Have you heard the good news?

Have you heard any good news lately?

Illus. Paul Fritz
A famous Methodist evangelist named Peter Cartwright was known for his uncompromising preaching. However, one day when the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, “Old rough and ready,” came to Cartwright’s church, the elders warned the Pastor not to offend the President. In those days, the President had great power to influence a denomination for good or bad. Content, that their Pastor would not say anything to discredit their church, the elders retired to the back of the sanctuary.

When Cartwright got up to speak, the first words out of his mouth were, “I understand that President Andrew Jackson is here this morning. I have been requested to be very guarded in my remarks. Let me say this: “Andrew Jackson will go to hell if doesn’t repent of his sin!” The entire congregation gasped with shock at Cartwright’s boldness. How could this young preacher dare to offend the tough old general in public, they wondered.

After the service, everyone wondered how the President would respond to Cartwright. When Andrew Jackson met the preacher at the door he looked at him in the eye and said, “Sir, If I had a regiment of men like you, I could conquer the world!”

I’m sure almost all of the church members left there that day, shared the story they had witnessed. But I wonder if they ever had the courage, or made it a priority, to share the gospel like the pastor did that day?

Political correctness has caused a lot of Christians to do just as a pilot would do, if he wanted to go to back of the plane, in the process of flying…he would flip the autopilot switch.

To many Christians have an autopilot relationship with Jesus nowadays. They only check the status of their relationship when a crises arises, a miracle is needed, or Christmas and Easter comes around.

As I shared last week, the other side of the entrance doors to this building, is the mission field, this building is not the church, “You Are!”

While this is a very nice and beautiful facility. This church will never have the courage, or ever have the opportunity to tell a president, or anyone else what they need to hear, concerning what awaits us all, when this life is over!

1ST Cor. 15:1-6 MSG.
1-2. Friends, let me go over the Message with you one final time— this Message that I proclaimed and that you made your own; this Message on which you took your stand and by which your life has been saved. (I’m assuming, now, that your belief was the real thing and not a passing fancy, that you’re in this for good and holding fast.)
3-4. The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says;

Sharing the Gospel, should be as easy as 123, like telling someone your name,

Contrary to what some may think or say, Jesus already did the hard part, He fulfilled every promise in scripture, amazingly conquered both sin and death,

And we still somehow make it seem like we have the harder part of the equation to do, by just telling the story of it all.

*The miracle of His Birth…He was born of a virgin
*The miracle of His Life and Ministry…He did good to all, ministered too and healed all who believed
* The miracle of His Resurrection…He introduced the way of Relationship to His Father, through Grace and forgiveness!

It really is that simple, God didn‘t make it hard to understand or share!
If you are willing to believe and accept, the simple message of what I just shared, Jesus will have a home awaiting you in Heaven, when you arrive!

He made it simple enough that a child can understand it and accept it, then turn around and tell someone else about it.

What’s the first song a little child learns when they come to church?

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong!

I still love to sing that song to this day!
That’s really what the gospel message is all about, isn’t?

Jesus Loves Me! He loves you too! And there’s enough room in His heart for every man, woman and child…that will ever walk this earth.

If its really that simple to share and understand,
Then why aren’t more people sharing the gospel?

Because if more people were, church’s all across America would have a lot less empty seats in them.

We share everything else, don’t we? Anyone familiar with facebook? Pinterest? What ever we want to know we can ask Siri, can’t we? But when I asked Siri, who is the most important person to know in the universe, the one word answer eluded Siri.

Siri should have said Jesus, what Siri said was nothing!

Most people, including the one who is programmed to have all the answers, I guess don’t consider sharing the name of Jesus and the gospel nowadays, a serious issue.

TBS. in Prov. 11:30 NKJ
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.

And yet statistics show 90 to 95% of Christians never share the gospel.
How can the gospel, be important enough to know, but not important enough to share?

The last time I checked the Gospel was inclusive, not exclusive!

Jesus gave the Great Commission in Mark 16:15 NKJ

15. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

You see, a lot of people think that is the preachers job, or the church staff, or the TV preacher, or the missionaries, or someone else’s, anyone but their’s.

If sharing the Gospel is everyone else’s job, then it probably would never get shared to much, would it? That’s why Jesus commissioned everyone, and made sharing His good news everyone’s responsibility!

Romans 10:13-14 HCSB.
13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
14 But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?

The Great Commission, we just read a minute ago and it says, we are to
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

The great commission, is not a wish or a suggestion; its Jesus marching orders for every believer. Its been the standing order for 2,000 yrs. And still hasn’t changed.

Religion would have you believe the, “If you build it they will come”

Were not talking about a make believe ball park somewhere in some movie,
were talking about eternity, and a relationship with the creator of the universe,

There is no building, however nice it is, how ever big it is, going to win someone to Christ!

