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5. As a Witness

Mark Howard


Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism




  • June 17, 2018
    9:30 AM
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Father Heaven Father we are again thankful to be here Lord we believe your promises I probably should say help our unbelief sometimes we waver. But Lord we hear what you're telling us your claim upon our life your call to us to be your disciples to be your witnesses or we're looking to you for strength for wisdom for guidance and we believe that you hear an answer and we thank you for that for we prayed in the name of Jesus Father we want to see his name glorified and His Kingdom uplifted and established we look and long so much Lord for the soon coming of Jesus and when we can be for ever with the Lord now God is in the remainder of our class today give us ears to hear hearts to respond Lord keep us attentive we ask pray this in Jesus name him. OK so I know some people are watching the stream and I'm glad you're joining us I want to thank you guys here. For staying with it it's been a long day but a lot of important stuff and somebody asked me this question during the break we read this statement where it says not even once should we think of failure which is it's it appears to be contradicted because the next statement said if we fail 99 times so let me put this in context with the question that was also asked me somebody said you know we shouldn't think of failure but what happens when we do fail for example giving a Bible study to some people are having a group study we come to the Sabbath and after the Sabbath they bail out they say we don't want to study more question Is that a failure I'm going to tell you something we are very poor judges of success. I can't even begin to tell you because I don't know I do know several cases but they're I don't know how many I don't know of people who have come to Christ because of a failure all give you one example that I've told before to some of my students and that is how many of you know Dr Fred Harding with the General Conference Dr Harding comes from a family of Hartings DR MERVYN Harding Dr Leslie Harding who have worked in Dr Leslie Harding was a theologian in our church has passed away now Mervyn Harding worked in in the medical field Dr Fred Harding is works in the health and temperance department of our I don't know what his official title title is of the G.C.. Hit It's interesting how his family came to the church there was a young girl who is Maggie booking you know what I mean by that selling the door to door books and you know you have the message books and you have the cook books and she's going to go door to door selling books she came to the house of the older Hartings the mother and father of well I don't know if the relation between Leslie and Merv and the parents of some of them and then you know trickle down to kind of get the idea because the rest are in the church didn't start that way Mr or Mrs Harding were not Christian they were living in Calcutta India girl goes by selling the mag of books now in India a lot of people are vegetarian and the older Harding's had decided that they were going to try at least Mrs Harding that she wanted to maybe go that way venture into vegetarianism but she wasn't sure where to start now that's a little backstory so this girl knocks on the door with the books and when Mrs Harding comes at the door she is very rude with the girl just let her have it you know the kind of experience that you really dread the most if you're going door to door like I sure hope I don't have one of those it was one of those slams the door in the girl's face and so she makes her way on down you know you get someone acclimated to that as you go door to door but Mrs Harding was bothered. And that girl went away and her door was slammed and she slammed it and she was thinking about it she thought to herself I don't ever treat people like that I don't ever treat people that rude Why did I do that and it's so bothered her that she felt she needed to go find the girl and apologize so she went out of the house went down through the streets and looks searched up and down until she found that girl and she went up to her and she says I'm so sorry for how I acted back there I don't ever do that I don't know what came over me what do you have in your bag so the girl begins showing her the books and she comes to the cookbooks vegetarian cookbooks and she said you know my husband and I've been trying to go vegetarian but I just don't know where to start the girls with this book has a great recipes and I can come by and help you out. So they arranged the appointment and the girl went and started going over and helping her cook and then they got into studies and then the older Hartings became members of the church and it produced a family of Hartings all from a slammed all from a failure. That's one of many stories I could tell you about the parent failures that were not failures at all so when we use the word failure we have to be careful how we use it because there are no failures when you witness for Christ the Lord uses what you do and sometimes maybe it's exclusively for them and sometimes it's exclusively for you maybe that experience that you went through P. It's up to people to accept or reject their people you're going to share the truth with now it's seed that sown and don't miss this point there's something that we have talked about as 7 the evidence that we call the lettering we talk about and the reason we