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Share the Love - How to Tell His Story, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
June 30, 2023 6:00 am

Share the Love - How to Tell His Story, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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June 30, 2023 6:00 am

If you’ve ever felt unprepared to share your faith with someone, join Chip as he helps you prepare to tell others about Jesus. Once you get clear on the message of the Gospel, and learn a few very simple truths about the work of salvation, it will revolutionize your ability to share His story with others.

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I don't know about you, but I don't like getting put on the spot, and for much of my life, that's how I felt when it came to sharing my faith. I fumbled for words. I lacked confidence.

I felt inadequate and fearful. Today, you are going to learn how to get the gospel clear, understand the basics, and be ready in season and out of season to share the story of God's love. Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. In just a minute, we'll finish our series, Share the Love, How to Talk to Anyone About God. We hope Chip's teaching has shown you how to effectively tell people about the hope of the gospel in a natural, confident, and loving way.

If you've missed any part of this series, catch up any time through the Chip Ingram map or at livingontheedge.org. If you're ready, go in your Bibles to Romans chapter 6 for the remainder of Chip's talk, How to Tell His Story. I was in a Middle Eastern country about six years ago, and we have leaders from all kind of backgrounds and denominations, people that I remember sitting in front of them and teaching and thinking as I looked at this crowd, this group may never ever come together without people killing one another again until they get to heaven. I mean, I had Iran pastors, Iraq pastors, people from Saudi Arabia, born-again believers in Jesus that were Palestinians, born-again believers who were Jewish from Israel.

We had people from Pakistan, people from, I mean, these people, many of them were taught since they were little boys and little girls to kill one another. We had Baptist and Pentecostal in foursquare. I remember the Coptic priests who always sat in the front row, his name is Stephanos, big man, black robe, big black beard and a big cross, and he loved Jesus.

Next to him, a campus crusade worker. And I got to teach them, and as I was teaching them a series on the invisible war about spiritual warfare, we talked about how bitterness and unforgiveness opens the door to evil in our lives. And it was just a moment where I've rarely seen something like this happen. There was Iran and Iraqi soldiers who are now in ministry.

And if you remember, we aren't too familiar with all that, there was a big war between Iran and Iraq. And the man stood up and said, before we go on, I need to do something. God convicted me and tears streaming down his face, and everyone was sitting down, and he got up, this soldier, and this man got up, this soldier, now both involved in ministry. And he walked over and said, when our war and our countries warred, I was on the front lines, I've killed hundreds or thousands of your people, and I want you to please forgive me. And I watched these two grown men who were taught as little boys, kill, kill, kill, kill, and who did that, get reconciled first to God and be forgiven, and then have a new capacity to forgive and love each other.

And I watched two men embrace with tears going down their cheeks and sing peace and reconciliation. God wants to do that in your heart. God wants to do that through you to people in your family that are alienated. He wants to do that to you people at work that are broken and hurting and feel like they're bitter. And people get busy and medicate their lives because down deep in their heart, their search, they don't recognize, I just want to be loved. I want to be loved. And for the great majority of people in this room, you're the conduit of that love. And for others, this is an exciting day for you.

You don't know it yet, but he brought you in this room on this day to reconcile you to himself, for you to know that he's real, he loves you, you have a problem like we all do, but Jesus came to rescue you. Act 4 is how it all will end. It's exciting you get to the very end and there's a book called The Revelation.

Kind of a neat title, isn't it? The Revelation, in other words, it means what's going to be unveiled. Often in the Old Testament, God would tell us things that would happen 700, 1000, 1500 years in advance, down to specifics, even naming names, empires that will happen, specific prophecy, because he wants us to know, this isn't just a book, this isn't a paperback, it's not fiction, it's life. And so at the end of the book he tells us what's going to happen forever in history.

And it's called restoration or consummation. Jesus is going to return. And he promised he would make all things right in heaven and on earth.

I mean, that's hope. Notice, every moral being, angels, us, will be judged justly and repaid for their thoughts, choices and actions. When Jesus comes back as the righteous judge, sin, death and Satan will be vanquished forever and then God will re-establish what?

