03/13/16 Openly Share the Gospel!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Sunday, March 13, 2016 Under: Sermon

Acting Like Jesus Series – Acts 1:1-8

Intro: A bazooka is better than a rifle. At the close of World War II, two pictures appeared in a magazine showing a soldier in conflict with a tank. The first showed a huge tank bearing down on a tiny soldier, about to crush him. The picture was proportioned to show the odds involved when a foot soldier with a rifle faced a tank. The next picture showed what happened to that soldier’s odds with a bazooka, or rocket launcher, in his hands. This time the tank appeared to be shrunken in size and the soldier at least equal in size, if not a little larger.

Without the power of God released in our lives, when in conflict with sin we are like an infantry soldier in the presence of a tank. We cannot do a thing. But by trust in the power of the living God at work in us, we can say no and make it stick. We can turn and begin to live as God intended us to live. Christians are soldiers in conflict, if we try to continue in our own merit to survive that rifle will never work! A bazooka is better than a rifle.

From the inception of His earthly ministry until His ascension, Jesus had instructed His disciples by both deed and word. His miracles were to strengthen their faith; His parables were to clarify spiritual truth for them; His teaching was to formulate their theology. He revealed to them the truth they would need to carry on His work. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.” Ephesians 1:18-19

Text: Acts 1:1-8 (NKJV)

“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. 4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Application: The Holy Spirit can enable you to be a proclaimer.

To proclaim something according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary; means to declare publicly, typically insistently, proudly, to praise or glorify openly. The Apostle’s after giving instructions from Jesus to wait until the Day of Pentecost and the presence of the Holy Spirit had been received, were to go out proudly, openly and share the Gospel! This Act of the early church fathers is to be continued through us today.

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 1.

1. The Right Message: We Must Have the Right Message. Vs. 1 “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.”

Jesus tells His men that they are to be witness “unto Me”. Jesus is to be the sole focus of their message. That has not changed! We are to tell the world about Him. We are not to talk about us, our lives, our beliefs, our denomination, our church, or our favorite preacher. None of those things have saving power! His message does: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16 we are to tell the world about Jesus! We are to tell the message of His love, His death and His resurrection. We are to share the message of the Gospel: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” We are to tell the world that Jesus will save anyone who comes to Him by faith! Our only mission is to point people to Jesus. He is the only hope the world has for salvation: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." As someone said, all we are is “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread”. Jesus is the “Bread of Life”, He is the solution to the spiritual hunger of the world. That’s the right message!

2. The Right Methods: We Must Have the Right Methods. Vs. 5 “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Jesus is calling His people to tell others the truth about Him. The word “witness” was used in Bible times like it is used today. It speaks of those who testify in a court of law. A witness in a trial is called upon to tell what they have seen and what they know to be true.

God is calling His people to tell what they know and what they have seen to be true. Do you know anything about Jesus Christ? Has God done anything for you through Jesus Christ? If you can answer yes to those questions that is what you are to tell the world. Do you know that God loves you? Tell the world! Do you know that you are saved? Tell the world! Do you know how God saves sinners? Tell the world! ‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15 the right method is guided through the Holy Spirit!

3. The Right Mindset: We Must Have the Right Mindset. Vs. 8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." The witness in a court of law is to testify to the judge and the jury. The witness to Jesus Christ is to testify to the whole world! That is a big task, so Jesus breaks it down for us. We are to begin close and move out! Most of us will never go to “the uttermost part of the earth”, but we can serve in our Jerusalem. We can witness to our families, our friends, our co-workers, total strangers, to anyone we meet, anywhere we go. We are to always be “on mission” for Jesus, telling a lost and dying world that Jesus saves. If we get the opportunity to go to our Judea, our Samaria and the uttermost part of the earth, we should make good use of those open doors. Everyone we meet is either a believer, or they are in need of the Gospel! Let's tell them about our Savior! Let's share the glorious news that Jesus saves and will save all who will come to Him by faith: “The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17 (NIV)

What is really sad is that most believers will not talk to anyone who is outside their comfort zone. They will visit friends, family and acquaintances, but they won't go to someone who is lost. They are afraid to share the Gospel outside their own realm of safety. As a result, most church members are not involved in any kind of evangelism. They have the mindset, “My four and no more”, when there is a whole world that must be reached with the Gospel of grace, and it is our job to take it to them! If we really believe that people are going to Hell without Jesus, and if we really believe that the Gospel is for all men, then why aren't we doing more to get the Gospel to them? Why aren't we out there telling a lost world that Jesus saves? Could it be that we really don't believe everything we claim to believe? Could it be that we are saved and satisfied? The right mindset tells us let this: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Openly share the gospel!

4. The Right Muscle: We Must Have the Right Muscle. Vs. 8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

If our message is to have any power; if our methods are to be successful; and if our mindset is ever to be what it ought to be; we are going to need help from outside ourselves. Jesus tells us in this verse that our help comes from the “Holy Ghost”. The people in the upper room were promised that the Spirit of God was coming, and that when He came, He would fill them with God's power. “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." When that power came on the day of Pentecost, those terrified disciples, who had been hiding from the Jews in fear, became bold preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When they preached the Gospel, 3,000 souls were saved: “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.’ What made the difference? It wasn't their eloquence. It wasn't their oratory. It wasn't their delivery. What made the difference was the power of God on their lives! Where did that power come from? It came from the fact that they were saved and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1

It came from the fact that they were prayed up and clean before God. It came from the fact that they were united in love, heart and purpose. That same power is available to us today! If we are going have the power of God on our witness, our words and our works, we are going to have get our lives in the kind of shape the Lord can bless and use. We are going to have to get like the early church, when we do, we will see the Lord pour out His power on our witness to the world. Until we do, we will spin our wheels and accomplish nothing for His glory. We desperately need God's power on our lives and on our church. We will never enjoy His unction and power until our hearts are right with one another and with Him. If you have a problem with a brother or sister in Christ, and you have not dealt with that issue biblically, that is a hindrance to the power of God being manifested in your life. If you have some secret sin buried in your life, it is a hindrance to the power of God being manifested in you. We need to stop looking at others and deal with our own hearts. The muscle needs to be worked!

Conclusion: How important is being a witness to you? What are you willing to change in your life so that you can be more effective as a witness? What are you willing to deal with so that the power of God may rest upon you? What price are you willing to pay for the touch of God on your life? How long has it been since you told someone else about Jesus? The bible says: “Each of us shall give account of himself to God.” And we: “Must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

One day Theodore Roosevelt had been speaking sternly to his son, Kermit, and in desperation finally reached down to shake him. Whereupon Ethel, Kermit’s sister, touched her father’s arm and cried out, “Shake me, Father, shake me!” The church that wants spiritual power must ask to be shaken. “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” Colossians 1:9-11

Every believer is commissioned, commanded and constructed to share the Gospel with a lost world. We are His “ambassadors” in this world: “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

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