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Sharing Jesus Where God Has Put You - With Answers

Sharing Jesus Where God Has Put You - With Answers

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Published by Charles Lehmann
A version of my Evangelism Bible Study that has answers to most of the questions included.
A version of my Evangelism Bible Study that has answers to most of the questions included.

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Published by: Charles Lehmann on Feb 07, 2013
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1
Sharing Jesus Where God Has Put You
(Biblical Foundations of Evangelism)
Session 1:
Things you might have heard about evangelism that aren’
t in the Bible
1.
 
You need special training or skills to share the Gospel.
Nowhere does the Scripture suggest that some Christians are better equipped to share the Gospel than others. Graduate
degrees in theology are great, and it’s important for pastors to have extensive training in the Scriptures, but you already
know everything you need to share the Gospel.
Jesus says to the Gerasene demoniac, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, a
nd
how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19).
 
2.
 
People are dying and going to hell every second, and it’
s your fault.
John 3:18 reads, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already,because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
 
In short, if a person goes to hell, it’s
actually their fault. It is their unbelief which condemns them.
In addition, the Formula of Concord states, “The reason some are not saved is as follows: They do not listen to God’s Word
at all, but willfully despise it, plug their ears, and harden their hearts. In this way they block the ordinary way [Luke 16:29
 –31] for the Holy Spirit so He cannot perform His work in them. Or, when they have heard God’s Word, they make light of itagain and ignore it. But their wickedness is responsible for this ‹that they perish›, not God or His e
lection (2 Peter 2:1
 –
3;Luke 11:49
 –
52; Hebrews 12:25
 –
26).
1
 
The error of statement #2 is that it places salvation in our hands instead of Christ’
s. We have the promise in Scripture thatGod will lose none of those whom He has elected to salvation.
3.
 
If yo
u can refute all of a person’s arguments against the faith, they will automatically become a Christian
.
In the Small Catechism, we confess, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord,
or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in thetrue faith.
 Though reason is certainly a good gift of God, it is not by reason that a person comes to faith in Christ. This is significantboth for the person who is speaking the Gospel and for the person who is hearing it. The person who is speaking theGospel is not able to create faith through the strength of his arguments, and the ability of a person to understand the
arguments won’t create faith eit
her. The Holy Spirit creates faith, and He always does it through the Word of the Gospelalone.
4.
 
Evangelism is the pastor’s job.
 
You’re probably looking at this one and thinking, “Wait! How can that be wrong! Isn’t this what pastors do all the time?”In a sense, yes… it is. What is problematic about this statement is that it assigns to the pastor in particular something th
atactually belongs to all Christians.As we look further at Mark 5-6 and 1 Peter 2, we will see that God places each of us in our vocations so that we canproclaim the
Gospel to those whom He has put into our lives. To the demoniac Jesus says, “Go home to your friends and
1
FC Ep XI:12.
Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions
. 2005 (P. T. McCain, Ed.) (499). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
 
2
tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). Peter instructs th
e church
to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
 
5.
 
We have to do whatever it takes to share the Gospel.
Implicit in this statement is the idea that the Word of God is insufficient.
“Whatever it takes” is a phrase that is used whenwe’re talking about a task that is so difficult that extreme measures must be taken to achieve it. When the Broncos signed
a 5 year, $96 million dollar contract with Peyton Manning, people said that it was clear that they were finally willing to do
“whatever it takes” to win the Super Bowl.
 
Such extreme measures are unnecessary where the Gospel is concerned. The Gospel is “the power of God for salvation toeveryone who believes.” God’s Word is able to do
what it says without our help.
6.
 
The goal of evangelism is to have more people in church and/or balance the church budget.
Sometimes a congregation will see shrinking membership or attendance and become worried that the church is going tohave to close because it can no longer afford to pay the bills. It is tempting to respond to this concern with a renewedemphasis on evangelism.While it is certainly a good thing to want to share the Gospel and to invite new people to come to the place where Goddistributes His gifts of life and salvation, evangelism is actually an end in and of itself. The goal of evangelism is to havepeople hear about the saving work that Jesus did for them on the cross. No more. No less.
7.
 
