In Christianity, Evangelism is the commitment to or act of publicly preaching of the Gospel with the intention of spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ. Wikipedia
MAN DROWNS AT PARTY FOR LIFEGUARDS
Associated Press Aug. 1, 1985 10:07 AM ET
NEW ORLEANS A man drowned while attending a party for New Orleans lifeguards who were celebrating their first drowning-free swimming season in memory, officials say. Jerome Moody, 31, was found on the bottom at the deep end of a New Orleans Recreation Department pool at the end of the party Tuesday, department Director Madlyn Richard said. Moody was not a lifeguard and was at the party as a guest. He had not been swimming and was fully dressed, she said. Four lifeguards were on duty at the party and more than half the 200 people there were certified lifeguards, she said. The body was found as the pool was being cleared at the close of the party. Lifeguards pulled the body out and attempted to revive Moody until emergency medical attendants arrived. An autopsy confirmed drowning. The lifeguards were really upset. It's a real tragedy, Ms. Richard said. This was the first annual party in memory where they could celebrate a trouble-free season
The purpose of the Church.
People have all kinds of ideas about churches and why they should exist. If we were to survey people in churches and ask them, "What is the main purpose of the church, or why does the church exist?" we will get a number of answers. People start churches for all kinds of reasons that miss the biblical point.
Many would suggest, for example, that the purpose of the church is fellowship. It's a place to make friends, to provide activity for the family, to enjoy friendships, to enjoy spiritual activities together, recreation, cultivate relationships, to work together in families, and raising children, etc. And sort of hang out together until death or the rapture.
One step higher than those who think the mission of the church is to collect around some common fellowship would be those who think that the church’s purpose is teaching and that the main reason that the church exists is to teach theology or practical Christian living, or some model of spiritual life and spiritual building, some particular doctrinal emphasis, to train people for certain responsibilities, to teach them how to instruct children, or build their family or develop young people into godly young people or the objective of making people mature in the Lord. And that's a nobler definition of the church than just a place to hang out until we die.
A step higher than that however, a step higher than seeing the church as sort of a school or sort of a training place would be those who see the church's mission as praise and worship and the priority of worship and the priority of praise dominates their thinking. Obviously this is the central activity of heaven, it will be the central activity of heaven when we get there, and it will be our central activity when we arrive so they conclude it must then be the central activity of the church.
When you get a glimpse of heaven, as we do in Revelation 4 and 5, praise is going on. Now those things are essential in the life of the church, in Scripture we see the importance of fellowship, the centrality of teaching and preaching, because we know the church must have a doctrinal foundation. Praise and worship is central the church's life, all of these are elements of the church, but none of them is the mission of the church. None of them defines why we're on earth. It ought to be rather simple to understand that everyone of those things is perfectly accomplished in heaven.
If the purpose of the church, if it's single purpose was fellowship then it would be better for us to go to heaven and enjoy perfect fellowship. Why would the Lord leave us here, if fellowship was the goal, to have to deal with all the difficulties?
Secondly, if the matter was learning truth and being given theology and understanding the word of God it would also be better to go to heaven because we will know as we are known, knowledge will be perfect, there won't be any classes or seminars or instruction because everyone will know everything that God as designed for us to know. And on the other hand if the church's purpose is worship we ought to go to heaven as well because that's where worship and praise goes on incessantly and perfectly.
But, there's one thing, that cannot be accomplished in heaven and that is the ministry of evangelism. That is the one great mission of the church on earth and that is why are here.
Obstacles to Evangelism.
1. Lack of Gospel Knowledge
How many times have you heard the gospel in a sermon, book, or conversation? If you’ve been a Christian, even for a short time, you have likely heard the gospel hundreds of times. Yet, many of us still struggle to articulate the truths of the gospel in a simple, coherent, and intelligible way. Could you share the essential message of the gospel in sixty seconds, right now?
What will others think of me? What if they don’t like me or my family? Some are paralyzed by the thought of being disliked, marginalized, laughed at, or openly mocked. We’re afraid we’ll lose business or get passed up for that promotion.
3. Apathy or Lack of Compassion
Some of us just don’t care that much about lost people. We wouldn’t ever say it, but our priorities and lives reveal it.
