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3. Your Gift or Mine?

Mark Howard

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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 16, 2018
    4:00 PM
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You know evangelism is a combination especially training is a combination of inspiration and conviction inspiration is great but there needs to be a level of conviction in other words knowing what God's calling us to do I can tell you something but it's not the same as God telling you and one of the reasons we looked at what the Bible says about discipleship is so that we know what God's calling us to and any time God calls us to anything that we know his power is going to be enabling us to do we call us to do that's what makes a difference to me I can get up all motivationally and tell you all kinds of good stuff but I don't have the power God has to enable you to do these things and so we're looking at a little bit of you know getting the direction that the Lord would have us understand as far as his calling our lives there's a lot of computers human when it comes to evangelism these days. In our church especially and I say that because the 7 having a church is an evangelistic movement we are built on evangelism in a big core of that is a prophetic message that we have the 3 in his messages that's what we're about that's the core of who we are and that's not from us is from Jesus himself that's when he said. In Matthew 28 to go teach all nations and we tie that into Matthew 24 and he said this gospel of the King must be preached in all the world for a witness like our science says in fact if you take your Bible and you go with me to Revelation 14 and you may have done this before not going to Revelation 14 I'm sure hoping you've done that before but in Revelation 14 verse 6 where we give the 1st angels message Revelation 146 is then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the what. Every lasting Gospel to preach to those grown the earth to every What nation tribe tongue people now Didn't Jesus say Matthew 24 this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in where all the world as a witness to all the nations what do we see happening here in Revelation 14 we see the Gospel going to all the world just like Jesus said it would that's that's what we're seeing Revelation 14 is the fulfillment of what Jesus said would happen the sign he gave in Matthew $24.00 and then he said then the end would come in Matthew $24.00 well if you look at verse 14 after the 3 inches messages it says and I looked and behold a white cloud and on the Cloud Sat one like the son of man having on his head a golden crown in his hand a sharp sickle and here we see the 2nd coming of Christ My point being this there are people even within our church today say we need to just quit preach the gospel and get away from all this prophecy stuff you can't do that Jesus gave the commission even talked about the sign in Matthew 24 we see the fulfillment of it in Revelation Chapter 14 now it may or may not surprise you that the message of Christ himself was a prophetic message Ellen White makes that point in fact you find in the Gospels he's commenting on Mark Chapter one Verse 15 where Jesus when he began preaching the 1st words that Mark accords him saying is the time is fulfilled good 7 they haven't missed what time was he talking about what time was fulfilled for him to show up and start preaching the 70 weeks prophecy the foretold the coming of the Messiah and when he showed up he preached that prophecy was being fulfilled and he came right on time when you go to the message of the Apostles every one of the Apostles Peter on the day of Pentecost never was the New Testament what do they do they pointed back to ALL the prophecies that pointed to the coming Christ and prove how Christ fulfilled the prophecies of scripture the message is always been a prophetic message. And there are people finding issue with that today and so there are you know you've got you've got people stirring up questions and doubts as to whether or not the message we have is the right message and when you begin to doubt your message guess what stops happening you're not sharing a message that you're uncertain about and so that that and now this is not just I'm to I'm speaking a 7th Day Adventists now but I need to tell you and it says it right at the top of the handout statistically speaking only how much 2 percent of professed Christians in North America that's not have been assessed Christians share their faith on a regular basis only 2 percent you just read what the Bible says about disciples and yet 2 percent and I'll tell you a big reason for this and again it's come into our church there are a lot of things that we would do better off not to keep borrowing from other churches I'm not saying we can't borrow anything but I'm saying one of the things that we have borrowed is the spiritual gift him and Torrie anyone know I'm talking about the spiritual gift test now I don't want to totally condemn the spiritual gift test just mostly condemn it. And this is what I mean if you're going to give or take a spirit to give test before what is the Spirit what is the sum of the Spirit to give tests it's asking you what. It's not just your opinion it's asking you what you think you're good at and what you what what you like to do where did we get the idea that God would never ask us to do anything we didn't like to do or that our gift only is going to be what I like to do. So right away the test we've got a problem because we're filling out this thing that's going to tell us what my gift is but I'm only saying what I like to do when the very call of discipleship says you're going to have to deny yourself and take up a cross daily and do what you don't like to do. And so what happens is people go through the test and they say yeah I like being friendly to people hospitality that's good and yeah I like helping out with fellowship meal that's good no I don't like going door to door