Overcoming Fear of Evangelism

28 May 2017 AM – Matthew 10:27-28 – Evang17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: During Jesus’ trial, Peter had no courage to even admit that he knew Jesus. After the Holy Spirit’s filling at Pentecost, the threats and beatings by the Jewish officials could not keep him quiet. He had overcome his fear to speak out for the Lord. The indwelling Holy Spirit made the difference.

Transition: In order to overcome the fear of evangelism, we must first consider three facts about that fear that I want us to look at this evening.

1.        Fear to Speak for God is Common (v.28)

a.         Jesus recognized the natural temptation to fear
1)         He told His disciples not to fear men.
2)         “It also helps to conquer fear if the disciple will remember that the worst a human adversary can do does not compare with the worst God can do.” – Constable
3)         The worst that a human can do to you is to kill your body and send you to heaven. Instead of fearing men, we ought to fear God. He is far more powerful than man and able to destroy both body and soul in hell. This is not a threat to the Christian, but a motivation to share the Gospel knowing that God will destroy the body and soul of unbelievers in hell.
b.         Moses struggled with fear (Ex 3:10-4:10)
1)         He made four excuses why he could not speak to Pharaoh as God told him to.
a)         Who am I? (Ex 3:11)
b)         What shall I say? (Ex 3:13)
c)         They will not believe me (Ex 4:1)
d)         I am not eloquent (Ex 4:10)
2)         God assured Moses that He had made him and would give him to words to say (Ex 4:11-12).
O  Can God give you and me the words to say as He did for Moses when we try to witness for the Lord? Absolutely!

2.        Fear of Witnessing is not from God

a.         Jesus told His disciples not to fear (Mt 10:28)
1)         Jesus would not have said that if he did not mean it.
2)         It is far more important that we fear God and obey Him.
b.         The spirit of fear is not from God (2Ti 1:7)
1)         Preacher Timothy must have struggled with fear as well.
2)         Paul assured him that the fear of men does not come from God. If fear does not come from God, where does it come from?
3)         The spirit (emotion) that the God gives us is not fearful
a)         He gives a spirit of power. When the power of God is upon you, you will be able to speak boldly for Him. It is a spirit of courage, strength or ability that we lack in our flesh.
b)         He gives a spirit of love. This spirit of love is love for the Lord that leads to a love for the souls of the unbelievers for whom He died. Having a love for those on the broad road to destruction will help us to overcome fear.
c)         He gives a spirit of a sound mind or self-controlled mind. This is a calm and controlled mind rather than a fearful mind. Any time we lose our calm self-control and fear, that spirit of fear is not from God. It indicates that we are not yielding to the Holy Spirit and He is not able to produce His fruits in our life.
c.          The Holy Spirit promises us power (Ac 1:8)
1)         God promised to give His power to believers.
2)         God’s power is in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
3)         God’s promised power is for witnessing. Evidently, one of the main reasons the Holy Spirit lives in us is to give us power for witnessing. We have access to His almighty power if we yield to Him in every area.
a)         (Ephesians 5:18) “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Passive command) Allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit.
b)         (Romans 6:13) “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
O  God does not give us fear. He wants to give us power and boldness to witness.

3.        Fear of Witnessing can be Overcome

a.         Believe God (Rom 1:16)
1)         Paul recognized the Gospel of Christ as the power of God unto salvation. The simple message of Christ’s substitutionary death, burial and resurrection to deliver sinners from eternal damnation in hell is the mighty power of God that leads to salvation.
2)         The power that brings sinners to repentance and salvation is not a Christian rock band, a Christian movie or a dynamic speaker. The saving power is found in the simple message of the Gospel.
3)         We must believe what God had Paul write. The Gospel of Christ is POWERFUL! We need not fear when we are sharing such a powerful message.
b.         Learn what to say (1 Pe 3:15)
1)         Peter wrote to Christians who were suffering for their faith in Christ. From a human perspective, they had reason to fear because their lives were being threatened.
2)         Notice what God had Peter tell us to do when we fear persecution.
a)         First, we must sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. What does that mean? Sanctify comes from the same root as holy. We are to set apart the Lord in our hearts. Give Him the highest place of honour in your life. Keep all sin out of your life to honour Him. Obey Him in every area. Give Him first place in your heart. This is vital because we need God’s blessing and power when faced with opposition. If you are not walking in the Spirit we are not ready to speak for Him.
b)         Second, we are to always be ready to give an answer or a verbal defence when asked about our faith. How can we be ready to defend the faith?
(1)      Know Bible doctrine well
(2)      Memorise verses that deal with the Gospel
(3)      Plan logical ways to explain Bible truth
(4)      Ask God to help you develop a mild, God-fearing spirit even under attack
c.          Pray for God’s power (Ac 4:29)
1)         The religious leaders commanded Peter, John and the other disciples not to speak at all nor to teach in the name of Jesus (v.18). After replying that they could not but speak they were further threatened (Ac 4:21).
2)         The believers then met and prayed for boldness to keep on preaching (Ac 4:29).
3)         God answered their prayer right away (Ac 4:31).
a)         The Holy Spirit filled them with power.
b)         They spoke God’s Word boldly.
4)         We do not need better methods, sharper programs, appealing music, or charismatic speakers. What we need is the filling of the Holy Spirit and God’s boldness.
5)         To be an effective witness for Christ, you do not need a Bible college degree or an outgoing personality. What you need is the filling of the Holy Spirit and God’s boldness.
6)         Remember Jesus’ words in John 15:5, “…for without me ye can do nothing”.

Conclusion: Are you fearful to witness for Christ? If so, you are not alone. We all struggle with such fear. However, we can overcome that fear. Realize that it is human to fear, but God has not given you that fear. God wants you to fear Him rather than fearing men. Men cannot harm your soul. God has given you the Holy Spirit who will empower you if you let Him. Remember that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. Study the Bible. Learn how to present the Gospel and to explain Bible truth. Last but not least, pray for God’s power. Without Him you can do nothing. With Him you can be an effective witness for Christ.

Song: There is Power in the Blood – 198  #4