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January 8, 2022 2:00 am
Jesus said that He would build His church. But how does He build it? What means does He use to call people out of the world and into His church? The answer is simple: Evangelism. As the early church (and any church) shined it's light by proclamation and by practice, people left the darkness. In fact in the first stages of the church, unlike today, "joining the church" and "being saved" were equivalent statements. Let's see how the first church did evangelism.
This teaching is from the series Church? Who Needs It.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Churches feel like what we got to be seeker friendly.
I don't agree should be seeker unfriendly, but the whole concept of this approach is. Let's take out songs that offend people. One leader safe. I'm not allowed to sing about Jesus too much of my worship I can't say anything about the blood of Jesus Christ and all these things were taboo in the name of the seeker friendly.
I say let's say you connect with script we can Skip Heitzig encourages us to seek the lost.
As he continues the message so you're playing hide and seek with young children could be somewhat of a challenge.
They don't quite get the concept of a high fairly when they see they may get nervous if they can't find you in the first 30 seconds in the church we sometimes play a reverse version of hide and in order to seek the lost.
We sometimes hide the so-called unpleasant aspects of Christianity that enjoys teaching Skip points out that if were going to be soul winners for Christ. We need to share the gospel boldly will begin our study adjustable first leave an excellent resource for you this month from Levi Lesko connectwithskip.com Neil Armstrong to Nancy first first words are well now he's not coming the first new center begins with buzz Aldrin 1959 July number four Neil I'm trying to the Eagle famous first step on the moon leave just before that out and took out the wine and bread represented body, but if you Christ, and he had personal communion service and that moment when I found out about it about a year previously hit me like a thunderbolt. You know, just to realize that the first thing ever on the moon with the Last Supper new hardcover book resource receive your copy when you get to $35 and more to support this program.
Just go to connect to skip.com or call one 892 1888.com or call one 808 series is called church market Bibles in acts chapter 2 will join Skip continues our study, 95% of American church members have never once led anyone to Christ. Now don't misunderstand that it's not saying that people don't witness that I think people do witness according to the Barna research group 55% of people in America who claim to be born-again Christians over the last 12 months have shared their faith with an unbeliever. 55% and that sort of been the.the norm over the last decade about 5055 60% of those who claim to be born-again Christians share their faith.
Most of them are evangelicals, people like you.
The highest activity for evangelism in America is guess where here the western United States the Western states per capita have more Christians that are actively sharing their faith in anywhere else in America. The place in America with the least amount of witness is the Midwest so I say let's racing people up ship him out to the Midwest. According to the same research whites.
Anglos are less likely to share their faith than Blacks or Hispanics were more vocal and wanting to give a witness, but local church evangelism is the combination of me doing my part you doing your part and all of us together in any means possible. We have church throughout the net of a rally throughout the net.
If you have a home group throughout the net.
If you're at a gas station you got a lot of extra time and are talking throw out the net. Paul said in first Corinthians 922 for I become all things to all men that by all means we might save some give you an example of a church in the New Testament that I think embody this beautifully. It's the church of Thessalonica and I want you to turn to a portion of Scripture just a few verses that helps us flesh that out turn over to first Thessalonians, said first flesh alone. Ian's first Thessalonians chapter 1.
First Thessalonians 1. This is a church that I have aspired to to become like first Thessalonians chapter 1 in verse five for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance.
As you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake and you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and a Kia who believe Pforzheim you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and a Kia but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything now.
In that passage compare verse five with verse eight verse five says the word of the Lord came to them. Verse eight the word of the Lord sounded forth from them so you see what happened. It came to them and then it went through them it came to them and worked in them and then came through them so they were both receivers as well as transmitters of the truth that is the norm that is the pattern for all New Testament churches came to you and then through. You also look at the word in verse eight sounded forth sounded forth comes from the Greek word costs or echo to reverberate in the picture that Paul paints with the word sounding forth is this hey you Thessalonians, when the gospel came to your town and made a huge noise. A big bang, and through your voice. It has reverberated through all the hills and all the valleys all around it has echoed through your life in your words throughout the whole region now if all churches were faithful to this the world long ago would have been evangelized. John RW Stott, veteran churchman pastor for number of years at all souls in London. He said we urgently need to return to this eager expectation. I know some churches which haven't seen a convert for 10 years or more, and if they got one. They would know what to do with it so extraordinary with this phenomenon appear to be to them. The first thing we learn in acts 247 is that the divine work the Lord added he used people use their testimony.
