EVANGELISM 1

 
Reading: Luke 14:16-27
 
 

    INTRODUCTION

 
    [a]  Churches  the  world   over, have  had a  renewed  emphasis on
      evangelism, which of course is  marvellous! 
    I think to some degree,  it   is   linked   with  the  great urgency in
    the  knowledge that  all   around   us,   we   see,   as  never before,
    absolute  proofs  that we  are  in  THE  LAST    OF   THE   LAST  DAYS,
    before the return of the Lord!
    [d] One  of  the  problems   Christians   have,   is   that   often  we
    can  turn round  and   say,   "Oh    it's    just   another  campaign!"
    "ANOTHER BRIGHT IDEA FROM THE OFFICER OR THE MINISTER!" GOD FORBID!
    [e]  All  too  often,   Christians   are    guilty   of  sitting  there
    in their  church  or    corps,    with    the    attitude,   "Oh  well,
    if God wants to bring people in I suppose He will!"
    True to a degree, but how  often   have   we  heard  it said, "HE HAS
    NO HANDS BUT MY HANDS, NO LIPS BUT MY LIPS...."
    [f] WHAT GOD WANTS TO DO, HAS  TO  BE  DONE  THROUGH YOU AND ME - AND
    THAT CANNOT BE, IF WE FAIL TO COMMIT OURSELVES TO HIS SERVICE!
    [e] It is  WE,   who   MUST   COMMIT   OURSELVES   to   go   into the
    highways and byways COMPELLING them to come in!!
 

    POINT 1   KEEP AT IT

 
    [a] The Scottish, Robert the   Bruce   had   been defeated in battle,
    and dejectedly took refuge in a cave.    He   felt   that he had failed
    to rid his country of it's enemies and was on the point of giving up.
    [b] Then he saw a spider  in  the   corner,  trying to get back up to
    it's web on a fine silken thread.  Time   and  time again it would try,
    only to fall onto the floor of the cave.
    [c] But it was determined  not   to   give   up  until it had reached
    it's goal, and eventually it was successful!
    [d] That spider, gave Robert the   Bruce   the  will to carry on, for
    he felt it typified his  own   efforts,    and    failure  to reach the
    goal over and over again.  The   king  took  courage,  and  persevered,
    and the example of that spider brought it's reward in due time.
    [e] The doggedness, and perseverance   of   the  spider are mentioned
    in Proverbs 30:28, where  it   says,   "The   spider  taketh  hold with
    her hands, and is in the king's palaces."
    [f]  Jesus   reminds   us    how    important   persistence   is   in
    spiritual matters, when  He  says   in   Matthew   7:7   as  translated
    in  the  Amplified Bible,
    "KEEP ON ASKING, AND IT WILL   BE   GIVEN   YOU;  KEEP ON SEEKING AND
    YOU WILL FIND; KEEP ON KNOCKING  AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED TO YOU.
    [g] When you're endeavouring to  win   souls  to  Christ, and you get
    a knockback, DON'T GIVE UP! REMEMBER ROBERT THE BRUCE'S SPIDER!
 

    POINT 2   SHOWING SINCERITY

 
    [a] A  friend  in  Belfast,  Bobby,  was   in  the Communist party, and
    would have said he was an atheist.
    Because of the persistence  of  a   Christian   neighbour, often in the
    face  of insult, Bobby   found  the   Lord,  when  he  eventually  went
    to a  meeting with  the    neighbour   and   the   hardened   communist
    became   a  preacher winning many others to Christ.
    [b] There are perhaps  people  living   beside   each   one of  us  who
    need the Saviour and His Salvation!
    Under  the   hand   of    God,    it    is    OUR    OPPORTUNITY   to
    quite literally PESTER THEM to come  along   to   the meetings! Some of
    you may have done that in days gone by - and been successful!!
    [c] Remember the 'P's:
         PESTERING, backed with PRAYER, can PERFORM PLENTY!
    [d] You see, if you  genuinely  care   about  someone, and where they
    will spend eternity, can you risk   leaving   them  to  find  their own
    way  -  which will almost certainly NOT be God's way!
    [e] WE MUST SHOW WE CARE!
    

POINT 3   THE DANGERS OF NEGLECT

 
    [a] I'm reminded of  the   conversation   between   two  brothers  as one
    was dying! He had just  made   a   death-bed   decision  for Christ. To
    the other brother  who  had   been   a    Christian   for  many  years,
    he  said, emotionally,
    "Why didn't you tell me  I  needed   to   be  saved??" "But I did" he
    said! "Yes", replied the other  brother,   "But   you   were  always so
    calm about it! Why didn't you  grab   hold  of  me  and  shake  me, and
    show some emotion about it! I HAVE ALMOST SLEPT MYSELF INTO HELL!!"
    [b] We must endeavour to FOCUS OUR MINDS!
    All the problems, the failures,  the   difficulties,  of the past, must
    be put completely out of our   minds    -   WHEN   WE  HAVE ALLOWED GOD
    TO DEAL WITH THEM, then  we   can    concentrate    on   the   task  in
    hand, for God's Kingdom!
    [c]   Every   day   we   have   before    us   a    completely    NEW
    UNTRIED OPPORTUNITY to bring others to Christ!
    [d] If we are FAITHFUL   in   going   into   the  highways  and byways,
    and COMPELLING them to come  in  -   THEN    I    BELIEVE  WE CAN SEE A
    MIGHTY MOVE OF GOD! GOD WANTS TO DO HIS  PART   -  BUT HE CANNOT, IF WE
    FRUSTRATE HIS PURPOSE, AND DO NOT DO OURS!
    [e] So often  in  so   many   places,  where  we've  been  stationed,
    I have heard  people  say,   "It's   been   like   this  ever  since  I
    can remember, so it's not going to change now!"
    GOD DOESN'T WORK BY THOSE PRINCIPLES!
 

    CONCLUSION

 
    [a] Remember Robert the  Bruce's  Spider,  and  the  lesson it taught
    about not giving up!
    [b] God is not limited by  the   failures   or  neglect of the past -
    He  would  want   us   to    start     this    moment    with   renewed
    commitment, knowing that in the  words  of   the   children's   Singing
    Company song, "If your heart's  alright - you'll do."
    [c] That's where it must start. The Lord will take care of the rest!