Chapter 4 - Rescue The Perishing

(Evangelism and Missions - at home and abroad)

Exposition

The Lord Jesus And Missions - #1

The Lord Jesus challenged His fishermen disciples to follow Him and He would make them “fisher’s of men.” He of course meant they were to go into all, the world and preach the Gospel. He told them, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8 - Jesus not only told them to be witnesses, He gave them first, (On The Job Training) on how to accomplish it. He assured them they would have the Holy Spirit to empower them for the task. The disciples were with Him for over three years to witness His compassion for souls and His commitment to win sinners to Himself. “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” Luke 19:10

Our Lord’s preferred method of witness was personal evangelism. He touched the multitude but there seems to be no real converts in the masses. They appeared to be interested in the “loaves and fishes” and in the end cried, “away with him... Crucify Him” The disciples must have listened as He told religious Nicodemus, “ye must be born again” - Our Lord’s witnessing to the Woman of Samaria certainly gave the disciples (and us) some insight into the importance of witnessing. First there was ‘line or angle” fishing; He won one; then there was “net” fishing. She went into the city and by her testimony and changed life won many.

Let us observe the “ MASTER FISHER OF MEN” at work in John 4:1-15,28-30,39,41 - First notice

I. He Applied The Basic Rules For Witnessing:

He was Spiritually in tune; His devotional, prayer and Quiet time life was always up to date. We observe Him all night in prayer and communion with His Father. – Next, He went where the fish were biting. This makes good sense in literal fishing. The fish weren’t biting in Judaea so He went to the place where people were ready to listen. - Again, He was impartial and not ashamed of an outcast woman, a non-Jew. This was in contrast to Jonah who was determined not to preach to the Gentiles in Nineveh. - Another good rule to follow for witnessing, Jesus was a good listener; He didn’t monopolize the conversation. - He also met her on her own terms; she professed to know something about, worship so He discussed that subject with her. (Vs. 20-24) - He was friendly; He proved His friendship by asking a favor of her.

“Give me to drink” (vs. 7) He was friendly but not the, “FRIENDSHIP EVANGELISM” where the Gospel is watered down and the important issues are avoided. - He respectfully but tactfully exposed her sin. “Go call thy husband” (vs.16-19 - He employed a basic rule in teaching; moving from the known to the unknown; from literal water to “Living water”: - He convinced her of the emptiness of religion. That her ancestral tradition isn’t reliable; It is not religion but relationship to a Person; “... I am He” (vs.24) Not a place, like in this Mountain or Jerusalem or in a ritual but in “Spirit and truth” in the heart. (vs.24) - Then He points her to Himself. “.... I am He” (vs.26) - Notice again

II. He Was Compelled By An Unseen Force:

His Fathers’ will was always the compelling factor in His life; “not My will, but thine be done” - And again His love was like a magnet that attracted sinners to Himself. “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him, Luke. 15:1 – Again observe

III. He Was Committed To An Urgent Mission:

He “must needs” go through Samaria because there were precious souls who were ready to be saved. - He saw this woman as a precious soul; the disciples saw her as an outcast, or picnic basher. (vs.32) - Again He wasn’t deterred by inconvenience or danger. (vs.9) - Here the Eternal, “Great I AM” stopped and stooped to invite and welcome an infamous sinner into heaven. Observe,

IV. The Results:

A thirsty soul drank of the, “living water” and is saved by grace. (vs.15) A notorious sinner becomes a zealous soul winner. She “left her water pot” because now she had the “WELL” of “Living Water” (vs.28) - She didn’t wait till she became a theologian before she witnessed. (vs.29) - She kept her message very simple; “come see a man... Christ” (vs.29) Her mission field started at home. (vs.30) - Her credentials were convincing, a changed life and a zealous witness. – And finally the disciples received some needed “on the job training” in personal evangelism. - Every sinner is a potential candidate, a fish waiting to get caught. - Every believer is a “licensed fisherman” sent by the Lord to witness. - The fishing season is; “in season and out of season” When I don’t feel like it; or when it seems inappropriate. 2Tim. 4:2 - Statistics reveal that angle or line fishing catches more fish then nets; Mass-evangelism.

