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Logo of 2018 Michigan Camp Meeting: As a Witness, Matthew 24:14

8. Friendship Evangelism, Part 2

Marshall McKenzie

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 17, 2018
    4:00 PM
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OK Here we go now where we are at just to let you know in the book is we are on week 6 OK So we're dealing with Week 6 which is friendship evangelism part 2 cave friendship evangelism part 2 and we're really going to kind of get into the testimony a little bit so that you can kind you know the goal is to get to the place where we're talking about religion and at that point is where your testimony really is is important because it makes a connection this is not just some theoretical truth OK but this is truth that has impacted you OK So in other words when I'm talking about the word of your testimony you know I encourage people when you do Bible studies and we're going to get into giving Bible studies when you study the Bible for yourself I encourage you to read a chapter 7 times at least before you move on to the next chapter because the 1st time you read it 1st 2 times it's going in one ear and out the other because you have so many other things on your mind but by the 3rd and 4th time where you're really starting a saw down and you're really zeroing in just right on that chapter that you're reading that you start asking questions like who what where when like Lord why are you doing this and now you're actually praying through your Bible study time OK And what happens is that now your ideas come in conflict with God's ideas and that's where true surrender is met a lot of people say you need to surrender you need to surrender well defined that forming surrender is when your ideas come in conflict with God's ideas and you need to decide which ideas you want to live by OK if you come out of your Bible study like that that's true Bible study. If you've never reached a point of conflict in your Bible study you're not studying the Bible it's OK that affects your testimony because now when you share like what I'm sharing Luke Chapter 2 that's right out of my experience that's not just Jesus saying this All that sounds really good horror Ray and I walk out and never use it never understand what he's trying to do but I take that and I apply it now it affects my life and now when I talk to people I'm literally when you're talking to me I'm listening for a key and then I'm thinking based on what you're saying I'm like Lord What question do I need to ask OK because I want to end this conversation where they have hope they're encouraged and they make a decision every single time OK so let's get in the testimony a little bit OK we went over these things it says this is the verse we were looking at book there it is that we had a kind of ended with says they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony Please do not forget the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death friends only the word can get you to the place where you're not going to live your life and you're willing to sacrifice it because Jesus did the exact same thing. OK the word but I'll let the quizzes go around OK the word of their testimony they love not their lives to the death it's the word that gets them to this place and I want you to notice a patches you have your Bibles are going to turn 1st John 1st John chapter one verses one through 4 OK 1st John chapter one verse 134 I love you know when I was reading through the gospels when I was in India and I'm telling you this while you're going there in your Bible. It came to life saw I mean for 8 months Matthew Mark Luke John Matthew it was like I was now in the story and what was happening to this person it was like it was happening to me he was feeling this when he was doing this and I was like oh my lord this is incredible and this is why I'm sharing this passage with you it's an increase in it's in your book it's Notice it says John says that which was oh by the way can I ever read or I need to start reading all the time I want to include you so is there somebody willing to read 1st John 104 before OK now go back to verse one for a minute I want you to digest this for a 2nd he says that which was from the beginning which we have heard would notice which we have what her which we have with our eyes which we have looked upon and our hands have handled concerning Jesus those that were there that what it says says the word of life why would John write the word rather than Jesus because He is now follow what you're saying because it's right in other words John writes it this way because we can have the exact same experience that he had OK when you have the word and you are in the word you are looking upon you are handling It's like you're there handling with your hands you're so invested OK that the same things happening to you that's happening to them so he says the Word of Life Ok Jesus being the word we can have that same personal experience with scripture with Jesus that they had OK And that's important to grasp because that's what comes through your testimony a testimony that is by the word that comes clearly out. And that's what people want to grab ahold of it's not you and your life it's the word that's leading your life that they want and that they want to grab ahold of so we need to do that that's why I'm telling Bible study you want to be able to hand you can't handle in 3 minutes you can't just look upon in 3 minutes OK And when you read something 7 times you know somebody came up to me and there's no magic number to 7 but somebody came up as a marshal would you mentor me in Assad love to I said let's start reading the book of Acts he's like really as a yes and he going to read every chapter 7 times he said what I said this is how we're going to start and it's amazing what's going on you know I had somebody when I just was doing my practicum working as a Grants Pass 7 they have an ostrich and I was studying this where I learned this in India OK here's what I was doing in India and um and I remember having a conversation with the couple that I was staying with Chuck. And all to Austin I was staying with Chuck and alter and Chuck and I would have these discussions and his wife was like How