September 2012

The Fear That Drives Out Fear 04

Text: Luke 12: 8 – 10 Part 04

Sermon by Clint Archer

The South African Expositor’s Podcast

The Fear That Drives Out Fear 03

Text: Luke 12 vs 6 – 9 Part 03

Sermon by Clint Archer

The South African Expositor’s Podcast

* Apologies for the poor quality of the recording

Moses Explains True Faith 03

Text: Deuteronomy Ch 06 Part 03

Sermon by Andrew Zekveld

The South African Expositor’s Podcast

The Fear That Drives Out Fear 02

Text: Luke 12 vs 6 – 9 Part 02

Sermon by Clint Archer

The South African Expositor’s Podcast

* Apologies for the poor quality of the recording

Taking Opportunities For Evangelism

 

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2

GW preaching open air with oposition

Seeing as how I have written fairly little about evangelism in the last little while, I thought I would share something that I have learned to do, and am continuing to learn to do. Namely to take opportunities for personal evangelism. This is something I have been asking God to help me with much lately. The average Joe Christian is not a professional evangelist or missionary. They are not paid by a church or parachurch group to go out and witness of and for Jesus Christ in the world. This means that they have to sacrifice their time and effort to do so.

And as Christians, we should be very willing to do so. God commands us to go and preach the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20) and we love Him so we gladly obey. But the reality is that for most Christians that doesn’t translate to a soap box in a public square or handing out tracts at a bus stop. It probably should, but it doesn’t for one reason or another. Many think that just ‘living the life’ is sufficient, and others are either too afraid of messing it up, or too lazy to make the effort. But we are commanded to open our mouths, to preach the Gospel. So then how does a Christian have an outlet?

The answer lies in what I will call personal evangelism, that is, taking an opportunity when it arrives and translating that into a gospel encounter. This is what I mean. You’re chatting with a colleague during a break. You’re not talking about work, because you’re on break, you’re just chatting. What an opportunity. What a chance to present the Gospel… gulp. And gulp is right, as anyone knows who has made the effort to witness to strangers, that moment before you start is both nerve-wrackingly terrifying and thrilling to say the least.

ConversationI have had two helps in getting past that moment of fear. First, by considering beforehand that this is something both commanded by Jesus, and at the same time its life saving work, people’s souls are at stake. Secondly, by being  predetermined and prepared to take this step. This second point is what I want to focus on now.

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,
and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Be Predetermined

Let us consider 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Paul is writing to the Corinthians and describing his visit to them. See what he says: firstly that he did not come with lofty speech or wisdom. His aim was never to appear to be a sage, or cult leader or philosopher above the common people. Second that he decided (beforehand) to preach nothing, except Christ and Him crucified (Vs 2). It was Paul’s aim to magnify Christ and not Him self. Also He was determined to preach Christ, rather than attempting to convince the Corinthians by reason or argument or by fancy rhetoric. It was the Gospel, not apologetics that was Paul’s goal, Christ and not self.

Now I’m not suggesting that you have to hone on a person and follow them around till you get to witness to them, but what I am saying is that, at the beginning of the day, decide deliberately to take the opportunity to witness to people, as and when the chance arrives. Be determined, decide, provoke yourself. Also once a chance conversation starts, predetermine where you want the conversation to go. My goal in this casual conversation is to be 1. friendly, and 2. to present Christ and Him crucified. This doesn’t mean that you spend your time mulling over it, but when you meet the old school friend randomly in the shops, decide beforehand that you want to get the gospel in.

Be Prepared

Being prepared is an even better way of taking opportunities for evangelism than the previous point. In the verse Paul had decided to preach Christ and Him crucified. He was ready to present the gospel and was focussed on getting that particular message out. Paul’s message was Christ, and it was a message He was well aware of, having preached it and heard it often.

For myself I have found this point to be extremely helpful. Knowing what to say beforehand and being prepared to pull it out at any time is the difference between a fumbling half message, and a clear law-gospel presentation with every element included.

By way of example, this is what I mean. I like to use theology as pivot point in a conversation. For example, If I’m sitting at my desk, it is not unlikely that one of the pages of this website is open on my PC. Often someone will walk in and say something like “what are you doing” I will make a comment like “writing theology.” Now depending on how they react do I proceed. If they give me a look of complete puzzlement (which happens often), I’ll immediately begin explaining what theology is, in broad terms and what it says, namely the Gospel message, my goal. On the other hand, if they know what theology is, I’ll ask them their opinion of God, and what they think of Him. That is immediately followed by a gospel presentation. My goal is that they hear about Jesus Christ dying on the cross for their sins, bearing God’s wrath on our behalf, and then He rose from the dead, conquering death and granting eternal life to all who respond to Him in repentance and faith.

My hinge for getting me to that point is the word theology. But its by no means the only way a person could do it. You could use seasonal terms like Easter or Christmas, or if you wish to make the effort, you could use a well know news story, something from which you can spring into the gospel. Either way, be prepared and know what you are going to say. While I am not suggesting you say the same thing over and over again word for word, like a stuck record, the essence of your message should be the same. And remember, just because you have heard it over and over, it is fresh and new to the person you are speaking to.

So in conclusion, whether you take a soapbox out, or simply speak to the person who happens to be sitting next to you, you quickly realise that it takes effort. It takes mental effort, being prepared and determined beforehand to preach the gospel. It also takes nerve to stand up and actually do it, even Paul did it in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (vs 3). But it is so worth it.

Soli Deo Gloria

Site Fixed

Yay, Sit fixed, I’m very please to announce that my site is going again at full steam.

I’m planning on a post or two this weekend, look out for them 🙂

Moses Explains True Faith 02

Text: Deuteronomy Ch 06 Part 02

Sermon by Andrew Zekveld

The South African Expositor’s Podcast

The Fear That Drives Out Fear 01

Text: Luke 12 vs 6 – 9 Part 01

Sermon by Clint Archer

The South African Expositor’s Podcast

* Apologies for the poor quality of the recording