Tag Archives: Evangelism

The Gospel Plan of Salvation: “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”

Evangelism

          “What must I do to be saved?” How would you answer that question? If you are engaged in a spiritual discussion with a close friend, and they ask this question, do you know what to say? This is the most important question any person could ever ask, but it is not a question that someone is going to ask out of the blue.
          When the question is asked in the New Testament, it is because people are motivated to ask. On the Day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2, the apostles are speaking in languages they have never studied. Peter tells the crowd that they are witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy! Joel had foretold the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, and the wonders and signs and the coming salvation. Peter says, “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel!” He then talked about Jesus, and how David pointed to Jesus, and how they had crucified Jesus. Peter declared, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” The Jews listening to Peter “were cut to the heart,” and they asked him the most important question ever: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
          Acts 9 tells of Saul of Tarsus, who was traveling to Damascus on a religious mission: he was going to identify followers of “the Way” and bring them bound back to Jerusalem. Along the way, something happened. A bright light from heaven caused him to fall to the ground, and he heard the voice of the Lord ask, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Saul realized that he had been on the wrong path and asked, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
          Saul of Tarsus became Paul the apostle, and is known for his evangelistic efforts among the Gentile world. Luke writes in Acts 16 about Paul and his teaching companion Silas getting arrested in Philippi. They were in the jail, singing and praying, when an earthquake hit. All the chains fell from all the prisoners, and they were free to go! When the jailer realized this, he drew his sword to take his own life. But Paul called out and prevented him, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” The jailer, trembling, asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
          Three very different situations, all leading someone to ask the most important question. What’s the answer?
          The answer is one that all Christians should memorize. We are commanded by the inspired apostle Peter, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Do you know the answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?”

        1) Hear (Romans 10:17)
        2) Believe (Mark 16:16)
        3) Confess (Acts 8:37)
        4) Repent (Acts 3:19)
        5) Be Baptized (Acts 2:38)
        6) Be Faithful (Revelation 2:10)

          Many Scriptures can be used in place of the ones listed. You might see different wording, or some may put repentance before confession, but the answer is generally the same. Even if you do not memorize the text of each verse, at least memorize the reference so you can find it quickly. It is not our aim to share our opinions on the matter of salvation, but to point honest hearts to what the Scriptures reveal.

Discussion and Action

1. Will everyone respond in a positive way? What are some of the objections your religious friends may have to this answer?

2. Memorize the six steps of the gospel plan of salvation and where you can find Scriptures for each step.

3. Take an index card and write the names of three non-Christian friends. Include them in your daily prayers, and look for opportunities to turn your discussions with them to spiritual matters.

Love and Truth in Evangelism

          Jesus said in Mark 12:31 that one of the greatest commandments is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” He said this is the “second” of the great commandments, the first being, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Jesus explained what it means to love Him in John 14:15, when He said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
          Would it not follow, then, that loving your neighbor would involve encouraging them—gently and tactfully—to obey God? Certainly, we must consider our words carefully, refusing to compromise while maintaining God’s loving message of grace and mercy.
          Paul encourages his readers to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). May we never forget there are two parts to the admonition: speak the truth, and speak in love. There are too many religious types that leave out one or the other. Some, full of what they believe is love, teach about God’s grace and mercy but ignore the need for obedience. Others are full of vitriol as they point out God’s disdain for sinful activities and lifestyles.
          The point of teaching the truth is to bring sinners to repentance, patiently presenting God’s will (2 Timothy 4:2). We must make them aware that their actions are not approved by God, whether it is covetousness, homosexuality, fornication, hatred, or any of the other sins exposed by inspiration (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21).
          We cannot force anyone to obey Him, but we can point them in the right direction. Our Lord said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). When that last day comes, not one soul that is alive today will have an excuse for disobedience and rebellion.
          Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). There is no other option but Christ.

The Devil Hates Success

          On August 24, 2017, the Cleveland Indians defeated the Boston Red Sox in what would begin an amazing win streak. Between August 24 and September 14, “The Tribe” outscored their opponents by 105 runs, slugged 41 homers, and pitched seven shutouts. Out of 199 innings, they only trailed their foes nine times. It is one of the most dominant win streaks in baseball history, bested only by the New York Giants of 1916. Eventually, though, the Indians will lose (assuming they haven’t already by the time you read this). All good things must come to an end in this life.
          As Christians, we will experience spiritual peaks and valleys. There will be times of great success, multiple baptisms and restorations, increased giving, more and more people on fire for the Lord. It is our hope and prayer that this zeal, as long as it is properly channeled, burns brightly in every child of God. But the devil hates success.
          Peter was a fervent man who set his sights on serving Christ. He told Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33). When the officials placed the Messiah under arrest, it was Peter who, “having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear” (John 18:10). Yet Christ had warned the apostle, “Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31). It was not long after the arrest that Peter denied his Lord. The devil hates success.
          Never give up on your friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors who are not members of the Lord’s church. Keep praying and planting seeds. Some seeds will fall by the wayside, some on the rock, and some among the thorns. But there will be some that fall on good soil, representing those “who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). The devil hates success, so let’s do our best to make him mad.

