Kelly: Hello welcome to Cell Life Church’s discussion series Building a Firm Foundation. When constructing any building you want to make sure that your foundation is firm and sound. You want to make sure that you have all the right measurements, all the right tools and materials, so that the building will stand against any storm or unsettling of the earth. Much like a building our lives must also be built on a firm foundation. Principles that can withstand the test of time and the storms of society. You know Jesus spoke about this on the sermon of the Mount that we find in Mathew 7 with this concept of having our foundation built on the rock which is Christ. Today we’re going to be discussing an important element of a firm foundation. We’ll be talking about Evangelism and its place in the world today. There is a handout available on our website with discussion questions, scripture references and other information.
Brian: The address is right there.
Kelly: The discussion questions will also be displayed on our screen at the conclusion of this video.
Brian: Yes and on your screen too.
Kelly: Yes you know this topic is very important to me, very exciting for me. This is an issue that I take to heart. And so I want to start with this, we believe that God has provided to desiring believers the power of the Holy Spirit for the evangelization of the lost.
Kelly: We cannot evangelize without the power of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is who enables us, equips us, empowers us to tell people about Jesus. And even gives us that desire that want.
Brian: Right but you know an interesting piece about this, about this we believe piece is the fact that -- and sometimes it’s a little sticking point for some folks is we believe that God has provided to desiring believers. God is a gentleman; God does not force the Holy Spirit on anybody. If you’re not willing to accept the gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit for whatever purpose. God’s not going to cram the Holy Spirit down your throat so to speak. And so that’s why we say he’s provided to desiring believers, those that are desiring the power of the Holy Spirit for the evangelization of the lost. God is going to provide and going to provide an amazing, miraculous way sometimes and it just blows my mind the way he does sometimes.
Kelly: What I think too is we draw closer to Jesus. We desire for other people to know Jesus. You know I think each and every one of us if you have a relationship with Jesus you know somebody that doesn’t. And whether that’s a friend or even a family member and your desire is to spend eternity with them and this desire begins to grow. And so really what happens is the believer wants everybody to know Jesus, because you have and God’s filled your life and you have peace. And you have all these wonderful things that the Lord gives us that you want to tell other people the good news.
Brian: Exactly so let’s look at this and there is a few key things with this that we want to share about with evangelism. And the first thing we want to talk about is what is evangelism? And which is a great question, because there are a lot of things that people talk about and from a Christian perspective, before I get into a funny thing about the world. The world is starting to adopt the word evangelism and evangelist for other things. I was at a conference a number of years ago and there is a rather large international software company that they actually have a job in their software company that’s called a technology evangelist. This is someone that who goes around sharing about the technology that this particular company is developing. And so that’s their job is to share that information, to share that news. What is evangelism when it comes to the church and it comes to the church of Jesus Christ? Evangelism is spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to your city, your region, your nation and the world that is what evangelism is.
Brian: And the gospel is the good news, gospel is interpreted as the good news of Jesus Christ. So evangelism is spreading the good news of Jesus with some passion I think. As Kelly shared in the beginning; we are very passionate about evangelism that is one of the biggest reasons why we produce these videos for all of you to use for free online. And we do these things we want to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the world and allow the world to experience Jesus Christ. You know interesting thing about this is Jesus actually commissioned us, you know Jesus gave us the power and the authority and the commission to share his gospel. And he did this, we read this in Mathew 28:18-20 it says this, “Then Jesus came to them and said all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you and surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
A very important about this passage of the scripture is first of all Jesus -- lets you know you know he is commissioning the disciples, the apostles and everyone in his hearing which includes us to go and evangelize, to go and spread the gospel. But I can tell you to go and do it but well who am I, well who is this guy, he’s on a video big deal, who am I? Jesus identifies himself and why he can send us in this very way. He starts out, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” So it’s up to me Jesus is saying to say who does what period, end of story there’s the box you’re living in it’s up to me. What I’m telling you to do because of that go and make disciples, go share the gospel, go share my truth, go share my good news that’s a big deal. And he tells them to go throughout the whole world and we read in other places and we’ll read later on, some other details about that. That’s what evangelism is, its sharing that good news of Jesus Christ with everybody. And let me tell you it is good news, it is very good news.
Kelly: It is and there is no plan B, this was God’s intention to save the world there is no plan B. He sent his Son to die on the cross, he rose again for our sin and then he said now it’s up to you.
Brian: Yeah go for it.
