The Call for Evangelism
7 May 2017 PM – Ezekiel 3:17-19 – Evang17 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In Ezekiel 3:17-19, we read God’s call to Ezekiel to warn his people of God’s coming judgment. “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Years later in Acts 20:26-27, Paul applied those words to God’s call to warn the lost of their need for the gospel of Christ.
Transition: This evening as we begin a study on evangelism, we are going to examine the urgent call for evangelism.
1. There is a Call from Above
a. Evangelism’s call began in the heart of God.
1) God is burdened about the sinner’s doom.
a) (Ezekiel 33:11) “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
b) (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
c) (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
2) Christ is burdened about the sinner’s doom
a) (Luke 5:32) Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
b) (Matthew 23:37) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”
c) (John 10:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
3) Holy Spirit is burdened about the sinner’s doom.
a) (John 16:8) Of the Holy Spirit Jesus said, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
b) (Acts 1:8) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
c) (Revelation 22:17) “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
b. God’s burden makes evangelism urgent.
1) God knew when He created man He gave man a will because He wants man’s voluntary love. Yet he knew that man would rebel against him and condemn himself to eternal separation from God in hell. God’s love for man motivated him to provide for the sinner’s redemption.
2) If the God of the universe is burdened about the doom of sinners, our hearts ought to break for them too.
2. There is a Call from Below
a. Evangelism’s call is screamed from the fires of hell.
1) Unbelievers will spend eternity in a fiery hell. (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”
2) The religious but lost will hear Christ’s words of doom. (Matthew 7:23) “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
3) God prepared that everlasting fire for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41) “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
4) Hell is a place of torment. (Luke 16:23-24) “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”
5) Hell has no escape. (Luke 16:25-26) “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”
6) Those suffering in hell do not want their loved ones to join them. (Luke 16:27-28) “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”
b. The cries from hell make evangelism urgent.
1) Take time to meditate on the account in Luke 16. The painful cries from the scorched lips of lost sinners ought to give us a passion for souls.
2) The gospel is only good news if it reaches the lost in time.
3. There is a Call from Within
a. Evangelism’s call is urged by the Holy Spirit
1) The Holy Spirit gives inner urging. (Acts 8:29) “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.” (Acts 13:2) “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
2) The Holy Spirit empowers believers to witness. (Acts 1:8) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
b. The Spirit’s conviction makes evangelism urgent.
1) Within the heart of every true Christian the Holy Spirit gives a conviction that he or she must share the gospel.
2) The conviction of that still small voice of the Spirit in your heart is a reminder that evangelism is urgent. He will hold us accountable to share to truth that we know. Paul was able to say, (Acts 20:26) “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” That ought to be our goal as well.
4. There is a Call from Without
a. Evangelism’s call is heard from those without hope.
1) Some people sense their hopelessness. (Psalms 142:4) “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.”
2) Many people think there is no hope beyond this life. They think death ends all. Sadly, they do not realize their doom. (Ephesians 2:12) “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
3) Deep within the heart of every human, though often not realized, is a spiritual void that only God can fill. They are looking for fulfilment, but they do not know their need is God’s salvation.
b. The need of the hopeless makes evangelism urgent
1) Both those looking for hope and those who reject all hope need the blessed hope that only God can provide.
2) They urgently need to hear that Jesus died for their sins and offers them cleansing and eternal life.
Conclusion: Yes, there is a call for evangelism from ABOVE, from BELOW, from WITHIN, and from WITHOUT. Knowing this, we cannot deny the urgency of evangelism. The need to share the gospel is more urgent than words can express. Jesus’ last words on earth were (Mark 16:15) “… Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” God’s last command must be our first concern! The souls of lost sinners are depending on you and me to tell them the truth.
Song: Throw Out the Lifeline – 426
Four main outline points by David Tessman “Personal Evangelism”