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Jesus; Moved With Compassion #2 - Mark 6:34-44

Compassion is love in action and Jesus was “moved with compassion” because He saw the people, “as sheep not having a shepherd” (verse, 34)

Jesus saw the; NEEDY MULTITUDE: This reflects the spiritual condition of mankind. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” - Man is spiritually hungry, and no one is exempt and it ends in death. Sheep without a shepherd is a pathetic case, but there is something far worse, a sinner without a Savior. - Now let us observe an ALERT DISCIPLE: Andrew. John. 6:89 - Andrew was the disciple who noticed a lad with a lunch basket of bread and fishes; they needed food to feed the multitude, so he introduces the boy to the Lord Jesus. Andrew is known as the, “personal evangelist” he was the one who brought Peter, his brother, to the Lord, (John. 1:40-42) and Peter in turn became a public evangelist who won 3,000 to the Lord on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2) -- Now notice

THE RELUCTANT DISCIPLES: their first impulse to the needs of the multitude was; “...send them away...” (36) - The flesh hates to be inconvenienced and offers excuses. This is a desert place, the time is far spent and our resources are limited. (35,37)

Let us notice the ANONYMOUS LAD: His name isn’t known and he was only a lad, but he surrendered all to the Lord and his account is recorded in the eternal Book. - Like the, widow’s “mites”- no gift too small to go unnoticed. Mark. 12:41-44 - Now observe the, CHALLENGE - the Lord gave to His disciples. “You give them to eat...” (37) - The lessons they had to learn were; compassion for the needy, dependence on the Lord and involvement in God’s work. – Now observe, a COMPASSIONATE SAVIOR: He was, “...moved with compassion...” (34) He saw them as, “sheep without a shepherd” - which would be equivalent to a sinner without a Savior. The first thing He did was, He, “ taught them” - their spiritual need was even greater then their physical. Then He “ fed them” and they did all eat and were filled” There is unlimited provision in our God’s storehouse. Compassion is love in action and this was the compelling influence at Calvary and now in missions and evangelism. “The Lord is not...willing that any should perish...” (2Peter. 3:9) - Finally observe the, CO-OPERATION: of the disciples. (41) They served the Lord and the multitude. The Lord needs willing servants, not supervisors because He is the Master. The measure, which the Lord gave to the disciples, was the measure they were able to be a blessing to their fellow man. The more blessings they shared with the multitude, the more was available. He “blessed... broke... gave...” (41) “Blessed” - His divine attribute; “broke and gave” His human involvement.

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Outlines

Be Ready

“Be ready...” Titus. 3:1

      I. Suppose,

        (1) A bride is not ready for her wedding.

        (2) A farmer is not ready for harvest.

        (3) A country is not ready for war.

        (4) A sinner is not ready to die.

          2. In the parable, the five foolish virgins were not ready. Mat. 25:1:13

          3. Paul was a “READY” man: Three experiences made him ready. Acts 9:1-6

              (1) He met the Lord; - (His soul was converted/Salvation) verse, 3

              (2) He heard the Lord; (His will was challenged/Surrender) verses 4,6

              (3) He obeyed the Lord; (His life was changed/Service) verse 6

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(Paul Was Ready To, SERVE / SUFFER / DIE)

