Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Jesus Our Example
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the greatest person ever to walk the face of the earth. He was our greatest example in 'all things pertaining to godliness'. His love was expressed to all people and it overflowed towards them.
Jesus was interested in all types of people: the poor, homeless, rich, blind, crippled, the deaf and dumb, even the dead! He raised the dead! Jesus touched the untouchables, the lepers. Children were also very important to Jesus.
He was just as concerned about individuals, as He was with the crowds. Jesus still loves people today. Jesus mingled with all people from every class and social status.
Jesus did not hold any prejudices. He ate with sinners, immoral people and tax collectors, yet never lowered His standard of godliness - He met people where they were. Jesus missed meals and went without rest, just so that He could minister to people's needs. He travelled through Samaria, just to meet one woman (the lady at the well). Jesus taught, instructed and preached, wherever He went and with whomever He came into contact.
The first disciples of Jesus were “uneducated and untrained men, but they had been with Jesus” Acts 4:13. This reveals that if you spend time with Jesus, in prayer and reading of the Holy Bible, then you too (like the disciples) can be people “who turn the world upside down” Acts 17:6.
You may not have all the answers, but you do have a testimony and a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You can study the Holy Bible to find out more about God and get informed, but your personal experience of Jesus’ life changing power is also a powerful testimony.
Three Types Of Evangelism
(1.) By your speech (2.) By your life. (3.) By your love.
We should try and share our testimony with people, individually or collectively. Also, sharing passages of Scripture from the Bible can be effective. Don’t force a testimony; trust the Lord to give you an opportune time.
Your lifestyle as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ will speak louder than your words, but remember it is the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth and convicts people - He brings them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Love cannot be forced. When the Holy Spirit dwells within you, He can give you a deep love and compassion for others. Godly love speaks so loud, that even the hardest sinner can be touched!
Four Questions When Presenting Jesus
1. What is it? It’s not a religion, but a relationship with Jesus, the Son of God.
2. What will it do for you? By accepting Him you will find forgiveness and redemption.
3. Who says so? Christ says so, through His word, the Holy Bible.
4. How can you receive it? By repenting of your sins and turning to Jesus.
Wisdom In Witnessing
1. Don’t push people away from the gospel! Never argue or raise your voice, it is better to reason things out. Always show the utmost respect for a fellow human being and respect their opinions.
2. Try to stick to one subject or topic at a time and don’t move on until your point has been understood. Try not to be intimidated by several people asking many question one after another. Beware of red herrings!
3. If they tell you that the Bible has been corrupted, full of contradiction or that Jesus was not the Son of God, then ask them for the evidence on which they have based their conclusion.
4. Ask them what they believe about salvation, heaven, Jesus, etc. and then tell them what you believe.
5. Where possible quote the Bible to back up your viewpoint.
6. If you have the truth, then the truth will set others free! You may not have all the answers, but the fact remains a fact - if Jesus has changed you, then He can change others!
7. Persevere and don’t be discouraged if you apparently do not see any progress. It is God who ultimately saves people, just plant the seed by your witness, and allow God to do the convicting, converting and saving.
Five Scriptures To Inspire
1. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” Romans 10:17.
2. “Do the work of an evangelist” 2 Timothy 4:5.
3. “[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” 1 Timothy 2:4.
4. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes...” Romans 1:16.
5. “...How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14.
Five Scriptures To Challenge
1. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ...” Romans 1:16.
2. “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you...” 1 Peter 3:15.
3. “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season” 2 Timothy 4:2.
4. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he who wins souls is wise” Proverbs 11:30.
5. “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer...” Proverbs 15:28.
Things To Remember
1. You may not be an evangelist, but we are all called to share the good news. Jesus came to ‘Seek and to save that which was lost’ Luke 19:10.
2. Pray for the people you meet who don’t yet know Jesus. Prayer can move mountains – especially in people’s hearts and minds.
3. God enlightens the soul as the Holy Spirit ‘will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment’ John 16:8.
4. ‘...He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world’ 1 John 4:4.
5. ‘…God is love’ 1 John 4:8.
6. ‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear…’ 1 John 4:18.
7. ‘...Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God’ 1 Corinthians 10:31.
8. ‘I planted, Apollos watered but God gave the increase’ 1 Corinthians 3:6.
9. There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just person who need no repentance’ Luke 15:7.
10. ‘…Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour in the Lord is not in vain’ 1 Corinthians 15:58.
11. ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength’ Philippians 4:13.
Helpful Websites, Defend Your Faith, Digi Tracts and Reach Out Trust.
Helpful Salvation Scriptures
Mankind is guilty of sin and subject to God’s wrath and condemnation. Jesus the incarnate Son of God gave His life as a substitute for sinful man. Jesus can redeem anyone from the power of sin and its consequences. Man can be justified solely by the grace of God, through repentance and faith in Christ’s death and resurrection from the dead.
1. ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all’ Isaiah 53:6.