talk about we talk about evangelism and so winning in the context of of planting and harvesting right and we do that because that's what Jesus the how Jesus talked about the latter rain in Scripture is the harvest rain. That's what it is the early rain was the stuff with the rain would come after planting but the latter rang with the rain that and was needed to bring the crop to harvest prior to the Latter Rain you didn't have a harvest in the spiritual realm keep this in mind there's been a lot of seeds planted by God's people and cultivated but we have not had the harvest rain yet and you can't criticize the harvest before the harvest rain has come and we will all be shocked at how what kind of harvest there's going to be so there may be somebody that you thought rejected the truth completely I was just we're just talking this morning there was somebody they highlighted I wasn't here so I don't remember who it was one of the people highlighted platform the other night they came to a series of meetings Pat Pastor Dan towers meeting some 2006 was the 1st contact they had I mean so don't be careful how you judge what you judge is failure by the sit in the morning so you see it in the evening with not your whole do not withhold your hand for you don't know which will prosper this or that or whether both alike will be good God will bring the harvest he promises to bring the harvest you do your part in the the results with him and that's what that statement was trying to say. Don't conjecture as to success it may look like the all your to you but it doesn't look like failure to the Lord of Lords not done with it yet there are people get mad they'll stop up and down no throw things out yell at you that could be all the best news in the world it might be the 1st thing that shook them up to actually start thinking about where their head and I'm not tell you to go make people mad and just. Don't get discourage out of Seoul winning Let me show you a passage here I don't know that. Will go over another time this week it may come up but it just is something I feel like I had to go over now. When I used to go over in fact I think I probably would have gone over keys to success but let's look at Gil it Galatians chapter 6 Now this is talking about the harvest of character but it works well for the harvest of souls 2 and you see what I mean in a minute Galatians chapter 6 verse 9 the great verse is a whole lot in this little verse glacier in 6 and verse 9 Bible says let us not grow weary while doing good why do you tell somebody not to grow weary doing something let me ask this way if you are going to a vacation in the Florida Keys you think it would mean I don't know maybe that event appealing to you it sure sounds appealing to me not right now necessarily but not during hurricane season so let me change that if you're going to vacation to a place that you really want to go maybe it's us with elves I don't know where it is you think it's fitting for something I say boy I hope you don't get worn out doing that. I mean is that really something you usually think about are you thinking Boy I'm going to get worn out on vacation Probably not if you're going to go do something you like you're looking forward to doing you know we're getting we're growing weary is usually doing something that tends to make you weary tends to make you discouraged Now the reason I say that is the 1st thing the apostle says is don't grow weary in doing good in the context is already telling us what I'm cat what he's saying this to us what I'm about to tell you about is something people can get really doing something something people can get overwhelmed with don't grow let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall What repeat if we do not faint or lose heart that says the New King James now we're talking about harvesting and reaping. Is it something is so winning something that you can get discouraged that if it wasn't why would he be telling us not to lose heart if it wasn't something that you could get weary of doing why would he be warning us this way now the words he's telling us that so winning is work when you're going out to get a harvest there's work involved but don't let it get you down he says let us not grow weary for in what now I like to ask this question do you do season can be a lot of times but there's one time when that due season is not going to be as one time that due season will not be ever and when is it no when I say Do season I say you know in due season it's going to happen when I'm I'm not talking about right now right now well OK the past yeah it's not going to happen the past either if it hasn't happened yet but do season is not now I know why my bringing it up because what we're witnessing When do we want to see results right now does the Apostle say in due season we might read no we will read this going to be a harvest don't get discouraged by it don't grow weary in doing good keep at it in due season we will reap it may not be now is not may not be in your timing but it will be in God's time right in due season it's going to happen it's not going to happen now but it's going to happen in time I can tell that's so important for us to get because we know why we get discouraged and incidentally we're not done yet because he goes on to say and do season you will NOT might you will reap what there is and if if we don't lose heart and what's another way of saying lose heart get discouraged right listen to me the devil knows it don't miss this the devil knows it better than any of us that the way he is going