Devotional Thought for Today – 05/11/2021

Matthew 28:18-20

In its simplest terms, evangelism means to announce or proclaim the “Good News.” Evangelism is NOT about:

  • Your personal testimony
  • Inviting someone to church
  • It is not social gatherings or entertainment
  • It is not apologetics or defending Biblical truths

Evangelism is all about Christ and what He did on Calvary for the redemption of sinners.

  • It is about communicating the Gospel
  • It is about relying on the work of the Holy Spirit to convict people
  • It is not about asking God, it about accepting God’s free invitation of Grace
  • It is not about people it is always about God and His Glory

In my study this morning I found there are books describing up to eight (8) types and methods of evangelism. Seriously, folks, the Bible gives us all we need in one method/type, it says share Christ and Him crucified. All this movement towards what is current in the world is the WRONG direction for the church. We are told NOWHERE in the Bible to bring the world into the church, we are however told to go forth into the world.


Leading Others to Christ (Andrew)

The twelve apostles included “Andrew” (Matt. 10:2).

Leading others to Christ should be a top priority in your life.

Andrew was Peter’s brother and a native of Bethsaida of Galilee. From the very start we see him leading people to Christ—beginning with his own brother.

The gospel of John records his first encounter with Jesus: “John [the Baptist] was standing with two of his disciples (Andrew and John), and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. . . . One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (John 1:35-37, 40-42). Later Jesus called both Andrew and Peter to become His disciples, and they immediately left their fishing nets to follow Him (Matt. 4:20).

Our next glimpse of Andrew is in John 6:8-9. It was late in the day and thousands of people who were following Jesus were beginning to get hungry, but there wasn’t enough food to feed them. Then Andrew brought to Jesus a young boy with five barley loaves and two fish. From that small lunch Jesus created enough food to feed the entire crowd!

Andrew also appears in John 12:20-22, which tells of some Greeks who were traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast. They came to Philip and requested to see Jesus. Philip took them to Andrew, who apparently took them to Jesus.

Andrew didn’t always know how Jesus would deal with a particular person or situation, but he kept right on bringing them to Him anyway. That’s a characteristic every believer should have. Your spiritual gifts might differ from others, but your common goal is to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20), and that begins with leading sinners to Christ. Make that your priority today!

Suggestions for Prayer

When was the last time you told an unbeliever about Jesus? Pray for an opportunity to do so soon.

For Further Study

Do you know how to present the gospel clearly and accurately? As a review read Romans 3:19-28, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Ephesians 2:8-10, and Titus 3:4-7.

Remembering Irving Steggles (1945 – 2020)

Most of you have never heard of Irving but his impact on South Africa and teaching African Pastors can not be minimized.

Hello Friend,

Pastor Irving Steggles entered Paradise on Wednesday, April 22nd 2020. He was a godly man, kind and greatly loved by many, and a faithful pastor of Birchleigh Baptist Church in Kempton Park, South Africa.

Pastor Irving Steggles Preaching at Birchleigh Baptist Church

He, along with his close and long-time friend, Pastor Erroll Hulse (now deceased), had a God-given passion for mission, a vision they bathed in prayer. They fervently desired that knowledge of the Doctrines of Grace be shared with African pastors. Together they began a ministry called African Pastors’ Conferences (APC). They focused on the challenge in Matthew 28:18-20 to make disciples in the nations of Africa, teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded. They realized that this could only be done through ensuring there were biblical churches with faithful pastors in all the major areas of population, as well as the vast expanse of rural areas. Their goal was to combat the advance of spiritual darkness across Africa.

Continued at: SOURCE


Here is Irving’s last sermon preached on 27 March:

Making Disciples

Image result for Making DisciplesSource

Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples ofa all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember,b I am with you always,c to the end of the age.”  – – Matthew 28:19-20 (CSB)

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So we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”  – –Hebrews 13:6

The Great Commission as Matthew 28:18-20 is known, is just that a commission not a suggestion from Jesus. It is a duty bound assignment for every born again believer. One that many (me include) find difficult.

I think I am Okay at posting here on the old web and serving as a Chaplain, you know in my comfort zones. Yet going out v.19 in the community and evangelizing inviting neighbors to church etc. and now we are getting into the area of very uncomfortable.

Then I read the Commision again and realize I am not the one doing the evangelizing. That is right, unless I completely forget to pray and ask God’s blessing on my endeavors, He (Christ) has promised to be with me throughout my efforts. So it is Christ with me doing the work. Even better what is it that makes me so uncomfortable, fear? Seriously, Hebrews 13:6 makes it clear I have nothing to fear in any circumstance God puts me in, for “The Lord is my helper” and what is it man can do to me?

So the next time the opportunity arises just maybe we can be a little less apprehensive about getting out there and sharing the good news and making disciples.

