Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
Witnessing Christ or evangelism is one of the most neglected commands of the Bible. We come to church, enjoy the privileges that we have in Christ but we hardly talk about Jesus to anyone. Listen to Jesus’ final words to his disciples: Mark 16:15 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. It is a sad fact that most Christians have neither personally led anyone to Christ nor have shared their faith with an unbeliever.
Scripture: John 1:29-41
This morning I want to equip you with the basic tool for evangelism so that you can effectively bring others to Christ.
CONDITIONS WHEN JESUS WAS BORN
When Jesus was born the nation of Israel was worshipping the true God, Jehovah. But when the same God same in the form of flesh, Jesus Israel declined to accept Him.
When Jesus started his public ministry at the age of 30 there was no one to support him in His ministry. Jesus had no support from his family, no support from the Jews, nor Jesus had any support from the Roman government. Jesus had to literally start the ministry from scratch, he was all alone.
IMPACT OF JESUS’ MINISTRY
In 3-1/2 years Jesus had great impact in his ministry.
Jesus had 12 devoted disciples.
There were people and families who were close to Jesus and gave him shelter and food.
There were approximately 10,000 to 20,000 people for all his crusades.
Even today after 2000 years Jesus is transforming lives all around the globe.
If we look at the life and ministry of Jesus and look at how people got attracted to his ministry we can get some tips for simple, effective evangelism.
Let us turn our attention to John 1 where Jesus started his public ministry.
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ and John prepared the way for Jesus.
JOHN WITNESSED JESUS PUBLICLY
Now, Jesus comes to be baptized and John introduced Jesus to the crowd.
John 1:29-32 29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
John introduced Jesus to his immediate friends/disciples (relationships).
John 1:35:37 35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
The previous day John introduced Jesus to the crowd.
‘Public evangelism: Public evangelism is introducing Jesus to the public or crowd. Every one of us gets chance to testify Jesus publicly, utilize it and show Jesus to the world. When John the Baptist got the chance he publicly introduced Jesus.
The very next day John introduced Jesus to two of his own disciples and they followed Jesus.
Intimate evangelism: Pointing Jesus to those close to you. It is our responsibility to point those close to us to Jesus and 2 of John’s disciples followed Jesus.
Now let us see how Jesus gathered his disciples:
John 1:35-38 35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
Jesus is immediately asking them a tough question, what do they want or what do they seek? For thousands of years the Jews are looking for the Messiah and Jesus wants to know why they want to be Jesus’ disciples? What is their motive? What are they looking for? Power? Fame? Glory? Money? and so on.
Today, we are all following Jesus but what really are we following Jesus for? Jesus wants to know our motive. John 1:38-39 They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39″Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.
The two disciples said we want to know where you are staying or they wanted to stay with Jesus. Jesus knew their motive was true to be a disciple and see what Jesus said, “Come and you will see.”
Now, we all meet a lot of people on a daily basis. As we talk to them we can find that people have different motives. People are looking for an answer. Some want happiness, peace, stability in finances, stability in marriages, education problems, health problems and so on. We must make them understand that all their motives or what they are looking for can be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus said to the disciples when they wanted to know where he was staying “come and see.”
Meet people at the point of their need. Tell them that their need can be met by Jesus if they just come and see. Make them know that fulfillment is only found in Christ. Christ is the answer for all seekers in life.
Now, one of these 2 disciples is Andrew. Andrew realized that he must show his close friends and relatives who Jesus is. See what he does. John 1:40-41 40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).
Andrew immediately met his brother, Simon and shared Jesus to him. Andrew told his brother that I have seen Messiah you have been looking for. Come and see the Messiah. All Andrew had to do was to show him the Christ, come and see principle.
John 1:42 42And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
Andrew did not do fancy evangelism methods. He did not memorize a lot of scripture. What Andrew did was to get people to Jesus and just told them “come and see.” Andrew allowed Jesus to make the transformation. We just got to tell people to come and see. Jesus will make a transformation when they come here. We cannot make alcoholics to quit drinking, we cannot make drug addicts to quit drugs, we cannot heal the sick; but Jesus surely can. Our job is to meet them at the point of their need. Tell them come and see you will experience a change, Jesus will do the remaining.