      I. PAUL WAS; READY TO SERVE: “preach the Gospel” see, Rom. 1:14-16 (15)

        1. Anywhere = at Rome in Neros’ territory. (Headquarters of lion’s dens)

        2. He was “not ashamed of the Gospel” 16

        3. He appreciated the, “power of the Gospel” 16

        4. He acknowledged, he was, “a debtor” to preach the Gospel. 14

          (1) Compare the Watchman; - “his blood will I require … “ - Ezekiel. 3:17,18

        5. Peter agrees “be ready always to give an answer” 1Peter. 3:15

      II. PAUL was, READY TO SUFFER: see, Acts 21:13

        1. Agabus/girdle; he dramatized Paul’s fate. “I am ready” Acts 21:10-13

          (1) Ready to be bound, or to die for the name of the Lord Jesus. 13

        2. Seven reasons why Paul (and we) should be ready to suffer.

          (1) The Lord predicted it; “...he must suffer for my name’s sake...” Acts. 9:16

          (2) It was the same path our Savior trod. “Suffer...Glory.” Luke. 24:26

          (3) It is “light affliction,” compared to Christ’s suffering. 2Cor. 4:17

          (4) It is brief, temporal suffering ends in eternal glory. 2Cor. 4:18; Heb. 2:9

          (5) To be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” 2 Cor. 5:8

          (6) Marks; Scars on Paul’s body were reminders of Calvary. Gal. 6:17

              (a) Mother/daughter: gloves/”ugly”/rescue story/”beautiful”. (

          (7) God promises grace; to cope with infirmities, “My grace is sufficient”

        3. Lessons in suffering.

          (1) Crushing brings out the heavenly aroma. (Incense)

              (a) Calvary released the fragrance of eternal love.

              (b) The sweetest Psalms date to severe wilderness trials.

              (c) John Bunyans’ - “Pilgrims’ Progress,” was inspired in prison.

              (d) Paul’s prison epistles are fragrant with heavenly aroma.

          (2) Storm clouds hide but never distance us from the Lord.

              (a) The heavenlies is above the clouds where the Son is shining.

          (3) Trials don’t deform, they transform.

          (4) Diamonds are only ashes subjected to pressure.

          (5) One day, “God shall wipe away all tears” Rev. 21:4

          (6) A yielded life is required to endure suffering.

      III. PAUL was, READY TO DIE : 2Tim. 4:6,7

        1. Paul, “a living sacrifice” is alive but dead to sin. Romans. 12:1,2

          (1) Living the martyrs’ life is harder then dying the martyrs’ death.

        2. Paul’s’ faithful life brought a happy ending.

          (1) A brave soldier; “I fought a good fight” 7

          (2) A self-disciplined athlete; “I have finished my course” 7

          (3) A faithful disciple; “I have kept the faith”

        3. An example of peace; a beautiful testimony on his deathbed.

        4. An added incentive; A “crown of righteousness.” 8

        5. To lift anchor and sail to the harbor and home is not a hard task.

        6. Paul started well, ran well and finished well.

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Ready

      (1) SINNER: (Israelite) “ready to perish” Deut. 26:5

      (2) GOD: “ready to pardon and forgive” Nehemiah. 9:17 - Psalms. 86:5

      (3) SAINT: “ready to every good work” Titus. 3:1

      (4) SERVANT: “ready to preach” Romans. 1:15

      (5) THE LORD: “ready to judge” 1 Peter. 4:5

      (a) The same One who is, “not willing that any should perish” 2Peter. 3:9

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A Call To Active Duty: Mat. 4:18-22

    1. All believers are, “sent ones” - across the back yard fence, street, town, the sea.

    2. Jesus said; “look on the fields” – one for each. Your field is where you are now.

    3. A picturesque - artistic scene with spiritual lessons; they were

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      I. BUSY: When the Lord called them. (No openings for slothful servants)

        1. David, tending sheep.

        2. Gideon, threshing wheat.

        3. Amos, doing chores. (God uses fishermen, shepherds and farm boys)

      II. OBEDIENT: They obeyed immediately and spontaneously

        1. No questions asked - no conditions set by them.

        2. Immediate obedience is important – cf. Noah

          (1) Build the ark

          (2) Come into the ark. (Suppose he procrastinated)

        3. Obedience means, “now” - delayed obedience is disobedience.

      III. COSTLY: Salvation is free (not cheap) - following is costly

        1. Materialism didn’t hinder, they left their nets and ship, etc. 20-22

        2. Relationships didn’t hinder, they left their father. 22

          (1) Cf. Abram, Left Ur – It was costly but he was reimbursed.

      IV. CASTING A NET: (Evangelism) Peter and Andrew - 18

        1. “Fishermen” (natural talent) “fisher’s of men” (Calling/gift) 18,19

        2. Peter was an aggressive spokesman by nature. (Public evangelist) Acts. 2

        3. Andrew was reserved by nature but he brought Peter - (personal evangelist)

      V. MENDING NETS: (Shepherding) James and John - 21

        1. John; “apostle of love” - (pastor, teacher)

        2. Broken nets need mending; hearts, lives, homes, relationships.

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      1. Note the order; evangelists precede shepherds.

