Sermon No: 145522-Do the work of an Evangelist - Part 4



SERMON TOPIC: Do the work of an Evangelist - Part 4

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 27 March 2022

Topic Groups: EVANGELISM

Sermon synopsis: Five stages of evangelism.
1) Preparing the soil.
2) Planting (Sowing seed)
3) Cultivating
4) Harvesting
5) Preserving
A farmer first prepares the ground, then plants the seed, and then cares for the plant. These steps are all necessary before a harvest can be expected. After reaping the harvest, steps must be taken to ensure that the harvest is preserved .

Evangelism compared to agriculture.

Evangelism compared to agriculture.

Evangelism.

The Meaning of Evangelism.

The Ministry of Evangelism.

The Motive of Evangelism.

The Message of Evangelism.

The Methods of Evangelism.

Evangelism Methods.

Direct Approach (Confrontational)

Intellectual approach.

Testimonial approach.

Interpersonal Approach.

Invitational Approach.

Service approach.

Three Categories Evangelism.

Pulpit Evangelism.

Provocative Evangelism.

Passive Evangelism.

A. Pulpit Evangelism.

This style of evangelism is both the most and the least efficient one. It deals with preaching to a large group of people at the same time.

And while this way allows you to reach a lot of people simultaneously, you can never be sure how much of what you're saying is being understood.

In addition, in many Churches, you are preaching to the converted.

A. Pulpit Evangelism.

Here the preacher doesn't have eye-to-eye contact with any individual. Consequently, it's almost impossible to establish a personal connection.

As a result, pulpit evangelism has a rather commanding, formal tone.

This type of Evangelism leaves the listener of the gospel to think everything through on their own

B. Provocative Evangelism.

The heart of Aggressive Planning Evangelism involves walking up to complete strangers outdoors and sharing the word of God with them, or street preaching.

B. Provocative Evangelism.

2 Timothy 2:23-26.

But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

C. Passive Evangelism.

There are three environments where Passive Evangelism takes place: in the workplace, in the neighborhood, and at home.

How does this type work? Naturally. If you work near someone for eight hours each day, if you talk to your neighbours and they witness your lifestyle, and if you live with your parents, siblings, wife\husband and children you are influencing all of them.

Three Attitudes in Evangelism.

The “Do Nothing” Attitude One common attitude is that Christians really don’t need to be active in sharing their faith at all.

Most of these people do not have a negative attitude toward sharing about their faith, but they don’t see a need to overtly go out and do it.

They believe that if God wants them to share a witness, he will drop the opportunity in their lap. Beyond that, they believe that he will deal with people as he sees fit.

Three Attitudes in Evangelism.

The “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em” Attitude Another common attitude is one that is held by people who tend to be very active in their witness. These are people who try to find anyone they can to share their faith with, and aggressively go out and do it. Then, after they share a witness, they don’t hang around to disciple the person, but just go and look for the next prospect. They may make some effort to put them in touch with someone else, but their major focus is to just share the gospel message.

Three Attitudes in Evangelism.

The “Fight for Them” Attitude A third common attitude is found in those who do all they can to find someone who does not know Christ, invest in the person’s life by developing a friendship, then use that friendship to share their faith.

Generally, this approach requires a long-term view and an investment in a person’s life.

Evangelism.

2 Timothy 4:1-5.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction.

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

John 4:31-36.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, Rabbi, eat something. But he said to them, I have food to eat that you know nothing about. Then his disciples said to each other, Could someone have brought him food?

My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, It’s still four months until harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

Evangelism likened to agriculture.

John 4:34-38.

My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, It’s still four months until harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus, the saying One sows and another reaps is true.

I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.

Harvesting is the result of a lot of hard work.

Five stages of evangelism.

Preparing the soil.

Planting (Sowing seed)

Cultivating

Harvesting

Preserving

A farmer first prepares the ground, then plants the seed, and then cares for the plant.

These steps are all necessary before a harvest can be expected.