Kelly: Now I leave this to you, I -- it is my desire that nobody would perish that everyone would receive eternal life. That’s up to you to tell everybody else and so that’s why evangelism is so important. So the next question then is who is called to evangelize?
Brian: Yeah who is called to evangelize?
Kelly: And me.
Kelly: And so are you everybody is called to evangelize, nobody is put out of that, everybody is called to evangelize. And sometimes we think of evangelism as that missionary that’s travelling all these different places, you know going to this – these rural places or even cities you know speaking different languages and all these things oh well they’re the evangelists. No they’re part of it, but so am I, so am I when I go to the grocery store or when I go knock at my neighbors door or when I help the kid that fell off his bike outside of my -- on the side walk you know it’s my job too, so is it yours and so --
Brian: Wherever you find yourself.
Kelly: Wherever you find yourself your work place, your ministry place, every place it’s up to us. Isaiah 6:8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying who shall I send and who will go for us? And I said here I am send me.” And so the Lord was looking for somebody to go and spread the good news and go speak his word and here it is Isaiah says, “Okay here I am send me.” And that’s exactly the heart and attitude that the Lord wants for each one of us. Is here I am send me I am not equipped, I am not gifted, I have no idea what to say, I don’t know what to do this is scary.
Brian: Boy we can come up with excuses.
Kelly: Yes that’s exactly who God wants, because if you would have said, “Oh I’ll go I have practiced this, I know exactly what to say when they come back and I’m going to say this one and I’ve got the Bible memorized and I can quote scripture after scripture after scripture and hey I’m the one for the job.”
Brian: Which all are great.
Kelly: But God’s not looking for that person, God’s looking for the person who will say Lord in me I cannot do this.
Kelly: But only with you I can. And so I will be obedient, I will tell others about you. And also I think sometimes we tend to think, “Well I’ll just let my actions speak louder than my words, and I’ll just be a good person, and I’ll just do these things.” The Bible said, “Go and tell the world,” and so it’s important for us to tell people about who Jesus is.
Brian: Yes, we do, we need to tell the world but our actions are important as well. Our actions need to back up what we’re saying. There’s no one or the other, you can’t allow your walk to do all of your talking because it’s not going to work. But you also can’t allow just your talk to do it, your walk has to support what you’re saying; so what you do has to back up with what you say. And like Kelly was saying, we are all called to be evangelists, we’re all called to evangelize, it’s not just the street corner preacher, it’s not just the behind the pulpit preacher, it’s not just you know these different things. It’s not just the teacher that prays for the kids, it’s not just… we all in some way or another, have the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ, day in and day out.
Brian: And, there is -- when God is looking for someone, and I love what you said, because there are folks that have the word memorized, have the Bible memorized. That are fantastic public speakers, that are very comfortable in front of people and God does not always use them, have you ever noticed that? As a matter of fact, he rarely uses them. There’s a great phrase and I know I’ve said it in some of the other videos is, God does not call the prepared, He prepares the called, did you catch that? He doesn’t call the prepared, He prepares the called. Because we need to make sure that what we understand is we are operating in the power of God. We are operating in doing things the way He wants us to. You know there’s -- I have often said, when we were youth pastoring, I’ve said it often, I find myself saying it still often too many people, there is but one appropriate answer to God when He asks you to do something. Just one, there’s one appropriate answer. And we read it in Isaiah, you know Isaiah said it, you know it’s translated you know “Here am I Lord, Here am I.” In 21st century English, God says, “Brian I need you to, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.” And my one appropriate response is, “Okay.” And start moving, start doing it. That is the one appropriate response.
If God says, “Don’t blah-blah-blah-blah-blah,” “Okay.” And stop. So that’s the thing, well how do we do that? How do we evangelize? God says, “So and so, I need you to do X, do this, whatever, I need you to approach that person in the company lunch room, and let them know that I love them, that’s all. Just go let them know that I love them.” Your one appropriate response is, “Okay.” You never know what door is going to open.
How do we evangelize, that’s the third piece to this, how do we evangelize? We can only do it with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. That little example I just gave you, walking up to somebody in the lunch room, you hear that small still voice and you hear it saying, “You need to go over to so and so, and let them know that I love them. Go over there and let them know, I see where they’re at, I understand where they’re at and my -- I am heartbroken for them also.” Maybe this is somebody you don’t know, maybe this is somebody you don’t get along with at work, and you’re scared to death. “I don’t know what to say, what if they yell at me, what if they call HR and report me, what if they do -- I can’t do that, I don’t know, what if they ask me questions?”
