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Other Sermons by Steve Hudgik

The Joy of Sharing The Gospel

First preached at Booones Ferry Community Church - July 30, 2006 - mp3 available

The following is a transcript of this message:


This is the third message in a three-part series. The first message was about faith and the source of our faith. Now here's a question a pastor should never ask, but since I'm not a pastor I'll ask it. Do you remember what my message six weeks ago was about?

Dinosaurs? Yes. I used the example of dinosaurs to examine a portion of scripture that many people find hard to believe--and which is commonly rejected as an allegory or myth--but the result was that we saw that Genesis 1:24-26 is 100% true. People did live with dinosaurs. My point then was that we can trust that the Bible is true in everything that it claims to be true. People and dinosaurs lived together. Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. And Jesus did tell us to go and make disciples of all the world.

Our theme for this morning is based on Joshua 1:8. It says - "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it."

I've recently come into a lot of money, and I've been trying to figure out how to spend it. I want to do something good for God. So here's what I've decided to do, if you will go out and share the gospel with someone this afternoon, I will pay you $1000 for each person you share the gospel with. They don't need to accept Christ, you just need to share the gospel and get them to sign a paper that says you did share the gospel with them.

If you want to share with more than one person, that's fine. I'll give you $1000 dollars for each person you share the gospel with before 6pm this evening. You can share with ten people and get $10,000 dollars this afternoon.

I'm going to ask a couple of questions. Please don't raise your hands, just think the answer to these questions in your mind. How many of you would take me up on this offer? Before I made this offer, how many of you planned to go out and share the gospel?

My guess is that very few, possible none of you, planned to go out and share the Gospel this afternoon. But, if I offered $1,000 for each person you shared with, at least some of you started thinking that you could use a quick $1,000 and it might be worthwhile to find someone, or maybe two or three people to share the Gospel with today. It's about motivation.

Here's one of my favorite verses that I find very motivating: 2 Peter 3:11,says, "what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives, as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming."

I'd like to talk about three questions today. What does the Bible say about sharing the Gospel? Why don't we go out and do what the Bible says we should be doing? How do you go about sharing the Gospel?

Most of you are familiar with Matthew 28:19, which says: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

What's the first step in making disciples? People have to hear the good news about Jesus Christ. That means somebody needs to go and tell them the Gospel message.

Read Mark 4:3-8 & 13-20

Which are you?

Did Satan take the word away from you and you are a non-believer?

Did you not have a firm root and you were persecuted for your belief--have you ever been persecuted--have now fallen away from Jesus Christ? Let's read 2 Timothy 3:12 - "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

Have the lies and desires of the world overcome you and you now live your life for the world instead of Jesus Christ?

Or have you heard the word, accepted it, and are you producing fruit--meaning new believers--30, 60 or 100 new believers?

Which of these are you? Which do you want to be? Which of these does God want you to be?

We need to be aware that we may not see the fruit we are producing. If we are working to produce fruit, at times the Lord does not let us see the fruit of our labor. If we did we might become proud about what we were doing, when the truth is we are not doing anything at all, it is the Lord who saves people. So sometimes we plant seeds and someone else reaps the harvest. So you may not see your fruit, but you should know if you are doing those activities that produce fruit. And by the way, just living a Godly lifestyle, so people will see how good we are, while necessary… it does not produce fruit. We'll see why shortly.

Let's read Ezekiel 33:8-11:

"When I say to the wicked, "O wicked man, you will surely die." and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sins, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sins, but you will have saved yourself."

That is scary.

God's word says that we are supposed to share the Gospel, each of us making 30, 60 and 100 disciples, and that if we don't we will be held accountable to God. This is serious.

What are the four key qualifications you need to have in order to go out and share the Gospel?

They are the same four qualifications Paul had. He tells what those are in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

"And when I came to you brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God."

So what qualifications did Paul have…

1. He was weak.

2. He was in fear.

3. And he was trembling… actually he says he had "much trembling."

4. He was not an outstanding, persuasive speaker.

By the way, I've heard a lot of people describe how they feel when they go out to share the Gospel. They ALL went out in fear and trembling. Based on Paul's criteria, I think you all qualify.

So what's the problem? We know God's word tells us to GO OUT and share the Gospel. The two reasons people give for not doing that is that they are afraid and they don't know how to witness. As we just saw, to be afraid is very Biblical. It's normal. You need to be witnessing in fear and trembling… much trembling. That's okay.

Some people don't go out and share because they are afraid of being rejected. What if I try to tell someone about Jesus and they say, "No. Who are you to impose you beliefs on me. Get out of hear you hypocritical liar!!" Who are they rejecting? They are not rejecting you. They are rejecting God. Did you know that if you go out and witness to others you are in a win-win situation. You can't lose. If people reject the gospel, they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting God. It's not about you. If they accept the message you've brought, what joy! God has allowed you to be present while He saved them from hell. You can't loose!

