The Command to Evangelize

21 May 2017 PM – Matthew 28:19 – Evang17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: One night in the 1800s D. L. Moody was going home from his place of business. It was very late, and it suddenly occurred to him that he had not spoken to one single person that day about accepting Christ. He said to himself: “Here’s a day lost. I have not spoken to anyone today and I shall not see anybody at this late hour.” But as he walked up the street he saw a man standing under a lamppost. The man was a perfect stranger to him, though it turned out afterwards the man knew who Mr. Moody was. He stepped up to this stranger and said: “Are you a Christian?” The man replied: “That is none of your business, whether I am a Christian or not. If you were not a sort of a preacher I would knock you into the gutter for your impertinence.” Mr. Moody said a few earnest words and passed on.

Weeks passed by. One night Mr. Moody was in bed when he heard a tremendous pounding at his front door. He jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. He thought the house was on fire. He thought the man would break down the door. He opened the door and there stood this man. He said: “Mr. Moody, I have not had a good night’s sleep since that night you spoke to me under the lamppost, and I have come around at this unearthly hour of the night for you to tell me what I have to do to be saved.” Mr. Moody took him in and told him what to do to be saved.  R. A. Torrey

Mr. Moody took God’s commands to evangelize seriously.

Transition: God has given us five commands to evangelize that I want us to examine this evening.

1.        Matthew 5:14-16 – Shine!

a.         Jesus said that Christians are the light of the world
1)         Darkness pictures the sinful condition of mankind.
2)         Jesus said that believers are the light of the world. He did not say we ought to be or can be. He said we ARE the light of the world. If a person truly has been saved by Christ, that person is a new creature. God has made a huge change in that life, enabling good works. (Ephesians 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” If you are saved, you are God’s light.
b.         Jesus commanded that we let our light shine
1)         We must not hide the light that Christ has put in our lives.
2)         Jesus commanded us to let our light SO shine that others will see our good works (changed lives) and glorify God. The testimony of your change attitudes and actions is your light. Your testimony before your family, neighbours, workmates, and others is to be a light that reflects Christ.
3)         This is the easiest form of evangelism that God can use to prepare hearts for the message of the Gospel. Though it is easy to let our light shine, the light of many Christians is so dim and dirty that little if any light is seen by the world. Let your light shine!

2.        Matthew 28:19 – Make Disciples!

a.         The “go” is assumed – having gone
1)         The word “go” is not a command. It is a participle that assumes that going will be unquestioned.
2)         If you see your neighbour’s house on fire, responding is assumed. Only a fool would stand back and do nothing. God expects the same response from Christians when we see the doom of the lost.
b.         We must teach all nations
1)         Christ commands us to teach all nations.
2)         The word translated “teach” literally means to make disciples of. We are to make disciples for Christ by urging people to believe the Gospel.
3)         We find the same word in (Acts 14:21) “And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,” Paul preached the gospel and had taught or had made many disciples. We must preach the gospel in order to make disciples. Lifestyle evangelism is not enough. Make Disciples!

3.        Mark 16:15 – Preach the Gospel!

a.         The “go” is assumed
1)         The word “go” is a participle not a command. The Lord assumes that we will naturally go into all the world with the good news of salvation through Christ.
2)         Going to tell others is our moral obligation before God.
b.         We must preach the gospel
1)         We must preach the gospel. The word “preach” means to proclaim, herald or publish. We are to be a herald of the Gospel that spreads the good news far and wide.
2)         Jesus clearly tells us that the message we are to spread is the Gospel. Remember, the Gospel is the good news of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to pay for our sin and to offer us justification and eternal life.
3)         Paul recognized preaching the Gospel as a duty that he could not escape without bringing God’s woe upon him. (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!” Preach the Gospel!

4.        Luke 14:23 – Go Out and Compel!

a.         Christians are to go out
1)         We find this verse in Jesus’ parable of the Great Supper. A man made a great feast and invited many to come but they all made excuses. Therefore, he told his servant to “go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in”. This parable reveals the heart of God toward lost men.
2)         We must obey His command and go out. Very few unbelievers will come to you and ask how to be saved. You must go out to them. Speak to them in the shops. Talk to business people after they help you. Share with delivery people. Talk to neighbours. Knock on doors of people you don’t know.
b.         Christians are to compel them to come in
1)         The word “compel” means to strongly urge, to constrain, to necessitate.
2)         This is a command that we often neglect. While we must be tactful and not irritate, we must present the Gospel with a sense of urgency. Hell is real! Eternity is endless! Tomorrow may be too late! Go out and compel!

5.        Jude 1:22-23 – Have Compassion and Rescue!

a.         We must have compassion on the lost
1)         The book of Jude warns believers about unsaved false teachers. We must stand firmly on the truth, but at the same time we must have compassion on unbelievers around us. Whether they are religious our atheists, they are wrong and they are heading for hell.
2)         Compassion refers to pity or mercy. We must ask God to break our hearts for the lost that are all around us. God commands us to have compassion on the lost rather than ignoring their fate and letting them go to hell.
b.         We must save them with fear
1)         We are commanded to save some with fear. Obviously, God does the saving, but we are to do our best to rescue the perishing from the flames of hell.
2)         He warns us to save them with fear. We must fear being pulled into sin by the unbelievers we are trying to reach. The devil is cunning. If he can get us to sin, he knows we will fail to evangelize.
3)         Rescuing the perishing is not just the duty of preachers and evangelists. In fact, God gave us preachers and evangelists to equip the saints so they can do the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-12) “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting [equipping] of the saints, for [unto] the work of the ministry, for [unto] the edifying of the body of Christ:” Rescue the perishing!

Conclusion: God has given us several clear commands to evangelize. We are to shine. We are to make disciples. We are to preach the Gospel. We are to go out and compel. We are to have compassion and rescue the perishing. These commands are for every Christian. Evangelism is your duty as well as mine. (2 Corinthians 4:3) “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:” Let’s obey God’s command to evangelize! With God’s help, we can do it!

Song: Rescue the Perishing – 432