Kelly: Brian I don’t know the answer.
Brian: “What if they ask me questions, I don’t know the answers. What if, what if --” boy can we what if ourselves out of something and talk ourselves out of something really quick. Well, we can do it with the power of the Holy Spirit and that’s the whole point here. We need that power of the Holy Spirit to do the things that God asks us to do. To actually understand and hear the things that God asks us to do, we need that power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 says this, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” I love that verse, that is actually one of my most favorite verses, and I love this part, “But you will receive power, when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” You know, I look around our studio right now as we’re recording this and I see bright lights in my face, I see computer equipment, I see cameras, I see microphones, and none of this works without power.
We have the opportunity to preach to some churches in Pakistan frequently over the Internet, using Internet software, web conferencing software, it’s a lot of fun and it’s very rewarding. However, there are often times where it gets delayed or cancelled or postponed because they don’t have power. Because if they don’t have power, they don’t have internet, they don’t have the computer to connect. They don’t have the cameras, the monitors, the screens, all these other things, doesn’t work without power. The same thing works with us when God tasks us. We need that power of the Holy Spirit.
“You will receive power,” This is Jesus, this is the words in red, I love the words in red, this is the words in red, in Acts, “You will receive power.” It’s not you might receive power, it’s not I might give you a little power, no, no, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be --” Not you might be, there’s no mights in this, “You will receive power, you will be my witnesses…” I love being a witness for Jesus. I love my life being a witness for Jesus, I love my speech being a witness for Jesus, I love my joy being a witness for Jesus, it’s a blast, it’s a blast.
Kelly: And we can’t be afraid of messing up, and not saying the right thing. Because you know what, you won’t always say the right thing, we’re human. We’re human and it’s okay and when we are vulnerable in front of people that we’re trying to share the gospel with, to them that strips away the idea that you’re a hypocrite. And that strips away the idea of, you are a holy roller, or you are untouchable. And when you say, you know what, “I just feel that God is telling me that, He has a plan for your life and that He loves you.” And --
Brian: Just needed to tell you that.
Kelly: Yeah, I just needed to tell you that. You know, and that is just so innocent, and so loving, it’s just the heart of God. And --
Brian: If you’re living a transparent authentic life, it’s received that way.
Kelly: Right exactly. And so that’s how our actions do speak is when that takes place. And so, there’s gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us, that enables us, to be able to evangelize and each one of us has giftings. And in those giftings, we have those gifts so that we can show the power of God in our lives touching other people. And so there’s so many different gifts and we’re going to look at that, and it’s found in Romans 12:6-8 it says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying then prophesy in accordance with your faith. If it is serving then serve, if it is teaching then teach. If it is to encourage, then give encouragement. If it is giving, then give generously. If it is to lead, do it diligently. If it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Kelly: And when we look at this, we are seeing so many gifts of really evangelizing. And so in these gifts, you can be an encouragement, a teacher, a giver, and all these things showing the love of Jesus. That’s what evangelism is, is Jesus came and His message was a message of love and salvation, that’s what He’s asked us to do, is share His love and salvation to others.
Brian: Exactly. And, it’s through these gifts, you know I said that, God doesn’t call the prepared, He prepares the called, this is how He prepares us, He gives us these gifts. Now we -- often times we refer to them as natural abilities, I know there’s nothing natural about the abilities that God has given me. I’ve often told the story about, I used to be scared to death to stand up in front of people and speak. I couldn’t talk to anyone I didn’t know, I could never introduce myself to someone that I didn’t know, that scared me to death. However, God has done amazing things in my life, and now, I find it easier to be up in front of thousands of people than five. And I find it very easy to walk up to someone, and stick my hand out and shake their hand, and introduce myself, and talk to them about them. Not even about -- but talk to them about them and hear their -- I love people’s stories. Please share with me your stories. I love to hear people’s stories. So, but these are the things, these are gifts that God has given me, to use to share His love, His good news to the world. So sometimes we struggle with the impact we might have you know it’s like well I’ll never be a Billy Graham, well I’ll never be, you know a so-and-so, I’ll, I’ll never, I’ll never be able, I’ll never be a Mother Teresa. You know I’ll never be these great you know Christians, you know these heroes of faith. You don’t know that first of all, and how we look at them is differently how – than how God looks at them. God looks at them, it’s not the number of people you lead to The Lord, it’s not, it’s the transparency and the authenticity that you share what he asks you to share. Do what you need to do, do what you’ve been asked to do. God’s got the whole big picture in mind; we just need to do our part.