So since we know fear is okay, let's deal with the second problem: I don't know how to share the Gospel. Today I am going to show you how to witness.

I'm going to start out by teaching you how to witness Biblically to four groups of people. A Muslim, a Roman Catholic, a homosexual and an intellectual. So listen very carefully, you'll see a wonderful principle at work here.

Okay, I'm sitting in a plane. There's a gentlemen sitting next to me. I say, "Hi. How ya doing?" He says, "I'm fine."

I say, "Where you from?"

He says, "India."

I say, "Oh, did you get one of these? It's a gospel tract."

He says, "I'm a Muslim."

I say, "Oh, yeah. Would you consider yourself to be a good person?"

He says, "Oh yes. I'm a very good person."

"So can I ask you a few questions to see if that's true?"

He says, "Yeh, go ahead."

I say, "Have you ever told a lie?"

He says, "Yes, sir."

I say, "What does that make you?"

He says, "A liar."

I say, "Have you ever stolen something?"

He says, "Yes, sir."

I say, "What does that make you?"

He says, "A thief."

I said, "Jesus said whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart. Have you ever done that?"

He says, "Yes sir, plenty of times."

I say, "Well, what's you name?"

He says, "Arlan."

I say, "Oh, by your own admission Arlan you are a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart and you've got to face God on judgment day." And I shut him up under the law. The law makes him tremble before the God of creation. I let his conscience accuse him. I make room for the Holy Spirit to convict him of sin, which is disobeying God's law.

He comes to know that he is an enemy of God. That he's by nature he's a sinner. I leave him with no hope, no means of escape, hanging by a spider thread over the pit of hell. And then I say, "Oh, there is one name under heaven whereby you may be saved… and that's Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life. He came to this earth, God in human form. Perfect, sinless man who gave His life as a sacrifice for the sin of the world. And all your sin was laid upon the savior. And neither is there salvation in any other. There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."

Now if you don't like that method you can find a web site with ten thousand pages of questions and answers when speaking to Muslims. But personally I don't believe that you have to bury your head in the Quran to witness to a Muslim. You just have to bury your head in this [the Bible]. This tells us how to do it. God's word.

I'm going share with you how to share your faith with a Roman Catholic. And of course you and I know there are millions of Roman Catholics and Protestants who are have never been born again. They are merely Roman Catholics or Protestants that have never found a place of Biblical repentance.

So I'm sitting on a plane and I say, "Hey, how ya doing?"

He says, "Ya, good, good."

So I says, "Where you from?"

He says, "Minnesota."

So I say, "Oh yah, what do you do for a living?"

He says, "Ah, such and such."

I say, "Oh ya, did you get one of these? This is a gospel tract."

He says, "Ah, I'm a Roman Catholic."

I say, "Are ya? Would you consider yourself to be a good person?"

See, I used to worry when someone said there were a Roman Catholic. Oh no, now I'm going to have to deal with Papal infallibility, the confessional, praying to Saints, purgatory, transubstantiation and Maryology.

But now folks I go deaf. I didn't hear him say, "I'm a Roman Catholic." I just say, "Oh, do you consider yourself to be a good person?"

He says, "Ya, I'm a really good person."

"So, have you ever told a lie? Ever stolen something?" And I shut him up under the law. Bring a knowledge of sin. Bring him to the foot of the blood stained cross.


Now I'm going to teach you how to witness to a homosexual.

I'm sitting in a plane. I say, "Hey, how you doing?"

He says, "Good."

I say, "Where you from?"

San Francisco.

"Oh ya, what do you do for a living?"

"I'm such and such."

"Did you get one of these? It's a gospel tract."

He says, "I'm gay."

I say, "Are ya? Do you consider yourself to be a good person?"

He says, "Ya. Pretty much."

Have you ever told a lie? Ever stolen something? Ever looked with lust? Ever used God's name in vain? And I shut him up under the law and bring him to the foot of the bloodstained cross.

Now I'm going to teach you how to witness to an intellectual.

I'm sitting on a plane. The man next to me has got so many letters after his name that I think he's a mailman. I say, "How ya doing?"

He says, "Good."

Where ya from. Such and such place. And I say, "Oh ya, that's good."

"Did you get one of these? It's a gospel tract."

He says, "Ah, I'm an evolutionist and I lean strongly toward the controversial spontaneous regeneration of the quantum embryonic theory of cosmological physics."

And I say, "Oh ya. Have you ever told a lie?"

