3 John:11-12 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.
So our last Christian is DEMETRIUS and Demetrius is an Evangelist.
And I think for some reason a lot of Christians have the wrong idea about evangelism. We think it’s one of those things you have to be trained to do, or it’s something that’s difficult or that it’s something you have to be gifted for.
Remember, the last words Jesus leaves his disciples with are…
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Make no mistake that this verse is a command from our risen Savior and to ALL his followers. Theologian John Stott argues, “We can no more restrict the command to witness than we can restrict the promise of the Holy Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Evangelism is not reserved for the gifted and the talented, it is for the called and we are all called.
Here’s an example of the early church in Acts 8:1-3
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
That’s scary right? And typically in times of persecution and trial the first people to run are the volunteers, your first people to quit or throw in the towel are going to be your untrained people, but what do we see?
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.
Here is what one noted Bible historian says, “The chief agents in the expansion of Christianity appear not to have been those who made it a profession or a major part of their occupation, but men and women who earned their livelihood in some purely secular manner and spoke of their faith to those whom they met in this natural fashion.” ~ Kenneth Scott Latourette
Listen, you and I have been given no greater gift than the gospel, and we have no greater stewardship than to share that message of good news with others.
Aren’t you thankful for those with the Heart of the Evangelist? Without them, not many of our outreach programs of Missionaries, revivals, and great crusades for Christ would exist.
Demetrius was well known and loved by many. Demetrius was known for his “good report”. This means to me, that Demetrius was constantly giving his testimony to anyone who would hear.
You know and I think we all tend have the Heart of a Servant and the Heart of an Evangelist from time to time. And yes, some of us even have an un-teachable heart from time to time. But God has called each of us to work and to advance His Kingdom. He has given each of us a job to do for Him and a place in his church. And the good news is that God also equips each of us with special talents and abilities to do those jobs.
And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to do church on accident. I don’t want to fall into church or stumble into the Kingdom, I want to do church on purpose. And so I think rather than just lazily drifting through our own personal comfort zones, we ought to be a church that exists for a reason and a purpose.
And listen, if you’re ever unsure what our purposes are – they are on the front cover of your bulletin. We exist to love God and love others, to make more Christians and Better Christians and we can accomplish all of that because every member is a minister.
Just like you as a Christian are running a race and walking in the faith, the church, our church, this church is also running and growing. And I know, some people don’t like it when churches grow, growth means change, growth means adjustment, it means another mouth to feed and it means we might loose that “small” feeling but the goal of the Kingdom of God should not be to remain small. We do not worship a small God and so our goal should always be – that we have room for just one more.
Well, what about when we get that one? Well, then we still have room for just one more. Remember, this is not our church, it’s God’s; and what’s God’s wish?
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
THAT’S God’s wish! So the church is always making MORE Christians – but it doesn’t mean we do that at the expense of the current membership – because it’s also the responsibility of the church to make BETTER Christians.
New birth is always followed by the responsibility of caring for and raising that life. I mean sure, babies are cute and all that, but nobody thinks it’s cute when a person remains a baby for too long. We love children, but we expect every child to grow.
1 Peter 2:2 says, Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation…
And it’s going to take all of us. Me? Yes you. The church loves God and loves others, it makes more Christians and better Christians with one very important resource. You. Every member is a minister.
A minister… that’s a person who does ministry. A minister is a servant. A minister is the person who we just talked about who is humble, and who sees what needs to get done and does it. A minister is someone who has a teachable heart and who has been equipped by God for work. And that’s all of us.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…
See we need to understand something about God here–and that is that God does not give us something that He does not expect us to use - we use God’s gifts and blessings to…
Be a partner…God wants us to proclaim the Word, baptize in His name, and receive new people into the fellowship; He wants us to partner with Him in this good work. We use God’s gifts and blessings to…
Be a witness…testify to what God has done in your life; don’t be afraid—for the work He has done in you is grand and glorious; and it’s a story worth celebrating and worth telling. We use God’s gifts and blessings to…
Make disciples…Because God blesses this; His design is for multiplication, not stagnation; His design is to win, not to lose; His design is to move forward, not to retreat; So let’s use what God has given…
So may the God of peace equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.