Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two questions to ask...

One of my dear friends (Josh A.) posed a stirring question to a group of teenage boys. He had just spent 20-30 minutes sharing the Gospel with them. The boys were in a hurry to run off to a movie and as they were leaving Josh asked them a very simple but profound question. He stated it something like this: "More than likely I will never see you boys again so I want you to know that I have a genuine passion and compassion for you to know Jesus Christ. So, based on what I've told you tonight what is it that you find so unattractive about Jesus?" One of the young men replied "nothing". WOW! What a great question, I think that question will have an impact on these young men.

This next encounter occurred a few years ago. I was sharing the Gospel with a co-worker who became very angry and starting cursing (not at me-well, not entirely at me); he was taking God's name in vain and using a variety curse words. I informed him that it was not my desire to anger or offend him and that I was simply offering him the mercy that God affords us in His Son. I then informed him that I will pray that God opens his heart to what I've shared with him. Then I warned him that there will come a day when he draws his last breath and will stand before this God he so freely cursed and have to give an account for every thought, word and deed. That he would remember this conversation for all of eternity and would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had offered him mercy. But now -- it's to late. He turned white as a ghost and walked away.

Evangelism Training Session 8 -- Proclaim the Gospel—the Example of Jesus and the Apostles

(Mat 10:7) And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'

(Mat 10:27) What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.

(Mat 12:18) "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

(Mar 5:20) And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

Proclaim = state publicly, announce, declare, state, make known, decree, assert, say publicly, broadcast, pronounce.

(Mar 16:15) And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

(Luk 4:18) "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

(Luk 4:19) to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

(Luk 9:2) and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

(Luk 9:60) And Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

(Act 15:21) For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.

Why the emphasis on proclamation? We are making a factual, provable, historic statement – not a me oriented subjective assertion.

(Act 16:17) She followed Paul and us, crying out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation."

(Act 17:3) explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ."

(Act 17:23) For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

(Act 26:23) that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles."

This is a simple but profound understanding – when we speak the Gospel amazing things happen.