We make no time in our busy schedules to interact and engage with those who don’t know Christ. We have long stopped praying for lost people in our neighbourhoods and workplaces. We have no non-Christian friends, and barely any ties. Lost people are a low priority.
We lack compassion for the lost. We have long forgotten what it was like to live without hope, lost and apart from Christ. We rarely consider that those who do not obey Christ “will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). We just don’t care that much. We might say we care, but we rarely cry out to God for the salvation of our lost neighbours, co-workers, and classmates. Paul’s compassion in Romans 9:3 is utterly foreign to us: “I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers.”
We are God’s witnesses.
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Jesus knows you, he knows your sin, he knows your sinful thoughts.
He knew the woman taken in adultery was guilty and did not try defend her guilt, he just let the crowd know that he knew their sin as well.
He knew the Samaritan woman had been married 5 times and that she was living with another man but he offered her water that would take away her carnal thirst. (He wasn’t there to give her some seminar on self-esteem)
Jesus sees beyond the façade and pretence we put up for others to see and he offers us water that will not only satisfy and lead us into a life that is abundant and satisfying. Living water that will remove the carnal cravings which are so evident in the lives of many who claim to follow him and which the modern apostate gospel promises to satisfy.
The response of the Samaritan women at the well as she drank of the living water was to immediately get involved in Jesus mission and she went back to the village and told them to come to Jesus.
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah? Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, He told me everything I ever did. So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.
She did not have to go to Bible college or University, she immediately got involved in Jesus Mission to reach out to a lost and dying world. Not with some shallow message of health and wealth and no troubles but with the message of forgiveness from sin and a new regenerated heart.
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.
Every Christian is required to be God’s witness.
1 Peter 3:15.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
The Holy Spirit given to empower God’s witnesses.
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
... But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
What is “Revival”.
To some it is having a lot of people come to Church, but is that all it is, large numbers, a good attendance.
Isn’t revival when people start coming under the conviction of sin and cry out to the Lord for forgiveness and weep before the alter and go out and make restitution and forgive and ask for forgiveness?
If Repentance is what is needed for the unsaved, then surely it is what is needed for the backslidden Christian!
For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, TO REVIVE the spirit of the humble, And to REVIVE the heart of the contrite ones.
Revival (Steve Shirley)
Historically, revival meant something quite different than what it is often called today. In recent times, revival seems to be focused on emotional experiences, the love of God, laughing, happiness, singing, and dancing. There is little attention given to the bold preaching of God's word. Some churches even schedule revivals.
This is in great contrast to the revivals of the past. Some of the greatest revivals in history, lead by such men as Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, etc... had at their centre one thing: repentance.
The word of God was boldly preached, and people became so convicted about the holiness of God and their total unworthiness, that they fell to their knees in sorrow, contrition, humility, and reverence for God. The floors of the meeting places would be filled with people laying on the floor weeping. People were not focused on God's love, they were focused on God's mercy.
The word "revive" means to bring back to life, or to restore. This is what revival is supposed to be about. It is meant to bring back or restore our relationship with the Lord. And, what is it that breaks our fellowship and relationship with God: SIN. How do we bring back to life that fellowship and relationship: confession and repentance.
When Christians turn back completely and wholeheartedly to the Lord in repentance, we will experience revival. So many Christians pray for this nation to experience revival and healing, but (2 Chr 7:14) says, "if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land."
THIS is the formula for revival and healing. If you are personally in a backslidden condition, this is also how you can experience a revival in your own life. Humble yourself and repent, possibly even fasting, and when you do, you will find refreshing (Acts 3:19), mercy (Prov 28:13), and a new heart and spirit (Ezek 18:31).
Characteristics of true repentance.
True repentance is a gift of God. ---- Acts 5:31.
Repentance follows Godly sorrow. ---- 2 Corinthians 7:9-10.
Humility accompanies true repentance. ---- Job 42:1-6.
A hatred of sin accompanies true repentance. -- Ezekiel 36:26-31.
Shame accompanies true repentance. --- Jeremiah 31:19.
True repentance necessitates a verbal confession. -- Hosea 14:1-2.
True repentance is demonstrated by action. ---Acts 26:20
A Clear Understanding of the Gospel is needed for repentance.
True Personal Faith in Jesus is needed for repentance.
True repentance is a gift of God.
Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.
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.
