Smart Notes...From Bro. Jeff - June 2018

Developing A Culture of Evangelism

How could we as a church develop and as individuals grow to such a point that sharing the gospel would be a normal, everyday experience? How could we not only display the gospel but proclaim the gospel to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers?

First, we need to have conviction. Conviction is a burden or passion that sharing the gospel is important. If you have trusted in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, God's plan for you is to proclaim the gospel. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20 NIV) Do you have a burden or passion to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with family and friends who don't know Him as Lord and Savior?

Second, we need to understand people's destiny. A new abundant life comes from a personal, saving relationship with Jesus as Lord and begins immediately when a person truly believes in Jesus as Lord and repents of their sin. This transformation to the likeness of Jesus Christ continues as we grow in Spirit, truth and grace. Conversely, a life without Jesus as Lord is marked by worldliness, sin, selfishness and often leads to pain, suffering, and death. Separation from God through Jesus is eventually a life of hopelessness, emptiness, and despair.

Next, there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. The hope and reality of Heaven is worshiping and serving God forever, along with other Christians. Just as we know and walk with Him in this life, we will do so forever in a place called Heaven. For those who reject Jesus as Lord, they can do so not only in this life but be separated from His Lordship forever in a literal place called Hell. The Bible describes Hell as a place of torment filled with agony and despair.

Third, we need to have a desire and commitment to learn. How can we better learn to tell His story and our story of salvation? We need to be able to share the Bible basics of Man's sin, God's plan for salvation, Jesus' atonement and God's promise of life. Your desire to know God is indicated through your desire for and commitment to the Bible through the life and ministry of Jesus. If you don't have the Living Word within your heart and mind, you will struggle in proclaiming the gospel. You will be unprepared and fearful. The Holy Spirit uses the Living Word to remind you of the way, truth and life of Jesus.

Fourth, we need to be intentional, obedient and faithful. I am so blessed to hear many testimonies of our church family at Cook proclaiming the gospel each week. The gospel is being shared at work, social occasions, schools, local government, in times of joy and in times of sadness. Some are listening and looking for opportunities to share their hope through Jesus Christ. As people share their challenges and trials with us, we have a real opportunity to transition the conversation to the hope we have in Jesus.

A humble boldness to proclaim the gospel comes from the Holy Spirit and will exhibit humility, conviction, desire, intentionality, obedience, and faithfulness. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV) Join me in praying that Cook Baptist Church will receive this power of the Holy Spirit in developing a culture of evangelism.

I love you with the love of the Lord!

Pastor Jeff

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