I understand this outline was originally from a sermon by Dr. L. R. Scrarbrough, In the Book, "With Christ after the Lost."
A New Years Call to Witness
Acts 16:9-10

9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach. (NAS)

Introduction I like the emphasis of this poem.

EVANGELIZE!
Give us a watchword for the hour.
A thrilling word, a word of power;
A battle-cry, a flaming breath,
That calls to conquest or to death;
A word to rouse the church from rest,
To heed her Master's high behest,
The call is given: Ye hosts arise,
Our watchword is Evangelize!
The glad evangel now proclaim,
Through all the earth in Jesus' name;
This word is ringing through the skies,
Evangelize! Evangelize!
To dying men, a fallen race,
Make known the gift of gospel grace;
The world that now in darkness lies,
Evangelize! Evangelize!
 

Today I want to emphasize the calls to witness that each of us receive in the word of God. I believe:

There is a Call From Without.
There is a Call From Within.
There is a Call From Above.
There is a Call From Below
 
1. We Receive A Call from Without.
Acts 16:9-10

9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach. (NAS)

A. Paul heard.
1. In a vision, "come help"
2. Paul obeyed

B. What happened because Paul obeyed.
1. Course of History changed.
2. Book of the Bible written
3. Many saved

C. Have we heard?
1. News Media tells us people need to hear. 2. People in daily life.

D. What would happen if we heard?
1. Change the Course of History?
2. World Events Changed.

ILLUSTRATION
This week we were all saddened to hear about a young man shooting himself. The first rumors were suicide. That was not suicide but just an accident. As you heard did you think about spiritual matters? Did you wonder if you had ever had an opportunity to witness?

Application

There is a call from without. This year will we answer it?
 
 

2. The Call from Within.
Jer. 20:9, 1 Cor 9:16


Jer 20:9But if I say, "I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name," then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding {it} in, and I cannot endure {it.} (NAS)

A. The Nature of this Call.
1. It's a must for obedience.
a.. Can't keep quiet

B. The Nurture of this Call. 1 Cor 9:16
16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
1. It's a must for Enjoyment.
a. Paul went from a Persecutor to persuader

Illustration #1
Can you imagine a grandparent not being proud of their grandchildren. Many of you walk around with pictures of your grandchildren, ready to show them. I always say, wait a minute, I've got my wallet full also, so I demand equal time. We laugh and we joke about that, but I can't imagine grandparents not bragging about their grandchildren.

You know something else, I have difficulty imagining a Christian who will not brag about Jesus, who will not talk about Him. Because I believe there is a call from within that says to us we should share what we know about Jesus.

Illustration #2
One of our missionaries when to a Moslem country. Every day and several times a day the call to prayer would come, and Moslems would bow toward Mecca and say Allah is god and Mohammad is his prophet.
One day he was walking with his boy when the call to prayer came. He just couldn't take it any longer, he ran up to a Moslem and put his hands around his mouth and hollered out; No God is God and Jesus is His prophet. And that echoed around the little village, God is God and Jesus is His prophet, God is God and Jesus is His prophet, God is God and Jesus is His prophet, and the missionary's little boy said Daddy you just can't stop it can you.

Application

Friend that's what I'm saying this call from within is like that, you just can't stop proclaiming the message God is God and Jesus is His prophet.

Will we hear the call from the call from within this year?
 

3. The Call from Above.
Acts 10:19-20, John 20:21

Acts 10:19-20 19 And while Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you. 20 "But arise, go downstairs, and accompany them without misgivings; for I have sent them Myself." (NAS)

A. The Spirit said "GO"
1. It was a vision from heaven

John 20:21 (NAS)
21 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace {be} with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."

B. God the Father Gave , or sent His Son.
1. We also are sent

ILLUSTRATION:
A fable is told, (of course we know that a fable is not truth but they can contain truthful thought) that Jesus, when He went back to heaven an angel asked Him where have you been so He told them.