to get this over on you the way the only way he can defeat us when it comes to our witnessing is to get you discouraged. The only way he can get you out of the Christian life is to get discouraged look if you stay at it you it's what he's defeated it's done if you keep out of the Apostle says you're going to have a harvest it will come there's only one way it won't come if he can discourage you and he discourages us because our expectations are wrong right we want it now we say oh well I would have give this Bible study and I didn't join the Church I gave his Bible say they didn't come to church I gave a Bible study and now they're not I don't know where they are they said they don't want to see me anymore OK maybe you sowed in another was going to water and another was going to harvest it but don't get discouraged and here I'm saying your Bible saying that's the council that the Bible is giving us have faith in the Lord again it's his work he's not going to let you mess it up you're going to let me mess it up he's not going to do it and in a strange sort of way in this great controversy theme that we're in you know the devil's looking for anything to call God out on if there's anything God does wrong the Devils are ready to say look you could have saved this person and you didn't look in the great controversy as came the great controversy that's his whole argument is God is not as loving as he makes himself out to be I'm going to tell you that if he could in any instance say God you could have done more to say that person and you didn't heed when the day you think he's going to let that happen you think the Lord can let that happen or if you wouldn't use Janice you would use somebody else like an angel you would reach that person if that were true then the devil would have a good reason to throw back at God he's going to have no it's not about to happen so don't let the devil tell you that oh it's just because he used me and I messed it up these are going to mess it up he's not going to let you mess it up you know sometimes the Lord I hate to say this but he does this he sometimes the Lord sends us to and sometimes the people God brings into our churches or the boat I call him the bulletproof people. I mean. You know they come into our church you know you never have people come you never look at your church in the way sometimes the people in church treat the new people and they like lured What did I do to bring them into this church right you know what I'm talking about or is this just me I hope you know what I'm talking about a little bit I'm even more scared because the reality is not all the same street new members nice and you think if I was that new member I would never stay but God brings the pole the bulletproof people in they just they can they can weather it they go through craziness and they stay in the church and I praise God and they put up with some of our poor witnessing skills right and so I mean I mean you go and you're like I put my foot in my mouth as somehow they still stayed somehow either God made that person bow approve or he just held their ears like this when you were beautiful or when I was being a fool right I mean that's because he already knew it would happen my point is that Lord is not going to let his great plan of salvation fail because of us he would have asked you to do something for him like this if he didn't know that you could be trusted and that's awesome I want to finish up with just a couple thoughts you know we read in Acts Chapter one Verse 8 that Jesus said You shall be witnesses on to me our theme this week it can't meaning is as a witness what is a witness what's the 1st qualification of a witness. You've got a car accident you've got to know what happened and so you call on a witness somebody needs to testify in court of what happened who you calling. You've got somebody gets up there on the bench and they begin asking him the questions so what did you see I. See Well actually I really I really didn't well kind of my view was there actually I was getting ice cream over here and I what I didn't actually see well what did you hear. Well here's the thing I have my headphones in and I really have a music turned up and I really didn't hear anything I mean what kind of witness is that so what is the qualification What are you looking for somebody has to have a 1st person experience you saw it you heard it somehow you got that 1st person experience that is the let me ask you this a person sees the accident he gets into the onto the witness stand the judge says Do you have a doctorate degree. Do you have your theology degree you come from a wealthy family does he care you know what is the one qualification firsthand experience what's Christ qualification for you because he talked we're still talking qualifications a little bit here what's his qualification what was a qualification qualification for the demoniac How could he send the demoniac out to witness for him because he had a 1st hand experience with Christ that is the qualification to be a witness for Jesus let's look at the Bible examples here 1st John 11 through 4 love this passage John. John establish him as stablish is himself as a witness here 1st John chapter one for someone starting in verse one. Bible says that which was from the beginning which we have heard which we have seen with their our eyes which we have looked upon in our hands have handled concerning the World word Capitol dome of W. of life he's talking about Christ what's the very 1st thing he says repeatedly in that verse. I'm a witness