A Word about the Weekend - REACH
The fourth and final message in our "GROW UP" series is this Sunday! Pastor Scott will be sharing a message on reaching others with the Gospel.
People are always reached in the same way, which is through the telling, the preaching, the sharing of the Gospel - the good news of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection!
So, one way or another, people have to hear the Gospel and respond to it. For others to hear the Gospel... someone must share it!
The most foundational means through which people hear the Gospel is through YOU and ME! The people of God telling others the story of Jesus. But most people feel unquippped and scared to death to share their faith with others.
There’s a word in American Christendom that strikes fear into the hearts of God’s people. It’s not ‘Islam,’ ‘liberalism,’ ‘socialism,’ or ‘atheism’ (although all those do create irrational fear in Western Christians).
Below, hear from Pastor Anthony English, who has great insight about sharing the Gospel...
The most terrifying word in all of American Christendom is “evangelism.” If you doubt me, just ask a fellow believer when was the last time they verbally shared the gospel with an unbeliever—the answer will likely be silence. When one considers why it’s hard to share the gospel with the lost, many answers will come forth, but the common denominator is usually fear.
North-American Christians are afraid of looking unintelligent, weird, awkward, and ignorant. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, to look uninformed, unintellectual, and unattractive is the highest of social sins. However, we are not called as Christ’s church to proclaim our own excellencies (we have none) but to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:19). Fortunately, there are tools available to help with this. Consider “The Three E’s of Evangelism”:
ENGAGEMENT - When it comes to evangelism, loving God and loving neighbor is our motivation. When it comes to sharing your faith, loving God and loving neighbor means that we just do it! That we engage others around us with conversations about eterntiy!
EMPATHY - “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” There is a belief about American Christians—a belief that has sadly proven true in too many cases—that we think of ourselves as holier (and therefore, better) than our non-believing neighbors. True, Christians are holy unto the Lord because of the work of Christ, but we are not superior to unbelievers, nor do we possess an innate quality of holiness over against them. We easily forget that all we have (especially salvation), is a free gift of God’s sovereign grace and that we therefore we have nothing to boast about. We too were once “…dead in the trespasses and sins…” and “…were by nature children of wrath…” (Ephesians 2:1, 3). When we forget that we were once enemies of God and on our way to the Lake of Fire and assume a self-righteous superiority, we make our evangelism more about our ‘kind willingness’ to let ‘these people’ join our special club, and less about a good desire to see all tribes, tongues, and nations praising God for his salvation. Empathy allows for a better, more God-glorifying way of relating to our unsaved neighbors.
EXPLANATION - At some point during our evangelistic conversations, we have to explain the truth of the gospel. In other words, we have to actually break down for the non-believer how they can be reconciled to God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This is what most Western Christians fear the most. Listening and being empathetic comes much easier than actually sharing “…the hope that is within [us]…with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). This brings forth the question you probably wanted answered the moment you clicked on this link: how do we share the gospel? While there’s no 100%-of-the-time-it-works-every-time method, there are certain biblical principles that can help us navigate the waters of evangelism. This weekend, Pastor Scott will help us understand better how to do this!
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