Basic Truths: Witnessing #1

June 7, 1992

- the last several weeks we've been talking about how to communicate biblically

- we've talked a lot about things we ought not to be saying with our tongues and Lord willing, we have taken some steps of growth in that area

    - if you've been working on applying these truths, you've probably had instances where you haven't said things that you normally would have said

        - but this time you "held your peace"

- now we're going to think about that subject from another perspective

- this is a development of communication, but it's usually an area where we "keep our peace" when we ought to be speaking many times

- we're talking about witnessing -- using our tongues to share the good news of Jesus Christ

INTRODUCTION

  - let's begin by thinking about some reasons why we should witness:

INPUT - What reasons come to your mind?

    1) It is commanded.

        - INPUT - Passages?

        - Matt. 28:19-20

        - Acts 1:8

        - II Cor. 5:17-21

        - John 15:16

    2) It is commended:

        a. in the life of our Savior

            - Matt. 18:11

            - Matt. 20:28

            - John 17:18ff

        b. in the life of the apostle Paul

            - Romans 10:1

            - Romans 10:15

            - Phil. 1:12-18

            - I Tim. 2:1-4

    3) Because of the reality of hell

        - People kid about "hellfire and brimstone" preaching, but is it possible that we've put all thoughts of hell out of our minds and as a result lost an essential motivation for an evangelistic lifestyle?

        - we're not using these verses to "whip up" some sort of emotional frenzy that leads to witnessing

            - nor would we want someone to use these verses with an unsaved person to coerce them into an emotional decision.

         - but, do we believe in the reality of hell, and what do our witnessing habits reveal about the depth of that belief?

         - here's some of the things the Scripture tells us about hell:

        a. unquenchable - Mk. 9:43

        b. eternal - Mt. 18:8

        c. the opposite of eternal life - Mt. 25:46

        d. eternal darkness - Mt. 25:30, II Pet. 2:17

        e. death - Rev. 2:11

        f. destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord - II Thes. 1:8-9, Mt. 7:21-23

        g. debt to be paid - Mt. 5:25-26

- point is - the Scripture is very clear about the existence of a real heaven, and a real literal hell.

      - some of the strongest passages in all the Bible are on this subject.

      - Is it possible that we've put these kinds of ideas out of our minds, and as a result are not as motivated to witness as we truly should be?

    4) Because of the condition of unsaved man

         - INPUT - if we're noy thinking biblically about the condition of unsaved men and women, what are some wrong conclusions we might be tempted to draw?

        - let's think about what God's Word says concerning the condition of those who don't know Christ as Savior and Lord.

        a. lost - Luke 19:10

        b. condemned - John 3:18

        c. under God's wrath - John 3:36

        d. blind - II Cor. 4:3-4

        e. dead - Eph. 2:1

        f. child of the devil - John 8:44

        g. hopeless - Eph. 2:12

        h. under the mastery of sin and Satan - Isa. 64:6,

             Eph. 2:2

INPUT - how could our culture's emphasis on "Unconditional acceptance" and "Self-Love/Image" affect the truths we've just been studying if we're not careful?

    5) Our Lord deserves the glory from the lives of people won to Him.

        - Rev. 4:11

        - I Cor. 10:31

- point that we're making is - There are many great reasons why witnessing ought to be an important part of our lifestyle.

- we're not going to go into the "ditch" of saying that this is the only issue in the Christian life (but I doubt that there's anyone here who say they're in that ditch anyway)

- Would you say this morning that this is a "use of the tongue" that you need to be more faithful and consistent in?

- we're going to take the rest of our time this morning thinking about:

I. Why Do People Need To Be Saved?

    A. The "short answer" - because of sin

        Isaiah 59:2 - Your sins have cut you off from God

        Rom. 3:23 - All have sinned and come short of the glory of God

INPUT - what is our world's attitudes toward sin and how does this affect our ability to evangelize?

    B. What is sin?

        - there are many different words in the Bible used to speak of sin.

        - I'm going to give you some of the original words (certainly not to try to impress you) but to help us:

            - differentiate the various words

            - gain a more well rounded view and definition of sin

Old Testament

        1. chata - failing to measure up, missing the mark

            Psalm 32:1 , Rom. 3:23  (swimming illus)

        2. avon - crookedness

            - bent twisted, (key illus)

            - Psalm 32:2

        3. Pesha - rebellion from a right authority

            Psalm 51:3

        4. Ra - to break into pieces, ruin

            Hos. 6:7

- There are several other words, emphasizing ideas such as punishment, guilt, wickedness, deviation, etc.

- Point - sin in the Bible is a big problem, and God has given us many words/concepts to help us see the enormity of the problem.

New Testament

        5. hamartia - missing the mark

            Rom. 3:23

        6. poneros - evil

            John 3:19

        7. parabino - going beyond, break the law

            Mt. 15:2-3