I've I have a 1st hand experience we who are testifying of Jesus we are witnesses we have a 1st hand experience we've seen him we've looked upon him we touched him verse to the life was manifested and we have seen him bear witness and declare to you that eternal life which was with the father and was manifested to us that which we have. You are you picking up a pattern here that which we have seen and heard we declare to you what was John what was his occupation before he became a disciple of Christ is an educated fisherman What does qualification here look I've seen him I was there it's not a fairy tale and you got understand the time 1st John that the epistles of John were written people were questioning whether this all really happened in a time and gone on some of the many of the possible been put to death back maybe all of this point in time John's witnessing and saying look I was there I'm giving you 1st hand experience once you go Psalm 51 with me not to look at all that I have some other passages like the shepherds when they saw the angels come down at the birth of Christ when told what the Bible says what they had heard and seen were going to tell some 51 David some of repentance so much you know what he says here Psalm 51 looking at verse 12 notice what David says after this experience with best Sheba is repentance and then he says in verse 12 restore to me the what the joy of your salvation and uphold me by your generous spirit then I will teach transgressions your ways and sinners shall be converted to you restore my experience with you Lord and then all be an effective witness our experience with Christ our personal encounter is our qualification to witness for him what he has done in our life I have X. Fords listed here and in under number 5. On page one page 17 by the way that I'm just kind of going down the list of some Bible examples under letter B. number 5 when Peter and John were commanded not to stop not to should say not to speak in the name of Jesus or to stop speaking in the name of Jesus they responded we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard so you've got that firsthand experience seeing and hearing that is the qualification that the Lord is looking for in you if you look at the quote there from desire of ages page 340 toward the bottom of the page there Ellen White quotes John 1st John 11 through 3 were we are just reading or John says what we've seen her we testify you she says as witnesses for Christ we are to tell what we know. Notice what it doesn't say doesn't say we're to tell what we don't know we're don't not to tell we don't have any idea of God not call asking you to tell what you don't know he's not worried that you answer every question is how everything we are to tell what we know what we ourselves has seen and heard and felt if we have been following Jesus step by step we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way in which he has led us we can tell how we have tested his promise and found the promise true we can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ notice the next in the bold face this is the witness for which our Lord calls and for want of which the world is what perishing the greatest witness we have is to tell of what Jesus has done in our lives how he is transformed how he has and is transforming our lives sometimes we talk about that as our testimony just so you understand I sharing how you came to Christ can be very powerful but your testimony isn't only how you came to Christ. There are things Christ does for us all the time they're ways that he lifts our spirits and encourages us and we when we tell those things what that does is it helps people to realize that God really isn't just something out of a book it's like I want to believe he's just in the book I want to believe he's not real but here's this person who talks to me like he is as real as anything we see there's power in that it brings everything in the scripture to life and so the Lord is we're looking for people to do what we call personal work in a personal ministries the reason we call it that personal Ministries is not something your church does or you wear that how many person ministries leaders in here. All right a minute handful of you personal Ministries is not it's personal the person ministries leader isn't just to plan projects I mean there are things that we can do in the church but we call that corporate That's the church as a whole but personal ministry is that thing that we're each individually called to do because we're followers of Jesus have had people say my church isn't doing anything OK that's fine that doesn't mean you can't do anything you're still a disciple of Jesus and that's the witness above all witnesses that the Lord is calling for don't ever feel it you can't do anything and we talk this morning about how one person who goes about and takes what they have and tells what they know you'll inspire other people in the Lord will grow that army of workers I just want to look at a couple of the things in this handout. Top of Page 18 we're going to look at 2 more quotes as a bunch of good ones here but I'm just maybe a look at 3. Top of Page 18 this is the death of the missionary spirit you see that go down the quote just below that from ministry of healing under letter in a. Says everywhere there's a tendency to see that everywhere there is a tendency to substitute the work of what organizations that includes the church the church is an organization the work of organizations for what individual effort human wisdom tends to