feel uncomfortable doing NAT And so how many people do you think probably on average feel comfortable with going to witness to people that they don't know I already get here a clue of how to pursue the 2 percent I want you to see something here I'm kind of jumping the gun a little bit go to Matthew Chapter 10 now you know Matthew 10 is where Jesus sends out the disciples to witness and it's actually gets a little scary in there if you look at Matthew 10 you've again probably read this verse before but maybe not in this light Matthew 10 verse 28 in fact if you go back a little bit let's go to Matthew 10 verse 16 he says Behold I send you out as what sheep in the midst of wolves. I mean I'm I'm reading this now does it dawn on me I've never told my church members that when I sent him out to outreach I caught a child that by the way everybody today we're going to go knock on door that is what you know I'm sending you out of sheep in the midst wolves are probably not going to come back today. But you did a good work. I mean this would Jesus said I'm sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves therefore be wise to serpents and harmless as doves but beware men for they will be verse 17 for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues you'll be brought before governors and kings for my sake as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles but when they deliver you up do not worry about how or what you should boy underline that Mark at your bible that applies to you just as well why not worry about what I should speak for if it will be given to you when. In that hour what you should speak but the Lord's going to do the same thing for you there is no amount of anything you know any skill you have any knowledge you have that is going to do anything if it's not through the power of the Holy Spirit told me like well that person so much better than me it didn't matter that MO that doesn't amount to anything that amounts to is your willingness to be used by the Spirit of God you said don't worry about that I'm going to give you what to speak in and how many of you found yourself in a conversation where the Lord just took over and afterward your life where in the world did that come from I don't even know what I said but then for some reason afterwards I LIKE THANK YOU THANK YOU Praise God you said I know God sent you to me in your thinking I say the Lord will do the same for us anyway so Jesus sends his disciples out now going to read to the whole passage come verse $28.00 he says and do not fear those who was killed the body but cannot kill the soul but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell so now who's Jesus talking to here is disciples write. What you tell him Don't be afraid what kind of person do you say don't be afraid to. And afraid one write you tell that to afraid people you know tell that people are afraid of something all let's go you've got to Team A guys are going to go out they're going to play football like let's go we're going to crush them OK before you guys go out don't be afraid. You don't tell that to people who aren't afraid to tell the people who are afraid now why am I bringing this up because we get this mindset that if something makes me uneasy something makes me nervous something makes me scared it must not be my idea that was the Apostles that was the disciples get well guess what Bible says they were free. And so Jesus say don't be afraid and then and I am pretty I'm going to tell you right now in this country you're not going to get killed when you go out and witness. It's not going to happen it will one day there's no maybe about it I can guarantee you that I can give you 100 percent guarantee that you're not going to go out and get well you do something really crazy I guess and depends on but you know your normal going out with somebody in church I mean the grocery store you ask you given that you're going to get killed doing that he wasn't just making stuff up here he said hey don't fear those who kill the body may not come back from this but you'll have eternal life OK it's not that bad here yet but the point is that the Disciples of Christ were nervous just like we get nervous but we take these gifts yes then we say oh well I took this gift test and it tells me that doing that is not my gift so I want to clue you in on something here today. Witnessing there are 4 Spiritual Gifts lists in the Bible hate just 4 of them this one in $41.00 in Romans No 2 in Romans one in Romans $12.00 and $2.00 in 1st current or 1st Corinthians 12 total of 4 Guess what isn't on any one of those lists witnessing is not on a spiritual gifts list it's not there you'll never find witnessing listed in the Bible as a spiritual gift because I like to say it's standard equipment OK when I bought my car there were options on the car you can get a car and you can get all power features and sunroof and navigational system and all that but they all come with steering wheels and tires as far as I understand there's certain things that are standard and witnessing is standard for the Christian OK I want you just I want to see this in a couple passages as outlined here in. The handout under Number one it says every Christian is born into a kingdom is a sore winner let's look at John the gospel John chapter 4 John 4 this is Jesus encounter with the woman at the well which is a great witnessing passage going to pick up in verse 10. This is after a little bit of the calendar already that I'm going to really resist going into because I like so much of this been 1st tentative Jesus answered her and said if you knew the gift of God and who it is who says you give me a drink you would have asked him and he would have given you living water the woman said to him Sir you have nothing to draw with in the well is deep Where then do you get that living water Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well and drank from it himself as well as his sons and his livestock Jesus answered and said to her who ever drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water