Sunday, May 31, 2009

Living And Giving The Gospel

It is coming soon, I mean, the students camp for the BB & GB seniors (secondary school students) on the 11-13 June 2009. We hope to get 100 students to this 3 days camp. In this camp there will be lots of physical events and the evenings will be used for Praise and Worship with an evangelistic focus. There are a few important truths about reaching out to people.

Let us think about the thief hung on the cross next to Jesus. He was given the capital punishment and with blood coming out from of his hands and feet, he turned to Jesus and said: “Lord, remember me” and Jesus replied: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). This was a case of conversion at the last moment of life. From here we can learn three important truths about conversion.

1. No one is beyond salvation. There might be people whom you have written off as hopeless for Christ. You may have tried everything you know to win that person and you may be convinced that he/she will never respond. When you are tempted to think that your friend is beyond the reach of salvation, remember the thief on the cross.

2. Our godly life is the most effective evangelism tool. Socrates once called words “stupid things.” The real message is in your life. Words are indispensable in sharing the Good News but very often we have the tendency to talk too much. Our godly life will do more talking than our words. We should learn to let God do the work in people’s lives. We also need to keep an open ear and a prayerful heart when we try to reach people. God will give us the appropriate words at just the right time. The thief knew that Jesus had done nothing wrong and he chose to believe (Lk 23:41). It was Jesus’ life that convicted him to faith.

3. God accepts simple faith. The thief had a criminal past. What did he do to qualify for heaven? He did not prove himself worthy of eternal life and neither did he had the chance even if he wanted to amend his life. Why did Jesus give him the promise of eternal life? It is simply—faith, nothing more nothing less. That is all that God required for a person to qualify for eternal life. That is what we can offer when we share Jesus with our friends. What God requires is simple faith.

When the opportunity arises, be ready to share the wonderful things that God has done in your life. BUT words alone is not enough. The real message is in your life.

The Cost Of Reaching Out

The Good News is free of charge, so we claim! Come to think of it, it is not free after all. Someone has paid the price. The forgiveness of sin is not cheap because it cost the Son of God Jesus to die on the cross to bring us that forgiveness. If there is anything that is free in life it is because someone has paid for it.

Evangelism, soul-winning or outreach programs cost money. Jesus gave us five Great Commissions, one in each of the gospels, and one in the book of Acts. In Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47-49, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8 Jesus commissions us to go and tell the world the message of Salvation. As long as there is one person in the world who does not know Jesus, the church has a mandate to keep growing. Therefore growth is not optional; it is commanded by Jesus. God wants people to be saved and be blessed by the Good News of His love.

Let us have a correct perspective about money spent in reaching out to others.

1. Money spent in evangelism is not an expense.
It is an investment. The people we reach will more than pay back what we have spent on them. Which means, the offerings of the people we reached for Christ will more than cover the ‘expenses’ we ever spent on them. New people is the source of new blood and the life of the church. Without this the church is on the decline.

2. People give to vision and not to need.
If people give to need, we will always have enough money to spend. Our vision is to see many young people coming to know the Lord about Jesus Christ. Getting 100 young people to the camp costs money. Your offerings will enable us to accomplish this vision.

3. When we spend nickel and dimes on evangelism, we will get nickel and dimes result.
There was one time Jesus told Peter to find money in a fish’s mouth to pay the Temple taxes. In Matthew 17:27 Jesus told Peter, “… go down to the lake and throw in the line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.” The important lesson we can learn here is this: The coins are always in the mouth of the fish. If we focus on fishing (evangelism), God will pay our bills.

How much does a soul cost? In the recent Chinese Oldies & Gospel Singing Evangelistic Concerts we collected RM12,977.00 free-will offerings and there were 59 people accepted Christ. The average “investment is about RM220.00 per person.” Does that give us an idea of what it will cost us to reach out to one person in our community? Tune in to the sermon to find out more.

Rev. James Wong

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Cost Of Saving A Soul

Mark 5:1-20

1. Jesus Encountered a Demon Possessed Man
When they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.* 2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him,* not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. ~Mark 5:1-5 (NKJV)

2. What The Demon Had Done To The Man
(1) The Demon was an evil spirit that can possess and influence the thinking of the man.
(2) The Demon caused the man to lived in the cemetery, a place for the dead, taking away his sanity.
(3) The Demon gave him unusual power to break the chains and the irons on his feet so that he can destroy himself slowly.
(4) The Demon cause him to be separated from his family and spent his life in the cemetery day and night.
(5) The Demon caused him to live abnormally, strangely crying out.
(6) The Demon made him destroy himself by cutting himself with stones.
(7) The Demon and his company, 6,000 of them had possessed the man.

3. The Cost of Saving the Demon Possessed Man
11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, "Send us to the swine, that we may enter them." 13 And at once Jesus* gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
~Mark 5:11-13 (NKJV)

4. The Responsibility Of Telling Others
18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you." 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. ~Mark 5:18-20 (NKJV)