Welcome to this week's special, one-off blog post entitled 'You Have What The World Needs'. This week is our 100th Home Church Service and we are celebrating by reminding ourselves (and you!) that the Great Commission is about making disciples...of the world!
Did you know that the 12 disciples weren’t fully discipled until they were empowered and sent into ministry. No one is a full disciple of Jesus Christ unless they’ve been trained and commissioned to go. Go out into all the world. Break down the walls of the 'church', whether that's literal or in your mind, and truly make disciples of all.
Do you remember meeting Jesus? Remember how you felt? The vast majority of the world still hasn't met Jesus yet. Romans 8:22 says For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
The world is in pain. The world is ignorant of the one true God and they are bound by the devil; the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. Isn’t that heartbreaking?
There’s a danger we have in the body of Christ of looking down on unbelievers. Human beings are our family. Maybe not spiritually, yet, but they are still God's creation. God wants the whole human family to come back under His roof again. It’s too easy to roll our eyes, shake our heads and write the world off. Especially today as the world seems to grow more and more crazy and more opposed to Christianity every year.
But remember, 2 Corinthians 4:4? In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
They’re blinded! It’s not their fault. We need to remember that they are not enemies but as victims of the devil. Remember when Jesus healed the woman in Luke 13:16? He said she’d been oppressed by the devil. That’s where the world is at. Our hearts ought to go out to them.
1 Corinthians 6:11 says; And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
And such were some of you! We were there too, church. But, praise God the gospel came to us. Someone had the faith and the courage to tell us the truth, to introduce us to Jesus. But we were all there, in the darkness once. So don’t look down on the world, on people around you. Have compassion for the lost. The old saying is so true, ‘There, but for the Grace of God.’
It’s a sobering thought when we consider where those who don’t accept Jesus are headed. Let's read Matthew 25:41; Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. It's important to remember that God didn’t prepare that place for human beings. But heartbreakingly, they will go there because they’ve submitted to Satan’s lies and rejected God.
Luke 4:18; The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
Look at the description of those Jesus came for: poor, brokenhearted, captives, bruised. We need to feel compassion for the lost. They’re struggling through life without purpose or hope, trying to put the pieces together, they’re angry and bitter because they don’t know the love of God. Jesus changes everything doesn’t He?! If you know that feeling, that hope and purpose, you know what I’m talking about.
We must be careful that those things don’t become dull to us. Imagine if you didn’t have all those things you love about being a believer. But here's what else can inspire you to share the gospel; sharing Jesus with the lost will renew and rejuvenate your relationship with God like nothing else! There is nothing so fulfilling and fun in this world than leading someone else to Jesus!
You see church, if it’s all about us, about our own growth, then we will never become all God has made us to be. Every living thing must multiply or it dies. The Sea of Galilee is a great example of this. It’s lush, it’s rich, green and full of life. But a few miles south is the Dead Sea. I've been there, it’s so dead! There is no life there at all. The reason for this is that there is no outlet! It receives water but gives none away. That’s how so many Christians are today. If you want to be like the Sea of Galilee, you need to give out what you’ve received or you will die!
But, there are hindrances to sharing the gospel, aren't there.
1. Fear of Rejection. This is huge. No one likes rejection! But, Proverbs. 29:25 says we must stop being fearful of rejection. The fear of man brings a snare: but whoso puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
2. Apathy. This is another hindrance that so many suffer from when it comes to sharing the gospel. We are too consumed by our own lives and agenda. I don't think I even need to justify why that isn't the way forward! Hopefully, all we've discussed so far has driven any apathy from you already!
3. Fear of Failure. Everyone of you has all you need to share the gospel. It is not limited to people who are in ‘full time ministry’. I understand that we want to do a good job and yes, it's important that we do our best. But if that prevents us from even beginning, it's too big a concern and we need to let go and have a go! Acts 14:3 says; So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. We must boldly go!
I do appreciate that it’s human nature not to want to do something unless you think you’re going to do a good job, so here are some helpful things you can do to win the lost.
Make a list of those you know personally who don’t know Jesus.
Pray over their names every day. You might have too many to pray over all of them every day. So formulate a rota! Pray for opportunity and boldness for yourself to talk to them. That Jesus would send labourers into the harvest (Luke 10:2). And pray for the word of God to come to their minds. 2 Thessalonians 3:1.
Invite someone to church. All of us need to be inviting someone to home church every week!
Prepare your testimony. Keep it simple, but you might even consider writing it down so you feel more prepared and therefore more comfortable.
When you do come to sharing with someone...
Keep it natural. Don't get all preachy on them! And try not to use 'Christian-ese', you know, language that we only hear in church.
Then, be sure to listen to them. It's so important to listen, even if it's all doom and gloom! People only feel valued if you listen.
And, be listening to the Holy Spirit. He will give you words of knowledge and wisdom that will really help.
Offer to pray for them - most people will say yes. When you begin praying for them, their hearts soften. Again, keep it simple.
Then, ask if they’ve accepted Jesus before. If not, tell them they can do that right now.
Then write to us and let us know what happened!! We'd LOVE to hear your testimonies.
Upstream Home Church has been operating for 100 services this weekend. We've been so blessed by how the Lord has guided and established this ministry, especially in our Home Churches around the world. If you'd like to get involved in a Home Church, find out more here.
Please do consider sowing into this ministry, especially if you've been fed spiritually, on our donate page.
If you'd like to know more about this message, Upstream Home Churches in general or if you'd like prayer, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'd love to hear from you. Contact us.
PASTOR RICHARD SHARES A POWERFUL MESSAGE ON REACHING THE LOST
- OUR 100th TEACHING VIDEO -