years look I think that there's two things Greg is Christianity true I needed to know is it true yeah but I'm not sure that the next generation right now in high school really cares if it's true as much as they care is it good wow so I think that the case shifts like if a guy my age 62 I just need to know the facts if it's true I'm in if it's false I'm out I think for a lot of young people I gotta know first is it good because why would I even look at this if it's if it's homophobic misogynistic racist all the thing all the isms yes if that's what it is I'm not interested so I that's why now this stage of life I'm writing more about whether Christianity is good wow that's really interesting that's a unique thing that's happened in recent years isn't it yes I think it well you can imagine if there is no objective truth yes and if everything is a matter of personal opinion yeah then if I say this is true right well then it really loses its meaning I mean in my head when I say it this is objectively true this resurrection actually occurred not that it's true for me because I like it but we're in a world right now I'm not sure people even think there are such things as objective truths wow so I think that unsurprisingly in a world like that the issue has become well is it good yeah and so I think yes is it not only is it good it is these it is a consistent voice from God about how humans could flourish if they simply adopted the attributes the the perspectives of the New Testament but it turns out that all these criminal cases I've been working will also demonstrate you ought to live this way right and that's what this book is really all about and do we have a lot of those stories into this book as well that and a lot more in this new book by J Warner Wallace former cold case detective now prolific author and the title of the book is the truth in true crime you're going to be riveted by the stories that Jim tells from as many years serving in law enforcement as well as how they connect to biblical truth and how you can connect that in your life the truth in true crime available to you this month for your gift of any size to help us continue to bring God's word to people that really need to hear it yeah yeah that's right your investment helps others come into a relationship with the Lord and this book will help you move forward in your own walk with the Lord we'll send you the truth in true crime to thank you for your partnership with us right now just give us a phone call at 1-800-821-3300 we can take your call anytime 24 7 again the number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org well next time pastor Greg continues a series called refresh with more about the refreshment we enjoy when we share the life-saving message of the gospel join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher Greg Lauren the proceeding podcast was made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know God learn how to become a harvest partner sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 05:21:13 / 2024-05-01 05:32:05 / 11

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