A Very Strong Message for Sharing the Gospel

“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”                                                                                                                                                         —-Psalm 96:3

Have you ever been driving and then pass by a policeman with his speed gun pointed at the traffic coming from the opposite direction?  Have you ever flashed your lights so people would slow down and avoid getting a ticket?  If so, you were essentially warning them of something to come that would not go well for them.  Most of us would do that without thinking twice about it.  Why are many of us more concerned about a traffic stop than people’s potential for eternity in hell?! 

We have to remember that life comes to an end for everyone. One thing is clear: We all will die and eternity some place. Ecclesiastes 3:1–2 tells us, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die.”

Jesus spent more time talking about Hell than anyone else. Of the forty parables He told, more than half of them relate to God’s eternal judgment of sinners. Hell is a real place for real people. It is as real as heaven!  Therefore, one of the strongest motivations for out getting out there to share the gospel should be so people won’t go to Hell. That is the bottom line. If we tell people they will have fulfillment, peace, and joy if they believe in Jesus, while that is true, it isn’t the most significant part of the message.  The greatest aspect of the gospel, which means “good news,” is that we don’t have to go to Hell. Instead, we can go to Heaven.  Where would you be headed if nobody had shared the Gospel message with you?  If you know people who aren’t Christians, then they are headed to Hell. The question is what are you doing to reach them? 

“It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment”. Hebrews 9:27

The Great Commission requires that we do more than share the Gospel message.  We are to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples, and so on and so forth.  But as we grow into a better understanding about discipleship and what it really means to make disciples, we must consider how important it is for us to share the Gospel.  In other words, while we are learning and growing into disciples who make disciples, we should continue to share the Gospel message. 

 


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Making Disciples

Have you ever gone into a store while they were restocking the shelves?  If what you wanted was out of stock, and you saw a pallet of that inventory waiting to be restocked, wouldn’t you get a little bit anxious waiting for the stockboy or girl to open up the boxes and get the item back on the shelves?  You’d probably be anxious for that stockperson to do their job.  Waiting 10 minutes would probably frustrate you.  Imagine how God feels while he waits on you to make disciples.  Depending on how long it has been since your conversion, God has probably waited more than 10 years for you to do your job!  This just reminds us that it is past time for us to figure out how to do our job.
 

A gallop poll confirmed that people who have friends at work are more engaged employees.  They are usually more involved and more productive as much as their capabilities allow.  The alternative is an employee who would rather be some place else, any place else even.  This same thing is important in church.  Think about it.  People who have friends at church are more engaged members.  They are usually more involved and more productive as much as their capabilities allow.  The alternative is a church member who comes sparingly or just stops coming altogether.  Wow.  Think on that for a moment and consider a recent sermon by Prophetess Smith where she showed us one of the problems:  We are failing in our mission.  We aren’t making disciples.  We are sharing the Gospel message, and we are getting people to accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior.  However, we aren’t very successful in getting them from conversion to discipleship.  One of the reasons is we aren’t spending enough time building a relationship with these new Christians.

 

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… (Matthew 28:19)

 

Most of us probably know how to make converts.  We share the Gospel, and if someone responds to the Good News, there is a rebirth and a new Christian is made.  But until that person is reading God’s Word daily, praying with his or her spouse, obeying God, and sharing his or her faith at every opportunity, you haven’t yet made a disciple.  A disciple should be showing the Fruit of the Spirit and growing more like Jesus Christ every day.  

 

So what do we do to make disciples out of new Christians?  The most essential elements in disciple-making are relationship and time.  You’ve got to share one-on-one time with a person to make a disciple.  Classes and teachings are good, but caring for the person and talking to them directly have proven to have more impact.  That’s exactly what Jesus did!  The next most important thing is modeling discipleship.  You can’t make a disciple if you aren’t living as one.  Preach what you practice.  Encourage, love, pray with, study with, and be there for people and you will make disciples.  Jesus did all of this, and he made disciples!

 

The Great Commandment is our mission.  Go, and do your job!

 


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The Value of Woship

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. —Acts 2:46-47

Just as something wonderful happens when God’s people get together and study His Word, something extraordinary happens when God’s people get together and sing His praises. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Now this verse is not saying that God only shows up when people worship, because God is omnipresent. But He manifests His presence in a special way when His people lift up His name in praise and worship.

The early church was a worshipping church. Acts 2:46–47 tells us, “They ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.” The phrase “gladness and simplicity of heart” literally means “with unaffected joy.” There was joy in the early church. There was vibrancy. But there also was reverence. A few verses earlier, we read that fear came upon every soul, and wonders and signs were done through the apostles (verse 43). There should be joy and reverence. Those are elements that should be in our worship. The Spirit-filled church will be a worshipping church, and the Spirit filled Christian will be a worshipping Christian.

Someone might say, “Well, I just don’t always feel like worshipping.” Do you think the first-century believers always felt like praising God? They were harassed. They were beaten. They were mocked. These Christians faced persecution on a massive scale, but they were thankful to God.

