John 1: 35-51
All true Christians must be witnesses. This is a famous story that William Fay testified. Since he became a Christian he has preached more than 25,000 people.
William Pei's background is somewhat atypical for Christ-centered evangelists and authors. Fay who grew up in a wealthy family sought to pursue money and power. He was always a scammer, joined with gangsters and engaged in a huge prostitution business. He led the organization of his three wives and the darkness and began to realize that he had to pursue something great in his life.
After hearing the gospel of Christ, he began a life of submission to the power of the Holy Spirit. After that, he changed his focus of life from money to sharing salvation. He proposed the principle of simplicity to share the joy of salvation with anyone he met.
In his book "Share Jesus Without Fear" he said. "There are only two kinds of Christians in this world: Those who talk about the lost. Those who talk to the lost."
Whenever you talk about evangelism, you will recall the old evangelists who cried out in a crowded train station or bus terminal, saying, "You go to heaven if you believe in Jesus and you go to hell if you do not believe him."
But in John 1 there is a verse that briefly explains what evangelism really is.
And he brought him to Jesus. (1: 42)
In this verse today we also learn three ways to lead people to Jesus.
1. Providentially evangelism depends on the situation.
There are times when God's providence guides people on the road and lets them hear about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is exactly what happened today in the text.
When Jesus was walking, John the Baptist found him. He cries, "Look, the Lamb of God!"
Two of the disciples of John the Baptist heard Jesus and began to follow Jesus.
John the Baptist motivated his disciples to follow Jesus, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”.
Jesus sees them at their best opportunity and asks them, "What do you want?"
Then they said to Jesus, "Rabbi, where are you staying?"
Often in your life God will give you a chance to evangelize by dropping someone in front of you. You will have the opportunity of harvest without asking God. But you must always be ready to share the Lord Jesus Christ.
They can be on an airplane or on a train. It can be in your usual restaurant. It could be a funeral home, a hospital waiting room. Or it could be a trail in the woods. But the opportunity of the harvest is not a matter of place. This is what the apostle Peter said.
Peter said, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3: 15)
One of the greatest stories of situational evangelism I read in my life was the most fatal kidnapping in aviation history.
Ethiopia's Boeing 767 was flying from Addis Ababa to Ivory Coast. Soon after the plane took off, three men armed with axes, fire extinguishers, and bombs broke into the cockpit. They asked the captain to fly to Australia immediately. The pilot told them they were running out of fuel to get there, but they did not want to believe it. The captain asked the kidnappers to find a place to land as soon as possible because the fuel tank had run out of fuel, but they did not want to hear it.
The kidnappers did not try to listen to the captain until the end, and eventually the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean with 175 crew and passengers. More than 120 people died in the accident.
However, Andrew Meekin, a man on his way to a Bible conference, and a member of the evangelical church in Ethiopia conveyed the message of the gospel to the last minute when the plane crashed into the sea. According to the survival crew, when he preached the gospel, twenty people received Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior in the last moment.
I think that you might like this. "If I am on such an airplane, I will proclaim the last beautiful gospel."
But I would like to propose this. Just as every person you meet is on a plane crashing, I hope you will tell them the Lord Jesus Christ. All the unbelievers God has given you on your way are those who are at risk to die at any time without knowing Christ.
2. Personally, evangelism is relational.
After the disciples of John the Baptist decided to follow Jesus, they had time to fellowship with Jesus and know Jesus.
"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.” (1: 39)
We hear that they stayed with Jesus around 4 pm. And they began fellowship with Jesus. In other words, they would have spoken with Jesus all night long. After spending the night with Jesus, they were so full of the Lord Jesus Christ that they rushed to others and began to preach His teachings.
The more time you spend with Jesus, the better you will know Jesus, the more excited you will be about Jesus. The more excited you are about Jesus, the more you will want to tell others about Him.