do you get there I don't even know how you guys are having these years ago we're talking about different bible passages and get in on how did you even get there and I told her I said listen read a chapter just try this start with the book of John just read a chapter 7 times before you move on to the next chapter she's like why and I explained this as she did this it was incredible as she started doing this she I said and by the way have a notepad next to you and a pen and paper because you will start writing because you'll get to that place and so she started doing this she filled 7 pages the 1st time she called me from work and said you wouldn't believe what I found out guess what she sharing her testimony. You would believe and she goes through and she showed me the pages all the connections and and different things that and at the end of my time it was so encouraging to me because she said you know I've been in the church for 30 years and I'm learning to study the Bible for the 1st time the word of their testimony so John says they handle the Word of Life Ok so that's why we read in John in the beginning was the Word and the Word was WITH God in the Word was God he was in the beginning with God all things were made through Him and without him nothing was made that was made NO want to go on notice in Him was life and the life was the light of men and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it now I want you to notice this there was a man sent from God Who do we shift we're talking about Jesus than all the Son it shifts to John the Baptist no notice this this man came for a witness to what bear witness do you know what that saying he came who came for a witness to bear witness John was there to speak about Christ but he couldn't unless he was 1st a witness then he could bear witness OK So in saying I need to be before I can bear OK so our time in the word affects our testimony so that we can bear OK witness of the light so we have to be a witness OK to that light that all through him might believe notice what happens when those 2 things come together all through him might well that's what you want isn't it you want people to believe your testimony. You want people to believe you you want people to believe in Jesus that what you're saying is true OK so we come for a witness to bear witness of the light that all through him I believe he was not a lie just like we're in a but was sent to bear witness of that light and. Notice from desire of ages our confession of his faithfulness is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world get this our confession of what his faithfulness OK our confession of our faithfulness you know our confession of his faithfulness is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world we are to acknowledge his grace as made known through the holy men of all but that which will be most effectual in the testimony of our own experience but it's our experience with whom with the word with Christ. This is what forms our confession OK She goes on we are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine every individual has a life distinct from all others and an experience differing essentially from theirs God desires that our praise shall ascend to him mark of our own individuality these precious acknowledgment is the praise and the glory of His grace when supported by a Christ like life have an irresistible power that works for the A Salvation of Souls and a what and irresistible power OK And notice our testimonies differ but what is same is it's according to the Word of God But they're still individual OK They're still individual in relationship to how God is working with us OK as we're studying His Word notice Matthew Chapter 10 verse 32 and 33 Whoever confesses me before men confesses hoop me before men him I will confess before my father who is in heaven but Whoever denies me before men him I also will deny before my father who is in heaven you know many times and I and when I 1st became a 7th Day Adventist and I was trying to share my testimony I would always tend to focus on the bad things like somehow that's going to help you like oh I went through this hard time or I had this struggle oh I didn't used to do this you know we do that with teenagers sometimes we got to relate to you so let me tell you all the bad stuff. OK And we tend to kind of focus there now don't get me wrong we'll talk about you know our past briefly is important but not so much as it is in relationship to our coming to Christ what Christ is doing in our lives and what he longs to do and this should be the bulk of our testimony OK when we're sharing it and this is why when you're having religious discussions you can sprinkle your testimony even throughout that discussion because it's focused on a confession of Him not of me you know it's interesting notice with me in Hebrews I want to take you to a verse that's not in your book nor in this presentation but I want to take it to Hebrews and want you to look at something this is this hit me really hard. Hebrews chapter 11 again and I want you to notice verse 15 we read earlier this verse about how they all died in faith and how they confessed the promises they embraced the promises and they confessed they were strangers in pogroms Now notice verse 15 this is an interesting verse that scout straight in the middle here do you know what that saying take a stab at it now your past is important in the fact of where Christ has brought you from but this verse is saying when Abraham was taken out of the land of Earth OK if he would have fought back to Earth or God says there is an opportunity to return to it children of Israel leaving Egypt what did they think about the fleshpots of Egypt and what did they want to go back to they want to go back to Egypt if you tell your testimony and what you focus on mostly is the past you're opening up the opportunity for yourself to go back there OK because we are moving which direction forward. OK So the thing is is that you're right our past is important but not all that bad stuff OK So the thing is there's a crisis think about it right Lot and his wife leave and she looks back because in her mind see what it says Be mindful of that word there is to exercise memory over so even in a quote Godly way you can