let me pause here for a minute when he talks to her about the living water what's he talking about OK we talk about Sundays in the Holy Spirit would have it but ultimately when he's offering her living water what he offering her vacation right turn a life hey this is a living water you can drink of the wells of this world are going to thirst again but this water is going to satisfy you so he says Now don't miss it verse 14 whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst but the water that I shall give him will become what is in him a fountain of waters springing up now think about that whoever drinks the water Who is it who drinks the water if the water is the offer to salvation then who is he talking about those who drink it those who accept salvation right everybody who calls himself a Christian who says you have accepted Christ you drank the water now Jesus says if you drink the water what does the water do it becomes something was a fountain do spouse out water what kind of water salvation right where does it become that fountain. In the person who drinks the water Jesus is simply saying here that anybody who receive salvation becomes a fountain to others there's no there's no oh here's a select few that this is your gift but you guys over here are from the teaching crisis and it is getting across here and you see this pick up the same author John picks up this theme in Revelation In fact let's look at in Revelation 22 John the same one who got that illustration of Jesus and wrote at their shares the same concepts in Revelation 2217 and you'll likely hear this passage again it's a very important passage very clear passage there's no ambiguity here so like was he trying to say it's pretty plain Jesus says in Revelation 22 as Scripture says here in Revelation 2217 and the spirit and the bride say Come who's the spirit speaking of Spirit of God the Holy Spirit who is the Bride of the church now what does it mean to say calm when a person says come if I say Come what am I doing I'm inviting the right the spirit in the Bride So the Holy Spirit is saying calm how where you can see in a minute and back to says in the last part whoever desires let him drink of the what water of life so there's an invitation to come Drink the Water of Life same water we're just reading about right so the spirit is inviting people to come and drink the water of life the braai the churches inviting people to come and drink the water of life right because it is came of it became a fountain in the church and each individual the spirit of the Bride say Come and notice an ex-parte Let him who hears what that him in the hears say come you know used to read that for the longest time the spirit in the Bride say Come in Let him who hears come. That's how I read it forever the spirit of the Bride say Come they're inviting and let him who hears come this I want to say says Let him who hears say Come what is that just mean it means I'm getting the invitation once I receive it what I repeat the invitation right isn't that the same thought being communicated in John 4 about the the fountain of water look at the hand out look at the quote under letter B. you have Revelation 2217 look at the quote the inset from Christian service under that says it read about the middle just below the middle of page it says every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as it was missionary that just means when you receive well used it goes on to say it he who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life the receiver becomes a giver the grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert welling up to refresh all and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life look at for the next quote from great controversy it says the Spirit of Christ as a missionary Spirit's right that's the sum and substance of his life the very 1st impulse of the renewed hardass to bring others also to the Savior and then next the one from desire of ages the bottom of the page says the spirit of the Bride say Come in let him bat here and say come everyone who hears is to up repeat the invitation who whatever one's calling in life so this isn't just for pastors and Bible workers whatever one's calling him well in life his 1st interest should be to what win souls for Christ he may not be able to communicate the instruction I'm sorry he may not be able to speak to congregations which I'll talk about in a minute but he can work for individuals to then he can communicate the instruction received from his Lord ministry does not consist alone in preaching. So let me let me interject here a little bit about preaching I'm a come back to the quote Let's go to the top of the next page and let's talk about preaching for a minute I've got a quote on the top of the page from Scripture under the heading all our cold to preach you know as preachers in quotes. Scare quotes we call I'm not trying to scare you but that's what they call I'm unsure why they call that Cameron tell me views in here I don't see him and he said to them go into the world all the world sorry and do what preached the gospel to every creature Bob says they went out and preached everywhere the Lord working with them now there's a handful of words in the New Testament to preach one of the Mean words is the word Caruso but they're all the same there is no New Testament Greek word that when it says creature is translated preach in our English language there's none of them that exclusively mean getting up and giving a sermon when we think preach we think somebody getting up and giving a sermon but when the Bible uses the word preach for example the word Caruso which is one of those Greek words it means to virtually communicate that's all it means so I could be sitting here with you sister and we can talk. And I'm preaching to you that's preaching in the biblical sense it's important to know that because you'll see that in the Bible you know otherwise we read in the Bible when we read preaching we think all they're giving a sermon I can't do that and that's why Ellen