Repentance follows Godly sorrow.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10.
Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Humility accompanies true repentance.
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
A hatred of sin and shame accompanies true repentance.
After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
True repentance necessitates a verbal confession.
Return, Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the LORD.
Say to him: Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.
He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
True repentance is demonstrated by action.
I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
Jonah 3:5-10. So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
A Clear Understanding of the Gospel.
Repentance without a clear understanding of Gospel truth is nothing more than temporary sadness over the pain that sin has caused you and perhaps others, it is remorse or regret or even self-pity.
The Gospel is not that someone died for your sins, but that God in the person of Jesus died for your sins.
The Gospel is not just about the cross where Jesus died, but about the cross where you die.
The modern day Gospel has been changed, those who respond to it are not converts to the Gospel of self denial that Jesus preached.
Galatians 1:6. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all.
What’s wrong with the modern day gospel?
Repentance necessary for forgiveness is not preached.
The teachings of Jesus and the Apostles are full of commands to “Repent and be saved”.
Repentance is not just being sorry and it is not merely a change of heart and a change of mind, it is a change of action.
Because there is so little conviction of sin brought about by the preaching of the modern gospel, we can’t truly require repentance anymore, if we did no one would come forward at all. For repentance is easy for him who sees how ugly and horrible sin is, but it is impossible where the Law does not convince the sinner of his wicked heart, compelling him to turn from his sins into the arms of a waiting compassionate God.
God’s sorrow and broken heart over sin is not preached.
The picture of God presented today by Evangelists is that of an optimist, a positive thinking good ole boy who lives in Heaven high above all the trouble on Earth. But the Bible paints a very different picture of God, with Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, or the pleading of God through the Prophets.
Proverbs 15:3. The eyes of the Lord are in every place watching the evil and the good. That means God saw every rape committed today, he saw every murder, every person who starved to death, every abused and battered child. How can we believe that he sees all of this and does not grieve. But the church does not want a God that is grieved with sin because then he would be grieved with them.
What is “Repentance”?
Repentance is not goose-bumps or an apology, but “Metanoia” GK
which means “A change of mind”
If you repent, a transformation takes place which results in
Knowing God’s will
Walking in God’s will
Why is repentance necessary for salvation?
Many understand the term repentance (from the Greek word metanoia) to mean “turning from sin.” This is not the biblical definition of repentance. The word repent means “to change one’s mind.” Scripture also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions.
True repentance will result in a change of actions.
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our father. For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
What should we do then? the crowd asked. John answered, Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same. Even tax collectors came to be baptized. Teacher, they asked, what should we do?
Don’t collect any more than you are required to, he told them.
Then some soldiers asked him, And what should we do?
He replied, Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely, be content with your pay.
Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.
The R’s of Repentance.
Realize or Recognize. (i.e. Acknowledge your Sin)
Remorse & Regret. (i.e. Grief Over Sin)
Reveal & take Responsibility.
Resolve. (i.e. Change Your Mind)
Reform. (i.e. Change Your Lifestyle)
Release. ( Forgive others)
Receive. (Receive forgiveness)
Restore or Restitution. (i.e. Make Amends If Possible)
Remorse (i.e. Grief Over Sin)
Regret for sin is the sign that we truly understand and now feel the damage it has produced in our lives, the lives of others and especially the life we have with God. The prodigal son was moved to go home when the effects of his sins became apparent and he regretted what he had done.
Against himself - starving
Against his father - dishonoured
Against his God - disobeyed
If we don't feel the pain of our mistakes, we rarely are moved to do anything about them.
Remorse is not repentance in and of itself , but is a necessary part of repentance.
Remorse in and of itself does not lead to repentance, there must be godly sorrow.
In the law, the Lord required that restitution, including interest, must be made to a victim
Only if the victim or his relatives cannot be found, will restitution to the Lord alone, be acceptable
The Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites:
Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed.
They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged. But if that person has no close relative to whom restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitution belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest, along with the ram with which atonement is made for the wrongdoer.
In the light of this we note the behaviour of Zacchaeus when he met Jesus.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today. So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.
Luke 19:1-10 (continued)
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.
Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Have you accepted responsibility for your sins, are you prepared to be accountable before God today.
All of us will give an account before God, in this life we can do so and receive his Grace and Mercy.
Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
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