Evangelistic not Charismatic
27 January 2019 AM – Acts 26:18 – BaptDist19 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The event known as the Great Awakening that took place in Europe and American. During that awakening, thousands came to know Christ as their Saviour primarily through prayer and evangelistic preaching. God uses evangelistic preaching. We need that today!
Transition: This morning I want to draw our attention to three facts about our teachings that we get from the Bible.
1. Teachings are the doctrines we promote
The word “teachings” simply means doctrines. (2 Timothy 4:2) “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
a. Many churches now focus on entertainment
1) They design their auditoriums for entertainment (i.e., stage, dark, spotlights, no pulpit, band, loud sound system, etc.).
2) Their music is upbeat and appealing to the flesh.
a) Many believe that music is neutral or amoral – neither right nor wrong. They conclude that any music you like is okay with God. That is not true!
b) Often, the words of their music are doctrinally empty, the tunes mimic the filthy rock culture, and the performances appeal to the flesh.
3) Their teaching is appealing and inoffensive. They focus on the positive and refuse to preach about hell.
4) Granted, this does not describe all churches, but sadly, it describes a rapidly growing majority.
b. Our focus is on teaching the Bible
1) We teach the Bible through our Bible-based hymns.
a) The hymns and choruses that we sing use Scripture to reveal God to us and lift up His holy name.
b) Their tunes encourage our spirits rather than stirring up our sinful flesh.
c) Even their titles reveal their focus. “How Great Thou Art!”, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, “He is Coming Again”, “Standing on the Promises”, “God will Take Care of You”, “Jesus Loves Even Me”, etc.
2) We teach the Bible through our biblical preaching
a) We centre a majority of every service on the Word of God (2Ti 4:2). Preach the word, be instant…
b) We seek to explain and apply Bible principles.
3) We teach the Bible through our Bible studies.
2. Our teachings are evangelistic
a. The goal of our teaching is to evangelize
1) To evangelize means to promote the Gospel or the good news that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again to give us new life.
2) When God saved Saul of Tarsus, He called him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. In our text, we read the command God gave him (read Acts 26:18).
a) He was to open the eyes of unbelievers to see the sinful direction they were heading and its doom.
b) He was to turn them from darkness to light by showing them that God is light and that He offers hope to escape the darkness of sin.
c) He was to turn them from Satan’s power to God by leading them away from Satan’s grip to God’s gift of salvation paid for by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
d) He was to show them how to receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance in heaven by placing their faith in Christ’s payment for their sin.
3) First Century Christians took this seriously though they were scattered by persecution. (Acts 8:4) “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”
4) The Apostle Paul said, (1 Corinthians 9:16) “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
5) If you are a Christian, even if God has not called you to be a preacher, God has given you a duty to evangelize. Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “… Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” If God has delivered you from hell through faith in Jesus Christ, you have a moral obligation to warn others who are heading for hell. The most loving thing you can do for a person who is on the way to hell is to tell them that Jesus died and rose again to save them from hell. Then tell them how you trusted Jesus. Encourage them to do the same.
O God will use your testimony if you will fully depend on Him.
b. Our ministries focus on evangelism
1) All of our services have an evangelistic theme. Though I do not preach about salvation in every sermon, I often try to include a brief Gospel presentation.
2) We encourage evangelistic outreach.
a) Often I have urged you to get involved in passing out tracts and speaking out for the Lord. Carry a couple of tracts with you and look for opportunities to give them out. Be bold and talk about God or our church to others at work, at stores, at the bank, in the park, etc. Ask God to give you opportunities to speak out. Keep tracts near your door at home for sales people.
b) I would be delighted to have you help us knock on doors to invite others to Christ and to our church.
3) Our special activities frequently have an evangelistic emphasis.
4) Yes, evangelism or sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and equipping you to do the same is our number one focus at Northside Baptist Church.
3. Our teachings are not charismatic
a. Charismatic teachings and methods are on the rise
1) By the word “charismatic” I refer to a growing number of religious organizations that place a large focus on upbeat music, entertainment, and making people feel good. Many emphasize sensation, miraculous gifts, speaking in tongues, healings, revelations, the Holy Spirit and extraordinary power.
2) Other churches that are not technically “charismatic” use upbeat music, a casual service, or a feel-good message to draw crowds.
3) I believe that a majority of churches around us today are heading that direction to one degree or another. Sadly, many churches that call themselves “Baptist” are adopting many of these methods.
b. Charismatic teaching/methods hinder evangelism
1) Charismatic teachings overemphasize the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is very important but not our central theme. (John 16:13-14) “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
2) Charismatic teachings elevate experience over the Bible. It is never right to trust feelings over the Bible.
3) Charismatic teachings misunderstand spiritual gifts. Biblical spiritual gifts aid evangelism and glorify Christ. Charismatic gifts hinder evangelism and glorify self. Blabbering tongues, emotional frenzy, and slain spirits all gender confusion. These cannot be of God (1Co 14:33).
4) Charismatic methods overemphasize emotion, which hinders the Gospel. It is not emotion but preaching God’s Word that convicts of sin leads to true salvation. (Acts 2:37) “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
5) Even adopting a casual service and upbeat music to attract more people will eventually require a modified message to accommodate those attracted. Those drawn in by upbeat music will not long tolerate solid preaching on man’s sinfulness and God’s holiness.
Conclusion: Jesus left us with the duty to preach and teach evangelistically. We need actively to share the Gospel with those who have not yet received Christ. That is the duty of our church, but that is also your duty as a Christian. Review Acts 26:18. Do not be ashamed of Christ. Speak out. Tell your lost family and friends how God wants to save them from hell. Telling others will give you great joy, even if they refuse to listen. God blesses those who evangelize for Him.
Song: Rescue the Perishing – 432