Pastor Greg is launching a new evangelism program for our church and he is unveiling it in this four-part series called “GO!” With a primary focus on The Great Commission, Pastor G will train us how to be effective and enthusiastic evangelists for Jesus. He has set a visionary goal for us to double in size as a church by the end of the year 2020. That will only happen if we ALL invite others to join us. When you have been properly trained and discipled yourself, sharing your faith with others becomes easy, enjoyable and spiritually fulfilling. We receive a tremendous feeling of blessing and accomplishment when we are actively obeying the commands of Jesus. Please join us for this powerful and uplifting four-part series.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:18-20
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. ~ Galatians 2:20
… but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
THREE STEPS TO GET READY TO GO
STEP ONE: Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts … ~ 1 Peter 3:15a
Christianity is not a RELIGION ABOUT Jesus!
Christianity is a RELATIONSHIP WITH Jesus!
STEP TWO: Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you … ~ 1 Peter 3:15b
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~ John 14:6
Apologetics (ENGLISH) απολογία (GREEK)
Apologia “speaking in defense.” Reasoned arguments that defend religious truths through systematic argument and discourse.
STRUCTURE QUESTIONS FOR YOUR TESTIMONY
1) What was your life like before your met Jesus?
2) How did you meet Jesus and what was it about that experience that convinced you Jesus is who He says He is and that He will do what He has promised to do?
3) How did you become a follower of Jesus?
4) How is your life, different, better, since you became a follower of Jesus?
5) Why do you go to worship each week and why did you pick this church out of all your church options?
6) Why would you recommend that your friend that you are sharing this story with become a follower of Jesus and attend our church as well?
STEP THREE: Do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that this who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. ~ 1 Peter 3:15b-16
PERSONAL REFLECTION & ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Matthew 28:18-20 and Matthew 24:14
1) How do you feel when you realize that Jesus is speaking these words, down through the ages, directly to you? This is YOUR mission! This is YOUR purpose! Do you feel excited about it? Frightened by it? Confused about it? Explain your answer.
2) What happens if we fulfill the Great Commission in our lifetime? How passionately do you want to see that happen?
READ: John 10:10
1) Who is “the thief” Jesus is referring to here? Given the spiritual context of Jesus’ words, in what ways does the thief steal, kill and destroy?
2) What does a “full” or “abundant” life that Jesus is offering look like? Are you currently living the abundant life? How do you know?
READ: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
1) What does it mean to be “in Christ?” How does that make you a “new creature?”
2) Paul says God reconciled Himself to us through Christ. What does that mean? Can you put that in your own words in such a way that you could explain it to an unbelieving friend?
3) Paul then says God has given us that same ministry of reconciliation. What is that ministry and how do we accomplish it?
4) Paul calls us ambassadors for Christ and says God is making His appeal to the rest of humanity through us. How does He do that? How good are you at allowing Him to do that through you? Where do you have room for improvement?
4) Who is the one who knew no sin that became sin on our behalf? How did He do that? What does it mean that we became His righteousness? How did we do that?
READ: Galatians 2:20
1) What does Paul mean when he says he has been crucified with Christ? Is that a good thing? Have you been crucified with Christ? How do you know? How would you teach someone else to be crucified with Christ?
2) Paul says because He was crucified with Christ, Christ now lives in him. What does that mean and how does that work?
3) Paul has obviously made this as a voluntary choice and says he now lives his fleshly, earthly life by faith in Jesus? How does one live their life “by faith” in the way Paul is referring to it here? How well are you doing at living your life by faith?
READ: 1 Peter 3:15-16
1) What does it mean to sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart? Have you done that? Why or why not? How would you teach someone else how to do this?
2) How ready do you feel to make a defense of your faith when someone asks you questions about why you believe? Do you feel afraid to share your faith with non-believers because you are afraid they will hit you with tough questions you don’t know the answer to? What can you do to ensure you are better prepared for answering those questions?
READ: John 14:6
1) Most world religions believe they are the only ones who have it right, that all the other religions are wrong. This is also true of Christianity. As Christians, our founder, Jesus, said He is the only way, the only truth and the only life. Do you think it is possible for there to be only one, right answer to the questions of God, life after death, etc? Do you believe that Jesus was the one who had those one, true correct answers? Why or why not?
2) Some people believe all faiths are equally valid as long as you are sincere in your faith and practices. Does that belief mesh with the teachings of Jesus Christ? Do all faiths lead to the same heaven? Why or why not?
3) Is it possible to truly be a “Christian” if you don’t believe that Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life? Explain your answer.
HOMEWORK: Using the six questions Pastor Greg gave us in the notes, spend some times this week crafting your personal testimony. The final product should be 3-5 minutes MAXIMUM, should answer all six of those questions, and should be something you can memorize and share without it feeling like a memorized speech.