Dawson Trotman who was founder of the great organization known as The Navigators said, "Soul winners are not soul winners because of what they know, but who they know, and how much they want others to know Him."
Therefore, we must be witnesses of those who are lost. To be a witness of the lost, we must have a relationship with the lost.
According to a survey by the American Church Growth Institute, 75-90% of new believers come to Christ through friends or acquaintances who meet on a one-to-one basis and explain the gospel. Only 17% of all conversions come to church through what is called an 'event'.
Today's text clarifies it. It is John 1: 40-41.
“Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah.”
Among these disciples who spent time all night with Jesus and were now full of Jesus, Andrew first visited his brother Peter and shared Jesus in a one-to-one manner.
Verse 45 tells us that Philip visited his friend Nathanael after he found Jesus. I believe your miracle will start from the neighbor next door. The first disciples of Jesus met those who knew well and led them to Jesus in a one-to-one manner.
All Christians on earth should preach the gospel through relationships. What does that mean? Relationship evangelism is intentional evangelism. It is intentional evangelism to find and interact with common interests and commonalities with neighbors, peers, alumni, bosses or employees, or anyone else.
Please continue to try to develop your friendship with your intended person. You also want to continue to introduce Jesus Christ to him. Sometimes it takes a long time to build a relationship, but the purpose of establishing such a relationship is to create a bridge that will eventually enter the person's heart and share the gospel of Christ. So building that relationship is your lifelong ministry.
I ask you. When was the last time you invited someone to church? Someone is not someone in another church. It means a person who has lost Christ.
It is said that 45% of all people connected to the church came to church because of their relationship with family or friends.
So I ask you questions in different ways. Who is spending time with you? Is the person who is having lunch with you, playing golf, and shopping is an unbeliever to come to Jesus Christ? Then you have to be called to relational evangelism.
3. Permanently Evangelism Is Confrontational
Look again at John 1: 43-46.
“The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.
Philip 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."
"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip.”
When Jesus met Philip, he immediately said: "Follow me."
Before people are saved, and ever will be saved, there must be a personal presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ. first.
John the Baptist said, "Behold, the Lamb of God."
Jesus said, "Follow me."
Andrew and Philip both said: "We have found Jesus, come and see."
Billy Sunday said: "The reason why more people are not being won to Christ, is because there is not a definite effort put forth to persuade a definite person to accept a definite Savior at a definite time, and that time is now!"
But today I became interested in all of the disciples bringing someone to Jesus.
Evangelism is now the most important reason God called us. Place the bait where the fish is easy to swallow. 88% of the country's 29-year-olds say they will not go to any church in the future. Ninety percent of all Christians who accepted Christ received Jesus as their Savior before the age of 21. However, the following statistics are even more surprising.
One Christian Gallup poll states that at age 25, one in 10,000 would be a Christian. at age 35, one in 50,000; at age 45, one in 200,000; at age 55, one in 300,000. Surprisingly younger people are more likely to become Christians.
But it will not be done through television or corporate worship. If you do not like Andrew, Philip, Simon, and Nathanael as they brought people to Jesus one-to-one, the fruits of evangelism will not be easy.
A missionary who visited Mother Teresa's orphanage in Calcutta asked her, "How can you feed millions of hungry people in this country?" Mother Teresa simply said, "One mouth at a time." That's how we, too, will make a difference in this world by being a witness to one person at a time.
Now I am going to finish my speech. The greatest lesson left by The first disciples of Jesus is "one-to-one".
Every time I read the Gospel, I am greatly impressed by the fact that Jesus approaches each person as a true individual. Jesus did not call every man, but as a shepherd finds a sheep, he calls and seeks an individual personally.
Jesus calls Zacchaeus, calls Maria, meets Nicodemus who came in the middle of the night with a question of the truth, and meets “A woman in a well” who gave up her life almost.
I want you to make a beautiful story of leading one soul to the Lord through personal evangelism. I hope you can pray like the following. "Lord, give me one. And help me to preach to him."