2. ‘...they are all under sin. As it is written “There is none righteous, no, not one…there is none who does good, no, not one”’ Romans 3:9-10.
3. ‘...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith…’ Romans 3:23-25.
4. ‘But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ Romans 5:8.
5. ‘...just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned...’ Romans 5:12.
6. ‘As through one man’s [Adam] offences judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s [Jesus] righteous act the free gift came to all men resulting in justification of life’ Romans 5:18.
7. ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ Romans 6:23.
8. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life’ John 3:16.
9. ‘Christ died for your sins’ 1 Corinthians 15:3.
10. ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’ Ephesians 2:8-9.
11. ‘For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time’ 1 Timothy 2:5-6.
12. ‘He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life’ 1 John 5:12.
13. “He who believes in Him [Jesus] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:18.
14. ‘Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’ Act 3:19.
Types Of Approaches Which Can Be Used In Evangelism
1. Use your testimony 1 Peter 3:15 “...Always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you...”
2. Look out for the downcast and lowly person - invite them to church: ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in that my house may be full’ Luke 14:23.
3. Preaching the gospel message, 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.”
4. In general chit-chat talk about God and the Bible, Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing, and by hearing the Word of God.”
5. Help those who are seeking God. Revelation 22:17 ‘The Spirit and the Bride [the church] say “come!” and let him who hears say “come!” and let him who thirsts come. And whosoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.’ Romans 10:13 ‘Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’
6. Using local knowledge or an issue to bridge the gap and to talk about Christ Jesus, Acts 17:22-34, Paul speaking to the men of Athens at Areopagus.
7. We persuade men, reminding them of the judgment to come, 2 Corinthians 5:11 ‘Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men.’
8. Strike up a conversation and gradually talk about the good news, (Paul at the river side) Acts 16:13-15.
9. Reasoning with individuals or small groups, like Paul, when he was on trial. ‘As he reasoned about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid…’ Acts 24:25.
10. Reasoning in places of worship, using the Scriptures, as was Paul’s custom, Acts 17:2.
11. Discussions or debates in public places, which leads to divine appointments, Acts 17:17 the Apostle Paul ‘He reasoned in the Synagogue with the Jews and with the gentile worshipers, and in the market places daily with those who happened to be there.’
12. Remember we have the ministry of reconciliation, speak about mans disobedience and how Jesus bridged the gap; man can be a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17-18.
13. As Christ ambassadors, live honourably as you represent the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, 2 Corinthians 5:20, ‘We are ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us…be reconciled to God.’ Paul and Silas singing in prison, an earthquake opened the jail doors and the jailer got converted, Acts 16:25-34.
14. Paul did not use eloquent words of wisdom, but preached Christ crucified, and gloried in the Lord 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.
Do All Religions Lead To God?
To say that every religion leads to God, allows people to believe everything and nothing, without real responsibility. William James a psychologist (1842-1910) said, “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.”
Most religions put the emphasis on man working towards God’s (or gods') approval. Jesus Christ put the emphasis on a personal, loving God who has made a huge effort to reach out towards mankind. What is truth? Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life...” People can be sincere in what they believe, but they also can be sincerely wrong.
If you examine the world religions in many ‘key doctrines’ they often say contradictory things. They cannot all be right! To make them acceptable to each other, people have thrown away many 'key doctrines'. But if you do that, you are admitting, that they are at least partially wrong. If everything is thrown away, there is no substance left to consider!
Our Salvation Is A Free Gift
Salvation is a free gift of God’s grace; it is something that we don’t deserve. God loved us and sent His One and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish [in hell] but have everlasting life [with God]. If you want to partake of this free gift of salvation, then you need to give your life over to God. You need to realise that Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for you. We look by faith to Him for our eternal salvation and turn from our old bad ways of life. We must read the Holy Bible daily as it teaches us right from wrong and shows us moral teaching on a wide variety of subjects and spend time in prayer getting to know God.
1. Jesus said that you need to be born again John 3:3-18. When you ask Jesus into your life; you look to Him by faith to save you.
2. You need to repent of your sins, say you’re sorry and mean it from the heart. Repentance is a change in your mind, it means a 180-degree turn around in direction, Mark 1:15 and Mark 6:12. A change of lifestyle is often needed to follow Jesus, as we have to live holy and honourably before Him.
‘If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ 1 John 1:9.
‘That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation’ Romans 10:9-10.
If you are really serious about become a disciple (a true follower of Jesus), and you’re sincerely sorry for disobeying Him (for breaking God's laws) then you can say this prayer, as a prayer of faith (or you may wish to use your own words)...
“Dear Father, I am sorry for all the bad things that I have done and thought, and also for disobeying your laws. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and that after three days He rose again. Please forgive me and come into my life - may Jesus be my best friend, because I want to follow You for the rest of my life. Today I repent of my sin, I choose to stop living for myself and I want to live for you. I ask you to fill me with the Holy Spirit and guide me from now on. In the name of Jesus I pray. AMEN.”