      2. Conditions for discipleship (1) Industrious (2) Availability (3) Obedience (4) Self-sacrifice. (5) Commitment.

      3. Life is not to be salvaged but invested. “Treasures in heaven” Mt. 6:19,20

      4. “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Ro. 12:11

      5. Faithfulness leads to a higher calling.

Evangelistic Revival

**Acts 1:4,14; 2:1,41-47; 4:12,33; 5:14,40-42; 9:1,6,20,22; 16:30,31; 17:6,11; 20:27

        1. Acts is the inspired record of the “GREAT EVANGELISTIC REVIVAL”

        2. Spiritual revival precedes and ignites an evangelistic revival.

        3. The Acts and Church Epistles, calls us, “Back To The Basics”

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(Factors that ignited the revival in the early Church)

      I. They Were; Surrendered To The Spirit Of God.

(Baptized/Indwelt/Filled)

        1. Waited for the promise, in Jerusalem. Acts 1:4

        2. Welcomed the Person, on Pentecost; Acts. 2:1-4

        3. Witnessed the power, (Work/Worship/Walk/Witness) Act 2-28

      II. They Were; Loyal To The Son Of God; a “crucified, risen, coming” Savior.

      III. They Were; Obedient To The Word Of God; (authority)

        1. They “continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine...” Acts. 2:42

        2. Bereans “...searched the Scriptures...” Acts. 17:11

        3. Paul declared, “...all the counsel of God...” (Uncompromising) Acts. 20:27

      IV. They Were; Committed To The Assembly Of God; Acts. 2:42

        1. They continued steadfastly in, Fellowship / Breaking of Bread / Prayers

        2. They genuinely enjoyed the Christian family. (A sign of life)

        3. An atmosphere of, sharing and caring in triumph or tragedy.

      V. They Were; Separated Unto The Living God; “idols to serve...” 1Thes.1: 9

        1. Wall Street and Hollywood didn’t hinder or attract them.

      VI. They Were; Busy In The Service Of God.

        1. Evangelism / Shepherding.

        2. Serving tables/Hospitality/Dorcas sewing clothes.

      VII. They; Endured Hardship By The Grace Of God:

        1. Prayed for boldness and endurance, not deliverance.

      VIII. They; Anticipated The Coming Of The Son Of God. (Maranatha!)

*****

    1. The “Lord added to the Church daily” Acts. 2:47 (1) The Lord “adds” converts; Man’s programs only add numbers.

    2. Acts throbs with “power” - (a) The Spirit. (b) The Gospel. (c) Commitment.

    3. Features; (1) A vibrant message of hope. (2) A goal of reproduction. (3) Caring Christians. (4) An environment for spiritual maturing. (5) “They turned the world up side down” Acts. 17:6

    4. Commitment is contagious, so is carnality and complacency.

    5. The last key words in acts; preaching, teaching, Lord Jesus Christ. Acts. 28:3

*****

Food Is First Appropriated; Then Enjoyed

    1. Food must be “received and then eaten” (How foolish to refuse)

    2. They gathered the fragments; The Lord is generous and also frugal.

 

Seed Thoughts & Sermon Starters

Good Tidings

“Good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” - Luke. 2:10

The good tidings is for “all people” but it must first begin with me, and then it becomes my responsibility to share it with, “all people”

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Compelling Motives

Jesus said to His disciples; “...Go ye into the all the world...” - Mark. 16:15

What constitutes a call to the mission field? Every thought and action presupposes a motive. (Work, education, marriage, etc.) God’s plan may differ.

(Example; Philip - evangelistic campaign to one man. Acts 8:26-29)

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Discipleship

“...He said unto them, Follow Me.” - Mat. 4:19

The four disciples followed the Lord immediately but it was costly. Peter and Andrew left their nets and followed. James and John left their ship and father. Neither materialism nor relationships hindered their calling. Availability is our part - Ability will be provided by the Lord.