White to said that quoting desire it is not everybody's going to get up and speak to the masses of people but that's not preaching in the biblical sense not sometimes the word applies to that that in most places in Scripture that look at the note they're under under letter A most people think of preaching as delivering a message before a public audience however this is not what the passage is referring to there are 2 primary Greek words translated preach in the New Testament this passage uses the word Caruso which means to proclaim or tell. The other word is you on the leaves Oh that's where we get evangelist and evangelism etc from which simply means to bring or tell glad tidings in fact none of the Greek words used for preach in the New Testament refer exclusively or even primarily to public servants So let's look at something else in the book of Acts Chapter 8 if you've ever been a witness in training You've probably looked at Acts Chapter 8 but I can tell you as a young man in my mid twenty's when I 1st learned what I'm about to share with you I just was so revolutionary to me I had never I mean a grown up a Christian I've gone to church I just had them study for myself reading for myself so I have a concept that so many people have that all the apostles are the ones who raised up the church they did all the preaching and and we just cheered him on and it was Pastor Louis Torres who had shared this passage the 1st time that I saw it the way I'm sharing it with you Stephen the 1st martyr has just been stoned to death Saul the persecutor was there holding his coat Chapter 8 verse one says No Saul was consenting to his death at that time a great persecution a rose against the church which was at Jerusalem I could just make it feel like I can't go past this without making a note that Stephen never saw the fruit of his labor sometimes we feel like our labor isn't doing any good I wonder what Stephen is going to think when he realizes that his witness for Christ turned Saul the persecutor into the apostle Paul and how many people one of the kingdom that would never have been one pope can't take credit for that Stephen takes more credit than Paul but ultimately the Lord gets the credit you know that but you get what I'm saying. So says. They were scattered all through the me back up again Saul was consenting to his death at that time a great persecution or rose against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all was scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria except to except the apostles a citizen development carried Stephen to his burial made great imitation over him as for Saul he made havoc of the church entering every house and dragging off men and women committing them to prison and don't miss verse for his forces there for those who are was when everywhere was preaching the word. Who does the Bible say was scattered in verse one every one except 2 now I told you I mean my understanding was it was the Apostles who raised up the church the Apostles the ones went preaching now I come to this verse and it tells me everybody except the Apostles Now this doesn't mean the Apostles were preaching somewhere but what this tells us is as a lay people were scattered they all went preaching it was it at a pulpit it's that word they were sharing their faith and who was it who share their faith was a Say again and a few of those who were scattered. Everyone who was scattered You don't have just a few people who had that special gift the church every member is out virtually sharing the truth in some way Now what's interesting is where we pick up on this crowd later and I want to understand something. You know you go to the early church you have the in the book of Acts you have Pentecost you have the outpouring I want to say that for a little bit of time let's go let's look at something else so here it were X. 8 we see those scatter they go over pretty sure what happens to them Well we're going to pick up on them again in Acts Chapter 11 we go through the conversion of Saul. We goes Saul escaping Damascus we go to Cornelius and his household and then we come to chat Acts chapter 11 verse 19 Bible says in verse 19 X. 11 of those who were what scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen So there's no question this is the group we just read about I see most don't Paul was there and then you know the the they were scattered and those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word now here they are those who are scattered after the persecution the rows over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia Cyprus in Antioch preaching the word to no one but the Jews only but some of them were men from Cyprus and Sirene who when they had come to Antioch spoke to the Helen this is the Greek speaking Jews preaching the Lord Jesus and the hand of the Lord was with them and what a great number believe in turn do or we don't have any Apostles here yet this is you there's no pastors here yet there's no conference officials here yet it's you guys and you're going everywhere and you're preaching or what's happening multitude the church is growing leaps and bounds the Bible says they went as far as Antioch a many believe in turn to the Lord and verse 22 says the news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem and they did what they sent out the person 1st apostle right and sent out the 1st pastor they sent of the 1st conference leader this is the lay people the church is growing there is so much happening because of what the church members are doing their word gets back to Jerusalem and don't miss this the leadership of the church sends a representative to aid the laypeople in their work. Not to send somebody to the lay people can stand around and ask about how to work today everything is top down so when the conference gets here they'll tell us what to do that's not what we see here we see the church members they know what to do they're sharing Christ and when the word gets back to Jerusalem is like Barnabas go check that out report to us and we'll give