exercise too much your memory over the past that you forget about the confession of Him and what he's doing yeah and the thing the thing is is that I wouldn't even my test you know here's the thing if you were to ask me Marshall what your testimony I want to focus on what it is now more than that don't get me wrong and we'll get into this in just a little bit then it is later and even now when I look back I don't even recognize that person I mean literally if you were looking at my wife and I She was homeschooled all our life she read the conflict of the ages series by the time she was you know 12 years old just totally different I was my parents were divorced I was into drugs I did all we had totally 2 different paths but God brought us together and we have a common future OK And so and so this is the thing it's not and that's what we're talking about they overcame him by the word of their testimony OK so it's so vital to to know that listen don't open up opportunities to return to what God is calling you out of how can you call somebody out of where you constantly are sitting you can't there's a conflict this is why James as a double minded man is unstable in all those ways OK So you want to continue to grow in Christ and you sprinkle that testimony OK throughout your friendship evangelism and your work OK. Matter of fact Paul did this matter of fact let's go to Romans really quick and then we'll come back here to Paul's testimony really quick OK Paul we do this often Paul tells us testimony quite a bit he sprinkles it throughout you know his his apostles but if you go with me to Romans this just is just one example OK Romans Chapter 7 will come to X. in just a minute sorry I put that up on the screen a little too soon but Romans Chapter 7 Romans Chapter 7 and notice here verse 24 and 25 he says all wrench of man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death verse 24 and then what does he say I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord so then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God but with my flesh the law of sin and Pete is talking a little bit about you know that experience OK Oh wretched man that I am that's the past there and wretched man that I was but who shall save me from the body of death and then his focus which is 2 to Jesus Christ OK And Paul's always going they're always going there that's why he says I preach Christ and Him crucified OK And so now let's look at Paul's testimony this is where in Acts Chapter 26 where he actually kind of gives us more of his testimony in kind of an order and it's helpful OK So this is a long passage. Whoa and I have 5 minutes. So would you bear with me if we go a couple minutes past. So acceptor 26 and and I'm going to read this I would love to have others read it I'm just going to kind of go through it quickly OK and then we'll go through what he does here it says verse 4 he says my manner of life from my youth. Which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem all the Jews know so I don't really need you know all the Jews No don't need to get in all the specific they knew me from the 1st if they were willing to testify that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a fair sea now by the way he's doing this in front of King Agrippa he's got an opportunity to reach the king OK And now I stand and I'm judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers now is shifting right away to this promise our 12 tribes earnestly serve God night and day hope to attain for this hope see King Agrippa I am accused by the Jews why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead indeed I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth is kind of going back and forth this I also did in Jerusalem and many of the saints I showed up in prison having received authority from the chief priests and when they put and were put to death I cast my vote against them and I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blast FIM and being exceedingly enraged against them I persecuted them even in the foreign cities while the US occupied as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priest at midday Oking along the road I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun shining around me and those who journeyed with me and when we all had fallen to the ground I heard a voice speaking and he goes now he's going through his testimony here of that time with Jesus and I am going to quickly forward here OK. Verse 18 to open their eyes in order to turn them from darkness to light he's talking about himself after that experience from the power of Satan to God that they may receive forgiveness of sins and and in in terror tense among those who are sanctified by faith in me therefore King or group I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision but declared 1st to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea and then to the Gentiles that they should repent turn to God and do works be fitting to repentance this is like he's calling out read this point for these reasons the Jew sees me in the temple and try to kill me therefore having obtained help from God To this day I stand witnessing both to small and great saying No other things than those which the prophets of Moses said would come that Christ would suffer and that he would be the 1st to rise from the dead and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles now as he thus made his defense Festus said with a loud voice Paul you are beside yourself much learning is driving you mad but he said I am not mad most noble Festus but speak the words of truth and reason for the king before whom I also speak freely knows these things for I am convinced that none of these things Xscape his attention since these things was not done in a corner so what you see from Paul are these things in this passage the testimony of Paulk readily divided into 3 sections he actually kind of spreads it out in kind of sprinkles in because he talks about Christ even early on OK and then kind of goes back and then goes back to his experience but you see these things his life before meeting Jesus his conversion experience and his life after his conversion and I would encourage you the focus needs to be more here than that life before Jesus. We don't want to