Transcript

ROBERT >> The last time we were together here on The Truth In Love, we talked about how we could help each other and all others towards heaven. That’s what the church is all about, and that’s what this program is all about. And so we hope that as we continue today, it will help us all to help each other and all others towards heaven.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> You may remember last time we read some of the last words of Jesus before leaving this earth from Matthew 28:18-20. As we continue this study today, I want to remind you again of those words.

Here’s what the Bible says: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth; go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And lo I am with you always, even the end of the age, amen.”

These last words of Jesus remind us of our mission to go make disciples and to make disciples who will make disciples who will make disciples. This is God’s plan for getting people to heaven. And so today as we continue our lesson, I want to remind us of what we can do to fulfill this great commission of making disciples, a very simple plan we started with last week, something everybody can do.

The first thing we needed to was to pray, to pray for those souls that are lost without Jesus, those souls that need help in going to heaven. And also learn to be a friend to these people, to spend time with them, to show them that you really care about them, that you’re interested in them.

And then thirdly to develop interest in their hearts about Jesus, about the gospel, about heaven, about God. And a good way of doing that is asking them questions, getting to know how they feel and what they think so that we can learn how to best approach them with the gospel of Christ. As the Bible says, we’re to walk in wisdom towards those who are on the outside, as we read last week in Colossians 4:5. And so we need to be wise and learn how to speak to people, as he says in Colossians 4:6. And once we’ve done that, I think it would be good for us to introduce these folks that we’re trying to teach and influence for Jesus, introduce them to some of our fellow Christians, because often others can make a connection and can help us in bringing these others to Jesus Christ. Usually it takes more than just one person to influence someone and to help them to come to Jesus and to get them into heaven. That’s why God gave us the church, so we could all work together in helping one another. But here’s another point that I wanted to continue with today, and that’s number five, if you’re taking notes.

Invite them to Bible class, to worship, or other church activities. It’s so important that we let them know how important these things are to us. And this may just be the door, the opportunity that would bring them to a situation, a place where they could hear the word and where we could begin to influence them more for Jesus Christ. If you’ve already introduced them to some of the church members, they’re going to feel more comfortable visiting the church because they already know some of those people. And they may be more apt to attend maybe a special seminar on Christian evidences or a marriage seminar, a financial seminar because it interests them and because it may be a smaller group. So invite them to Bible classes, invite them to these other special events that may go on at the congregation where you’re at or in the area. And invite them to the worship of God’s people. But inviting people is telling them that these things are important to you and that these are the kinds of things that God wants them to know about and to be a part of. And this will help you in bringing them to Christ. I want you to look what happened when Paul and Barnabas were preaching in Antioch of Pisidia and what happened when people were invited.

In Acts chapter 13 we read about this event. Acts 13:42-44. Here’s what the Bible says. “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who speaking to them persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath, almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.”

Did you see what happened from the first Sabbath when the gospel was preached until the next Sabbath?

Almost the whole city came out that next Sabbath. Somebody had been doing some advertising. Somebody had been doing some inviting. People will come if we will invite them. And so let’s think of ways that we can tell others about what’s going on among God’s people at the church building, and try to get them involved and to become a part of it where they can hear the word of God. I know at Northwest where I preach we have these little cards called We Appreciate Your Service. And I like to give these to folks that wait on me at a restaurant or perhaps do something for me at my home to let them know how much I do appreciate them. And on those cards it tells about the church. It tells when we meet and where we meet. And I encourage them to come and be a part of our services.

Here on The Truth In Love, we preach the gospel; but people don’t know about it unless we tell them. So let me encourage all of you who are listening today to tell your friends, to tell your family members, to tell your neighbors and others what’s on television on Sundays and to let them know when the program is being aired and how they can come to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. So use these kind of opportunities to invite people to hear the gospel, to come to be around God’s people and be involved in the services and the programs of the church. Use fliers, use brochures.

There’s nothing better than a personal invitation, just going and saying to somebody, Will you come and join me today?

Now, number six, we must share with them the gospel of Christ. All of these other things we’ve been doing are important, and they will be helpful to us. We’ve got to come to the point where we share with them the gospel of Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:13, the Bible says, “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed and therefore I spoke, we also believe and therefore speak.”

If we believe, if we are a people of faith, then we must speak the truth. We must speak the things that we know can save our souls and bring us to heaven. And I know this is where a lot of Christians get really scared. We say, I’m afraid to say anything, or I don’t know what to say, or, What if they ask me a question I can’t answer?

And what if I say the wrong thing?