them what they need and then the church resources the laypeople the local church the pastor is supposed to help to give everything the lay people need to do their work as Cameron was saying this morning you know and then we like local church officers that exist to help the members in their work these That's how it was so it says that they go Paul or earth the elders in Jerusalem they send Barnabas L. says in verse 23 when he came and had seen the grace of God He was glad and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord for he was a good man full of the Holy Spirit of Faith and a great many people were added to the Lord now you got Barnabas the Apostle and the people working together says then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek who. OK So things are still going great the church is still growing so he goes to get Saul last poll and says hey you got to come and check this out we need you over years you got to see what the church members are doing in verse 26 and when he had found him he brought him dance Iacke So it was a pro whole year they assemble with the church and taught a great many people on the disciples were 1st told Christians and you got the rest of the story. I mean why would you call him Christian after all that man you got to see what these guys are doing Barnabas God that is incredibly worse together every year go gets all they come back in the church is growing and all they're doing everyone not just Paul and Barnabas are preaching Christ no wonder they call them Christ Ian in Antioch witnessing is not the spiritual gift for a select few It's the work that the Lord has called us all to do one more passage on a look at I don't wanna lie to you here Name me another one let's just let's go 1st Estonians one Yeah I do think I'm a stop here though process Loney as one fascinating passage is going to have a lot more meaning after what we just read 1st as the news chapter one of course Paul's writing to the church in Thessalonica Thessalonians chapter one verse Thessalonians and starting with well just look at will go ahead and look at verse 8 the apostle says to this church for from you the what. The word of the Lord has sounded forth not only in Macedonia and Acadia but also one in every place your faith toward God has gone out so that we the apostles do not need to us. And that means they are there like look you guys have done it all we're here praise God we're just here to encourage and pray with you you guys are doing the work you've already given the message and so when we look at the early church we see that God's calling on the early church and the reason it was so powerful in its growth was because the church members were preaching the word that was how God ordained it to be. And you think about the I mean the whole We'll talk about the structure later this week but like I said we've got it upside down we wait for everything to come from the top but in the early church mission drove administration and not the other way around you think about you think about Pentecost OK how many people in the Upper Room 120 how many people do you have in your local anybody have a church of about a 100 people OK so you've got an equivalent so you begin praying and the Lord pours out the Holy Spirit in the course of the day was 3000 join the church make this local right to review your 2020 and that 120 so you've got 220 in your local church ever take Ukraine you get 3000 Incidentally those numbers count the men on the women and children OK but let's just stick it at 3000 what are you going to do with 3000 people at 7000 where are you going to put them where you can have how many 7 schoolteachers you can where your classroom is going to hold these people what about the parking lot suddenly you've got big issues right there good problems to have right but now notice somebody needs to do something in ministry to flee in response to what has just happened on the mission front and that's what I mean when I say Mission drove administration they had to come up with who's going to be deacons who are going to be elders who are going to do this and that because while we've got so many people we can't take care of deposit we can't take a fair bit we've got to make beacons right we've got to do this and do that the structure of the church came about because of the mission of the church but today we sit around and we wait and see if leadership is going to tell us what to do is backwards it's upside down. And the Lord is turning it around not one stone is going to be left upon another we need to recapture that early missionary spirit and Guy By God's grace listen we're all here today because the Lord Jesus says it's time and I'm ready to do this thing are you ready to have it done with you in you through you are you ready. Let's pray together Help us Lord in the Lord we thank you so much that you have called us and qualified us and empowered us that we may be witnesses for you now Lord I pray as we go to lunch perhaps other seminars this afternoon as we ponder on what we have learned here this morning May the spirit of God strongly convect and hold that conviction close to our hearts Lord that there is a great work that has yet to be done and we have not been expecting as much from you as we should. You want us to ask for more because you want to do so much more Lord we live in that age that time a verse history where we have the privilege if a throw of seeing Jesus come in the clouds of glory and Lord not only that we would see him come but that there are those in our circle of influence who may be ready when he comes because we were willing to say here I am Lord send me so Lord we ask. For the empowerment of your Holy Spirit for his transforming power you have told us that when he comes upon us we will be witnesses unto you we claim that promise we thank you for hearing and answering in the name of Jesus and for his image. To this media was brought to you by audio post a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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