In this lesson we are going to talk about having awesome evangelism. There is nothing like evangelism to encourage you. It is so great to be personally fruitful.
1. Ask many people
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
There was persecution. Yet the disciples were still evangelising and sharing their faith. Everywhere they went, they kept asking many people. There is no substitute to talking with many people. There are many open people, but if we only invite a few people we may not fin them.
We should share our faith everywhere we go: at work, at college, on the roads, on the bus stops, with old friends, on buses, at shops, with neighbors, with family, at college, in parks etc. Let us invite as many as possible this week.
6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.
7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.
9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
They wanted to preach in Asia, but they were unable to get into the country of Mysia(v7).
While Paul slept, what did he see? [A man of Macedonian (Spain) begging him to come and preach]
So Paul went to a new region and started preaching there. A lot of the time, the best place to invite many people is in new areas.
Where do you think we could go as a group to invite people?
2. Call upon God
13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.
15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.
Where was Paul going when he met Lydia? [To the place of prayers (v13)]
How often did Paul pray? [Probably several times a day]
Do you think Paul was close to God? [Yes]
While Paul was at the place of prayer, whom did he meet? [Lydia].
Was she open? [Yes]
Why - was it a coincidence? [No, God opened her heart (v14)]
When we call upon God, he changes people's hearts to respond to the message. Someone who is closed today may become open next week. Sometimes things happen that make people more open.
What are some things that can make someone's heart open up? [Accidents, illness, earthquakes, boyfriends / girlfriends leaving them, family mistreatment, failures in studies / job...]
We must pray for God to open hearts. Let's take a few minutes now and pray for God to give us open people in this group.
Let's pray that God will use us to evangelism in a great way, just like Paul.
3. Totally friendly
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.
27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
28 But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."
32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.
34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole family.
There had been an earthquake. The jailer had beaten Paul. Yet Paul and Silas were singing in the jail before the earthquake and fired-up afterwards (v25). Paul could have been harsh and angry with him. "You beat us, not we'll get you back!". But Paul was loving, he said, "Don't harm yourself" (v28). The jailer was so touched by the friendliness.
How do we know that the jailer was impacted by Paul's friendliness? [The jailer washed their wounds (v33). The jailer and his family had a meal with them in the middle of the night (v34). The jailer was filled with joy (v34)]
After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.
Here agian we see the disciples eating together. Friendliness is so important in our evangelism. We should have people over to our house and give them food. We should play games together. We should go to their homes. We should have each other over for dinner. Hospitality is part of the love we share as disciples of Jesus.
When you evangelize, don't just invite people. Become their friend. Get to know them. Visit their home. Follow up. Treat each one as special.
4. Sensational Follow-up
9 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.
10 The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.
Why did Jesus call Ananias in a vision? [So that Ananias could do follow-up for him]
Did Jesus give Ananias the exact address? [Yes]
If Jesus Christ believed enough in follow-up to contact Ananias from heaven, it must be pretty important. When we evangelize, we need to get their contact details. What area is it? What is near the house? What is the pincode? Also get the work address or phone number.
Often people want to come, but the devil puts an obstacle in their way. They they feel guilty and they don't want to face us.
But if we follow-up and remind them, they'll come. Other times, they think the program is only for one week and so they don't try to come on other weeks. We must have sensational follow-up. Then we'll have a lot of visitors.
38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
While Peter was preaching, how did he speak? [With many persuasive words (v40), he pleaded with them]
When we invite people, we must be confident and aggressive. We should not say, "Please come. It is quite ok". We should say, "You've got to come! It is awesome!. It will change your life. Just come on time. It will make me so happy"]
As Christians, it is our mission to evangelize. The Christian life is so exciting when we are bringing others to God. Let's make sure that we are all doing this in a great way.
Let's all ask many people. Let's call upon God to bless us in our evangelism.
Let's be totally friendly and warm as we talk to people.
And let's have sensational follow-up persuading people to come.
And when we do these things, we'll knowthe A.C.T.S of awesome evangelism.