The Bible doesn’t say, “Give thanks to the Lord when you feel good.” Rather, it says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” (1 Chronicles 16:34). That is how Job was able to worship God after calamity came knocking at his door (see Job 1:20).

Sometimes worship can feel like a sacrifice, still God is deserving of our honor and praise. No matter what, we must worship God.


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A Test of Faith

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil.” Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. –2 Kings 4:1-3(NIV)

Have you ever felt hopeless? Overwhelmed by the pressures of daily life and all of its circumstances? Well, the woman in these verses had all but given up hope. Her husband had died, and left her with a ton of debt. She had no income. Creditors were threatening to take her sons as payment for her bills. In a moment of despair and helplessness, she cried out to the prophet Elisha.

There are times when the faithful will fall into financial difficulty, among other things. It does not necessarily mean anyone has been unfaithful or does not have faith. There are times when the difficulty comes as a test of faith. As the hopelessness overwhelmed her, this widow asked the prophet of God, Elisha, what to do. Elisha asked her what she had left.

Sometimes we only have a little for God to work with, but He can do a lot with a little. If we are willing to demonstrate our faith by putting that little bit into His hands, He multiplies it. Do you remember the fish and loaves and the widow who fed Elijah? What do you have? Whether we have a little or plenty, are you willing to put it in God’s hands?

Elisha told her to borrow as many jars as she could from her neighbors. And thus, she did. She poured the little oil she had left into one jar and it kept coming out of that jar. It continued to flow until every last jar she had on hand was full. What a way to pass a test of faith!

When you expect God to move, prepare in a big way. The oil the widow collected was sold to pay their debts with enough left over to sustain them. Sometimes, the solution will come in a most unexpected way. All God asks is that we trust Him. How you handle the difficulties you face can indicate whether or not you really truly trust in God.

Remember this:  Though the righteous fall into difficulty, God will provide when they place their trust in Him.

 


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We can give God joy

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

Jesus knew the purpose for his life on earth. One of the key ideas about Easter is the fact that his death, burial, and resurrection is the whole reason he came to earth. The purpose of Christ’s life was to offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. The Bible says that Jesus became sin for us so that we could be forgiven and found righteous in God’s sight (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus endured the cross with that purpose in mind. Jesus was so certain of his purpose that he predicted when and how he would die (Matthew 26:2). Jesus looked beyond the suffering, shame, punishment, and death. Christ knew the joy that was yet to come, so he focused on the future.

What, then, is our purpose? Some would answer that our purpose is to love God, and to serve God. Others might say that our chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. These descriptions are true. But let me also suggest that our purpose is to bring God joy!

The Bible says that there is great joy in heaven whenever a sinner repents (Luke 15:10). Likewise, the Lord rewards good works and there is joy in hearing him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” This means Jesus anticipated the joy that would take place when each person would repent and be saved. He also looked forward to the joy that would result from each good work done by believers in obedience to God and motivated by love.

The Bible says that we love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us that by nature we are rebellious towards God and are born spiritually dead. It is by his love and grace that he brings us to faith and reconciliation. God has even planned our good works (Ephesians 2:10).

As Easter approaches, think of this amazing thought: Our Father rejoices and experiences joy as we respond to him in repentance, love, and good works that brings him glory. We can give God joy! Remember that aspect of your purpose. God is looking forward to it.

 


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The Power of the Holy Spirit

For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. —2 Corinthians 13:4

Spiritual power is the divine energy God is willing to express in and through us and the divine authority needed to carry out the work God has called us to do victoriously.

We cannot “harness” the power of the Holy Spirit. This power is not just for preachers, evangelists, or people who work in special ministry; rather, it is available to every believer who willingly surrenders moment by moment in submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit.
 

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Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding

Read part 1 first, Trust In The Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

Don’t Lean on Your Understanding

The verse involves a positive–something you must do. But it also involves a negative–something you must not do. Don’t lean on your own understanding. Basically, the verse is telling us that we ought not to be self-reliant. We cannot pursue a course of action, a financial decision, a business move, a relationship, or an educational choice, simply based on our own understanding. It must be founded in our trust in God.

Self-reliance is such a deceptive trap. We begin to pride ourselves in something–our savvy, our looks, our intellect, our spirituality, our family, whatever. And when we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord. It has become trust in self. The result is a dangerous compromise that will lead to destruction.


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Trust in The Lord

 

It’s simple. It’s short. Yet it’s incredibly powerful. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible–with good reason. It sets forth a life-changing truth that is worthy of our attention. Spend three minutes reading this article, and see if you agree.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Trust in the Lord.

It starts with trust. Any real relationship has to start with some level of trust. It’s the only way a friendship will endure. It’s the only way a marriage will work out. It’s the simple reason why an employer hires workers, or why the workers stay employed. It’s all about trust. Trust in the Lord, however, takes on an entirely new dimension. This is our trust in an eternal, all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God. He is worthy of our trust. The trust is important, not just because of who God is, but because of the way in which we must trust him: with all your heart. It involves every fiber of your being. That’s the kind of trust we can have in God–a complete, unshakable, deep, abiding trust.

 

Read part 2, Don’t Lean On Your Understanding


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