Try and Take Over the World

          Pinky and the Brain made their television debut in 1993 on Animaniacs. They were a pair of genetically enhanced lab mice, one of whom is bent on world domination. The running gag has the dim-witted Pinky ask, “What are we going to do tonight, Brain?” His counterpart answers, “The same thing we do every night, Pinky, try and take over the world!”
          Shouldn’t our goal be the same while we live on this earth? No, we are not looking to selfishly seize all the power, but should we not try to lead all of our friends and neighbors to the truth? Leading other to Christ, allowing Him to rule our decisions and theirs, so that we are all a part of the family of God…what more nobler goal could there me than to “try and take over the world” with Christ’s love and mercy?
          Christ told the eleven, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Did they do that? Paul says the faith “was preached to every creature under heaven” just a few decades later (Colossians 1:23).
          We have so many tools for evangelism at our disposal today, from Facebook to YouTube to Twitter, but don’t forget good, old-fashioned, face-to-face, “Hey, what are you doing on Sunday? We’d love to have you worship with us, and we’ll go grab some lunch afterwards.”
          Do you know someone who might be interested in a Bible study? Even if you don’t feel prepared to lead such a study, you can set one up with another member of the church and learn by sitting with them as they teach. This is a Scriptural: “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
          As you go about your week, think of Pinky and the Brain. “What are we going to do today, Christian?”
          “The same thing we do every day, brother, try and take over the world…for Christ.”

Are you excited?

          As Jesus and His disciples traveled from Judea to Galilee, the Lord stopped at Jacob’s well in Samaria to rest while the disciples continued to the city to purchase food. It is recorded in John 4 that He conversed with the Samaritan woman, explaining to her that God seeks people to worship Him “in spirit and truth,” and revealing to her His Messianic identity. The Lord was so engrossed in this conversation, that He refused the food the disciples brought back to Him. He told them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”
          The woman was so excited about Jesus that she left her waterpot behind, going back to the city and declaring, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
          Twenty-first century Christians need to be as excited about the words of Jesus as this first century Samaritan woman. We need to be telling of His love and grace and mercy and forgiveness to anyone within earshot.
          The Scriptures tell us that “many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman.” She was willing to tell others what she knew, and lead them to the Lord. When the Samaritans came to Him and learned from Him, “many more believed because of His own word.”
          What can we learn from this? Start by putting it into your own words. Who is Jesus? What has He done? What can He do? Then, as your friends’ interest is piqued, lead them to learn from “His own word.” Help them learn about the redemption offered by the Father to all through the blood of His Son, using the Scriptures.
          Everyone needs the gospel. Everyone needs the blood of Christ. Everyone needs someone to be excited enough and to love them enough to teach them the truth.

The Home and Evangelism

The Home and Evangelism

I. The Great Commission

    A. “all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20)
    B. “all the world…every creature” (Mark 16:15)
    C. Where did they start? “in Jerusalem…Judea…Samaria…the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8)
    D. We start where we are with those we care about most – our immediate sphere of influence – our home

II. Teaching our children

    A. Commanded in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Proverbs 22:6)
    B. Commanded in the New Testament (Ephesians 6:4)
    C. Elders’ children are to be “faithful…not accused of dissipation or insubordination” (Titus 1:6)

III. The influence of godly parents and spouses

    A. As an example to children/grandchildren – Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15)
    B. As an example to unbelieving spouses (1 Peter 3:1-2; 1 Corinthians 7:12-16)

IV. Examples of family evangelism

    A. Andrew brought Peter to Jesus (John 1:40-42)
    B. Inviting evangelists into one’s home

      1. Cornelius (Acts 11:13-14)
      2. Lydia (Acts 16:14-15)
      3. The Philippian jailer (Acts 16:30-34)
      4. Crispus (Acts 18:7-8)

V. How do we evangelize in our family today?

    A. Pray for them and for yourself for opportunities (Ephesians 6:18-19)
    B. Study to be prepared to answer their questions (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15)
    C. Look for opportunities to teach
    D. Invite them to hear other teachers (Friends & Family, Gospel Meetings, VBS, weekly worship services and classes)
    E. Set up a home Bible study – if you are not comfortable leading this yourself, there are several others in the congregation that are willing and able to teach privately

Personal Responsibility in Evangelism

2 Timothy 2:2

I. BRINGING OTHERS TO JESUS

    A. Andrew brought Peter to Jesus (John 1:35-42)
    B. Andrew brought the lad with loaves and fish to Jesus (John 6:5-9)
    C. Andrew (and Philip) brought the Greeks to Jesus (John 12:20-22)

II. EXPLAINING THE SCRIPTURES

    A. Apollos was: (Acts 18:24-28)
            1. Eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures
            2. Spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord
            3. He only knew the baptism of John
    B. Aquila and Priscilla demonstrated gentleness in correction
    C. Aquila and Priscilla demonstrated patience in teaching
    D. Aquila and Priscilla understood the audience

III. KNOWING THE SCRIPTURES

    A. Take what you have learned, and teach others, so that they can teach ohers, who will teach others, and so on (2 Timothy 2:2; Matthew 28:19-20)
    B. Know how to rightly divide/handle aright (2 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 6:17; Romans 1:16)
    C. Give Christ a special place—the HIGHEST place—in your heart (2 Peter 3:15; Colossians 3:1)

IV. NEVER GIVE UP!

    A. In due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Galatians 6:9)
    B. The example of David Lipscomb, J. W. Shepherd, and the mother of the Douthit brothers
    C. You don’t know what kind of seed you are planting