Well, let me say I completely understand those feelings. I’ve felt the same way before, and sometimes still have those feelings. There have been times when I wish that I had said something, but I didn’t. And there have been times when I said something I wish I had not. I’ve tried to learn from those mistakes and to do better in sharing Jesus with others. And I think this is what we all do in life. We learn how to do things by making mistakes. We learn through experience. And so I just want to encourage you, people of faith, to speak your faith, to tell others about Jesus and about how to get to heaven and to help encourage them along the way. Don’t be afraid to do it.

I’ve found that if people can see that you really care about them, they’re able to overlook your mistakes. Now, I realize that the power of the gospel is not dependent upon us always doing everything just right.

God knows that we are weak, fragile vessels of clay, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:7, but the power is of God. Here’s what the Bible says. Let me read it to you here.

2 Corinthians 4:7, the apostle Paul says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”

He’s talking about the treasure of the gospel. It’s in us, weak, fragile human beings,that the power may be of God and not of us. Yes, the power is in the message. So don’t be afraid to preach it.

Let me suggest a few ways to help you in sharing the gospel with others. You can take these folks that now you have developed interest in, you’re a friend of, they know you and they know some other Christians, you bring them to someone who’s able to share the message, such as your preacher. Or maybe you could use a DVD of our program here, The Truth In Love, and show that to them. You don’t have to know all the answers and all of the verses and how to say everything exactly right. You can use others to help preach the gospel to them, to help to teach them, or you can use these many teaching tools that are available.

Or you know something better than that?

Just share your story of salvation with them. Just tell them how you became a Christian, how you came to Jesus Christ and what Jesus means to you and how he has changed your life and how he is helping you towards heaven even today. There’s a simple way to do that with just two passages of scripture:

1 Corinthians chapter 15 and Romans chapter 6. I want to share this simple message with you today.

Look with me first of all in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, where the apostle Paul reminds the church there of their salvation through the gospel. Here’s what he says: Moreover brethren, “I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved if you hold fast that word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

You see in this passage the very simple message of the gospel, how Christ died for our sins on the cross, how he was buried in the tomb, and then on the third day how he was raised up to walk on this earth once again, alive forever. The gospel message, the good news is that Jesus died for our sins, he was buried, and he rose again. Now, just tell them about that and about what that means to you and how it has changed your heart. And then go to Romans chapter 6. Romans chapter 6. We want to look at this passage together. In Romans chapter 6 Paul is talking to the church and reminding them of their baptism into Christ, when they began their new life as a Christian.

Notice what it says here, Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? And therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ having been raised from the dead dies no more; death no longer has dominion over Him; for the death that He died, He died to sin once for all, but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul was encouraging the Roman church to go in their faith, to not turn back to sin. And he did that by reminding them of that day, that moment when they gave themselves to Jesus Christ, when they changed their lives, when they became Christians. He reminded them how they were baptized into Christ Jesus, into union, into fellowship with Jesus Christ. It was that day when they were baptized into his death, when they identified with the cross spiritually, dying to sin; and then burying that old man in the waters of baptism, there in baptism that old man was put to death, he was buried, and then raised. Having been cleansed, having been forgiven, having been saved, he was raised to walk in newness of life. You see, when one gives himself to the Lord in baptism, he pictures the death and the burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it is the very moment at which he dies to sin the old man is buried and the new man is brought to life. The Bible teaches us that if we will obey the gospel, his death, his burial, his resurrection in baptism, that we can be saved, that we can have a new life. It’s a simple illustration, and you can tell people how you came to Christ that very same way so that they can do the same.