Jesus told them about the plan of salvation. So the angel said that's great, these people can come to heaven. But how are the people going to know, since you have left. Jesus replied that I've left a command to my disciples to be witnesses and to share. And the angel said what if they don't, and Jesus replied, I have no other plan.

APPLICATION

You see, today there is an emphasis on plan number two. But Jesus does not have any other plan than this, that His children would share the story.

There is a Call from Above. Will we heed it this year?
 

4. The Call from Below.
Luke 16:27-30

Luke 16:27-31
27 "And he said, 'Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father's house-- 28 for I have five brothers-- that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' 29 "But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' 30 "But he said, 'No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!' 31 "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'" (NAS)

A. The call from Hell is an Urgent Call.

B. Who would call you from hell?
1. Son? Daughter? Mother? Father?

ILLUSTRATION
Jack Hyles tells the story of when his father died that his he was found in a skid row flop house. They called for members of the family to come and identify the body. Jack and his sister went to the morgue and identified their father.
Jack was already a pastor, his sister was not a Christian but he invited all of the family to come to church that Sunday, sit together, and there would be a special time of prayer for the family. His sister came,

Jack had already planned to preach from Luke 16:27-31. As he preached that sermon and gave an invitation his sister came forward to acknowledge Christ as her Lord. Afterward she told Jack, when we went to the morgue and they had us identify Dad. When I looked in his face, it was as though he mumbled something to me, but I couldn't understand what he said. When I came to church today and you read that scripture about the man in hell, as he said then ". . . I beg you father that you send him to my father's house,. . . . " I realized that Dad was trying to say, don't come to this place where I am.

Illustration 2
You see there is a call from below. Many of you remember the story that I tell related to the time when I was saved. I thought I was a Christian, I had some positions in the church for a young person. Then one morning there was a picture of five of my friends on the front page of the paper, they had been killed in a car wreck.

A group of young men got together, and went to the mortuary. One of the particular friends of mine was James Mason, and as I went to the funeral parlor of James and expressed sympathy to the family, as I walked by the casket, James seemed to say to me, "McCullen, if you're a Christian, then why didn't you tell me about Jesus." And I paused for a moment, and the thought came again, McCullen, if you're a Christian, why didn't you tell me about Jesus.

That thought echoed around in my mind and caused me to come to the conclusion that even though I had the message in my head, I never had really committed it in my heart. I never had acknowledged Jesus and Lord and Savior.

I don't believe James Mason was a Christian. It seemed as though he said to me, "If you're a Christian, why didn't you ever talk to me about Christ." That thought led me to acknowledge Chris as Lord.

Illustration#3
When I was pastor in West Virginia, one of our families asked me if I would stop by intensive care and see a person that they knew. This lady had never been in our church, in fact the person that asked me to go, said "I don't think she ever went to church but maybe you could talk to her."

So I said I'd be happy to. I went by, went into intensive care, this lady was already in what is called the "death rattle". As I tried to talk with her it was almost as if I made her angry. And there was a hatred on her face, as through she was already slipping into hell. I tried to talk with her, but she would not listen to anything I had to say.

As I walked away I heard again that there is a call from below. There is a call from hell that tells us some day it is too late to witness and we ought to witness right now.

Conclusion

Jay Strack and the Sin of the Desert.

One of our more prominent evangelists is Jay Strack. Jay Strack was on a tour to Israel and his guide notices him witnessing many times. When he got back on the bus on one occasion the tour guide said "Why are you talking to all these people?" and Jay related that he was simply trying to share that he believed Jesus was the Messiah.

The tour guide then said, "Oh, you're not wanting to commit the sin of the desert." Jay Strack said, "I don't know what you are talking about." He said, "Well the Bedouins, who are migrant shepherds, "have what they call the sin of the desert.

The sin is that you know where water is but you don't tell anybody."

We who are Christian know where salvation is, know where the forgiveness of sin is, and if we would not share; It would surely be the sin of the desert.

There is a Call From Without.
There is a Call From Within.
There is a Call From Above.
There is a Call From Below
 
 
Let's all do a better job of witnessing in the New Year
 
 
 
 
 
 
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