Notes & Quotes

A group of Psychologists prepared a questionnaire and made it available to different mission boards to screen their missionaries and candidates to see if they would be compatible and qualify as missionaries. - One question was, “Do you attend the Hollywood theater?” - One lady was anxious to join the mission but had a conscience against the theater, so answered, “No” - She was disqualified, because they said, “You might intimidate other missionaries who attend” - How thankful this writer is that he was not subjected to such screening because, he would never have gotten to the mission field.

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The past life can’t be salvaged, but from now on it must be invested.

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The key to revival starts in our hearts with a commitment to remove things to make room for Christ alone. This provides an eternal and spiritual environment.

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You need the Church, the Church needs you, and the world needs both. The world at its worst needs the Church at its best.

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A lot of people are worrying about the future of the world as though it had one.

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If you think the world is against you, it’s true.

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The Christian in the world needs more vision and less television.

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In Columbus’ day, few people believed the world was round. Today the question is: How long will it be around?

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The only way the world will change for the better is when the Gospel changes the hearts of its occupants.

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The world is a stage and too many people have stage fright and are under-rehearsed.

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We read the newspaper to see if the world is still here; and our Bible to see where it is going next.

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When you get to where you are going; where will you be?

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Not every Christian has the spiritual gift of evangelism, but every believer is called to be a witness. The gift of evangelism apparently includes personal evangelism as well as public. One who has a passion for souls and the Lord blesses his ministry evidently has the gift of evangelism.

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Faithfulness leads to a higher calling.

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A dying Aunt told me, “I think I will be alright, because I was baptized when I was a baby, and I have been faithful to my mothers religion.” (This is the sad confusion of religious ritual and ancestor religion – How thankful we are for the simple Gospel; “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”)

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See, the testimony of the author, in the front of this book under, ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

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Consider The Testimony Of A Worker In Pampanga, Philippines.

Simeon Susi Jr. (Nick name, Jun) and his wife, Tessie, about 25 years ago, I (author) was parked downtown San Fernando Pampanga, PI, in the market area, about to drive away. A young gentleman came running to the car and said, “are you a missionary” – I said,” yes” – He said, “I am a Protestant, but I am not sure of my salvation, would you help me”? – I said, “that is the reason for my being in the Philippines” so we spent an hour or so going over the plan of salvation. – He said, “I have many relatives and friends who do not know the way of salvation, would you be willing to come to our village, and I will gather them for a Bible Study.” – That was the beginning of a beautiful experience. Jun was the first to get saved, followed by his wife Tess, his two brothers and their families and a good number of family and friends. – From that a “Youth Center” was started for a number of years and today it is an established New Testament Church.

After a few years, Jun’s progress in his spiritual growth and gifts became obvious, and he was commended to the “Grace of God” for full time ministry. Through the years he has been active with fellow elders and leaders of the Church in sharing the Gospel, teaching the Word and establishing assemblies.

Jun and Tess were married for about 10 Years and would loved to have children, but the Lord withheld this blessing from them. Jun’s brother is a doctor, and one day he came to their home and said, “I just delivered a baby girl, by a single mother who doesn’t want the baby and wishes to give her away, are you interested?” Dr. Rene’ said, he no sooner got the words out of his mouth and Tessie ran for the bedroom and changed her clothes, and came out, and said, “lets go” – They looked at the two day old infant and it was love at first sight. They talked to the natural mother and she was serious about giving the baby away. – They decided they needed to go to the Municipal Building, to consult the City officials on what the legal requirements would be, because normal adoption is very costly and usually take many years to accomplish. They told them they would have to bring the natural mother to the office to sign the baby away and then pay the documentation fee, which amounted to the equivalent of about $1.35. They paid the bill and rushed to the hospital and the hospital had a bill for miscellaneous expenses for, Pablum etc. It amounted to about another, $1.50 – They paid that bill and went home with that precious little girl who today is a stalwart Christian who dares to “be a Daniel” in a wicked world. (See her testimony in Chapter seven under, “Notes & Quotes”)

Suppose her natural mother would have raised that little girl. She would likely be a poverty stricken girl today, begging on the streets for a living. God’s grace is wonderful. Please pray for our Filipino friends.