See how Jesus responds to Cephas when Andrew brought him to Jesus. John 1:42 Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
Jesus changed his name. His true name was Simon and Jesus called him Cephas which is called Peter. Jesus looked beyond the appearance of this fisherman and He said you are a solid rock meaning Peter. Jesus saw him for what he would become and he approached him likewise. Jesus sees our potential and when we bring people to Christ Jesus looks at their potential and he changes them. You just got to bring them to Jesus.
See what happens the next day. John 1:43-44 43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.
Now, Jesus found Philip the next day. How did Jesus find Philip? Philip, Andrew, and Peter were from the same town, Bethsaida. Philip was definitely a friend of Andrew and Peter. Andrew and Peter brought Philip to Jesus. Relationship or intimate evangelism has a chain reaction. It is very effective. They just brought Philip to Jesus and Philip became a disciple of Jesus.
See what happens now: John 1:45 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
Now, Philip starts personal evangelism. He tells his friend Nathanael about Jesus. He brings him to Jesus.
See what Nathanael answers. John 1:46 46″Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.Nathanael was a tough guy to crack. He started asking questions. He does not respond immediately to evangelism. Now what did Philip do? Did he give in? Did Philip get shy? Did he stop talking about Jesus as Nathanael was tough to handle? No not. See what Philip did: John 1:46b “Come and see,” said Philip.
Again Philip uses the ‘come and see’ principle of evangelism. See how Jesus approaches Nathanael: John 1:47-4947When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” 48″How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
When Nathanael came to Jesus, Jesus is once again in control. He changed all his doubts, and Jesus made Nathanael a follower of him.
Child of God even if you do not a lot of scripture and theology you can just use the ‘come and see’ method of evangelism. When people come to church they see Jesus and they get transformed automatically by the power of God.
Look at the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well. John 4:39-41 39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers.
How can a single woman bring so many people to Christ? I believe the entire Samaritan town believed in Jesus. How was that possible? Let us see:
- Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.
- He spoke about her wretched life and changed her life.
- She was transformed by the love and approach of Jesus.
See what she did: John 4:28-30 28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29″Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
She used the same principle – Come and see.
I will show you one more example of come and see evangelism even though there are plenty more in the Bible. Mark 2:13-15 13Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. 15While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
Now when Levi got saved and followed Christ, he organized a dinner at his house for all his friends and relatives and said come, come and see Jesus, and I believe many followed Jesus because of this dinner party.
Child of God, come and see is the greatest tool in evangelism and only you can do it. I cannot reach places where you go. You may be working in a hospital, software office, call centre, business, student and so on. You have your own close friends and colleagues. I cannot go to the places you go and I don’t get to meet the people you meet. You can be effective in fulfilling the Great Commission but just using the come and see principle of evangelism. Call them to the church. Ask them to come and see. When you bring people to church God will do the rest.
Survey says 75% to 90% of people come to church through friends and relatives by the come and see method of evangelism. The Bible says you are the salt and light of this world. You are the answer for your contact group. If you do not reach out to them they may remain unreached by the love of Christ.
WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES YOU MUST USE?
1. Understand a prospect
If you are a believer, you have a prospect. It may be your coworker, neighbour, friend, relative etc. Think about them, pray for them. Recognize them.
2. Understand their need
Take time to talk to them and find what their real motivation is. They may want joy, peace, health, healing, financial breakthrough and so on.
3. Meet them at the point of their need
Tell them Jesus is the answer to all their need. Tell them you came to City Harvest AG Church and God changed you. Now you am blessed. The same God can meet their need. Try it once.
4. Ask them to come and see
Once you share your experience and how blessed you are in Christ just asked them to come and see once to your church. When they come here Jesus you are brining them to Jesus. The church is the bride of Jesus. Jesus will touch them. God will deliver them. Understand Jesus is powerful to transform anyone.
5. Understand the purpose
The purpose of evangelism and bringing others is because that is the Great Commission of our God. Moreover Jesus Christ is the only answer for this world. He is the Way, Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ. The Bible also says God rewards everyone who brings others to Christ with a soul winner’s crown, ie crown of rejoicing.
This morning let us take a decision to participle actively in bringing others to Christ. God is not looking at your knowledge or abilities. He is looking at your availability. God is looking if you are willing to point Jesus to the people whom you deal with on a regular basis. This is a task which only you can do and God has placed you in that job, in your surroundings to share the good news to them and bring them to Jesus. Let us participate in bringing others to Christ through this simplified method of evangelism, ‘come and see.’ God Bless You!