By Ronnie Milliner
A. To read the history of the early church is to read of an evangelistic people (Acts 4:31; 5:28,42; 6:2; 8:4).
B. Why would people engage in this work?
1. We want to notice in this lesson five reasons to engage in evangelism.
2. Hopefully we will be motivated to imitate these early Christians.
I. The command from above.
A. Before he ascended back into Heaven, Jesus gave a command to his apostles (Matt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15-16).
B. We today are heirs of these commands to carry the gospel into all the world.
1. We must begin in our own family.
2. We then need to go into our own neighborhood.
3. As we go about our business, seek recreation, and travel on vacations, we should carry the gospel with us.
4. If we ourselves are not able to go into some area, then we can help others by our financial support.
a. The church at Philippi had fellowship with Paul in this way (Phil. 4:15-17).
b. The principle of supporting those who carry the word of God from place to place is found in 3 Jn. 8.
II. The call from without.
A. Consider some Bible examples of individuals seeking and calling for help to obey God.
1. The thief on the cross (Lk. 23:42).
2. The Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:30-31).
3. Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:33b).
4. The man from Macedonia (Acts 16:9).
B. How many are there in the world today who are making the same cries for help?
1. Possibly there is some condemned prisoner who is seeking a way to straighten out his life to reenter society, or even one on death row who wants to prepare to meet his Maker.
2. Possibly there are religious people who have questions about the religion of their fathers, but are having difficulty understanding the Scriptures by themselves.
3. Possibly there are some in foreign countries who are hungering for the nourishing truth.
C. What are we doing to answer these calls?
III. The constraint from within.
A. 2 Corinthians 5:14. This love can be seen a number of times in the life of Paul.
1. The very fact that he was willing to suffer so much to spread the gospel is evidence of his great love for lost souls.
2. Consider the statement in the following verses (Rom. 10:1; 9:1-3).
B. Meditate on the love which Christ had for us.
1. Consider what he gave up to save us (Phil. 2:6-8).
2. Consider what he endured on our behalf (Isa. 53:4-8).
C. Do we have the same type of love?
1. Are we willing to sacrifice the comforts of our home to go out in the “byways and highways” to soil the seed?
2. Are we willing to endure the stares, the abusive remarks, and the slammed doors to reach those lost in sin?
3. If you are not compelled by love to seek the lost, it will do no good to beg or threaten you into doing it.
IV. The cry from beneath.
A. Listen carefully to the words of a man suffering in torments (Lk. 16:24).
1. If 60 Minutes could take their television cameras and staff to report to us the suffering in hell, perhaps we would be more active in saving the lost.
2. Yet God has given us a vivid description of the punishment (Mk. 9:47-48; Rom. 2:9; 2 Thess. 1:8-9; Rev. 14:10-11).
B. Listen carefully to the words of a man who is concerned about his loved ones suffering such torment (Lk. 16:27-28).
1. Surely you know of some who are on the road to eternal punishment.
2. Do you have the attitude of the rich man that you would not want them to be tormented?
3. What are you doing to turn them off the broad way which leads to destruction?
V. The caution from before.
A. God gave Ezekiel a warning long ago if he failed in warning the people of their sins (Ezek. 3:17-21).
B. Paul was free from the blood of all men because he was faithful in preaching the gospel (Acts 20:26-27).
C. Timothy’s faithfulness would involve not only the salvation of his hearers, but his own as well (1 Tim. 4:16).
D. “When in the better land before the bar we stand, How deeply grieved our souls will be; If any lost one there should cry in deep despair, ‘You never mentioned Him to me.'”
A. Here are five good reasons for us to be active in evangelism.
B. Any one would be sufficient in and of itself.
C. Let us “preach the gospel to every creature.”
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 6, pp. 166-167
March 21, 1991