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Do you know anyone who cannot sit still? They always have to be doing something. Even when sitting, their motor is running [leg shaking]!
The Apostle Paul was like
that…he always had to be preaching or witnessing or discipling or visiting.
He could have settled down comfortably in the large church at
He didn’t view the church as a parking lot, but as a launching pad!
This is the beginning of Paul’s 2nd Missionary journey…and we’ll see here some essentials of effective evangelism:
1. The Right Passion
Today we would say “drive.” Some people are just driven…some have a passion for money…some for fame. And Paul’s passion was reaching the lost.
1 Cor. 9:16
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
He’s saying, don’t pat me on the back because I witness and preach and proclaim…I have to do these things…it’s in my bones!
He’s saying, for me, witnessing is not an option…reaching the lost is not a suggestion…for me, it’s a command! He was passionate about it.
Another word for it is enthusiasm, which comes from 2 greek words: en and theos… “in God”! We can’t go wrong w/ enthusiasm. It helps us do anything and do it better.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…
You can’t have too much enthusiasm.
But spiritually, we really cannot have too much passion…the opposite of spiritual passion is spiritual sleep.
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
That’s a spiritual sleep he’s referring to, and he was right…the church is sleeping in a noisy room full of lost people. A vast majority of our city doesn’t know Christ as Savior…but we walk right past them in stores, at work, on the street…and we’re “sleep-walking!” Nearly 7 billion people are alive on this planet but most are spiritually dead. And there’s a small minority of us which are supposedly spiritually alive but we’re in some kind of a stuper…stumbling around spiritually at best! Once in a while we trip over some sinner accidentally, and we have one saved now and then…but it’s time to wake up…imagine what we could do w/ some passion! Alive! Alert! Awake! Enthusiastic!
We come by it honestly. Here’s some of our predecessors from scripture:
Jonah—he was a good sleeper…he
slept the sleep of
unconcern. God told
him to preach to the wicked Assyrians in
Do we REALLY believe God? Do we believe the Bible is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Or do we approach it “cafeteria style”…picking and choosing what is tasteful to us?
“You’re trying to scare people.” Yes, if they need scaring, then that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Another Bible example of spiritual sleep:
Peter, James and John in the
· Samson—where did he fall asleep? In Delilah’s lap! He slept the sleep of the unaware. Once he revealed the source of his strength he lost his power, but he didn’t know he lost it. The Philistines came upon him during naptime, and he sprung up to flex and rip and tear and watch them run like always, but the Bible says “he wist not the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him.” He was sleeping the sleep of the unaware. He was overconfident…and too comfortable! God help the pastor and the church that starts feeling like the well oiled machine… “we don’t even need to pray—the way God is blessing”. We don’t need to visit and invite people—they way they are pouring in the door!” “We have lots of money in the bank, we don’t have to depend on God!” Nobody would say these things audibly, but so often we act that way!
35 minutes after the final warning they were sinking, and history records that crew as “criminally complacent.”
The 1st essential to effective evangelism is passion, and we need to wake up to the needs of the hour!
2. The Right Priority
The Apostle Paul had the right priority. He knew that the main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing…we get off track in churches way too easily! The main thing is winning souls…keeping people out of hell! Everything else is subservient to that one goal.
Paul never forgot that Christ was born to die, to rise again, to save that which was lost…He came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life for His priority!
Once upon a time a community of people who lived along a stretch of dangerous sea-coast where shipwrecks often occurred eventually organized a rescue operation. They decided to do something about all the drowning people near their city. And so a small life-saving station was built, and the devoted members of the rescue team kept an ongoing watch over the sea…ready to man their little boats to search for survivors in case of shipwreck. As a result, the town became famous for the many lives that were saved. More and more people joined the team, and soon a new building was needed. It was much larger than the 1st building, and was beautifully furnished and decorated. But as more and more amenities were added for the members pleasure and comfort, the building was slowly transformed into a kind of clubhouse. Some of the members then began to lose interest in the rescue operation. But then a shipwreck occurred, and many survivors were rescued and brought to the clubhouse for first aid. During this several day period, the frenzied activity caused the elegant clubhouse to be significantly marred, by such things as blood stains and the smell of the sea. At the next meeting there was a split in the membership. Most members felt that the life-saving operation was a hindrance to their social life. And those who disagreed were told they could go to another operation further down the coast. As years went by, history continued to repeat itself, and today, that seacoast is lined with a number of exclusive clubhouses lining the shore, but no one in the area seems too concerned w/ the rescue operation.
You know, there’s a church on almost every corner of this city, but it’s so easy to lose our priorities, and even we are not immune.
I like what Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap into hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish w/ our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let not one go there unwarned and unsprayed for.”
3. The Right Presentation
16:4-5 You have to have passion, you have to have priority, but ultimately, you have to have the right message. We’re put to shame by some cults w/ much more passion and priority than we have…what a shame the message, the presentation, they are communicating!
The right message is that salvation is by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, plus nothing, minus nothing. 
That’s the right message, and when you couple that w/ love, souls WILL be saved.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Years later Ira Sankey was
singing for D.L. Moody in
When we take the right message and couple it w/ love, people will be saved. We have to have the right passion…it’s time to wake up. We have to have the right priority…it’s time to put first things first. We have to have the right presentation, the right message.
Let’s sing it together, “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying…”
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