Perfect love relationship in a perfect environment forever and ever. When Jesus first came, he came as the savior to pay the price for sin, to offer to whoever would. And by the way, whoever would, the hard part, is our pride. It's really about not believing God is good. It's not believing that he really loves you. And so, no, no, no, no, I'll do life my way. But God says, I got a great plan for your life and I love you, I want you to receive my love. And so he came as the savior. When Jesus comes back, he'll come back as the judge. And upon his thigh it says, faithful and true.

And everyone will get exactly what they deserve. And what he wants you to know is that he doesn't want to judge you. He wants you to come under the blood and the forgiveness of what he's provided so that on that final day when sin is judged and death is swallowed up and Satan is cast into the lake of fire and there is a reality and heaven is real and there's a promise, he wants whosoever, it's not his desire that a single person would ever perish but that all would come to a knowledge of the truth. And for some he brought you today so you can cross that line. Notice how the end will be.

The love gives hope that leads to perseverance. I mean the fact of the matter is, I mean life's hard, right? You've been ripped off. People have walked out on you. People have lied to you.

You have health issues that don't get better. Here's what you need to understand. This story is the story of all eternity. You live inside this little thing called time. Inside time everything's not going to be fair. When Jesus comes back part of him judging is real love demands justice. Those people that have abused kids, those people that have lied, those people that have hurt others, those people have annihilated.

What kind of God would it be when we go and say, oh well, he just said, oh well they just had a bad day. I'm just not going to. I mean there is a part inside of you that cries out. That's not fair, especially when it happens to you. And what you need to know, what gives you hope and allows you to persevere, there is a day coming when God is not only loving and kind and compassionate but he is holy and just and all the scales will be balanced and everyone will get exactly what they deserve.

That's what justice is. But what he wants us to understand is that we don't want to get what we deserve and Christ came to pay for what we did. The result is eternal life.

Listen to what it's like. Revelation chapter 21, this is act four. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And I heard a loud voice, John is speaking, getting his revelation from God.

He's watching it. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, now the dwelling of God is with men and he will live with them and they will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. And he will wipe every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new. Then he said, write this down for these words are trustworthy and true. What gives you hope? What gives you perseverance in the midst of a hard life and in a fallen world it'll be hard is to know that you have eternal life, that heaven's real, that there's hope.

Now, that's the story, okay? I encourage you to pick up the paperback and if you've never read it, maybe for the next year just say, I'm going to read this. Or for some of you just treat it like one of those novels and say, ah, it'll take me four or five days and just sit down and zoom through.

Get something easy to understand. If you're like me, I had never opened it and I remember saying, God, I don't know if you exist or not. But all of history is divided between this one called Jesus between BC and AD. And life has been defined by this one man. I owe it to myself to at least examine what your word says. And so I started a journey and I read it and I asked God, if you're real, reveal yourself to me.

And so I would give you that challenge if this is new to you. But the story of God's love is simple. Act one, creation, he made you for himself. Act two, how it all went wrong. Sin, it's a fallen world. Act three, he came to rescue you and he loves you.

And act four, he's coming back again and he's going to make everything right. Here's the two questions. Question number one, is that story true? And question number two, if it's true, how do you get in on that rescue, right?

Is it true? Everyone has a story. I'll guarantee you, you may not think about it, but you have your own little story. You have a world view. You are thinking, living, spending money, prioritizing your life around some little story that you've either heard or come to believe or patched together and what you're doing and where you're going has one little light. Now, here's my question.

Where'd you get your story and is your story true? Because here's why I'm staking my life on God's story. He's not telling me I need to somehow become one with the ocean. He's not telling me I need to be religious and pray five times a day and try and appease a God who's not loving. He's not telling me I need to be a religious good person. He's not telling me just pull it up by the bootstraps. He's not telling me to be sort of a nice moral person and be as upwardly mobile as possible and be successful.

