Text: Mark 16:15
Many are the needs of our day…
1) The need for peace in war-torn areas around the world.
2) The need for food and clothing in poverty stricken countries.
3) The need for loving families, civil rights, good paying jobs, etc.
These needs are certainly noble and very important, yet I suggest that the greatest need for our world is evangelism… Sharing the gospel with every person. Preaching the word everywhere – Acts 8:5 tells us that “Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.”
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-13
This need that was met aggressively in the first century AD. In Colossians 1:23, Paul makes mentions the extent the Gospel had went out in the area, but today the missing component in churches is the need for personal evangelism, among the brethren to the lost and dying world.
Why is evangelism “The Greatest Need” today, may not be apparent to some, so a reminder of what Jesus commanded and commissioned us to do as a church is needful, so this afternoon let me ask you this?
I. WHY IS THE NEED SO GREAT?
THE CONDITION OF THE WORLD…
Billions are dying, lost in sin!
For all have sinned – Romans 3:23
Without Jesus, they will die in their sins – John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
What this means close to home… is that Relatives, friends and neighbors will be lost. For many Christians are doing little if anything to teach them and to tell them of Christ.
What this means in nations far way… Precious souls will die outside of Christ Because many Christians are unwilling to either go or send – cf. Romans 10:14-15 (Read) Unless we do something to meet this need, souls will be lost!
The problem does not lie with the Christ we serve but with…
THE CONDITION OF THE CHURCH…
Many congregations have lost their focus. They have become little more than a social club. Meeting only the social and emotional needs of its members. We do for our-self only, instead of reaching out to others.
The church has become burdened by that which is the responsibility of others – 1 Timothy 5:16 “If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.”
Many congregations are declining in number. As Christians die or fall away, little is being done to convert others. Where numerical growth occurs, it is often by Christians moving into the area
Unless we do something to meet this need, many churches will cease to exist! So the need is great, for to save others and to save ourselves we need to evangelize! Yet we must also consider…
II. WHY IS THE NEED NOT BEING MET?
FOR SOME, IT IS A LACK OF CONCERN…
- Not concerned for the Lord’s cause, whom He came to seek and save – Luke 19:10
- Not concerned for those lost and dying in sin, unlike Paul – cf. Romans 10:1
- Not concerned for their own welfare, endangered by failing to bear fruit – John 15:1-2
Have we become so hardened, that we no longer care?
FOR SOME, IT IS A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE…
- Lacking knowledge of God’s Word
- Perhaps unaware that Jesus calls us to this mission – Matthew 28:19; Mark 16;15; 1 Peter 2:9
- Perhaps needing to be taught again so we may teach others – Hebrews 5:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”
- Lacking knowledge of what to do, what to say
- When it can often be as simple as saying, “Come and see” – John 1:45-46 (Phillip & Nathaniel)
- When it simply involves sharing with others what you have believed and done
Are we willing to make the effort to learn, that others might be saved?
FOR SOME, IT IS A LACK OF COURAGE…
- There is a fear of being:
- Rejected by loved ones
- Ridiculed by friends and strangers
- Reviled by enemies of Christ
- Yet there is no need to fear such things
- People are not rejecting us, but Christ
- If reviled for the name of Christ, we are blessed – Matthew 5:11-12; 1 Peter 4:14-16
- If we are servants of Christ, we seek to please God, not men – Galatians 1:10
Are we willing to overcome our fears, to save those who are lost?
FOR SOME, IT IS A LACK OF FAITH…
- Who don’t believe that God’s Word is true
- When it describes the sinful condition of the world – Romans 3:23
- When it describes the terrible consequences of sin – Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
- Who don’t believe in the ability of God Himself
- To give them the strength to do God’s will – Philippians 4:13
- To give them the wisdom to teach His Word – James 1:15
- To give them the courage to share His Will – 2 Timothy 1:7-8
Are we willing to have the faith to trust in God, that others might be saved?
FOR SOME, IT IS A LACK OF FOCUS…
- Distracted by things of the world
- Stifling our efforts to bear fruit – cf. Luke 8:14
- Making one unprepared for the day of the Lord – Luke 21:34
- Trying to do the impossible
- Such as serving two masters – Luke 16:13
- Such as loving both the Father and the world – 1 John 2:15-17
- I suspect this is the major reason why people don’t evangelize today
Are we willing to seek first the kingdom of God, making its growth our priority?
Whatever the reason for “The Greatest Need” not being met, there is no excuse. To encourage us to meet this need, let us consider some reasons…
III. WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO BE PERSONAL WORKERS IN EVANGELISM?
TO FULFILL THE COMMAND OF CHRIST…
- Jesus commanded that disciples be made – Matthew 28:19
- Disciples who be taught to observe what He commanded – Matthew 28:20
- He just gave the command to make disciples – Mark 28:19
The Great Commission is not fulfilled until we are making disciples!
TO SHOW OUR LOVE FOR OTHERS…
- Love for others was the second greatest commandment of the OT – Matthew 22:39
- Love for one another is debt that can never be fully paid – Romans 13:8
- We are to love even our enemies – Matthew 5:44-45
What greater love can we show, than to offer others the way of salvation?
TO BE LIKE THE EARLY CHURCH…
- To be the Lord’s church, we must follow the pattern of congregational:
- Worship and work
- To be the Lord’s church, we must also demonstrate the same:
- Zeal for the Lord’s cause
- Love for the lost
Unless we restore the spirit and soul of NT Christianity, we are only a skeleton!
BECAUSE OF THE TERROR OF THE LORD…
- This served to motivate the apostle Paul according to 2 Corinthians 5:10-11
- Jesus spoke much about souls being lost – cf. Matthew 7:13-14,21-23; Mark 16:16
- The reality of the Judgment Day and souls lost should move us to action!
BECAUSE OF THE JOY IN SAVING OTHERS…
- There is the joy you can cause in heaven – Luke 15:7,10 (Angels Rejoice)
- There is the joy you will personally experience
- Paul refereed to his converts as his ‘glory and joy’ in 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
- John had ‘no greater joy’ than to see his children walk in truth according to 3rd John 4
- The joy is magnified knowing that what you do will last for eternity!
My purpose in this message has been twofold; to stress that… The greatest need of the church is to get back to its original mission. The greatest need of Christians is to be personal workers in the vineyard of the Lord according to John 15.
The current apathy and rate of decline in many churches reveals… There has been a lack of concern, knowledge, courage, faith and focus. That this lack has hindered the most important work of the church. Today in our church many people would rather sit then to do anything else. It is even apparent in this church.
What can we do…? To ask the question indicates concern. Good! To that one needs to add knowledge. Learn! To knowledge one needs to add courage. Pray!
Then with faith and focus we can work together to fulfill “The Greatest Need”. Do we have faith? Do we have the right focus? Do we even care…?