Sunday, November 19, 2006

Getting The Word Out

Intro.: I remember when the movie Mr. Holland's Opus first came out.

  1. I was serving as the chaplain of a major hospital in downtown Sioux City, IA. It was a Tuesday night and it was my night to be on-call – but because I lived 45 minutes away, I had to spend the night in the vicinity of the hospital. I chose to go to a movie for the evening.

  2. I was not sure what I was going to see – but it was a movie I wanted to see.

  3. By the end, I was in tears. God had reached down into my heart and touched me deeply.

  4. The next morning, after my service was done for the day, I went home and told my wife. I don't go to many movies more than once – but the next Friday, I took my family into Sioux City to see Mr. Holland's Opus.

  5. Here was something special – and I could not wait to tell my family.

  6. The same should be true of my relationship to Christ. If it makes a difference, I will want to share him with as many people as possible.


T.S. We started two weeks ago imagining that we had to clean out the store. Last week we looked at what had to happen in order to begin or renew our walk with Christ by receiving Him or committing our life to him. But any store with its salt will also need to find ways of presenting the merchandise.

During the next few minutes, I want to look at four reasons that we as Christians may want to share our faith with our broken world.

  1. Evangelism is based on our God.

    1. I almost said that we too often speak of God's love for us. But that would be unfair – we cannot spend too much time talking about God's love for us.

    2. But I do think that we do lose track of another fact – God does not only love us, he loves our neighbors, he loves our world.

    3. I have heard some preachers rephrase John 3:16 to read, “God so loved Floyd Johnson, ...” or “God so loved Val Muhs, ...” And you know what, it is true.

    4. But when we do, we miss the point. “For God so loved the world, ...”

(Ill.) Country singer George Strait sings a song entitled, “Love without End, Amen.” It tells the story of a young boy coming home from school after having a fight and expecting punishment from his dad. Fully expecting the wrath of his father, the son waited, expecting the worst. However, the father said, “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love . . . Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then . . . it’s a love without end. Amen.” The young lad grew up and passed this secret on to his children. One day he dreamed that he died and went to heaven. He was concerned, as he waited to go in, because he realized there must be some mistake for if they knew half the things he’s done they would never let him in. It was then that he heard his father’s words again, “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love . . . Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then . . . it’s a love without end. Amen.” Isn’t it comforting to know that we have a Father like this? It is no secret, concerning our Father’s love: God doesn’t just love His children every now and then; indeed, it is a “love without end, Amen.”1

    1. As you drive home today – note your neighbors. As you go shopping, note the clerks, note the other customers. These are the people that God loves.

    2. As you drive home today, pray for your neighbors. As you go shopping, pray for the clerks and the other customers. God loves them – so should we.

  1. Evangelism is based on our Title

    1. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be appointed to an important government office.

    2. Scripture makes it clear that you have been given an office – a fairly important governmental office. Turn with me to II Corinthians 5:16-21. READ

    3. You are an ambassador – not just any old ambassador, but God's ambassador.

(Ill.) As I worked the internet this week, I stumbled on the web page for the Colombian government. The Ambassador from Columbia to the USA is Andrés Pastrana. According to the web page he has two jobs – one is to manage the Columbian Embassy in Washington DC, which is responsible for serving Colombian citizens currently in the US. But there is another official assignment – he has the job of representing the Colombian government to the US government.2

    1. As God's ambassadors, we are responsible for representing God to a broken world.

    2. Just as Andrés must speak for the Columbian government, we are responsible for speaking for God.

    3. It is important to note that Paul is not writing to the pastor of the Corinthian church. Rather, he is writing to members of the most corrupt church we find mentioned in the NT. If the members of this church are recognized as ambassadors, we most certainly also have that role.

    4. This week, do not forget, you are not just presenting yourself to our broken world, we are presenting Jesus.

  1. Evangelism is based on our Command

    1. It would seem to me that an ambassador has one more job. And that is to follow the instructions

    2. And as Christ's ambassadors we have been given a task. You will find it Matthew 28:16-20: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

(Ill.) It may seem that would be easy to get the gospel to the whole world in this day and age. Scholars tell me that there are 6000 languages in the world – only 426 have both a copy of the OT and the NT available to them. More than 2500 languages do not have a single verse of scripture available. That leaves a little over 3000 of our world's languages that have some portion, though not all, of the scriptures available.3

    1. So what is our job -

      1. We can pray – watch the news, read the news. Wherever news takes place, there are Christians. Pray for their ministry, wherever they may be.

      2. Consider going – or sponsoring someone who is going. You have gifts that could be used for week or two on a short term mission trip. Or as you hear of those who are going, put yourself in the position to support them – Even small amounts can help those who represent you over seas.

      3. Obey – take Christ to your world. For some of you this means, living out your faith – day in, day out. You will find that as you live out your faith, it will show. It will become clear to those around you that something is different.

    2. Be obedient – Go and make disciples.

  1. Evangelism is based on our Home

    1. There is one more motivation for spreading the word of God. That is our new home. Take a look at Rev 21:1-2.

    2. Scripture makes it clear that heaven is not for everyone. It is ultimately God's choice as to will spend eternity with Him, but he makes it clear that those who have put their faith in Him will be there.

    3. Beginning in January we will spend a few weeks exploring what scripture teaches about the end of time.

    4. But I would be amiss to not note that our concern for the future is a motivation for sharing our faith.

Conclusion: A clean store, new merchandise, marketing the product – and that will be followed by the need ot restock the shelves. PRAY

1AMG Bible Illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.


3 (accessed on 11/18/06).

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