After reaping the harvest, steps must be taken to ensure that the harvest is preserved .

1 Corinthians 3:5-9.

1 Corinthians 3:5-9.

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe, as the Lord has assigned to each his task.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service.

Five stages of evangelism.

Preparing the soil.

A farmer knows that he must invest time, effort, and planning in preparing the soil for the harvest he hopes to reap.

Jesus spoke of the heart as soil in His parable of the sower and it is the good soil that is needed to bring forth an abundant crop.

Often in times of sickness, difficulties and war, people’s hearts are more open to the Gospel, and we need to always be prepared to be there as instruments that God can use.

Preparing the soil.

The Holy Spirit also uses human agents to create receptive hearts for the seeds of truth to fall on. The human heart needs to be receptive soil for God’s Word. Prejudice and preconceptions are some of the obstacles we face in presenting the Gospel to the lost.

Acts of kindness and a genuine interest in the well-being of those around us can cause prejudice to melt, touching the lives of those around us, not in the name of religion, but in love.

This preparation of the heart's soil may require very little to be said about one's beliefs. Planting the seed comes later when the soil has been prepared by a developed trust and confidence.

Preparing the soil.

In John 4:7–10, Jesus “prepared the soil” when he asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of well water.

Even in speaking to her, Jesus overcame three barriers:

Preparing the soil.

The racial barrier (because Jews had no dealings with Samaritans);

The gender barrier (Jewish rabbis would not address women as Jesus did); and

The social barrier (this woman had a poor reputation among her own people).

Preparing the soil.

Jeremiah 4:3.

Break up your fallow ground! Do not waste your seed among the thorns.

Hosea 10:12.

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness .

Over the course of time as fields are left dormant, they will develop a hard crust that will need to be broken up to receive new seed for productive growth.

Ploughing.

Preparing the soil.

In these Scriptures by Jeremiah and Hosea, God calls Israel to break up their fallow ground. He was not talking about their dormant fields but their hearts.

They had abandoned God and turned to idol worship. Hosea spoke of the thorns and the thistles growing on the altar (Hosea 10:8).

When a Christian falls away and turns to the ways of the world, their hearts turn fallow, and the thorns and thistles of sin take over.

Preparing the soil.

Paul told the Corinthians that godly sorrow leads to repentance and salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10).

In the first four beatitudes, Jesus declared the process of a sinner's repentance.

Blessed are the poor in spirit (recognizing your spiritual bankruptcy).

Blessed are those who mourn (grieving over our sinful state).

Blessed are the meek (a gentle and humble heart).

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (yearning to be right with God and live a godly life).

The rest of the beatitudes reflect the change in our hearts.

David asks God to search his heart; he wants no stone unturned.

Psalm 139:23-24.

Search me God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

David was willing to go through the struggle of searching (Ploughing) because he was eager for the blessing of a clean heart.

Sometimes God allows us to go through trouble to break up our hard unreceptive hearts.

The heart of man.

How can a man with a heart after God commit adultery with another man’s wife and then arrange that man’s murder to cover his sin?

1 Samuel 13:14. (Samuel said to King Saul)

But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.

The heart of man.

Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked, so much so that we even deceive ourselves.

Jeremiah 17:9.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

However, God knows our hearts and if we submit to his Plough, He will reveal the things that need to be dealt with.

Ploughing our hearts.

History has shown that sin and the cares of this world are dealt a blow by persecution, sickness and war.

Often the result is that people become acutely aware of their mortality, and so in what seems to be terrible and hopeless situations, God can soften hearts bringing about revival and true repentance.

Only those whose hearts have been prepared, weeds taken out, rocks removed, etc will bear fruit.

Ploughing our hearts.

God loves us too much to allow us to remain hard hearted and so he does some Ploughing. We hear the Truth and do not respond because we are comfortable and the only way God can get our attention is to turn the ground over. This involves the plough cutting deep into our hearts and upheaval of our comfort zone.

