WHEN THE LORD SENDS US TO WITNESS
We expect the paid staff to do the witnessing. We're supposed to come and sit; to enjoy the blessings that the Lord gives because of their efforts. NOT SO! The Lord expects you to visit those who stray and the lost as well as He expects the staff to visit and witness. When the Lord sends us to witness:
1. He expects us to go
2. He expects us to preach
3. He expects us to announce the Kingdom
Please follow in your Bible as we develop these points.
I, WHEN THE LORD SENDS US TO WITNESS,
HE EXPECTS US TO GO. v. 5-7
These verses are about the 12 Apostles. We are not apostles but much, if not all, of the instruction given to them is also given to us. It was an apostle who asked, "Lord, teach us to pray" and received the instruction all of us enjoy called "the model prayer." We must see ourselves as ones whom the Lord sends out and be like the apostles and immediately get busy.
Notice verse 7 as it compares with verse 5. In verse 5, the Lord is sending the people out; in verse 7, He says, "As you go". It speaks of an expectation the Lord has. He expects us to go because He said so. Friend, you are a disobedient Christian if you never specifically visit or witness in the name of the Lord. (By the way, don't call a visit a witness. A witness has to confront people with the gospel.)
In the scripture known as the "Great Commission" most translations read, "Go ye into all the world." It is an expectation that the Lord has! His children will witness. They will go house to house and door to door if necessary because the Lord said "Go'!
A Sunday School teacher by the name of Edward Kimball had a boy in his class named D. L. Moody. The Lord told him to go and witness to Moody. He went and Moody was saved.
Moody became a world renowned evangelist. While preaching in England, a man named F. B. Meyer was saved. Meyer also became a famous preacher, and while preaching on a college campus in America, a student named Wilbur Chapman was saved.
Chapman engaged in Y. M. C. A. work and engaged the services of a newly converted Major League baseball player named Billy Sunday. He became a world renowned evangelist and preached a crusade in Charlotte N. C. The impact of that crusade was so great, the organizers wanted it to be expanded, but Sunday could not stay.
An evangelist by the name of Mordecai Hamm agreed to preach as the crusade continued. A 17 year old lad named Billy Graham was saved. . .(and the story goes on) but what if Ed Kimball had not been faithful to the Lord's instruction to witness to Moody?
God is sovereign and will work out His purposes. However, He has chosen
to use us to be His witnesses. Do you witness? Notice the second point
as found in verse 7 b.
II. WHEN THE LORD SENDS US TO WITNESS,
HE EXPECTS US TO PREACH. v 7
In verse 7 the Lord says, "as you go, preach." Therefore, we are not sent just to be thought of as nice people and we are not just to talk about life in general. All of our conversation should have the ultimate goal that I'm going to talk about Jesus, I'm going to preach for a decision.
There is a connotation of the word 'preach' that is shunned by the world. Preach doesn't mean you tell everybody how holy you are and how sinful they are. This Greek word translated 'preach' is for a messenger delivering a message. It is a presentation of facts and sharing of what the Lord has done for you.
In the Evangelism Explosion outline we are taught to talk about many things but we always have the goal to share a testimony and present the gospel for a decision to be made.
Jim McNiel and I have been in several revival meetings together. In one church where I pastored Jim came for several revivals. One man in the church was regular in attendance, but not a born again Christian. He wouldn't let me, the preacher, talk with him, but since he loved singing, I arranged for Jim and I to visit him.
He was delighted for McNiel to come to his home, and he tolerated my presence. Jim began to share with him about Jesus and then to ask Mr. Yard if he had ever repented and yielded to Christ. Mr. Yard replied, "You're a singer, not a preacher. Don't start preaching to me."
Jim McNiel could have been thought of as a fine singer and just a good
ole boy by Mr. Yard. But he would have been thought of as disobedient by
Jesus. Some of you want to be thought of as a good ole boy and a good neighbor
without any consideration to the witness you are supposed to give to friends,
neighbors and relatives. We are to preach and that means talk about the
King and His kingdom. Notice that thought as we look in verse 7c,
III. WHEN THE LORD SENDS US TO WITNESS,
HE EXPECTS US TO ANNOUNCE THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND. v. 7c.
The Lord sends us to preach and tells us what to say. He says, "saying the kingdom is at hand." We are to tell folks they can get a little bit of heaven right here on earth. They can participate in the kingdom by receiving the King for that is what the Kingdom is. It is a place where the King lives and Lord Jesus is King. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
This is not something you have to wait years to receive or something you announce to folks telling them maybe someday they can have the kingdom. It is for the here and now. They can know they are saved and that the residence of the King has become part of their being.
It is interesting to note: John the Baptist preached, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus preached, "The Kingdom is at hand' and we are given the same privilege. We can preach the message of John the Baptist and Jesus/.
The church I pastored in California had the privilege of hearing a Japanese man give his testimony. He had served in the 2 World Wars. He trained to be a Kamikaze pilot, but his number never came up to serve his emperor in that way. When the war was over, he studied Buddhism, but was disillusioned because of a lack of peace. A missionary met him on a street and gave him a tract, then another and then a portion of scripture. This man was amazed to find the promise of Jesus was so clear. Jesus promised a "Know-so" salvation. This man received the Kingdom that was at hand.
We are to expect people to be saved. We are to expect that they want to hear the message Jesus bids us to preach. But most of all, we are to do as He says just because He told us to do it. Have you this month told of the love of Jesus? Have you announced the Kingdom is at hand so someone could receive Jesus?
An invitation hymn will be sung for you to make your public decision.
As a Christian you may want to renew your commitment or move your membership.
As a non-Christian, you should today acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
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And Beyond. Amen? Amen!