Let me illustrate for just a moment how the story of salvation through Jesus Christ can be shared with anyone, anytime, in just a few moments. I usually start with the suffering in this world. And perhaps this morning you’re thinking about some horrible incident that’s taken place in your life or in the life of your family or perhaps something you’ve read or heard on the news. Remember that people are hurting and that they’re thinking about these things and that they need healing and they need to know how to escape this world for a better one in eternity. So talking about the things that are going on in this evil world of ours, I remind people that it wasn’t always like that. You see, in the beginning, when God created this world, everything was very good. And yet man sinned. And it was when man sinned that this world came to know corruption and misery and heartache and sorrow and death. It was man’s sin that caused those first ones, Adam and Eve, to feel guilty, to be ashamed, to hide themselves from God. It’s our sin that separates us from him because he’s holy and because he’s righteous. From that moment when Adam and Eve sinned, this world became evil. And every one of us have done just like they have. We’ve sinned against God. The Bible says, All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I know that I have sin, and certainly you know that you have sin. It’s that sin that separates us from the Lord. But the Lord doesn’t want to be separated from us. He wants to have fellowship with us. He wants us to be with him forever in heaven. And that’s why in his great love for us he made a way for us to overcome our sin and to be reunited with him. In a word, it’s Jesus. You see, God so loved this world that he sent his son out of heaven into our world to become one of us. And he was tempted and he was tried, and yet the Bible says he was without sin. And then he took that perfect, innocent life, and he sacrificed it on the cross of Calvary for us. The death of a perfect one was what it took to pay for our sins so that God could be just, he could be righteous in forgiving our sins, because those sins had been paid for by that perfect one, Jesus Christ. I couldn’t do that for you because I’ve got my own sin, and you couldn’t do that for me because you have your sin; but Jesus Christ did that for all of us. And after being put in that tomb, he wasn’t left there. He was raised up the third day to walk again and to live in heaven forever. He’ll come back someday for those who believe him, who trust in him. And you know today if you really believe in Jesus Christ and you trust what he did for you at Calvary you will turn from your sins, you will make that decision in your heart to turn from sin, to live for God. The Bible calls it repentance. And the Bible teaches us to repent. But not only that, you will be willing to confess that Jesus is the Christ, that is, the savior, the deliverer, the king, the Son of God. And not only that, you’ll give yourself to the one who gave himself for you. As we’ve already learned, that’s what baptism is all about. So trusting in what Jesus did for you there at Calvary, turning from your sin, confessing him, giving yourself to him in baptism, you can receive God’s forgiveness. You can have a new life through Jesus Christ.

That’s what God did for us, and that’s the simple story that you can tell anyone, anywhere, anytime. The power of the gospel is not something to be ashamed of, Paul said in Romans 1:16, but as we learned before, if we believe it, we must speak it.

Let me encourage you, whoever you are, to do what you can to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, to help others towards heaven. Sharing that gospel then, here’s what you need to do. After baptizing them into Christ, teach them and help them to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. That’s what Peter said was important for us to do, 2 Peter 3:18. Don’t leave these new Christians alone. Keep being their friend, keep praying for them. Go to their home, have them come to yours. Open up the Bible and read it together and pray together. Bring another Christian along with you to each of these sessions so they can get to know others in the congregation. This is how we help people get to heaven. It doesn’t stop at the baptistry. That’s just the beginning.

And then number eight, we need to help them to reach out to others with the gospel of Christ, too. In Matthew 28:19 the Bible says “to teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”

These new folks have just come to Christ, just come to know him and his salvation, and they’re the going to be so zealous to tell others about Jesus. And that’s what the great submission is. It’s not only to baptize them into Christ, but to teach them to do what Christ commanded. And what he commanded us to do was to make disciples. So help them to do that. They haven’t yet learned that they don’t have to do that or they ought to be afraid of that like many of us may be in the church; but they want to tell others about Jesus. And so let’s do what we can to help these new Christians to reach out to those around them.

They’re going to know others that we don’t know, many others who are not Christians, maybe folks we could never reach but they could reach for Jesus Christ. That’s our plan.

Our plan is to just pray for those folks, be friends to those folks, develop interest in them, introduce them to other Christians, invite them to services, share the gospel with them, and baptizing them into Christ, help them to grow up in the Lord. Everybody can do that. But you don’t do it alone, because Jesus promised there in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always.” It’s in this promise that we find the courage and the comfort to do what we’re afraid to do. In sharing Jesus we’re not alone. The master evangelist is at our side. No matter what, he is there.

Christian, we join hands with God in the greatest work on earth, the saving of souls. And if you’re lost today, we want your soul for Jesus Christ.

Will you not let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today?

SINGING>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.
Oh that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall.
We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.

SINGING>> Sweetly, Lord, have we heard thee calling, Come follow me.
And we see where thy footprints falling lead us to thee.
Footprints of Jesus that make the pathway glow.
We will follow the steps of Jesus where ‘ere they go.
By and by through the shining portals, turning our feet,
we shall walk with the glad immortals heaven’s golden street.
Footprints of Jesus that make the pathway glow.
We will follow the steps of Jesus where ‘ere they go.

ROBERT >> I hope that you found today’s lesson helpful. And to help you in your continued study, we’d like to offer you a free copy of today’s lesson. Thankfully, members of churches of Christ make these materials available to our viewers absolutely free of charge.

All you have to do is contact us and let us know the name of the program that you’d like to have a copy of. You can see the title of today’s program on your screen. Let us know the format in which you’d like to have it. You can have the program in the form of an audio CD or a DVD or a written transcript. You can have any of these formats again free of charge. It won’t cost you anything. You can contact us in a number of ways.

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SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh, whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
from God the Lord whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul, from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in.
Above thee watching, he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth,
yea for evermore.

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