 

 

 

 

 

Almost Half of Practicing Christian Millennials Say Evangelism Is Wrong

I find this data very disturbing. Jesus in the Great Commission Matthew 28:1-20 makes it clear that evangelism is not an optional thing for the chosen in Christ. He commands us to “Go therefore and make disciples” I do not see how one can call themselves “Christian” and be against “Christ.” – Mike

Sharing one’s faith—evangelizing—is a core practice among many religions. For Christians, it’s viewed as a mandate from Jesus himself before he departed earth: commanding his disciples to “spread the good news.” Yet, today, a number of factors are curbing many Christians’ enthusiasm for faith-sharing, including the decline of religion in America, a spreading apathy toward spiritual matters and a growing cultural suspicion of people of faith.

It is against this backdrop that Barna is releasing Reviving Evangelism, a new report based on research commissioned by Alpha USA. This study looks at the faith-sharing experiences and expectations of Christians and non-Christians alike. Among the major findings in this report is the revelation that Christian Millennials feel especially conflicted about evangelism—and, in fact, almost half believe it is wrong to share their faith.

Ready—but Not Willing—to Talk About Faith
Almost all practicing Christians believe that part of their faith means being a witness about Jesus (ranging from 95% to 97% among all generational groups), and that the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to know Jesus (94% to 97%). Millennials in particular feel equipped to share their faith with others. For instance, almost three-quarters say they know how to respond when someone raises questions about faith (73%), and that they are gifted at sharing their faith with other people (73%). This is higher than any other generational group: Gen X (66%), Boomers (59%) and Elders (56%).

Despite this, many Millennials are unsure about the actual practice of evangelism. Almost half of Millennials (47%) agree at least somewhat that it is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith. This is compared to a little over one-quarter of Gen X (27%), and one in five Boomers (19%) and Elders (20%). (Though Gen Z teens were not included in this study, their thoroughly post-Christian posture will likely amplify this stance toward evangelism.)

 Almost Half of Practicing Christian Millennials Say Evangelism Is Wrong

Younger Christians tend to be more personally aware of the cultural temperature around spiritual conversations. Among practicing Christians, Millennials report an average (median) of four close friends or family members who practice a faith other than Christianity; most of their Boomer parents and grandparents, by comparison, have just one. Sharing the gospel today is made harder than at any time in recent memory by an overall cultural resistance to conversations that highlight people’s differences.

Society today also casts a negative light on proselytization that many older Christians do not fully appreciate. As Barna found in research published in Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age, three out of five Christian Millennials believe that people today are more likely than in the past to take offense if they share their faith (65%)—that’s far higher than among Boomer Christians (28%). Millennials are also either two (Gen X) or three times more likely (Boomers and Elders) than any other generational group to believe that disagreement means judgment.

What the Research Means
David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, says this study highlights a need for Christians to bolster their confidence in certain convictions—among them, the belief that “evangelizing others is good and worthy of our time, energy and investment.”

“To start, we must pass on resilient faith to Christian young people (this is also a form of evangelism), planning especially for the pivot point of the high school and college-age years,” Kinnaman says. “The dropout problem is real, and it has a chilling effect on the overall evangelistic environment. It is impossible to exactly trace the impact of lapsed Christians on non-Christians, but sobering to consider the ‘de-evangelistic’ clout of those who leave the faith.

“Even after they are committed to sustaining resilient faith, we must persuade younger Christians that evangelism is an essential practice of following Jesus,” Kinnaman continues. “The data show enormous ambivalence among Millennials, in particular, about the calling to share their faith with others.

“Cultivating deep, steady, resilient Christian conviction,” Kinnaman concludes, “is difficult in a world of ‘you do you’ and ‘don’t criticize anyone’s life choices’ and emotivism, the feelings-first priority that our culture makes a way of life. As much as ever, evangelism isn’t just about saving the unsaved, but reminding ourselves that this stuff matters, that the Bible is trustworthy and that Jesus changes everything.”

About the Research
Research for this study included two nationally representative studies of U.S. adults. The first was conducted using an online panel May 8–17, 2018, with 992 practicing Christians. A similar study was conducted online with a nationally representative study of 1,001 U.S. adults who do not meet the criteria for practicing Christians. Both lapsed Christians and non-Christians were interviewed. Both studies have margin of error of ±3 percent at the 95-percent confidence level. Respondents were invited from a randomly selected group of people matching the demographics of the U.S. population for maximum representation. Researchers set quotas to obtain a minimum readable sample by a variety of demographic factors and then minimally weighted the data by ethnicity, education and gender to reflect their natural presence in the known population, using U.S. Census Bureau data for comparison.

Practicing Christians identify as Christian, agree strongly that faith is very important in their lives and have attended church within the past month.

All others are U.S. adults who are not practicing Christians under the definition above. These fall into two main groups:

  • Lapsed Christians identify as Christian but have not attended church within the past month. Only 4 percent consider their faith very important.
  • Non-Christians identify with a faith other than Christianity (“religious non-Christians”) or with no faith at all (“atheists / agnostics / nones”).

Millennials were born 1984 to 1998 (ages 20 to 34).
Gen X were born 1965 to 1983 (ages 35 to 53).
Boomers were born 1946 to 1964 (ages 54 to 72).
Elders were born before 1946 (age 73+).

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

About Barna Group
Barna Group is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization under the umbrella of the Issachar Companies. Located in Ventura, California, Barna Group has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984.

© Barna Group, 2018