He worked in people within the gospel and through his people. Second thing I want you to notice in verse 47 it's a double work, not just a divine work.
It is also a double work. It says the Lord added to the church. Those who were being saved. Please get that.
That is, he didn't add them to the church without saving them, and he didn't save them without adding them to the church. Both the Lord did saving them and adding them to the church know I mention John Stott in his book.
He said he was in South America years ago and he met a group of college students who had dropped out of church and they called themselves Cristiano's escorted Gato's on hook Christians they become. They said so disillusioned with all of the churches in that city that they just bagged on church in general and they were now the disassociated on hook Christians, but according to the New Testament salvation and church membership go together.
They go together. The Lord added to the church.
Those who were being saved want to show you something turn couple pages to the right to acts chapter 51 should read this, it is actually mentioned three times in this book only so you once same phrase. Acts chapter 5 verse 12 and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.
Verse 14 and believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.
First of all who were being added believers as believers were increasingly added and this is a were added to what added to the Lord. Chapter 2, says the Lord added to the church.
Here it says believers were added to the Lord.
What is that mean if you put it all together at something like this. Believers were added to the Lord.
But the Lord added them to the church are synonymous. It's the same truth told, from two different perspectives so the person is saved, he's God's but God will place that person within the group that he calls the church.
That's why Jesus said upon this rock I will build my church, so another way of looking at this is that the church, the true church is made up of saved people does mean that everybody in the congregation. One time is going to be say, but it is primarily made up of saved people all members of the true church are saved people so why then do people or churches try to mask that and hide that.
Why is it that some churches feel like we got a be seeker friendly.
Now I don't think we should be seeker unfriendly. Don't get me wrong, but the whole concept of this approach is. Let's take out songs that offend people who don't know Christ. Let's take out the eye one worship leader say I'm not allowed to sing about Jesus too much in my worship song. I said what are you worshiping them so I can't say anything about the blood of Jesus Christ and all these things were taboo in the name of being seeker friendly, I say let's be saved friendly, rather than the emphasis on seeker friendly, listen any any group. Any church that is more interested in entertaining the goats rather than feeding the sheep has a wrong and and this is how evangelism works. Evangelism helps goats become sheep. Once there sheep you disciple them, you feed them, you nurture them you love them to pray with them, though she will in turn go out and help other goats become sheep. That's how the cycle works so it is a divine work. It's a double work and third, it's a daily work.
Notice the word the Lord added to the church daily daily or one translation puts it day by day.
This tells me this the church in Jerusalem did not look at evangelism as some sporadic event. I don't think they had evangelism Sunday or missions week. Every day was evangelism day and every week was missions week was part of the normal natural outflow of their lives together and God was doing it through them on a daily continual basis. Some people some church leaders believe that once there church reaches 500 or 1200 or 2000 whatever number they put up there. It should then stop reaching out were full will get so full they had a spell out and start 1/3 of things keep going the early church in Jerusalem had 3000 converts the first day and they were just getting started and there were 5000.
Then there were others, then eventually decide multitudes and multitudes of people would come to know it's wrong to be satisfied with growth because no matter how many believers are here. There's a whole lot more unbelievers out there, but this is never going to work. This sermon will never do any good in motivating us until here's the key until we start caring until we start looking at crowds of people. Unbelievers, not just as that's a nice dress or that's a cool car or how I wonder what they make for years wage that we start seeing them as souls lost lost and do we ever think one day they could drop dead and fall into hell that will motivate us differently. Jesus, when he saw people saw them differently and see them as an inconvenience in say something people on this hill and man there like a nuisance. Now he saw them. Matthew nine when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.
And he said to his disciples, the harvest is truly ripe, but the laborers are few therefore pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into his arm to hear that laborers, not superintendents, not professionals.
All God is looking for his day laborers somebody and say here's a mouth here's a life use that I care and I'm to share because of it leading a person to Christ begins with loving a person who doesn't yet know Christ. Paul the apostle wrote.
I have great happiness and continual sorrow in my heart over his people. The Jewish people's been estimated that if we were to look at the number of people without Christ, whom the Bible calls lost people.