open opportunities to return OK so you move through that quickly yes I was there. You know it's very interesting I have to tell a story when my wife and I were together and we're getting ready to be married and we're at that place we're committed to it her dad came up to me knowing the life that I lived in the past and he came up to me and he said Marshall how to talk to you about your past and I said you know I said my past was my past and I don't live there anymore but if you want to live there go for it. Because I wanted him to realize I don't live there anymore. OK we shouldn't live there anymore we're moving forward and literally that was were we great together our father in law. But it was like that understanding that he's moved on I don't need to be there either OK So anyway so here's your past what things are most important to you what did your life revolve around these are some of the things in the book Why were they so important what basic needs are you attempting to fulfill these general questions like I'm searching for this or I'm searching for that without all the detail how did you try to satisfy that need you want to be careful with that because then you can kind of get into realms you don't you know you don't want to go but you still want people to to grasp you're like OK I was there too when you when did you like how you found Jesus when did you 1st hear the message of Christ these are all in your book what was your reaction if you were raised in a Christian home when did it become your own personal experience was there a dark or trial you endure that brought you closer to Jesus I want to say some about this really quick you know people that have not had major transformations. Tend to hear these stories all the time because and they think man I have to have that to know that I'm with God Do you understand why I'm saying you don't I love testimonies where they didn't do all that stuff I'm like I'll listen to those all day long we more of those testimonies and less of sometimes the dramatic because people just think that but those are the ones that tend to get the attention OK but they shouldn't have the attention Jesus needs to have the attention OK he's the one not us it's not about us it's about him so you want to be careful with with those kind of things but sometimes you may have that OK How did Jesus specifically satisfy the and then your life now in Christ how does Jesus specifically satisfy the basic needs you had before you found him what changes have occurred in your life as a result and how do you you know that Christ is in your life OK So these are the things so we're looking at your past basically and I would say briefly get to Christ as fast as you can OK run to him OK all the time and how you found Jesus and then your life now in Christ you know I've had people come up to me and say Marshall I want what you have and it's certainly not the pastor talking about it's the future they're looking forward to OK and we need to be moving forward in Christ and by the way don't think of it now you're going to look at for like family occupation religion I have to go in that order it's like students with a canvas I learned this way I got to say it this way but the thing is we're giving you principles at different times you may be able to start a religious conversation and that's the 1st thing you talk about. You may start a family conversation but your goal is to get to that place alternately where they're deciding to live for Jesus they're deciding that they want a change too and they want heaven also and they want eternal life just as much as we do OK this is where this is where you alternately want to go we want to rejoice by the way let me see OK And again we want to always rejoice right people need to see it you know we're told Christians are the happiest people on the earth those are those that what make Christ 1st last best and everything OK and people need to see it rejoice in the Lord always again I will say Rejoice OK you are a link in the chain now this is a verse with me a 2nd Corinthians can someone read 2nd pretty chapter one verse 3 and 4 2nd printing in Chapter one Verse 3 and for a 2nd Pretty is $13.00 and $4.00 we are comforted therefore we were come for others OK We are a link in the chain Christ is not going to finish this work without us OK just as we go through our daily experiences and our relationship with Christ in His Word He takes senses Listen now as you've been comforted go forth and comfort others share with others pick them up OK encourage them to lose you can use Ok learn to tell what God has done not what you have done OK be humble to use terms people can understand imagine saying I have been washed by the blood of the Lamb OK to an atheist who has no exposure to Christianity he would picture rather gruesome sight. Talk in such a way that your listeners can relate don't use the admin a squeeze Shay's the you know the language we use among 7th Day Adventists I've said Maranatha before and people like what is that OK So we want to be able to communicate effectively consider using phrases like my life is so much more peaceful now I'm much more confident now that I'm not carrying all this guilt with me life is much more manageable when I remember that God has a plan for me Be realistic share how Christ enables you to walk through your problems rather than removing them from your life for Don't be critical of other people or churches your former church persuasion may not have been doctrine doctrinally correct but we must remember that we were once a part of them never glamorise sin this what we're talking about be very careful in giving details of evils of your past we've in Hebrews chapter 11 and Stead give details about the new life those stories of the past can help you relate never forget that Christ is and must be the center of your testimony his word is the center of your testimony if you're having an experience in that word daily then people will see that they're going to hear that because that's all you're going to talk about instead of dwelling on the trials and sacrifices dwell on the blessings and the rewards don't be too religious or preachy I run that habit sometimes. Rather sound conversational and use informal language identify your audience tailor your testimony