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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are you super-glued?

We all know what Super Glue is.  Many of us have benefitted from its usefulness.  Some of us may have even experimented with it, seeing if it would really glue our fingers together.  (It will!)  Some have even used it on minor wounds, instead of going to the doctor’s office to get stitches.

One place it should never be used is your lips.  The very thought is rather gruesome.  BUT THAT’S EXACTLY what many of us have done.  No, not literally.  But in essence, when it comes to speaking to others about Christ, we might as well have our lips super-glued shut.  Ouch.

It ought not be that way.

In the New Testament, in the early ministry of Christ, the Sermon on the Mount was introduced by Matthew with these words: "He opened His mouth and began to teach them..." (Matt. 5:2).  The phrase is idiomatic for describing an official or solemn time of teaching.  Can you imagine Jesus walking around and healing, but refusing to speak to people about the things of God?  Of course not!  His primary ministry, up to the cross, was speaking – teaching and preaching – sometimes to large crowds, sometimes to small groups, and sometimes to individuals.  He spoke, and He spoke as no man had ever spoken before (John 7:46).

When Philip had an opportunity to witness to a traveler from Ethiopia, he “opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him” (Acts 8:35).  No Super Glue in that verse!

You and I aren’t Philip, of course.  But we have the same job description.  We are to be witnesses for Christ.  We may not have “the gift of evangelism”, but we’re still to do the work of an evangelist.  It may not be preaching a sermon in church or open-air in public, but we can speak to people about Jesus Christ.

I didn’t say it would be easy – only that it is needful.  Quite frankly, it wasn’t easy for Paul, at least some of the time.  Did you know that he actually asked people to pray for him, that he would speak boldly?  "Pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 6:19).

Don’t be content to be a non-witness.  Don’t keep being afraid to talk to others about Christ.  Don’t act like your lips are duct-taped shut when it comes to spiritual things.

Get some glue and tape remover – Word & prayer, love for God and fellow man – and bring freedom to those lips of yours, with God’s help.

What are you afraid of?  That someone will kill you?  That someone will punch you?  More likely, it’s that someone will think you’re foolish for believing the Bible’s message of sin and salvation in Christ alone.  If the message were not true, we would indeed be foolish.  But remind yourself that we have the most important message in the universe – a message that is true, because it is about the One who is the Truth (John 14:6).  And it is a message that must be shared with others!  Fear God a little more, fear man a little less, and you’ll be more apt to speak the things of God to the lost people around you.

So apply the glue-remover, yank the duct tape off your mouth, unzip your lips, and speak to someone about our Lord Jesus Christ.  Make sure you include both sin and gospel, Law and Grace.  For some evangelism tips, read this short article on The Cripplegate.  For a good training source, get the Basic Training Course from Living Waters.

If you’re a Christian, someone spoke the gospel message to you.  Can't you do the same?

And remember that success in evangelism isn’t a convert – it is an accurate communication of the gospel message, done with a right attitude.  If you do that, you’re successful, even if the results aren’t what you might hope.

God has ordained that weak and frail vessels (like you and me) be the ones to take His glorious message to a lost and dying world.  Let’s get busy, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and for the glory of the Son.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16)

Grace Bible Church - evangelism page

P.S.  Listed below are some quotes by men of God on the subject of evangelism.  Please read them with a tender heart – and see if God might want you to learn something from them.

Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story. – K.P. Yohannan

Some want to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. – C.T. Studd
If you are not concerned about your neighbor’s salvation, then I am concerned for yours. – Ray Comfort
Nothing is more discouraging than evangelism. The mere mention of the word strikes fear in most people. If it is my goal when speaking in a church to make all my listeners uncomfortable and convicted, all I have to do is say, “evangelize!,” and the guilt quotient rises as fast as the heads drop. Beads of sweat appear on the pastor’s brow. It is the great undone command, and none of us like to be reminded of it. – Jim Elliff
Evangelism is the perpetual task of the whole church, and not the peculiar hobby of certain of its members. – E. Wilson Carlisle
To call a man evangelical who is not evangelistic is an utter contradiction. – G. Campbell Morgan
Let us make haste to spread the Gospel in the world, for the time is short, not long. – J.C. Ryle
I remember no one sin that my conscience doth so much accuse and judge me for as for doing so little for the saving of souls, and not for dealing with the lost soul ones more fervently and earnestly for their conversion. – Richard Baxter
We ought actually to go into the streets and lanes and highways, because there are lurkers in the hedges, tramps on the highway, street-walkers and lane-haunters, whom we shall never reach unless we pursue them into their own domains. – Charles Spurgeon

To win men to acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is the only reason Christians are left in this world. – R.A. Torrey

Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned? – Leonard Ravenhill

Compelled by this clear biblical mandate [Matt. 28: 19-20], Christians through the centuries have taken the saving message of the gospel to the ends of the earth. It’s the only reason we’re still here. True Christians are already saved and sealed for eternity. There’s no reason to leave us on earth, except for the responsibility of evangelism. – John MacArthur, in Hard to Believe

There are no easy steps to witnessing! No painless, unembarrassing methods! You must bring men to see that they are filthy sinners under the wrath of God who must flee to Christ for mercy. That is offensive. And there is no way to coat it with honey. – Walter J. Chantry

Reckon then that to acquire soul-winning power, you will have to go through mental torment and soul distress. You must go into the fire if you are going to pull others out of it, and you will have to dive into the floods if you are going to draw others out of the water. You cannot work a fire escape without feeling the scorch of the conflagration, nor man a lifeboat without being covered with the waves. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
No man is interested in a piece of good news unless he has the consciousness of needing it; no man is interested in an offer of salvation unless he knows that there is something from which he needs to be saved. It is quite useless to ask a man to adopt the Christian view of the gospel unless he first has the Christian view of sin. – J. Gresham Machen

To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in this world. And with every soul you bring to Jesus Christ, you seem to get a new heaven here upon earth. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them. – Richard Baxter

If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled with the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
I am contented to consume my body, to sacrifice to God’s service, and to spend all that I have, and to be spent myself, for the souls of men. – Richard Baxter

Faith is the gift of God – not the result of the persuasion of the evangelist. – Jerry Bridges
Oh, to realize that souls, precious, never dying souls, are perishing all around us, going out into the blackness of darkness and despair, eternally lost, and yet to feel no anguish, shed no tears, know no travail! How little we know of the compassion of Jesus! – Oswald J. Smith

The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time. – Carl F.H. Henry
Your one business in life is to lead men to believe in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Every other thing should be made subservient to this one objective. – Charles Spurgeon

Some missionaries go to Africa – others travel to the Orient or to Europe. Every missionary goes somewhere. We all have a mission field, if only our own neighborhood or office building. Every corner of the world is a mission field. There are no boundaries in this world beyond which Christian witness is out of bounds. – R.C. Sproul

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