Ya see, it's too simple. It is simple. It's really simple. The Bible says don't go away from the simplicity that is in Christ. What we do is complicate the issue. We bring up subjects that are irrelevant . If you follow me when I witness, no one brings up evolution. The subject very rarely arises on a one to one basis, when a guy is pinned to the wall by the law, the subject of evolution is totally irrelevant.

I became a Christian while believing in evolution.

When we bring up these irrelevant issues we're confining ourselves to the place of human intellect. The place of argument.

Colossians 1:21

"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds…"

That's what the Bible says, the human mind is an enemy of God. The mind is a place of hostility toward God. Let's read Romans 8:7
"the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law nor can it be.

So the carnal, unregenerate human mind is against the law of God. It's offended by God's law. It rebels against the law of God. If we want a sinner to surrender what we must do is find an area of agreement. Not a place of hostility. An area of agreement between him and God's law. Where is that?

The sinner's conscience. Romans 2:15

"since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defeating them."

The conscience isn't in a state of hostility toward God. It bears witness to the law of God. And what we must do is learn to do what Jesus did, to go around the human intellect and go directly to the conscience.


How do we do that? We use God's law the way it is supposed to be used.

Psalm 19:7 - "The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul"

Let me give an example:

What if I came up to you and said, "I have some very good news for you. Someone has paid a $25,000 speeding fine on your behalf!"

You'd probably react by saying, "What are you talking about? That's not good news. It doesn't make sense. I don't have a $25,000 speeding fine."

My good news would not be good news to you. It would seem to be foolishness. But more than that, it would be offensive to you, because I'm insinuating that you've broken the law when you don't think you have. However, if I put it to you this way, it may make more sense:

"Last Monday the police clocked you going 55 miles an hour through a school zone set aside for a blind children's convention. There were ten clear warning signs stating that 15 miles an hour was the maximum speed, but you went straight through at 55 miles an hour. What you did was extremely dangerous: there's a $25,000 fine. The law was about to take it's course, when someone you didn't even know stepped in and paid the fine for you. You are very fortunate.

Can you see that by telling you precisely what you've done wrong first actually makes the good news make sense. If I don't clearly bring instruction and understanding that you've violated the law, then the good news will seem to be foolishness; it will be offensive. But once you understand you've broken the law, then that good news will become good news indeed.


Now in the same way, if I approach a sinner and say, "Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins." it will be foolishness and offensive to him. Foolishness because it does not make sense. Offensive because I'm insinuating he's a sinner when he doesn't think he is. As far as he is concerned there are a lot of people far worse than him. But, if I take the time to follow the footsteps of Jesus, it may make more sense. If I take the time to open up the divine law, the ten commandments, and show the sinner precisely what he's done wrong, that he has offended God by violating his law, then he becomes what James says, "convinced of the law as a transgressor" (James 2:9) the good news of the fine being paid on your behalf will not be foolishness. It will not be offensive, it will be "the power of God unto Salvation" - Romans 1:16

A famous evangelist of the last century, A.B. Earl said, "I have found by long experience that the severest threatenings of the law of God have a prominent place in leading men to Christ. They must see themselves lost before they will cry for mercy; they'll not escape danger until they see it."

How many of you were thinking about something else when I was reading that. I was…

A.B. Earl was a famous evangelist from the last century. It had over 150,000 converts. Satan does not want you to understand this, so listen closely:

Let's say you are at the beach and you see sharks coming, and you see someone out in the water that appears to be drowning. They are thrashing around and not doing very well. It's obvious they can't swim and they are in over their head. So not only are shark's coming, but this person appears to be in trouble. But the person in the water does not know about the sharks and they actually think they are pretty good swimmers.

(more...)

There is no desire to escape the danger until they know they are in danger.

So witnessing always starts with the law. Romans 7:7 says, "I would not have known what sin was except through the law." God's law reveals our sin to us.

Galatians 3:24 - "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith."

(Optional) Examples of Jesus witnessing: Mark 10:17-22 and woman at the well John 4:7-26

Jesus uses the law to witness, and never gets to the Gospel message. The man thought he was good enough.

So let's get practical. How do you share the Gospel? We have the basic principle--start with the law then the good news about Jesus.

As you saw on the plane, I used a Gospel tract to move the conversation into the spiritual area. I've brought a few along:

Million Dollar Bill
Free Ticket To Heaven
Comic Book Tract
Find $100 In An Envelope

If you don't have a gospel tract, an opening such as:

"Can I ask you a question? Do you go to church? or Do you have a Christian background?

This leads to, do you consider yourself a good person?

Do you mind if we take a look at the Ten commandments and see how you do?

Tell about the two guys walking to work from street evangelism two weeks ago …

 

   

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