08-03-2014 The Disciples: Making and Being Disciples

The topic of the sermon this week was “The Disciples: Making and Being Disciples.” As our pastor and his family are on vacation, our elders led the service.  They drew from their experience and wisdom on how to be and make disciples in order to give us some encouragement on doing the same. 

Bill Wenzel started the 3 part sermon talking about evangelism.  He reminded us that it is not us who make people Christians, but the Holy Spirit.  We can bring people to Jesus but each person ultimately has to choose for themselves whether they follow Jesus or not. There are “many things we can do, many words we can use…any method could work because God’s methods are broad and wide and varied, but only one way to get into Heaven…Jesus,” Bill shared. 

“Evangelism isn’t a project, it’s a lifestyle,” Cliff Johnson told us.  If anyone has made evangelism a lifestyle, it is Cliff.  Cliff shared his wisdom and experience by giving us some practical tips to tell others about Jesus:

1)     We cannot use imperfections as an excuse not to share the Gospel. A common misconception to sharing the Gospel is Christians must have it all together.  The truth is that appearing to have it altogether can be off-putting to non-Christians.  You don’t have to be in the best shape to share the Gospel, but we must always be ready. The Samaritan woman in John didn’t have her life together when she told others about Jesus.  Right after meeting him, she went and told others.  The townspeople must have known her imperfections, but that didn’t deter them from wanting to meet Jesus. 

2)     Know the Gospel. Both non-Christians and Christians need to know the Gospel clearly.  When we share the Gospel, we need to state the benefits and cost clearly with others. 

3)     Write down your testimony.  Cliff shared story after story of how he has just given copies of his testimony out to people in all places at all times, whether friend or stranger.  Sometimes people have responded favorably, and sometimes not.  But people responding favorably is not the point, the point is Evangelism is a lifestyle. We have been told to share the Good News whether it is easy or not.  You don’t have to be an extrovert to share the Gospel, just willing. 

Richard wrapped up the sermon with a reminder that the Good News is Good. While it is hard to tell others about Hell, we should be excited to tell them about Heaven and how cool it is. We have such joy knowing we are going to Heaven someday. We tell others when we are excited about other things, why not Heaven?  Richard was so excited to tell us about Heaven he had to whittle down his 42 point sermon to just a few.  Are you that excited to talk about Heaven?

Finally, Randy Laninga led us in communion.  Randy reiterated Christ’s sacrifice of dying on the Cross for our sins so that we may one day share in the glory of Heaven.  Randy told shared the Gospel with us.

To wrap up, Evangelism is a lifestyle.  Do you love Jesus?  Love others to Jesus.  Do you love Jesus?  Then bring others into contact with him by sharing your testimony.  Do you love Jesus?  Then be obedient to the Great Commission: Go into all the world and make disciples.