All those stories crash. He's telling me this story is true. I'm made for him even in my fallenness and my sin because I rose from the dead to prove it's true in space-time history.

This isn't some religious or anecdotal thought or something made up in a corner. This is God the Son living on the planet who died and for 40 days after he died appeared to people in a resurrection body with over 500 witnesses verifiable. The resurrection, that's why I believe this story.

Notice the text I gave you. Paul makes the point in the whole chapter, 1 Corinthians 15, but he summarizes in these two verses, verses 19 to 20 and 21, he says if for only this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. In other words, if you think he's a nice moral teacher and let's follow his teachings and be good to one another, he says you're to be pitied. He didn't claim to be a nice moral teacher. He was the definition of radical.

He was the definition of revolutionary. He said I'm God. They killed him because he claimed to be God. They killed him because they said the father and I are one. They killed him because he said no man comes to the father except by me.

Jesus was either the truth or he was a liar or a lunatic. But notice what the apostle Paul says, but Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. The first fruits of all who've fallen asleep, for since death came through a man, Adam, the resurrection of the dead comes through also a man, Christ. For as an Adam, all die. So in Christ, all will be made alive.

You might circle in your notes all and all. This is sort of unpleasant that we don't look at, but the mortality rate of everyone in this room is 100%. We're all going to die. And the only reason we're going to die is because there's sin in the world. And the only reason there's sin in the world is because in act two, our first parents sinned.

And we inherited that. But all will be made alive. Every single person will be resurrected. Every person will be resurrected and to those people who say God, you know, I don't want your stuff and Jesus, I don't believe in you and tell you what, you can have all this big light.

I'm going with my light. You know what God will say to those people? Even though it will break his heart, he'll say, thy will be done. Thy will be done. God will not coerce or force anyone to be with him forever. So people who've said I don't want anything to do with you in this life, all hell is is an extension of people getting their will. No one will be in any situation saying, oh God, I wish I could get into heaven. Oh, I wish I could love you, but I can't. His arms are open, but he's just.

Well, how do you receive the rescue? For me, I was 18 and I didn't know if God existed. But let me tell you the good news, that's what the word gospel means.

It means good news. There's four facts of the gospel. I want to summarize them and as I do, can I ask you, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, would you listen to this with fresh ears and say to yourself, do I really believe it? Do I really believe God loves me this much? And if he loves me this much, why in the world wouldn't I trust him for other stuff?

Okay? You don't like my future and like my decisions and like my family and like my singleness and like my priorities and like my money and why wouldn't I do life the way his love letter says if he really loves me this much? And if you're a person that maybe here and checking it out came with a friend, let me encourage you to listen with these kind of ears. Could it be that this is true? Could it be that I'm made by a personal God who loves me? Could it be that my problems, many of my own making and the making of other people because I've sinned and could it be that Jesus came and died and rose from the dead and today's the day I could receive forgiveness? So let me give you the facts.

Fact number one of the good news is that you are a sinner. The Bible says for all of sin and falls short of the glory of God and that's not an offensive word. I mean it's been used in some sort of bad ways. The word just means you missed the mark. It's similar to the word transgression. It's like here's a line. It means you cross over it. We know what's right to do and we do it the wrong thing, right?

I mean and you don't have to learn this. That beautiful little boy that I cried and loved so much, he got to be about two years old and I would ask him to do something. Two years old he'd walk up like this. No.

Well you know what I like now? He's got a two year old. And I was over at his house just a couple days ago and he told him to do something.

That kid just looked at him and went. It's in us people. We're selfish. We fall short. Now if there's anyone here that's never had a bad thought, never sinned, never hurt anybody in any way, you're absolutely perfect, you do not need this.

However, check with the person you came with. Second, the penalty of sin is death. For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

See God's fair. There's wages, right? When you go to work, what's a wage?

A wage is simply what you get for what you do. And the Bible says that the wages or what we're going to get paid for for our sin is separation forever. The first two facts of the gospel are bad news.