Brian: When we start doing more than our part or less than our part, that’s when God’s going to start okay well I need to start shifting things around here, okay now I need so and so to come in and pick up the pieces or fill in the gaps or whatever it is. There was a -- there was a man and I don’t have his name, I’m sorry but, and the story goes, it was a Sunday school teacher back in the late 19th century, the 1800s and he was teaching Sunday school I believe the 5th grade boys and he struggled with this, he struggled with evangelism. He struggled with not having an impact for Christ. And he prayed that he wanted to have a huge impact in the world for Jesus Christ and he prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. And I don’t know if he, well I’m sure he doesn’t know this whole chain of events because he passed away, he knows now being in heaven with Jesus but it was interesting, he prayed because he thought he wasn’t doing anything teaching 5th grade boys in Sunday school class.
The interesting thing is one of the boys in his Sunday school class was the name of Dwight Moody, you ever heard of Moody Bible Institute? Dwight Moody was a tremendous theologian; he did amazing things, an amazing evangelist. He led a number of people to the Lord and in some of his tent meetings, he influenced people who influenced Billy Sunday; Billy Sunday was a famous baseball player in America in the early 1900s who became an evangelist, a street evangelist and then a fulltime evangelist, tent meetings you name it, he was doing it and I tell you what, he was hitting home runs for Jesus all over the place. He influenced others and one of the people he influenced and ultimately came to know Jesus was a gentleman named Mordecai Ham. Mordecai Ham, another great revival tent-meeting evangelist in America. So this is, the interest thing is the Sunday school teacher was in England as was Dwight Moody, and then it came across the pond so to speak, came across the Atlantic to America and there were others that you know Mordecai Ham now in America and he’s spreading the word and things like that. In a tent meeting that Mordecai Ham was leading in North Carolina, two young men came in, and one of those young men that said yes to Jesus was Billy Graham.
Billy Graham we know, just about everybody in the world knows the name Billy Graham, has led hundreds of millions to Jesus through ministry in his lifetime. What an amazing chain of events all from a Sunday school teacher in some little town in England who prayed I want to impact the world for you Lord. That’s how he impacted the world; he led the one, which led more, which led more, which led more, which led more. It’s amazing and so we need to remember that; We may not see today the impact that we have, but God has given us power and that power is to evangelize, it is to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Kelly: Yes, yes and we don’t know the impact that we’re going to have but it doesn’t matter, we don’t need to know, we just need to be obedient. When the Lord says speak to this person, I’m giving you this opportunity, okay. All right, It doesn’t matter the impact because you don’t know how you are impacting their heart, what they need to hear only God knows that. And we’ll understand when we get to heaven, when you, you know you think of this Sunday school teacher in heaven as he has seen these people come to heaven because of his ministry and just what a beautiful, beautiful legacy that is. No matter how small we see our gift, it is humongous in the plan of God, so big you know --
Brian: It’s bigger than huge.
Kelly: Bigger than huge, it is -- everybody has a part to play. And will you save the world? Well maybe, but maybe not. And that’s okay because if you do your part, and I do my part, and you do your part then we’re all fulfilling the great commission together because friend there’s no plan B, we are all there is. This was God’s plan for salvation so that you and I would spread his news, that we would be his hands, his feet to a lost and dying world so that no one would perish.
Brian: Yes, Hallelujah.
Kelly: But would receive eternal life. And so today, as we’ve spoken about evangelism, we said well what is evangelism? Sharing the good news, the love of Jesus, the salvation of man. Who was called, you are, I am, we all are
Brian: We all are, everyone.
Kelly: Everybody is; and how do we do that, well we simply use the gifts, we say yes Lord, I will; I will be obedient because you have asked me to. It may not be easy, but I will, and I will receive what it is you have given me to complete the task you are asking me to do.
Brian: Yes, exactly. So we want to thank you for joining us today. As you can see we are passionate about the subject, we said that at the beginning and we really are; we are passionate about evangelism. We want to thank you for joining us; we want to encourage you to contact us if you have questions or comments. If you have a story, an evangelism story, or something, we would love to hear it.
And so please visit us on our website, our Facebook page, our YouTube channel, you can put in your story there, you can call us, you can email us, whatever. You can follow us on twitter, you can follow us on iTunes, you can follow us on Sticher, you name it; there’s lots of ways to connect with us and we would love to get to know you, and allow you to get to know us a little bit. Please join us next time as we discuss Heaven and Hell. It will be a good one, so until then, bye, bye.