to meet them it doesn't have to be long it can be based on what the conversation is you don't have a lot of time you want to pray by the way always be praying when you're talking with people what to share just how to share it. And don't feel you have to share everything build your testimony around the theme to something characteristic of your experience that is general interest or non christians success search for meaning and purpose dealing with tragedy you can do those things pretty quickly and finally here it says pray each day that God will make you aware of someone who needs to hear your testimony keep alert and he will show you the person I want to share one last story in closing there was a young man by the name of Eric now I had worked in a school called Miracle Meadows I was at Southern College I went to miracle Meadows as a counselor and I was there for a year and a half now I was growing I was just newly baptize I think about a year and a half I was a 7th Day Adventist so I'm going there as a counselor to work with these troubled youth and I worked there for a year and a half and I was never really had anybody give their life to Christ I was just working in the fields with them going to school with them I live in their rooms and I'm just like Lord I don't get it nothing's happening it was after I went to we mar that I ended up going to India as Tony of a going to India now I came back from India. And I had some time before going back to school and I thought hey I'll go back to miracle Meadows they know me and I'll go down there work for like a month and a half I've been there a year and a half now and there for a month and a half and they said to me they said Marshall they said we want you to work with this one guy this kid his name is Eric I was like OK I'll work with there you're going to spend $24.00 hours a day with him you're going to sleep in the same room you guys are going to work together you're going to work out you're going to you know by the way when we cut grass it was a little sigh thing it wasn't you know and we do acres and acres and and you work on this other project with him and they said oh and by the way he doesn't have a conscience is. OK so like Lord how are we going to get through this one but remember I've gone the testimony now was different than it was before my testimony focused before I went to India more on the past now I was realising there was something different and I was focusing on the word OK And what was going on with me and and it was incredible we have conversations and we sit there and he would just talk and I just let him talk and let him talk and let him talk and then I'd ask him a couple other questions you know and then we'd go back and forth and we were talking about censorship one day because everything that came into the school was censored and you couldn't have it anymore and so he's like Marshall what's the deal with the censorship and and all of this and and he said you know he came to this conclusion well if you're going to get rid of everything then one day everything's going to have to burn and I was like and see I never said this before I said you're right it is going to burn and you have a choice whether to burn with it or not now I had never said that to anybody. And and I walked away going was I really supposed to say that and then but then I remember to after that conversation people came up I don't know what you're doing but he's thinking about things I'm like I'm not doing anything. You know he's really thinking about stuff and I'm like I don't know and so but I'm just praying and then the next day he comes to me it's like marshal I have something to confess and I'm like wow OK Spirit of God is really moving in his life right now and he's like a few years ago before I came here I went I got drunk one night and went to a sheriff's house and I broke all the windows in like a barn and everything and he's like and he's like I know that if I call him and I'm like wow he's under major conviction if I call him then he's going to he's going to put me in juvie OK guys the sheriff is going to put me in juvie and I said Listen all I said to him was I said sometimes we don't have to give the answer I just said you know the Holy Spirit is convicting you right now and you know what the right thing is to do I said so when you're ready I'll pay for the phone call and that was the end of our conversation 3 days later he came back to me and he said he said who he said I'm ready to make the call I said OK so I paid for it I'll pay for it confessed to this guy everything the guy forgave him he gets off the phone he's like amazed not going to juvie nothing the sheriff of this town whatever's forgiving him the next day we're out doing the lawn and he's like Marshal How do I become a Christian. So we knelt in the middle of a field out there the mountains around me just gave his heart to Christ and I was like you know what a month and a half in India spending time in the Word made all the difference in his life where a year and a half before it was all about me it's not about us bottom line is it's not about us. And the thing is if we can be intentional about our friendships and if we can use the principles that God has given his word I guarantee you that God's Spirit going to be poured on you to see people wanting what you have and you're going to see them giving their lives to Christ because you are willing to go there and say things maybe you never said before. Or whatever the case may be but God is giving each of you that testimony to share and it doesn't have to be wrote down whatever go just be praying about it think about how God has blessed you think about the things he's given to you to share you all have things that he's done for you that you can share don't hesitate to share those things and God's going to bless Kirstin you have perforce to have a father we thank you so much for the things we've learned a we asked that you have for us retain all the knowledge that we've learned and. To use in our personal as we go out from here please bless us each and continue busing us throughout can't meaning just 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 if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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