But then the good news kicks in. Christ died to pay for my sin. But God demonstrated his love for you. And that while you and me were yet literally enemies, sinners apart from him, Christ died.

Circle the word for. It's an important word. Died for you. It means he died in your place and for your sake. In the old days, because it's a vivid picture, if you can imagine on a terrible day of rage that somehow you killed someone and you did it and you were convicted by a court and they said the death sentence and they stuck you in an electric chair and strapped you down and the guy's ready to pull the switch because you justly deserve to die for someone that you killed. What the Bible's talking about in this verse is that Jesus would walk in the room and say, time out. I don't want this one to be killed.

And so it's got to be just. And he would unstrap you, you would get up and he would sit in the electric chair to take everything that you deserve and they would pull the switch. See, that's the gospel. At the heart of the gospel is substitution. At the heart of the good news is what you could never do, I could never do for myself. Christ died in your place.

Why? Because he loves you. He wants to reconcile you.

But finally the good news doesn't become great news in your life, that's all true. A lot of people intellectually believe that but you must personally receive Christ by faith, a biblical faith. Yet to all who receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right or the authority to become children of God. See, when a person crosses that line and the spirit of God comes into your heart, into your life, you become a child of God and then you start taking on family resemblance. You have an appetite for his word because it's a love letter.

Your life begins to change. You don't have it all together, your problems don't go away but you literally become, are you already more whole and more holy and you become a conduit of his grace. But you need to receive him. Knowing the truth of the gospel doesn't save or forgive you. By faith you need to receive it. And see, faith isn't intellectual assent. It's not just saying I intellectually believe there was a Jesus, I intellectually believe maybe he was the son of God, I intellectually believe he rose from the dead.

Great for you all, that's truth. Biblical faith is the mind, will and emotions trusting that to the point of action. When I was a skeptic and had not read the Bible and was in this journey of could this be true, I couldn't get over this issue of faith and so a guy told me a story, it was a true story, it was an illustration to show me what biblical faith was and he talked about a few decades ago there was a guy I apparently wanted to make some money and they put a wire from Canada to New York at Niagara Falls. And this is a true story, he actually would go across it and so he'd get on this thing like this and at first he went and walked and then as he's revving up the crowd he went across with a wheelbarrow and then the next time across he put these bags of sand, 150 pound bags of sand, he obviously was very good and nuts I think. And so he goes across 50 pounds, 50 pounds this way and apparently as the story goes there was one guy that was just absolutely bonkers, you are amazing, you are great, I can't believe it, man you can go like this, you go with a wheelbarrow, he goes well do you really believe I could go across there again, yes. Do you believe instead of sand I could put a person in there, a man, yes you're amazing.

He said well you look like you weigh about 150 pounds, you get in a wheelbarrow. That's biblical faith. You know what I find in Christendom today? There are millions and millions of people standing, agreeing and cheering that it is possible that God hasn't indeed done that and their lives have no family resemblance because they think faith is intellectually believing what we talked about is true. Faith is getting in the wheelbarrow and it's saying I'm turning from my sin, I'm receiving the gift and it's a transfer of trust and I'm now following you by your grace and you know what happens, your life changes.

It changes not by trying hard, it changes from the inside out. Have you ever done that? That's receiving Christ as many as receive him. The other big lie in Christendom and this is what I grew up with is that being a Christian was like being religious or trying to be moral.

Believe me there's a lot of people that are a lot more moral than most Christians. You know what a Christian is, a Christ one, it's do you have the son. The Bible says if you have the son you have life, if you don't have the son you don't have life. It's all, remember the story starts with you're made for him, he wants to be with you. Christ wants to live inside of you and he wants to reconcile you and have a new relationship with the old passes and everything is new. Have you ever experienced that?

