Wednesday, October 20, 2021

BOLDNESS OVERTAKING FEAR

 


"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:

Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. I entitled my post today, "Boldness Overtaking Fear". The post is based on the Dallas Theological Seminary “Evangelism” Session #6. Dr. Barry Jones, the regular instructor, again turned the time over to Dr. Larry Moyer, another seminary instructor whose focus is on evangelism.

One of Dr. Moyer’s main points this session was the fact that we all will have some fear while sharing the gospel message. But the key is to allow boldness overtaking the fear we feel, instead of fear overtaking boldness.

Dr. Moyer said that even he, who is an experienced evangelist, feels fear sometimes when sharing the gospel. He said feeling fear is inevitable, and that if someone claims he or she never has any fear when they are sharing the gospel, they are one of two things:
  1. “Not being very honest,” or
  2. “Crude in the way they go about sharing the gospel”, that they don’t care what people think.
He emphasized repeatedly that he doesn’t know how to get away from having any fear. He said several times, “I don’t know . . . I don’t know . . . I don’t know . . . how to get away from having any fear of evangelizing. He said that even the Apostles prayed for boldness to declare the gospel, and that if the apostles had no fear they wouldn’t have felt the need to pray for boldness.

There are four Greek words that are used many times in the Bible that pertain to sharing the gospel boldly. I’m not well versed in Greek, so I won’t list the Greek words. But the definitions of these Greek terms mean for us to do the following when evangelizing:
  1. Speak boldly.
  2. Speak openly.
  3. Speak plainly.
  4. Speak freely.
  5. Speak confidently.
Dr. Moyer reemphasized the advice he has to overcome the fear of evangelizing is to allow boldness overtaking fear rather than vice versa. He said there are three fears that are hindrances to sharing the gospel:
  1. Fear of man (or rejection).
  2. Shame of the gospel. (Note: Dr. Moyer talked about about Paul’s statement in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel”.)
  3. Fear of personal risk or injury. Examples might be the following:
    • Fear of getting fired.
    • Fear of family members taking you out of their will.
    • An actual physical attack, like in some countries that are openly anti-Christian.
Dr. Moyer stated also that sometimes we don’t share the gospel because we feel we aren’t good or holy enough because we have occasional sin creep up in our lives. He said, however, that unbelievers aren’t turned off by people that have problems, but they ARE more turned off by people that pretend that they have no problems.

Dr. Moyer emphasized that it’s biblical to pray for the lost, but there's more emphasis in the New Testament to pray for believers having boldness in evangelism. He said emphatically, “GOD IS JUST WAITING FOR HIS CHILDREN TO ASK HIM FOR BOLDNESS!”

Dr. Moyer said that using Paul as an example, we can do the following:
  1. Develop confidence in our message.
  2. Develop conviction that we are God’s messengers.
  3. Develop devout concern for people.
  4. Develop consistency in our lives.
He said that if we develop these four things we will still experience fear in evangelizing, but the boldness we feel can overtake the fear. He said that we can evangelize “in spite of the fear” we feel.

Dr. Moyer talked about “preconditioning” to think about what might happen while evangelizing. He said, however, that studies show that 92% of what we worry about never happens. He said that it if it takes no more time to think about possible positive outcomes than it does thinking about possible negative ones, we should definitely stick to the positive ones.

Dr. Moyer said the successful outcome of our evangelization efforts are totally up to God, not up to us. This lessens the pressure for us to strive for success in evangelizing. God calls us to just be faithful to share Jesus with people, and let God take care of the outcome.

Dr. Moyer said God doesn’t call us to bring people to Jesus, but to bring Jesus to people! He said that most often it takes a person a number of times hearing the gospel before they turn to trusting and believing in Jesus . . . and that we can feel blessed in the fact that we can take part in that continuum of moving that person “one step closer to the cross”.

In conclusion Dr. Moyer quoted John 6:44 that says, “No man comes to me unless the Father draws him.” He said that verse helps show us it isn’t our responsibility to bring people to Jesus . . . But it is our responsibility to allow boldness overtaking fear to bring Jesus to people.

See you next time,
Arlen

Friday, October 8, 2021

THE SIMPLE, CLEAR GOSPEL

“He who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30


Hello Friends:

Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. I entitled my post today, "The Simple, Clear Gospel". The post is based on the Dallas Theological Seminary “Evangelism” Session #5, which had a little bit of a twist. Dr. Barry Jones, the regular instructor, turned the time over to Dr. Larry Moyer, another seminary instructor whose focus is on evangelism.

