Hard Questions from the YG
Q: “While I believe in the resurrection and power of Jesus to raise me to eternal life, I question whether he has selected/predestined me for this honor. Is this a lack of faith?”
A: Yes it is. We are called to believe - to put our faith in Jesus life, death and resurrection - turning from our sins and showing our faith by obedience. This is how God has saved peopled from their sins throughout history.
You questions whether you have a lack of faith. You do. So what? So do I! Your faith in not bullet proof, at times you have doubts - guess what? So do I!
It’s a good thing that our salvation doesn’t rest on how much we believe. “I do believe but help me in my unbelief!”
Confidence comes from God’s work for us, in us and through us
If you believe - you should have a desire to do good and the power in you (with community) to do good - acts in keeping with repentance. If you struggle with doubting whether you have enough faith…
That seems like you’re trying to do it on your own. “If only I have enough faith then God will forgive me.”
Conviction of sin, desire to do good, power to do good, desire to read the word - these are signs of the Spirit in you.
Wherever you are today - belief or unbelief - sin or righteous living - Get back on track and start following (being a disciple), get integrated into the church, read the word, pray
Truly turn from sin and invest in your relationship with God and as the Spirit bears fruit in your life you can be confident that you are sealed with that Spirit and nothing can separate you from the love of Christ!!!
Ok, we’ve talked about the Gospel. I hope that you’re in with the Gospel - Christ Crucified for Sinners
We are the saved - adopted into God’s family here on earth - his Church! I hope you’re in with the church!
Now that we’re saved through the gospel and connected with the church - what then do we do?
- Understand the Mission
First a question: are you a disciple? Like I said in the answer to the question. Being a disciple is seeing your faith as central to your life - showing your faith through obedience!
This “mission” is going to be pretty silly if you don’t believe it enough to act on it!!!
Being a disciple is - Loving God with everything and loving your neighbor as yourself. We have got to be disciples of Jesus!!! This is about believing the gospel and being a part of the church - the church is made up of disciples.
This is what Jesus said to his disciples before he left earth:
Matthew 28:19–20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Is this for today? Are we to spread the gospel the same way?
Yes. We see examples of this through the rest of the NT and on into church history.
We see this integrated into life from Salvation on:
Page 966 - 2 Corinthians 5:17–21
You can’t separate out this mission from the life that we now have in Christ as a part of his church!
- Start the mission
Colossians 4:2–6 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Paul asked for prayer that he would be bold as he ought to be in Ephesians 6:19-20
In order to see disciples made we need to be involved in the process of seeing people become disciples
At the end of the day, the biggest obstacle to evangelism is Christians who don't share... - Albert Mohler
The command is not to share the gospel - it is to make disciples - which includes sharing the gospel.
In making disciples we’re called to baptize. Baptizing is a first step of obedience - we are supposed to baptize new believers - we are to be involved with new believers.
As much as our mission is discipleship and we cannot step outside of that mission - we cannot separate evangelism out and relegate it to a fired-up few. We must all see evangelism as a part of our daily life.
Page 996 - 2 Timothy 4:1–5
In season and out of season we are to preach the word and do the work of an evangelist. This was written to a pastor - I think it should be an example to us all!!!!
Dave’s example - sharing the gospel on the plane last week - seeing one guy accept Christ and another get close
This is an extremely hard statement to make - why? Why is evangelism so hard?
- I don’t know how - do you understand your own story? Start with that
- I don’t have enough time - you need to make time - this is God’s command
- I don’t know anyone who wants to hear it - yes but they need to hear it - spoken in love
- It’s not acceptable behavior - and sin is. We must obey God rather than men. Be wise
- I don’t like being rejected - Neither do I - but Jesus was. When we’re rejected (for right behavior) with him
- I don’t want to be judgmental - don’t be. That’s the bible’s job - the gospel is inherently offensive - you’re telling people that the Bible says that they’re wrong. They need to hear that
- It’s too awkward - we are called suffer for the name of Christ - this is a small price
Awkwardness - suffer for the name of Christ!!!
“So why is something so important and integral to the Christian life so difficult for so many?
Here's one answer: God gives most of us this awareness of awkwardness so that we would never, not for a second, trust in or magnify ourselves and drift away from the magnificence of the gospel. This awareness in evangelism makes the gospel tangible. It means I need the gospel right now myself. Not only does my hearer need Jesus at this moment, but so do I!” -Ken Currie
What are my convictions? Am I convinced that this is the church’s mission and I am to take part in it?
Now to allocate your time - that’s a different problem - you must do this and that
It’s easy to not feel gifted in this - as I said there is a lot of opposition to us opening our mouth and sharing the gospel.
- Seek out training - Andy Viars group
- Pray for those around you - especially for opportunities to share with them
- Talk with your lifegroup not only about who you’d like to share with but how and when you want to share with them. Get some accountability.
- Follow through and share with them - if they have a question you don’t know the answer to - say: “I don’t know - let me research that and get back to you”
- Continue the mission
A disciple is a follower - we don’t as much get them to follow us as much as we encourage them to follow Christ.
Discipleship is baptizing them and over time teaching them everything you know about God - connecting them to the rest of the body so that they can be built up.
To disciple someone we are to get in close - engage in life together - we root for them and work with them
1 Thessalonians 2:8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Hebrews 10:24–25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
If I had one practical thing that I would pass on to you it would be this - Think about next steps -
Are they baptized, praying, reading the word, sharing the gospel, involved with the church, accountable for areas of need and sin in their life, are they serving, studying the word…
- Partner in the mission
We must not do this in isolation - in fact we should actively work to stay in concert with others.
Proverbs 18:1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
If we try to do this alone we will be less effective.
It takes a village to raise a child and a church to make a disciple
The person next to me is not my sole responsibility but it is some of my responsibility. You influencing another person is not your whole role in the great commission - we are a body together
So, Don’t be isolated and learn how you can do this best
There are so many ways to be a part of the mission of the church -
Romans 12:4–5 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
All those parts get to evangelize and make disciples. You may do it differently than someone else in the body but you need to do it.
DL Moody was told by a woman “I Don’t like the way you do evangelism.” He responded with “I rather don’t care for it myself, tell me; how do you do evangelism?” She said “Well I don’t.” He replied “Well madam, I rather prefer the way I do evangelism versus the way you do not do it.”
Photos - there are many ways to make disciples
All of these are a part of the mission but you need diversity - if all you’re doing is serving you need to share some - if all your doing is sharing you need to serve some.
You are missing the mission of the church (and therefore the blessing of being involved with what God is doing) if you are not actively engaged in evangelism and life-on-life discipleship.
We can’t do that through programs or Sunday morning services or service projects - those support discipleship - they are not the extent of discipleship
There will be temptation to do only what you is comfortable
- You will have to actively work to find your place - where your gift fits - your talents and experience can help the church
- But you must also actively work to get to where evangelism and life-on life discipleship are a lifestyle within community.
- Work on this as a household
- Work on this as a lifegroup - pray for one another - build one another up
- Seek out others with opposite gifts from yourself to partner with them
- Learn about how you’re made by God - seek to find places that need help in the process of making disciples
- Seek out people to build into - come alongside them - join their world just a little - see what they see and help them along. Invest
God has a plan for the people in this world.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
And we are what he has chosen to accomplish his mission.
Romans 10:13–15 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
>>Resource - The master Plan of Evangelism - it’s about discipleship and has lots of principles from the life of Christ!
Plus it is only $4
I called this Our Mission but it’s really not ours to begin with - it’s God’s been working it out before time began. He gives it to us - he makes it our mission and we get to be part of his plan.