It's an offer, it's a free gift. As we close today's program I would like you to think very deeply about what you just heard. If you have the son you have life, if you do not have the son of God you do not have life. You can go to church, you can be a relatively moral person, you can be a nice person, you can be someone who cares about others. All those things may be good in and of themselves but the Bible is very clear. We've all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Christ came and died to pay for our sin, rose from the dead and now he offers a gift and the gift of his life in us and it demands that you and I turn from our sin. The Bible word for it is repent, have a change of mind, turn from our sin and then reach up the empty hands of faith and say Lord Jesus I've sinned against you. I ask you now to forgive me and to come into my life. I believe and trust that your death on the cross paid for my sin.

I believe that your resurrection declares me righteous and right now in this minute I invite you to be my Savior, to come into my heart, come into my life and forgive me and now give me the strength to follow you all the days of my life. You know that's a very simple but eternal transaction and if you prayed with me right now let me encourage you. Go to our website and there's a very clear indication there about how to get some material and some help to help you grow in your journey with Christ and then number two, find the greatest Christian you know and tell them I don't understand it all but this is what I did today and then three find a Bible that you can understand and then begin reading in the book of John. It's in the New Testament just begin reading and then this weekend find a place that teaches God's Word and go there and worship with your new brothers and sisters in Christ.

God bless you and welcome to the family. If you prayed with Chip we do have a free resource we'd like to put in your hands that was uniquely created for new believers. It's a tool that will help you gain a clear biblical understanding of what it means to trust in Jesus. Request this free resource by calling us at 888-333-6003 or by visiting livingontheedge.org then clicking the New Believers button that's livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003. Let us help you get started in your faith journey.

Well Chip's still with me in studio and Chip this month you've been highlighting the work Living on the Edge is doing to support pastors, engage today's youth and create new resources. So before we go today I think it would encourage our listeners to hear your heart for ministry. I mean what keeps you going? Why do you do what you do? You know Dave that's an interesting question and of course first and foremost you know I believe God's called me to do this and he's gifted me to do this and I'm gonna be obedient but from the emotional standpoint I just have to tell you it's the impact in people's lives. I mean every day people I was at the airport just last week and a lady looked at me kind of funny and she walked up and said hi my name's Wanda and for the last 20 some years my husband and I every single morning have listened to Living on the Edge and it's shaped us and it's how we raised our kids and our kids have grown and she just began to you know talk about it and you know I got a letter recently from a young man that trusted Christ at 25 and had had a pretty rough life and you know he writes to me and says I've listened to every sermon you've made available over the last 16 years some of them I've listened to four and five and six times and then he goes on to share how his dad died when he was 14 and I didn't know how to be a man I didn't know how to be a husband had didn't know how to be a father and and just recently God had led him to become a pastor of a small little country church and he just writes pouring out his heart I got all this just from listening to Living on the Edge and Dave I got a longer email two weeks ago and just a couple hanging on by dear life I mean cancer and struggles and lost jobs and pain and things that you just think are they ever going to make it through all this and you know just saying every day we get up and we listen to God's Word through Living on the Edge so the reason I do what I do is God's Word doesn't return void and by the grace of God we teach God's Word to millions and millions and millions of people every year and it's going across the nation and across the world bringing some to Christ strengthening others and they in turn make a difference in the life of others and when I have my down days I take stacks of these emails and letters and I just read them and I remind myself it's not about you and I love what I get to do and we're going to keep on doing this and that's why we're asking people to help us why we're asking them to pray and to give so that regular people who are really hurting and need hope and help can get it and we can give it to them together.

Thanks for sharing those stories Chip. It's incredible to hear how God is working. So if you'd like to join us in impacting people's lives now is a great time to become a financial partner thanks to a handful of donors every dollar we receive from today through next Friday July 7th will be doubled dollar for dollar.

To send a gift call us at 888-333-6003 that's 888-333-6003 or go to livingontheedge.org. App listeners tap donate and thank you in advance for whatever God leads you to do. As we close are you looking to get even more plugged in with Living on the Edge and our resources then let me encourage you to check out the Chip Ingram app. You can listen to our most recent series sign up for daily discipleship and more. We want to help you grow in your walk with Jesus and the Chip Ingram app is a great way to immerse yourself in godly enriching content. Well until next time this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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