ist2_3621127_evangelism.jpgHow can we share the Gospel effectively?

This question is often posed by people who want to share Christ, especially with people they know, but they oftentimes do not know where to begin. How do we share the Gospel with our friends?

Let’s look at Acts 4:23-31 to see what the early Christians did:

We need to understand that we can reach others for Christ primarily by praying. There are several aspects of our prayers that we should be concerned about when it comes to evangelism.

1. Know that we are praying to our sovereign Lord (v.23-24)

23When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,

Let us first understand that we are praying to God who is the ruler and creator of all. The first thing the disciples did when they approached the Lord in prayer was to praise him with adoration. God is in control of all and he is sovereign. Jesus did not chase down the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. When he was told what he needed to do, he left and rejected Jesus and Jesus let him leave. The Lord is ultimately in control of the salvation of others. Our job is to present the gospel, not make people accept, because it is their decision. We are praying to our sovereign Lord who is ultimately in control and we must trust the results to Him.

2. Know that we are praying for our enemies (v.25-28)

25who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’–27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Peter and John are quoting Psalm 2. They are acknowledging that Herod and Pontius Pilate and all the people involved in Jesus’ crucifixion were only acting within God’s will. They were enemies of Jesus but God used them to fulfill His purpose. Also, Romans calls unbelievers “enemies of God.” The truth is that before we accept Christ, we are at odds with God. Likewise, our enemies are the people who are not Christians. But, instead of wanting to harm them, like some militant religious fanatics, we are to pray for them, because without Christ, they are doomed. All people that are lost, who we are praying for, are our enemies. They are at odds with God and are desperate for redemption. We should pray for our “enemies.”

3. Know that we are praying for boldness (v.29-31)

a. Boldness to be faithful (v.29)

29And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,

They prayed that they would be granted that they would share Christ with boldness. In Acts 17:32-34, upon preaching to the Athenians, the text tells us that some “sneered” at Paul but some accepted his message. People will either accept or reject the Gospel. And when they reject it, it may not be a good situation for faithful believers. Indeed, Christians have been persecuted for over 2,000 years. When people reject our message, we should, like Jesus and Paul, move on. We are called to be faithful in our message, but the conviction of the lost comes from the Spirit, not us, lest we can boast.

b. Boldness for results (v.30)

30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

They prayed for the Lord to heal and that signs may be done by His name…not their own. It is for Jesus’ name, not ours, that we witness. We do not witness to make “another notch in our belt.” Often, we may be asked the question,“ How many people have you led to Christ?” This question is not entirely accurate. First, it is not “us” who leads people to Christ, it is the Spirit. A better question would be, “How many people have you spoke to about Christ?” Pertaining to healing mentioned in this verse, in this day and age, the miraculous is less common. However, people also need spiritual healing. We should be bold in our prayer for results.

c. Boldness for conviction (v.31)

31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. “

When they prayed, the place was “shaken” and filled with the Holy Spirit. It is only through the Spirit that we will be able to faithfully proclaim the Word of God. We have to allow the Spirit to touch our hearts in order to do evangelism right. It is only through conviction, a heart change, that we will desire to share the Gospel. Pray for your heart to develop a burden for the lost.

gladiator-crowe.jpg“So what is masculinity?

It’s a willingness to lead, assume responsibility, and be a self-starter. Masculine men take initiative. It’s an inclination to despise passivity and do the right thing. It’s a willingness to stand alone and be unpopular. It is a desire to protect and to provide for one’s family and those who are weak and disadvantaged. It requires courage, honor, and the willingness to sacrifice, even if necessary, one’s own life for the good of others. That’s masculinity.

The world thinks you’re masculine if you’re a street fighter. The world thinks you’re masculine if you take steroids and look powerful. But those kinds of activities don’t make you masculine. You can be the toughest guy on the block and biggest guy in the gym and still be feminized.

True masculinity is not valued in our culture. It is shunned and mocked. The media and academic elite want men who have been worked on by a vet. They want only hardworking, driven men who are very, very sensitive. But when those two planes hit the Twin Towers on September 11, what we suddenly needed were masculine men. Feminized men don’t walk into burning buildings. but masculine men do. That’s why God created men to be masculine.”

(Steve Farrar, King Me, 120).

Monday Insight: God’s Grace

December 10, 2007

The following is a quote from the great English preachers, Charles Spurgeon. He is writing on the importance of preaching the Gospel while emphasizing God’s grace and His goodness. Teach your families the goodness, kindness, mercy, love and grace of God this Christmas season.

“Why do you suppose people met in the woods during times of persecution, assembled by the thousands outside the town of Antwerp and such places on the Continent, in jeopardy of their lives? Do you suppose they would ever have come together to hear the poor milk-and-water theology of this age? Not they, my friends. They needed stronger meat and a more savory diet to attract them. Do you imagine that, when it was death to listen to the preacher, people, under the cover of night and amid the winds of tempest, would then listen to philosophical essays or to mere moral precepts or to diluted, adulterated, soulless, theological suppositions? No, there is no energy in that kind of thing to draw people together when they fear for their lives.

But what did bring them together in the dead of night amid the glare of lightning and the roll of thunder? What idea brought them together? Why, the doctrine of the grace of God, the doctrine of Jesus, the doctrine of His servants: Paul, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin. Something in the doctrine touches the heart of the Christian and gives him the kind of food his soul loves – savory meat, suitable to his heaven-born appetite. To hear this, men braved death and defied the sword. (Charles Spurgeon, Grace)

Insight

November 6, 2007

“To say that we save ourselves is to utter an absurdity…will it also be said that those who are redeemed have redeemed themselves? Or that slaves of Satan break their own fetters? If that were true, then why was a redeemer needed at all? Why would there be any need for Jesus to descend into the world to redeem those who could redeem themselves? Do you believe that the sheep of God, who He has taken from between the jaws of the lion, could have rescued themselves? It would be a strange thing if such were the case. Our Lord Jesus did not come to do an unessential work…we cannot believe that Christ came to do what sinners might have done themselves.” (Charles Spurgeon, Grace: God’s Unmerited Favor)