Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Need for Clean Vessels in Evangelism

The Need for Clean Vessels in Evangelism (another devotional on Evangelism from Sumner Wemp) -

God is not going to take the pure water of life to thirsty souls in a dirty pitcher. “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (II Tim. 2:21). God is still in business “adding to the church daily.” Thirsty souls can be found everywhere waiting for “the water of life.” Many are seeing “rivers of living water” (John 7:37-39) flow through them with souls being won daily. God’s provision allows any man to be “meet for the master’s use,” but His very nature will not allow Him to use a dirty vessel.

“There are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor and some to dishonor” (v. 20). Some Christians are used of God, some are not. A few win souls, most do not. This is an obvious fact in any church. Whose fault is it? Are some just not gifted enough, not ordained to be used? No, a thousand times no. “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be . . . prepared unto every good work” (V. 21), and this surely includes winning souls, for all have been ordained to bring forth fruit (John 15:16).

This purging (separation) is to be from people and practices. Many believe “these” refers to the vessels “of wood and of earth .., to dishonor.” “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (II Cor. 6:17). God uses separated Christians, not isolated or withdrawn, but those in the world though not a part of it.

“Flee also youthful lusts” (v. 22) is Paul’s plea. Youthful desires for pleasure and the present keep Christians from being available to God. Soul winners must be weaned from a life of lust to the serious business of eternity.

“Your iniquities have separated between you and your God” (Isa. 59:2). “Your sins have withholden good things from you” (Jer. 5:25). Remember Samson “wist not [knew not] that the LORD was departed from him” (Judg. 16:20). Could this be the reason you are not a vessel unto honor? Will you purge yourself to be “meet for the master’s use”? Deliverance from sin is free, but deliverance from the world demands the cost of separation."

May God keep us from sin and use us for His kingdom!

-          Bro. Dave 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The need for Compassion

The need for Compassion (another devotional on Evangelism from Sumner Wemp) -

Too often Christians are freezing in intellectualism or frying in emotionalism and have no concern for others. The soul winner is marked by his compassion for the lost.

Jesus “saw the multitudes” (v. 36). He had to tell His disciples to “lift up your eyes, and look on the fields” (John 4:35). Somehow, though they know about the population explosion, most Christians never really see the multitudes! I was once a structural steel draftsman. Whenever I see blueprints or watch steel beams going up for a building, something is stirred inside me. Others see the same things and are totally unaffected. It’s in my blood, as we say. Soul winning must get in your blood so you are moved at the multitudes though others just pass by.

The Lord saw the multitudes. Remember “narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:14). You can be sure the majority at a ball game, political gatherings and the like will be without Christ. Look beyond the surface of their laughter and wealth. See them as souls who will live forever in heaven or hell!

“They fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (v. 36). The word “fainted” means to be disturbed or bewildered. With all the psychotics and neurotics, the rebellious and revolutionaries, the degenerates and delinquents today, what could better describe them? No wonder Jesus speaks of the “distress of nations, with perplexity”; and “men’s hearts failing them for fear” in the last days (Matt. 21:25-26). People are scattered with no “shepherd” to lead them to Christ.

The reaction of Christ to all of this was to be “moved with compassion.” No candle on the altar will substitute for a flame in the heart. People are more moved at a dead dog in the street or a child lost in the woods than at souls going to hell. Christians want the non-Christian to believe with his heart and yet decry emotions shown for the lost. Paul’s “spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city [Athens] wholly given to idolatry” (Acts 17:16). If you show emotions at a ball game you’re a fan but if at Christ you’re a fanatic. The church needs “a band of men whose hearts the Lord has touched “with compassion."

May give us a compassion that burns to see souls saved!

-          Bro. Dave

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Obeying the Holy Spirit in Evangelism

Obeying the Holy Spirit in Evangelism (another devotional from Sumner Wemp):

“Obey the Spirit,” cried Evan Roberts during the Welsh Revival. To win souls, one must obey the Spirit. “The Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot” (v. 29). There is no place for timidity, just obedience. He will give the boldness and wisdom.

There was no hesitancy, “Philip ran thither to him” (v. 30). “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (I Sam. 15:22). The chariot made it obvious this was a man of importance, but Philip went. Jeremiah said, “I cannot speak for I am a child.” God replied, “Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces” (Jer. 1:6-8).

Philip found the Ethiopian reading “the prophet Isaiah and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30). Here is a criterion to determine if one is born again, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (I Cor. 2:14). An alert soul winner will sense the probable need of salvation when someone says, “I read my Bible but I don’t get a thing out of it.”

The eunuch replied, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (v. 31). This is God’s method. Man is God’s instrument, His mouthpiece! He uses men. The man “desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Many Christians are so defensive they can hardly believe people are interested. A healthy, happy attitude toward witnessing often sets the right atmosphere. People want the peace and purpose Christ offers but don’t know where to find it.

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus” (v. 35). What a pungent verse. Philip used Scripture, familiar Scripture, and preached Christ! Remember Christ is the issue. There was no strain, no argument, just simply presenting Christ; the man believed and was saved (vv. 36-37). Two impressive things follow: the man’s desire to be baptized upon believing (v. 36) and Philip’s being caught away leaving to the Holy Spirit the follow-up (v. 39). What a thrill to find people prepared like this along the way; and we will if we, too, obey the Spirit."         

May we be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading in evangelism, that we may see fruit!

-        -  Bro. Dave

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Share Jesus Without Fear

On Wednesday Nights we have been going through the Share Jesus Without Fear Curriculum by William Faye. I have found this approach to be one of the most effective approaches to sharing my faith. There are five questions that we are all memorizing to use in evangelism.

Here are the five questions that can help you move a conversation toward spiritual concerns:
1) Do you have any kind of spiritual belief?
2) To you, who is Jesus?
3) Do you believe there are a heaven and a hell?
4) If you died right now, where would you go?
5) If what you believe were not true, would you want to know it?

If they say yes to question 5, the next step is to open the Bible and read the following verses aloud and ask after each verse, “What does this say to you?”
There are seven verses that are used in the Share Jesus Without Fear evangelism outline:

1) Romans 3:23 (The issue of Sin) - Romans 3:23 (ESV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
2) Romans 6:23 (The penalty of sin) - Romans 6:23 (ESV) “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 
3) John 3:3 (How to enter a relationship with Christ) John 3:3 (ESV) Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4) John 14:6 (The narrowness of the Gospel) John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
5) Romans 10:9-11 (Anyone can be saved) Romans 10:9-11 (ESV) because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."
6) 2 Corinthians 5:15 (We must turn from/turn to) 2 Corinthians 5:15 (ESV) and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
7) Revelation 3:20 (A choice to accept or reject) - Revelation 3:20 (ESV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

I want to encourage you to memorize these questions and mark these passages in your Bible. Pray for God to use you to share Jesus without fear to your family, neighbors, coworkers, and friends.  Come join us on Wednesday nights to sharpen your knowledge of evangelism and let’s go and shine the light of the Gospel to a dark and thirsty world!

May God bless us with a passion for winning souls!

- Bro. Dave