If we were lined them up side to side or back to front and form a line that the line would go around the whole earth. 30 times in the line is growing 20 miles longer every single day. So the question comes to us. Do we care, we see crowds and people like Jesus. I think one of the reasons the church grew so rapidly in this first part of it season. In the book of acts is the gospel wasn't confined to church meetings or evangelistic events, but it was done by all Jesus that going to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. They internalize that they took it personally and they did a daily not told you this before but to me this that this is such a great perspective. Let's imagine that we had the financial capacity to do a crusade and I don't know if you know about crusades, but they can run into the millions of dollars to do a weeks crusade. Let's say we had the wherewithal to rent a stadium and we could rent a stadium every night of the week every week of the year for 35 straight years and let's just imagine that in that stadium every night were 50,000 new people and every night of that crusade. 1000 came to Christ fresh commitments every night. So tonight a thousand people are 90,000 people. The next time you did that every night the 35 years. At the end of one year you got 365,000 new believers right if you could continue that for 35 years. At the end of 35 years you would be further behind the task of world evangelization than the day you started.
You go I don't get it simply, when you figure the exponential birth rate, the number of people are being born in the world. By the end of 35 years, you will proportionally be further behind the task of world evangelization than the day you started filling a stadium every night for 35 years with 50,000 people in a thousand people a night coming to Christ, but if you are the only Christian on earth and you said dear Lord, would you help me within the next 12 months to leave just one other person to Christ and of God answered that prayer and in the end of 12 months year one you let a person to Christ another two Christians on earth and to Christians only and you both pray Lord at the end of this year to help each of us to leave just one person to Christ in two years. You know, for Christians in your three you have a and 16 and 32 and 64 and you grow exponentially so that within 1/2 a century, within 1/2 a century everyone on earth would be converted wow wow so do you do mass evangelism or depot person. You both by all means we might save some day what there's nothing like holy gossip. That's evangelism holy gossip stay you heard what Jesus did for me to spread it around so we now have the complete picture of the church in the book of acts, and it only took us six weeks to get we saw they were related to the apostles continued in the apostles doctrine. They were related to each other and fellowship. They were related to God in prayer and breaking of bread. They were related to the outside world and the Lord added daily to the church. Those who were being saved. So here's the whole picture to be those who know God as well as those who make God known to be a worshiping community as well as a witnessing community to never say well you know we got a pretty active group in a pretty large church and were done. True story. This is a news article I found it in the newspaper called the Times reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio put out a few years ago in that news article. They reported about a municipal swimming pool in New Orleans, Louisiana. There was a celebration of that pool. They were celebrating the first summer in memory without a single drowning in the New Orleans city pool system at the gathering were 200 people, including 100 lifeguards hundred lifeguards when the party was over and the four lifeguards on duty were clearing the scene, they discovered a body, face down in the pools deepened. They tried to revive 31-year-old Jerome Moody. They were unsuccessful and the irony of the article was that Jerome Moody drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their success. There's people are drowning all around us as people who need fishermen to rescue them. Jesus at all make you fishers of men.
There's lost people everywhere we go, and were on a mission from God now could be no doubt that there are some who are gathered here today you come with a friend you come because it's Father's Day you come for whatever reason, but honestly in your own evaluation. You realize I'm really not satisfied, I'm not there yet.
In fact, I'm so sick of singing did it my way. Not a good plan. Not a good plan to trust yourself or be a good person. It's the best plan to trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross. If you want new life is where you start start by receiving Christ who's been knocking at the door of your heart to do it now.
You do it right here if you'd like to talk to someone right now about what it means to give your life to Christ, we be happy to help you.
Just call us at 1-800-922-1888 that number again 1-800-922-1880. No one really knows what the future so why put off until later when you can secure your eternal future. Right now that's all the time we have for today but before we go.
Here's all the info about the trip to Israel skipping when you're making later this year to Israel in 2022 90 on the journey visit places like Nazareth, the Jordan River. The Dead Sea in Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount in the garden tomb and that's just a quick look at the trip.
Find out more about the trip that inspiration cruises.com/CAP Q you can also order a copy of today's teaching soul winning for just four dollars for shipping so give us a call 1-800-922-1880 visit was.com. We live in a culture obsessed with her parents. So next time will learn how to build a beautiful body during weekend edition presentation of connection you and ever-changing time