You can preach the Gospel by the way you live your life.
Sometimes a well-
meaning person will say that it’s more important to live a holy life than it is to actually share the Gospel.
This, of course, is a false dichotomy. Though it is true that God calls us to live a life that is in accord with His holy law, livingthe Christian life is not the same thing as sharing the Gospel. The Gospel
is
words, and it has to be spoken. Saint Paul
writes, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of 
whom theyhave never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are
sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’
But they have not all paid attentionto the
gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?’ So faith comes from hearing, andhearing through the word of Christ.”
 
8.
 
Evangelism is for unbelievers.
If the definition of evangelism is “proclamation of the Gospel,” then it is certainly not
only 
for unbelievers. If it were, thenthe average Sunday sermon in a Lutheran Church could be 30-50% shorter.All people need to hear the Gospel all the time. Tho
ugh this morning we’ll be focusing on proclaiming the Gospel to thosewho do not yet believe it, the Gospel is also for you. That’s why if a sermon does not tell you that Jesus has died on the
cross to win forgiveness for all your sins it is not a Christian sermon.
 
3
Sharing Jesus Where God Has Put You
(Biblical Foundations of Evangelism)
Session
2: Why the Bible doesn’t say anything about door
-to-door evangelism
It’s Saturday morning. You’re sleeping in. It’s the one day each week you have the
option. The doorbell rings. You throw on your
bathrobe and go down to the door. There are two nice gentlemen standing there. They want to talk to you about “Jesus.” You
slamthe door and go back to bed.
Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. We all have our stories. We’ve all had our encounters with them. We’ve all treated them inways we’d rather not admit. But, the fact is that it’s not just Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses who do this sort of thing.
Twenty-five years ago it was me. It might have been you too. Door-to-door evangelism was all the rage in those days. Dr. D. James
Kennedy’s Evangelism Explosion was the first
door-to-door evangelism program to hit the streets and its most recent version (the 4
th
 edition) was published in 1996 and is still in print.Other versions of the same program were adopted in many churches. In the Missouri Synod, Dialog Evangelism (1973) was anattempt to remove the decision theology in Evangelism Explosion so that it could be used by Lutherans. Later, a youth organization(Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ) was founded in the Missouri Synod which further adapted the basic D. James Kennedy techniques.During my time in Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ I attended about 30 weekends and was on a summer traveling team. I madeabout 2,000 door-to-door evangelism calls. A lot of those calls resulted in slammed doors or very brief but tense conversations. Afew of them ended up being longer conversations. As far as I know, none of the people I talked to ever went to church as a result of one of those door-to-door
visits. While it’s possible that one or more of them did, I wouldn’t be surprised if it never happened.
 Why? Why would I have such serious doubts about something that I devoted thousands of hours of my life to
? It’s simple, really.
Nowhere in the Bible do we find an example of cold-call evangelism. Nowhere. While God can and does work through His Wordwhenever it is shared, it is helpful for us to pay attention to how it happens in the Scriptures.In the Bible, people share the Gospel with others when God has already established a relationship between them.The example of Scripture is very instructive. While the Bible certainly does not prohibit a person from evangelizing door-to-door orfrom a street corner, it is significant that we never see any examples of those things within the pages of Holy Writ. What we do seeis ordinary Christians living out their daily lives and sharing the Gospel within the context of their
vocation
.A
Christian’s
vocation consists of all the particular roles which God has given them in which they serve their neighbor.In the medieval world, there was a helpful threefold dichotomy of vocations or estates in life. Each person fell into them in one ormore ways:
The Church The State The FamilyClergy
Laity Prince
Subject Parent
ChildPolice/Magistrate
Citizen Master
SlaveHusband
Wife
Here are a few examples:1. Public worship services (Acts 2:1-36).2. Conversations between people who already have some sort of formal relationship(Mark 5:19, Acts 16:25-34, 2 Kings 5:1-3, 1 Corinthians 7:13-14, 2 Timothy 1:5).3. Other contexts where a theological discussion is asked for or expected (Act 8:27-36,Acts 17:22-34).

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