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The Urgency of Sharing the Gospel

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“The Urgency of Sharing the Gospel”

Series: Sharing the Gospel [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

November 18, 2018

Introductory Comments:

Hey church, does anyone know our vision statement?

Our vision statement is this: we exist to develop disciples who love God, love the church, and love others. 

How many of you think that we ought to try and attain that vision? (repeat question if necessary)

I definitely think that we should strive to develop disciples!

The first step in developing a disciple is to tell someone what it means to become a follower of Jesus.

The first step is to share the Gospel. 

We’re going to go through a four-week series on how to share the Gospel.

We spoke about this a little bit in our series on the spiritual disciplines back in the Spring. 

This time we will be a little more thorough in our discussion. 

Here are the topics that we’ll cover over the next several weeks:

  1. The urgency of sharing the Gospel
  1. Sharing your Gospel story
  1. A method of sharing the Gospel: the Three Circles
  1. Common objections and questions 

Here’s the point for all of this: I want to do my part to make sure that every member of our church knows how to share the Gospel.

You can’t accomplish the vision of our church if you don’t know how to share the Gospel. 

When we spoke of this back in the Spring we spoke of Evangelism. Remember we said that evangelism is simply communicating the Gospel to someone so that they might know Jesus. 

We cannot be a healthy biblical church if our people don’t know how to share the Gospel. We cannot be a healthy biblical church without evangelism. 

This is basic, elementary, foundational Christianity. 

So, let’s get started today with understanding the urgency of sharing the Gospel. 

Let’s pray together.

(Prayer)

This morning we are speaking of urgency.

Do you know what it means for something to be urgent?

If something is urgent, it means it requires immediate action or attention. 

It means that something needs to be done right now. 

Illustration: I remember when I was in Thailand on a mission trip once I told our van driver, through an interpreter, that I had to use the restroom. I heard the interpreter pass the information along. About fifteen minutes went by and we had passed a lot of ideal places to use the restroom. I told the interpreter again that I needed to go and assured her that any place was fine. Some more time went by. At this point, this became an urgent situation. I said we must stop now at any place or we will have a problem. 

We all know when situations have gotten urgent. 

Well, sharing the Gospel is an urgent situation. 

Remember, the word Gospel means “good news.” We are to share the good news that Jesus rescues people from the curse and consequences of sin. 

This is urgent because without Jesus we are lost in our sins and doomed to suffer the consequences of our sin. 

This morning, I’m going to share with you three reasons that telling people about Jesus is urgent.

First, . . .

Telling people about Jesus is urgent because . . .

I.   . . . He’s the only way to God. [on screen]

Did you know that there are a number of different ways to get to our church campus from my house?

I can jump over to Kissengen.  I can go down Orange Avenue. I can go down to Broadway. I can even come down Highway 17 and come up Van Fleet. I pride myself in finding the way with the fewest stops in order to be the most efficient, which I believe is Kissengen, to Hooker, to Orange. 

However, when it comes to having a relationship with God, Jesus is the only way. 

The Bible could not be more clear on this point. 

Jesus said Himself in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [on screen]

That’s pretty clear. 

People may not like to hear that, but that doesn’t change the accuracy or truthfulness of the statement. 

Illustration: Imagine that there was only one way to get to Publix supermarket here in Bartow and someone said they wanted to go there. You tell them, “Well, there’s only one way to get there and you go this way.” What if the person said, “Well, I don’t very much like that way. That’s not the way I want to go!” What would you say? About all you could say is, “Look that’s the only way to go. If you want to get to Publix, that’s the way to go.”

Jesus is, indeed, the only way to the Father. 

When it comes to humanity, it is utterly important that people get to the Father. Each and every human being was created to be in a relationship with God. We must urgently plead with them to receive Jesus as the way to God. 

He’s the one escape from sin and the one way to God!

It’s urgent that we tell people about Jesus because He’s the only way to God. 

Second, . . .

Telling people about Jesus is urgent because . . .

II.   . . . Jesus commanded us to. [on screen]

I was talking to a pastor friend this week and he was asking me what I was going to preach. I told him that I was starting a series on Sharing the Gospel. The three points were because Jesus is the only way to God, because we love God so much, and I couldn’t remember the last point. He jokingly said, “Tell them because I said so!” I said, “No, the point is because Jesus said so!”

That’s our second point: because Jesus commanded us to. 