So war and death and sickness and loss of income etc become agents for good, resulting in ground that is broken and ready to receive the seed of God’s Word.

The types of soil in the parable of the sower.

Hard.

Stony.

Thorny.

Good.

All of these represent Heart conditions

Worldly cares.

Matthew 13:18-23.

Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

Matthew 13:18-23.

Matthew 13:18-23.

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

Worldly cares.

Worldly cares.

Worldly is used to describe things relating to the ordinary activities of life, rather than to spiritual things.

Mark 4:18-19.

And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

Thorny ground.

Hebrews 6:5-12.

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.

But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case, the things that have to do with salvation….

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Levelling the soil.

The levelling of ploughed fields prevents the top fertile soil from being carried away by strong winds or washed away by rainwater.

The levelling of ploughed fields helps in the uniform distribution of water in the fields during irrigation. The levelling of ploughed fields helps in preventing the loss of moisture.

We need to have straight paths, level ground if we want to be good ground.

Levelling the soil.

Hebrews 12:11-13.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Sowing “Pure Seed” ensures a strong harvest.

According to the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department,

The use of good quality seed is a prerequisite for the satisfactory production of a good quality crop and is essential for export markets.

The following points should be taken into account when considering seed quality:

Trueness to type, freedom from other materials, including plant debris, dead or broken seeds, seeds of other crops, weed seeds, noxious and parasitic weed seeds, also nonplant materials; freedom from seed-borne pests and diseases.

The same seed does not penetrate everyone’s hearts. Too many gospel presentations contain debris, weeds and dangerous pesticides. They may have subtle strands of works embedded in the message which an unsaved person’s flesh can hold onto in an attempt to somehow work towards their salvation.

The same seed does not penetrate everyone’s hearts. Too many gospel presentations contain debris, weeds and dangerous pesticides. They may have subtle strands of works embedded in the message which an unsaved person’s flesh can hold onto in an attempt to somehow work towards their salvation.

This grace + works hybrid is confusing at best and damning at worst. Paul was so against sowing this brand of seed, he wrote these words to the Church in Galatia.

Galatians 1:8. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one, we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

Planting the seed.

Now a seed can be a piece of literature, a missionary magazine, a tract, a question, a testimony, or any means by which a person is prompted to think about spiritual things.

We can plant, but the Holy Spirit causes the seed to sprout. Some seeds may lie dormant for many years; others sprout fast.

We must not try to place pressure on making the seed sprout.

We need to remember that our work ends temporarily with the planting of the seed while the Holy Spirit works. When the seed sprouts, then we can help nurture it to full growth.

The Lord uses some unlikely Evangelists.

There are people that still need to have the seed sown in their hearts.

An example of this is in the Decapolis, where the people told Jesus to go away, and Jesus sends the man delivered from demons back to them to tell them what He had done for him.

The Demoniac.

Mark 5:1-20.

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasene’s. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.

This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain.

Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said,

Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you. So, the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

The Decapolis.

The Decapolis (Greek: Δεκάπολις, Dekápolis, 'Ten Cities') was a group of ten Hellenistic cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in the southern Levant in the first centuries BCE and CE. They formed a group because of their language, culture, religion, location, and political status, with each functioning as an autonomous city-state dependent on Rome.

The Roman and Byzantine Decapolis region was influenced and gradually taken over by Christianity. Some cities were more receptive than others to the new religion. Pella was a base for some of the earliest church leaders. (Eusebius reports that the apostles fled there to escape the First Jewish–Roman War).

There are those who are already interested in God and the Bible.

They still haven’t made a commitment to follow Christ.

They still need some answers. Nicodemus, who came to Jesus with his questions, is an example of a person in this stage.

Jesus answered his questions. John 3:1-21.

Nurturing the plants.

If a young plant is to grow, it must be cared for, and our job is to make growth easy. Obstacles, like weeds, need to be cleared away. Growth must take place at the proper rate if the plant is to mature.

We often are impatient for instant maturity and harvest. That itself can be an obstacle to growth. Too much nourishment can cause death as surely as too little.