Meditations

Menial Tasks

“They shall go hindmost with their standards.” Numbers 2:31

The tribe of Dan had the “hindmost place” when the army of Israel was marching. It would be more glamorous to be up front but someone has to take the humble position and do the menial tasks. After all the Danites’ followed the same Shekinah glory cloud, ate the same manna, drank of the same spiritual rock, and ended with the same Canaan inheritance.

The Danites had a unique mission to perform. No doubt the stragglers, too weak to continue the journey, needed to be picked up and helped. What a humble but honored role in the Church to be an encourager to those who are struggling along the way of life. Barnabas was an encourager; he picked up John Mark and helped him to become a profitable servant. ‘Lord, help us to build up the saints, and shun the demolition crew’

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Flesh / Spirit

“After the flesh…” 2Cor. 5:16

“After the Spirit…” Romans. 8:4

To know Christ only after the flesh, in an intellectual, natural way, will not endure in the storms of life. Ancestral religion and a, “me too” profession is not enough. The disciples knew Jesus in the natural sense for three years, but when the real storm broke out, they forsook Him and fled.

After Pentecost when they “knew Christ, after the Spirit” they were courageous in the storm. Only the Holy Spirit reveals these spiritual truths to spiritual minds. 1Cor. 2:13,14 - This was Paul’s burden, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, etc.” Php. 3:10

Though the angry surges roll; on my tempest driven soul,
I am peaceful, for I know, wildly though the winds may blow,
I've an anchor safe and sure, that can evermore endure.
And it holds, my anchor holds.

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Early Church Witness

The first assembly of believers in the New Testament; Acts.2: 41,42 - “we are His witnesses” Acts.5: 32

(Personal witness became corporate witness in the early Church)

    1. By preaching the Gospel.

    2. By baptism.

    3. By adding the baptized believers to the assembly.

    4. By continuing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.

    5. In fellowship.

    6. In breaking of bread.

    7. In prayer.

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Disciples

The Lord, “... ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” - Mark. 3:14

    1. The world trains men to pass a test and receive a degree or diploma.

    2. The Lord molds character and blesses and sends them on a mission.

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Servant Hood - Faith

“The apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith...” - Luke. 17:5

“The Lord said...which of you, having a servant...” - Luke. 17:6,7

The Lord prescribed the humble task of servant hood as the way to increase the disciple’s faith; busying ones self in humble service will increase our faith. As we work close to Him we will find Him both faithful and trustworthy

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Fellowship

“They continued steadfastly in fellowship...” - Acts 2:42

The Greek word for fellowship is “Koinonia” which means; (to have in common, to share, a partnership and a contribution) - Acts, which is the history of the early Church, is the record of, enthusiastic fellowship. The sharing aspect includes enjoying the same blessings, but also accepting equal responsibility. We are partners in this blessed fellowship, which includes reaching the lost with the Gospel.

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A Painting Of The Crucifixion

“Signifying what death he should die...” John. 12:32,33

In an art gallery in Dusseldorf Germany, there was a painting of the Crucifixion by a German artist, named Sternberg. A pretty gypsy girl sat for a character study. She said, “Who is the man on the center cross? He must have been a very bad man” - The artist said, “no He was the best Man that ever lived” - The girl replied, “then why did they treat Him so badly?” The artist said, “to save us” - She said, “Then you must love Him very much” He said, “no I don’t” - He was convicted and got saved. - Count Zinzendorf (a German noble) saw the picture and got saved. He founded the “Maravian Missionary Society” - The girl went to the gallery and saw the painting again and got saved. When she was sick and on her deathbed she sent for the artist. She told him, “He loved me enough to die for me; now I am going to die and live with Him forever”

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Mystery

“He made known unto me the mystery...” Ephesians. 3:3

“Praying... that utterance may be given unto me...to make known the mystery of the gospel, - Ephesians. 6:18,19

    1. The revelation of the mystery given to Paul was to be shared.

    2. The Gospel that was revealed to us must be made known.

    3. Import/Export firms thrive on transmission of their produce.

    4. The Church that doesn’t go with the Gospel will soon be removed.

    5. The Church that doesn’t evangelize will fossilize.

    6. Cosmic loneliness, the unsaved in the world of five billion people are lonely.

    7. Jesus went up - the Holy Spirit came down – the Church goes out.

    8. The Christiann needs a “show and tell” - personal experience lessons to the world.

    9. Your life speaks so loud; I can’t hear a word you are saying.

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Preach The Gospel

“I strive* to preach the gospel...” - Romans. 15:20 -

      #1 - An ill-prepared message and messenger won’t reach the goal.