Is there someone in your life that when they tell you to do something it increases the urgency?

Perhaps it’s your boss, or your spouse, or your parent, or a teacher, or your pastor?

When someone has authority in your life, it increases the urgency of the matter, or at least it should. 

Does Jesus have authority in our lives? Yes!

Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20, “ . . . All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 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 everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [on screen]

Jesus has all authority, not some, all authority, on heaven and on earth. 

He has commissioned us to make disciples. He has commanded us to go. 

He said also in John 20:21, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” [on screen]

What more do we need? As God sent Jesus to the earth, Jesus is sending us all over the earth to share the story of His saving grace!

(pause)

Jesus has authority, and the command for us to share the Gospel must be received as an urgent command. 

We must take immediate action; we must give it immediate attention. 

Third, . . . 

Telling people about Jesus is urgent because . . .

III.   . . . we love Him so much. [on screen]

How many of you like to talk about someone that you love, especially when it’s new fresh love? Or how many of you like to show off pictures of your grandchildren? Why? Because you love them!

Illustration: It’s nearing Christmas time and I’m reminded of my favorite Christmas movie, Elf. Buddy the Elf runs into his dad’s boardroom and exclaims, “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!”

Well, there’s a lot that we can learn from Buddy the Elf. 

(pause)

Because of our great love for Jesus, we should be telling others about Him.

That begs the question, what does it say about our relationship with Jesus if we’re not telling people about Him?

(pause)

We must recognize how great He is and how worthy He is of our love. 

Listen to what the Bible says, just in part about Jesus.

In Colossians 1 we read:

15 He is the image of the invisible God,

the firstborn over all creation.

16 For everything was created by him,

in heaven and on earth,

the visible and the invisible,

whether thrones or dominions

or rulers or authorities—

all things have been created through him and for him.

17 He is before all things,

and by him all things hold together. [on screen]

He is the greatest in all the world! 

Jesus is more special than anything else in all the world, and we should love Him more than anything else in all the world, and we should want to tell others about Him more than anything else in all the world. 

(pause)

Concluding Thoughts:

We exist to develop disciples who love God, love the Church, and love others. That starts with us telling them the story of Jesus. 

We must tell them the story of Jesus because He’s the only way to God, because He told us to, and because we love Him so much. 

Our bottom line this week is:

Bottom Line: It is super urgent that we tell people about Jesus!  [on screen]

(repeat)

There’s nothing more urgent in all this world. 

Over 150,000 people in our world die every day. Statistically, during this worship service over 6,300 people died. At best estimate, only one-third of those even self-identity as Christians. 

We must share the Gospel with our neighbor, with Bartow, and with the world. We must share the Gospel from the neighborhood to the nations. 

We must need a God-given urgency to do so. 

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Rate your level of urgency for sharing the gospel. [on screen]

Go ahead and rate it on a scale of one to ten. One being, “I don’t really care,” and ten being “I’ve got to tell someone about Jesus right now!”

Take some time this week and think through this. 

  1. Pray that God would create an urgency within you to share the gospel. [on screen]

We need God, through His Holy Spirit, to supernaturally increase our urgency for sharing the Gospel. 

We need a conviction and motivation that can come only from Him!

Do you want that urgency, church? 

(pause)

If so, pray to God this week and beyond to create and increase an urgency within you. 

Closing:

Perhaps one of the few things more urgent than you sharing the Gospel is that you be changed by the Gospel personally. 

Have you given your life to Jesus? Have you been changed by the good news of Jesus Christ?

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – Take My Life Lead Me Lord

Benediction:

If you have any sort of spiritual decision that you would like to make, you can contact me or Pastor Richard and we would be glad to talk to you anytime.

Don’t forget that we will meet here tomorrow morning to deliver Thanksgiving food bags to families in need this Thanksgiving season. We’ll start giving the bags out at 9 AM, but we need folks here earlier to get things set-up and visit with the folks in line. 

Tonight, we will be gathered back here for our study “An Expedition in the Bible.” Tonight, we will be starting the Bible timeline. We’ll look at the events in the Bible and how they unfolded chronologically. I hope to see you at 5:30. 

Before we dismiss we have some quick business to take care of. This is for our members, and should only take a minute. If you’re a guest, you’re welcome to be present if you would like and you can see how the magic happens. I’d like to call up our moderator, Marvin Pittman, to guide us. 

(vote on budget takes place)

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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