Nurturing the plants.

Well-trained teachers need to work with the growing plants, giving Bible studies and encouragement.

The church should be working side by side with the Holy Spirit in bringing about the growth of a small seed to a young plant.

Growth can only take place as converts respond in obedience to Holy Spirit conviction.

Fertilize the plant.

Fertilizing the plant replenishes it with nutrients and helps to produce better crops yields.

There are things which we can do that will stimulate growth so that we will be fruitful, but the same applies in our evangelism efforts, we need to create an environment where the seed once sown will grow well.

I believe that the Bible College has been one of those additions in our Church, but there are certainly others, including reaching out to the unsaved.

Luke 13:6-9.

Then he told this parable: A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.

So, he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?

Sir, the man replied, leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.

If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.

Spend your time on the good ground.

Focus on those who grow and pray for those who don’t.

Too many times believers invest the bulk of their time trying to win over those whose hearts are hard or thorny ground. If we focus on cultivating the seeds that is sown in good ground, we will have much more impact.

If we look at what Jesus did, He ministered to the crowds, and He used parables on the hard hearted, but He invested his life into the disciples. The result was a global harvest.

God’s Word also provides protection for our hearts, it is a weed killer.

Psalm 119:9-16.

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

Harvesting.

A harvest takes place only when the fruit is ripe. Harvesting too soon wastes the fruit; waiting too long can produce no fruit at all.

The harvest of the ages takes place at the Lord's return, but we can have the pleasure of seeing people make decisions for eternity now.

In our sharing of the Gospel there should come a time when a definite decision is asked for and we need to rely on the Holy Spirit as to how and when to do that.

Others have reached the stage where they are ripe for the harvest.

The disciples whom Jesus called to leave everything and follow him are a good example of people in this stage. The people who listened to Peter´s sermon at Pentecost belong in this category.

Acts 2:37-38.

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, Brothers, what shall we do? Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Are you doing the work of an Evangelist?

Believers who prepare the soil, sow the seed, or cultivate the planted soil are as much a part of the evangelistic process as those who are given the privilege of reaping the harvest.

When we are sensitive and responsive to the opportunities God places in our path, we will find ourselves participating in different phases of the process.

With one person, we may be given an opportunity to participate in the seed-planting phase by sharing truths from Scripture. In another case, we may have an opportunity to water or fertilize the spiritual truth that has already been sown.

While our desire is to see our friends come to Christ (the harvest), we can be assured that whether we are involved in preparing, sowing, watering (cultivating), or reaping, we are part of the same process.

We may just move someone up one level.

Preserving the harvest.

After all his labour to obtain a harvest, no farmer would leave the valuable crop uncared for. He goes to great efforts to preserve the harvest.

We can do no less with the harvest of souls. This can be done through sermons, special study groups, fellowship groups, and other church activities.

Every new soul has talent and should be assigned his duty and taught to work for the harvest of others.

There are those who have been baptized and need to be integrated into the church.

This was Jesus commission to Peter when he said to him:

John 21:15.“Feed my lambs“

The people who we meet all fall into one of these stages. If we want to win souls for Christ, we must be able to discern where people are in their spiritual development so that we can help them move on to the next step.

Preserving the harvest.

Our job is not just to bring people into the church but to make sure that they stay in the church.

We need to help them to grow in faith by cultivating relationships with them that encourage them to go out and tell others about Jesus.

Pruning for a better harvest.

John 15:1-8.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Pruning for a better harvest.

John 15:1-8.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

A Healthy Plant.

Psalm 1:1-3.

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever they do prospers.

Sowing a new crop.

After the harvest, the farmer always kept a portion of the harvest as seed for the next season.

The work of evangelizing is an ongoing work, we should always be looking for new areas to cultivate crops for God’s Kingdom.

That is why it is good to have a season of reaching out to the lost.

We are all sowing and we will all reap a harvest.

Galatians 6:7-10. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.




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