      #2 - Qualifications for a witness, he must...

        1. Experience an intimate communion relationship with the Master.

        2. Grasp the great doctrines of the Gospel. (Person/Work of Christ)

        3. Possess divinely inspired compassion for souls. (Like the Master)

        4. Evaluate the preciousness of souls.

        5. Realize the awfulness of hell.

        6. Acknowledge the heinousness of sin.

        7. Be conscious of the holiness of God.

        8. Know that the goodness of God leads to repentance. Romans. 2:4

* “Strive” = an earnest, ambitious goal, actuated by love and honor.

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Ambassadors For Christ

“We are ambassadors for Christ” - 2Cor. 5:20

    1. We have been authorized to represent the King on foreign soil.

    2. The simplest believer is more honored then a famous diplomat.

    3. Our witness is to speak well of our Lord in heaven.

    4. At the outbreak of hostilities the ambassador is recalled.

(1) It may be soon - “Occupy till I come” Luke. 19:13

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Witnesses

“...Ye shall be witnesses unto me...” Acts 1:8

Not every Christian has the gift of evangelism, but all have the call to witness. A consistent life speaks louder then words from a preachers lips. The Lord reminded His disciples, that before they go out into the world to witness they must wait for the Holy Spirit to empower them. Today the believer is in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit and this power is always available. Witnessing in the flesh only results in empty professions.

The Lord didn’t specify methods; here there are countless possibilities. He just said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me...”

It may be one on one witnessing, tract distribution, child evangelism, radio/TV, mass evangelism, etc.

Questions & Answers

Question - How do I learn to share my faith with others? Is there a “method”? Sometimes I just don’t know what to say.

Answer - It is more of a Spirit inspired compassion for souls then a learning process. The woman at the well in John didn’t first take a coarse in witnessing. She shared what she personally experienced and how she met the Savior. Her changed life must have been a powerful witness to her friends. What to say? - It is very simple “come see a Man” - That Man is Christ. Each encounter in witnessing will be under different circumstances, but the message is the same, “Christ and Him crucified” - So pray for compassion for the lost and surrender to the Spirit, because the saving of souls is the Spirits work through the believer’s faithful witness.

Question #2 - I would like to serve the Lord in missions, but how can I learn more about it?

Answer - Keeping in communication contact with seasoned missionaries on the

Mission field, is always a wholesome spiritual exercise. To commit ones whole life to a specific mission like service overseas is a great undertaking and must be not taken lightly. It is a “calling” from God, which must not be ignored or misread.

Spend much time in the Bible to determine God’s will for your life. - Examine your heart to be sure you are willing to pay the price and that the burden in your heart is genuine. Share your burden with friends who will surely pray with you. Observe circumstances and open doors as these are in the Lord’s hands and He will make them plain, but not always easy. Be willing to wait God’s time, as that time may be a training period for you. A heart burden, which never seems to diminish, seems to be a good indication that the Lord is calling you. It is always spiritually invigorating to read “Missionary Biographies” - David Livingston, Hudson Taylor, C. T. Studd, Anthony Norris Groves, John and Betty Stamm, the Five Martyrs Of Equador, John G. Paton, and many others. Observe the “Faith” mission of George Mueller who established many orphanages by trusting in God alone for their daily needs. He never told man about the need, but was a man of prayer and he proved the faithfulness of God. Read, “FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYRS” - It will strengthen you faith for the difficult times. Here were Godly men and women who staked their very lives on “Contending For The Faith” - They died the Martyrs death and have earned the Martyrs Crown of Life. The book of Acts is God’s inspired “MISSIONARY HAND BOOK” - Read it to inspire interest in missions.