Dr. Moyer is the founder and CEO of EvanTell Inc., an evangelism training company. EvanTell's main goal about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is the following: "Keep it simple, stupid." No, not really. He actually said, “Don’t make confusing what God makes so simple.” I think that emphasis, which I so much agree with, is that the main reason people, including myself, don’t evangelize is that we think it’s way more complicated than it really is.

I think one of the most important principles Dr. Moyer taught is, “The Gospel in 10 Words”. I know that for many years I got stumped on the word “gospel”. I knew that it had the definition of “good news”, but after that I was almost paralyzed to understand and tell what the word “gospel” really meant.

Dr. Moyer said that less than 10% of Christians, even seminary students, know what the word gospel really means. He said Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, helped us sum up the gospel in 10 words: “Christ died for our sins, and rose from the dead.”

Dr. Moyer also emphasized that having a method of sharing the gospel doesn’t make us a “cold”, or “canned”, or “mechanical” person—but it helps make us feel more relaxed so that we can “lock” into people better. Dr. Moyer said that sometimes he gets so “locked into” communicating with people that he doesn’t even know anything else going on around him.

He summed up the presentation of the gospel to others as a clear sharing of the following: “Bad News”, and then “Good News”. He said there’s a pattern we can follow that can lead us.

The “Bad News” has two statements, two verses, and two illustrations:
  1. Bad news statement #1: We are all sinners. 
    • Verse: Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 
    • Illustration: “Rock”. “Two of us might throw a rock at the moon. You might throw it further than me, but we will both miss the mark.”
  2. Bad news statement #2: The penalty for sin is death. 
    • Verse: Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death.”
    • Illustration: “Wages”. “If I work a certain amount of time I'm paid a wage, of perhaps $50. It's what is owed to me. A wage is something we earn for our deeds. The Bible declares we all have earned the wages of death because of our sin, and not just a physical death, but a spiritual death separated from God.”
Dr. Moyer said that since we're unable to come to God because of our sins, the Bible says that God came to us. This is the good news! It also has two statements, two verses, and two illustrations.
  1. Good news statement #1: Christ died for you.
    • Verse: Romans 5:8. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
    • Illustration: “Cancer”. If someone said they will take on your cancer cells to save your life, what will happen? They will die and you will live. They die in your place. That’s what Jesus did for us.
  2. Good news statement #2: You can be saved through faith in Christ.
    • Verse: Ephesians 2:8-9. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
    • Illustration: “Chair”. Just as you trust a chair to hold you up while providing no effort of your own, so you must trust Christ alone to get to heaven through no effort of your own. Any good thing you might do can't get you to heaven. It's through Christ alone.
Finally, Dr. Moyer gave info on how to start and close a conversation about the gospel. The first step to start the conversation is the following:
  1. “Plow and pursue”. (Note: At first, I thought that statement seemed a little aggressive, but the more I thought about it, I would rather be a little aggressive, and have a person trust Jesus as his or her Savior, than be passive, and the person end up in hell.)
    • To plow and pursue we can talk about 3 things that people have in common:
      • #1: Our families.
      • #2: Our jobs
      • #3: Our Backgrounds
  2. The second step: “Free up” don’t “freeze up”. (Note: I think his point of having a method of sharing the gospel is that we don't have to think so hard, and it frees us up to have a deep and caring focus on the other person.)
  3. The third step: Proceed in the conversation from a secular focus, to a spiritual one.
    • Ask the following: "Has anyone ever told you from the Bible how to get to heaven?" 
    • If they say, "No", say, "May I?"
    • If they agree, proceed to the “Bad News, Good News” gospel presentation.
Next is "Closing the Conversation." You ask the following:
  1. “Is there anything that would keep you from believing in and trusting Christ right now for salvation?”
  2. If the person agrees, remember to tell the person it isn’t the prayer itself that saves him or her; rather it’s believing in and trusting Christ that saves. Prayer is simply how we tell God what we’re doing.
  3. Dr. Moyer said that the believing in and trusting Christ actually comes about 30 seconds before the prayer itself.
The presentation by Dr. Moyer was very good. I liked the fact that he emphasized that we make the gospel way too complicated, when it's really very simple. And at the end of the session he again stated the simplicity of “The Gospel in 10 Words”, “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.”

Dr. Moyer gave the freedom for people to use his tips. But said that presenting the gospel can be done different ways. I’ll likely stick mostly to the Roman Road presentation I’m familiar with, but I most definitely plan to use a lot of Dr. Moyer's tips to share . . . "The Simple, Clear Gospel".

See you next time,
Arlen