consolidation to centralization to the building up of great churches and institutions multitudes leave to institutions and organizations the work of benevolence right we see somebody who's in need and we say all I gave to that charity organization I'll let them take care of it they excuse themselves from contact with the world and their hearts grow cold they become self-absorbed and an impressible love for God and man dies out of the soul that's what happens when we aren't actively involved in soul winning the statement in the book education says acquaintance it is acquaintance that awaken sympathy and sympathy as a spring of effective ministry you can sympathy for somebody you don't know acquaintance awaken sympathy when you're pulling away from any individual effort you're always giving to some organization and letting them handle it your heart grows cold the suit is talking about love for God and man dies out of the soul Christ commits to his followers an individual work a work that cannot be done by proxy can't put somebody else in charge of IT ministry to the sick and the poor the giving of the Gospel to the lost is not to be left to committees or organized charities individual responsibility individual effort personal sacrifice is the what of the requirements of the Gospel and that quote from education I actually have it I didn't notice I have it right there in the middle the pages acquaints awaken sympathy I want you to go to the next quote there on. Under the revival of personal work is a lot of good ones here that I'm not going to go through they're all talking very similar about the need for revival among God's people of that personal touch where we're sharing Christ just as the demoniacs did just as as his disciples did when he sent them out. Actually when to go to the bottom of the page the very bottom quote says your work may accomplish more real good than the more extensive meetings talking a big evangelist it means if they the meetings lacking what kind of effort personal effort when both are combined with the blessing of God a more perfect and thorough work may be wrought but if we had can have but one part done let it be the big meetings. And what do we do well we don't have time for everything let's just do a big meaning a personal work is lacking but this says if we're going to do one part let it be the individual labor of opening the scriptures in households making personal peels and talking familiarly with the members of the family not about things of little importance but rather great themes of redemption let them see that your heart is burdened for the salvation of souls when I go to one more topic next page we're going to finish with this one from the book Gospel workers page 103 it says To all who are working with Christ how many is that all of us here today Amen to all who are working with Christ I would say where ever you can gain access to people by the fireside that's just a way of saying you know in her day that was where you would be social with people that's it's like the East have the front porches we don't even have those anymore we have stoops right he said reports of people said on the port now they sit in front of the T.V. So you know the front step became hard they stand on it anyway there used to be this is what you talk about as coming to the social places with people. Wherever you can gain access to the people by the fireside in a social net personal setting improve your opportunity take your Bible and open before them its great trues your success will not depend so much upon your knowledge and accomplishments as upon your ability to find your way to the heart and how do you do that goes on by being social and coming close to the people you may turn the current of the thoughts more readily than by Mark Finley's best sermon I just put that in there but that's witnessing the most stable discourse right Doug dancers best or are you going to hear this no you have more ability than then that great speaker to turn the current of the thoughts the presentation of Christ in the family by the fireside in small gatherings in private houses is often more successful in winning souls to Jesus than our sermons delivered in the open air to the moving through wrong or even holes in churches or friends the Lord has brought you here he is going to do something mighty through you and winning souls to his kingdom and there will be as long as you do not lose heart even this week he's coming. There will be souls in the kingdom of God because you said here I am Lord send me a man let's pray Father in heaven we just thank you so much. For your promises we thank you for the testimonies given here by the servant of the Lord we thank you for the testimonies of scripture Lord we thank you for those who are willing to go before us people who are weak and flawed just like we are but they trusted in you and we have their examples in the pages of scripture as people whose lives were transformed and who won souls to your kingdom now we pray as you are no respecter of persons you will do the same to each one of us bless us here today now as we go to our supper and throughout the evening May our hearts be stirred by the messages we hear and more bring us back here in the morning ready to learn again and to be trained and equipped that we may be effective in winning souls to your kingdom we ask and pray all of this in the name of Jesus for His see in. This media was brought to you by audio 1st 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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