Jesus knew how important it would be to share His Life Changing Grace and Favor message with the world, that’s why He left it open ended, go, go and keep on going!

Luke 14:16-23 NKJ
16. Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,
17. and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’
18. But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’
19. And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’
20. Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
21. So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’
22. And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’
23. Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Paul said to do whatever it takes to compel others the the message of Christ!

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 MSG
19-23 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!

In the book, “Questions of Life” by Nicky Gumbel, He wrote.

Albert McMakin was a 24-year-old farmer who came to faith in Christ in 1934.
He was so full of enthusiasm that he filled a truck with people and took them to a meeting to hear about Jesus.

There was a good-looking farmer’s son whom he was especially keen to get to a meeting, but this man was hard to persuade.

He was too busy falling in and out of love with different girls.
He did not seem to be attracted to Christianity at all. Eventually, Albert McMakin managed to persuade him to come by asking him to drive the truck.

When they arrived, Albert’s guest decided to go in and was “spellbound” and began to have thoughts that he had never known before. He went back night after night until one night he went forward and gave his life to Jesus Christ.

Since then, the young truck driver has spoken to at least 250 million people about Christ during his lifetime, and went on to become a spiritual advisor to nine US Presidents.

The young truck driver was, of course, Billy Graham.

While we are not all called to be Billy Grahams, we can all be Albert McMakins, bringing our friends to Jesus.

Sharing our faith with others, is part of our worship and our faith building experience.

Hebrews 11:6 NKJ
6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

While I can think of many rewards, there is no greater reward than leading someone to Christ. Bringing someone to Jesus wonderful gift of salvation, is the best gift of all

Because it is a gift, that keeps on giving as long as you re-gift the gift into someone else’s life.

So many people, enjoy the benefit of what they have received, but never share it with others. While that ensures their salvation, it doesn’t anyone else’s.

TBS. We shall be known by our fruit

Hebrews 13:16 MSG.
16. Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchens and in the workplace and on the streets.

I’ve shared this before,
Billy Graham was to have once said, it takes 28 times or points of contact, for someone to be approached about the gospel, before they come to salvation.
The first one thinks that they did nothing and the last one thinks that they did it all.

Whether you sow a seed, or are the one who provides water, or have the opportunity to lead someone through the sinners prayer, to Christ

All are equally important, all will share in the reward and one day lay that reward down at the feet of Jesus.

1st Cor. 3:5-9 MSG.
5-9. Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working.

I’ll close with this

In Gipsy Smith’s book The Beauty of Jesus.

Gipsy Smith told about Peter Apples, a man (during the Civil War) who went into the enemy’s territory.

Peter Apples did not know much about being a good soldier. He just knew that when his superior officer said, “Charge!” he was supposed to go.

And he was the kind of man who never came back until he made contact with the enemy.

One day his officer said, “Charge!” and Peter Apples charged.

But they came under such severe fire that the superior officer asked them to retreat, to come back.

Peter Apples didn’t hear that, so he kept going, he went across “No-Man’s Land” and finally into the enemy’s territory.

He went down in a ditch where the enemy soldiers were lined up one behind the other,

He took hold of the first one in the ditch, grabbed him by the nape of the neck, drug him out and started back toward home with him.

The enemy soldiers took aim and started to shoot, but since their own soldier was being dragged behind Peter Apples, they couldn’t fire.

About the time they thought they had a shot, their own soldier would get in the way again.

Peter Apples continued to travel with the soldier, finally he dragged him across “No-Man’s Land” and back into his own territory and dropped him at the feet of his superior officer.

The officer looked at him, took a deep breath, and said, “Where in the world did you get him from?”

He answered, “I got him over there in the ditch.

There’s plenty of them over there, and all of you could have had one if you had wanted one.” (Soul Winning: Every Christian’s Job, Dr. Curtis Hutson)

John 4:34-42 MSG
34-35 Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!

36-38 “The Harvester isn’t waiting. He’s taking his pay, gathering in this grain that’s ripe for eternal life. Now the Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant. That’s the truth of the saying, ‘This one sows, that one harvests.’ I sent you to harvest a field you never worked. Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.”

39-42 Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman’s witness: “He knew all about the things I did. He knows me inside and out!” They asked him to stay on, so Jesus stayed two days. A lot more people entrusted their lives to him when they heard what he had to say. They said to the woman, “We’re no longer taking this on your say-so. We’ve heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He’s the Savior of the world!”

(“Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman’s witness”)

I saw a sign on a building here in town, that asked the question “what will your legacy be?” A question that certainly causes oneself to look deep within!

Of all the things we do in this life, the only thing that really matters, is what we do for the Kingdom of God.

All the other things will fade away, but what we do for Jesus, will live on forever! Amen?

Tell someone about Him today, and however you tell them, really doesn’t matter.
Just remember to somehow weave Jesus into your conversation, and let Him lead you to the cross!