Evangelism: Obligation And Opportunity
Of The Local Church
The church of Christ in the first century was an evangelist church. Evangelism has always been and will always be the life blood of the local church. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16) Men and women who have committed their lives to the Lord must be motivated by love, to share the gospel with others. It is past time for all of us to carry out God’s command to bring forth fruit in the local church. (John 15:1-8) If we do not bear fruit we will be cut off, cast into the fire and burned! The word of God must be taught in a patient and persistent way. We must love people. It is our duty to teach all the lost all the truth. As Christians we must Always Be Teaching Somebody the gospel.
We will recognize our opportunity to evangelize and fulfill our obligation to evangelize when we believe in the power of God’s word. Because the word of God is "God's power" to salvation, the "word of life" and the word which brings salvation; God commanded that it be preached to all nations. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19) The world will be changed only through the preaching of God’s word! Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17) and "without faith it is impossible to please God." "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) Let us change our world by using the word of God. As Christians we must Always Be Teaching Somebody the gospel.
We will recognize our opportunity to evangelize and fulfill our obligation to evangelize when we believe souls are lost when they are outside of Christ. There is something terribly wrong in our world. People rape, rob, steal and kill. They curse, drink, murder and molest. Man has a sin problem. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) We must evangelize because a terrible end is awaiting those who do not love and obey God's word. "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8) A soul cannot be converted without the word of God. (Psalm 19:7) God has revealed His will in the Bible. He expects us to use His book in getting acquainted with His nature and in obedience to His will. Do you have a desire to know God's will and to share it with others? "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17) As Christians we must Always Be Teaching Somebody the gospel.
We will recognize our opportunity to evangelize and fulfill our obligation to evangelize when we believe the saved are added to our Lord‘s one church. The church which was purchased by Jesus’ death is not a denomination. The church of Christ is the blood-bought body of our Lord. Acts 20:28 says, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Denominations are man-made, but the church of Christ is divine, consisting of only the saved and of all of the saved. The church of Christ is a divine institution because it belongs to Christ. (Matthew 16:13-19) Men have built many churches but Christ has built only one. It was purchased by His blood. All the saved are added to His church. (Acts 2:38-47) As Christians we must Always Be Teaching Somebody the gospel.
We will recognize our opportunity to evangelize and fulfill our obligation to evangelize when we have enough boldness to speak for God. It is the responsibility of one Christian to teach other people about Christ. "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2) Evangelism is a command of the Lord Jesus. (Mark 16:15) Let us have the boldness to preach Jesus. “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” (Acts 4:29) Christians must have the boldness to teach the lost about the One who brings salvation. The joy of Christianity is in bringing others to Christ. The challenge for each of us is to spend enough time with Jesus and to have enough boldness that we can become soul-winners. As Christians we must Always Be Teaching Somebody the gospel.
We will recognize our opportunity to evangelize and fulfill our obligation to evangelize when we believe that every person is important to God. Matthew chapter 13 contains several of Jesus' parables. One of them is "The parable of the dragnet." "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind...” (Matthew 13:47-50) The dragnet was cast into the sea: God's net, the gospel, is cast into the great sea of humanity. There are multitudes of people, young and old, good and evil. The gospel net gathers "some of every kind." The gospel is publicly proclaimed to all and when this is done the gospel net draws all kinds of people. Let us learn from the parable of the dragnet: (1) A net is the instrument to catch fish. The gospel is the only instrument with which to catch men. (2) The net must be cast into the sea to be useful. The gospel must be preached to sinners before it can draw men to shore. (3) When fish are caught they are removed from the water. When men are caught by the gospel they are removed from sin and wickedness. (4) Each time the net is cast the fisherman hopes for a catch of fish. Christians should hope and pray for souls as the gospel net is cast. (5) Sometimes the net is drawn in empty. Christians may not see immediate fruit but evangelistic efforts are not futile. Never become so discouraged you stop casting the gospel net. (6) When the net is full it brings in all kind of fish. The gospel net brings in all kinds of people. Let us work to try to see Christ formed in them. (Galatians 4:19) As Christians we must Always Be Teaching Somebody the gospel.
When we use our opportunity to evangelize and fulfill our obligation to evangelize we will see people obey the gospel. (Romans 6:1-6) We are baptized into Jesus’ death; we are buried with Him through baptism; we are raised to walk in newness of life after baptism. In baptism we are transformed from death to life because we have obeyed the gospel. When people obey that form of the Lord's death, burial, and resurrection they are, at the point of baptism, then made free from the sin and they become the servant of righteousness. (Romans 6:17-18) Have you obeyed the gospel by being buried in baptism with Jesus Christ, by being baptized into His death, and by being raised up out of the grave of water with Him to walk in newness of life? The blood of Christ provides us with the hope of heaven. As Christians we must Always Be Teaching Somebody the gospel.
- - - - Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: LeRoy Boutwell, Mary Ann Bozeman, Willie Frank Burnett, Brenda Burkett, Cameron Coleman, Bonnie Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Marietta Faulkenberry, Katlin Fuller, Devin Hawkins (nephew of Agnes Hammonds and Dennis Lowery), Dorris Hayes, Patrick & Wanda Hicks, Felice Kendrick, Patricia Kennemore, Peggy Lassiter, Alice Little, Carolena Long, Larry Lucas, Annie McKee, Jewel McNaughton, Charlotte Miller, Jeff Miller, Jeff Mustin, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Elizabeth Perdue, Emma Peterson, Payton Pierce, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Shane Prater, Jack Queener, Amber Raines, Dan Raybon, Lydia Ann Raybon, Peggy Rice, Brenda Richburg, Timothy Rowell, Rosie Rudolph, Katie Sanders, Chuck Shepherd, Nathan Simmons, Margaret Skipper, Preston Steven, Debbie Stone, Bobby & Sylvia Taylor, Mary Lou Terrell, Arlene Thomas, Frank Thomas, Alice Thompson, Corrine Till, Tiffany Till, Jenny Trawick, Dannie Waller, Gladys Warren, Jim Watts, Jim Wood, and Cody Yelverhn. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Betty Findley, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Nelda Sanders, and Annie Ruth Tetter.
2. Sympathy Expressed: Our love and sympathy is expressed to the family of Major Sander, a Faulkner University student who was killed in an automobile accident on his way to preach on Sunday morning.
3. Area Wide Youth Meeting: The Walnut Street Church of Christ will host the Area Wide Youth Meeting tonight, October 14th. Darrell Powell will present the lesson this evening. The fellowship meal for the youth will begin at 5:00 pm.
4. Gospel Meeting: Walnut Street Church of Christ will be conducting a gospel meeting on October 21st-24th with the speaker being Eric Lyons. Eric is the youth minister at the Wetumpka Church of Christ and he is employed with Apologetics Press. Mark your calendars and start inviting others to attend this gospel meeting.
5. Fall Festival: Jason and Ashley Holladay will host a fall festival on October 27th. Make plans to attend.
6. Address Information For Directory: The information for your directory on Jonathan Peoples is as followed: Birthday - August 14th, Address – 1336 Ferrene Dirt Road, Luverne, Alabama 36049, Phone – (cell) 429-0645, and E-mail – Jono8732@gmail.com.
7. Jerry Barr Mission Fund: Please contribute to the “Jerry Barr Mission Fund.” This fund was set up by Joan and other members of Jerry’s family. This money will be used to help with mission trips, build building and support other mission needs. Make checks to Walnut Street Church of Christ – “Jerry Barr Mission Fund.” Jerry’s love for mission work lives on.
8. Thank You Notes: (a) God shows His love…through the warmth and kindness of special people like you. Thank you and God bless! The Family of Hilton Gorum, (b) Dear Walnut Street Church Family, Over the past several weeks, your love and support has certainly been on display as we have welcomed a new addition to our family. We thank everyone who has fixed food, for the calls and visits, for the wonderful gifts, for all the diapers and wipes, and for the flowers sent to our home. We are grateful to be a part of such a caring and giving congregation. We love you all. Justin, Ashley, Alli, and Gryffin Pierce, (c) Dear Walnut Street Family, Thank y’all so much for our beautiful reception and for all of our wonderful gifts! We’ve been overwhelmed with love and support. We look forward to a bright and happy future together! In Christian Love, Dustin & Kayla Houston and (d) Dear Walnut Street Family, John 13:35 say, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Thank you for the tremendous love you showed us during Mother’s illness and death. Thank you for your prayers. They helped so much. The flowers, cards, calls, visits, and food were certainly appreciated. Again, so many of you showed your love and support by attending the visitation and funeral service. Thank you for loving Mother. She certainly loved you. God bless each of you! Love, Charles & Janice Box and Family
More News & Notes
Dishes: There are quite a few dishes in the kitchen that are wondering where their owners are and if they will ever get to go home. If any of these dishes are yours please pick them up today!
Pray For Our Elders: Elders in the church have great responsibility. Pray for Mike Bagents and Bobby Terrell daily.
Pray For Our Nation and Her Leaders: God said, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) PRAY “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1Timothy 2:20)
Bring a Visitor: Set your goal to make an honest effort to bring a visitor to the services of the church. There is someone that we can all influence to go to heaven. Let us all join together and win souls for Jesus. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30)
Be a Daily Bible Reader: It take about seventy-two hours to read the Bible completely through at an average reading speed. Fill your heart with the word of God daily.
Carl Sessions Camp Fund: Please contribute to the “Carl Sessions Camp Fund.” This makes it possible for all Walnut Street Children to attend Bible camp. Make checks to Walnut Street Church of Christ and mark them “Carl Sessions Camp Fund.” A very special “thank you” is given to everyone who has given to this great work. Lives are being changed!
Area Events: (a) October 14th – Area Wide Youth Meeting – Walnut Street Church of Christ – Speaker Darrell Powell – Time 6:00 pm, (b) October 14th – 17th – Gospel Meeting – Rock Hill Church of Christ – Speaker Jimmy Mathews –Time Sunday 2:00 pm and weeknights 7:30 pm, (c) October 14th – 17th – Gospel Meeting – Evergreen Church of Christ – Speaker Ron Williams – Time 7:00 pm weeknights, (d) October 19th – 21st - Backwoods Christian Camp Finally Fall Fling, (e) October 14th – 17th - Gospel Meeting – Lineville Church of Christ – Speaker James Watkins – Time nightly 7:00 pm, and (f) Walnut Street Church of Christ will be conducting a gospel meeting on October 21st-24th with the speaker being Eric Lyons. Eric is the youth minister at the Wetumpka Church of Christ and he is employed with Apologetics Press. He has authored many books and publications and is a well know speaker and defender of God’s word. Mark your calendars and start inviting others to attend this gospel meeting. The schedule of service times is as follow: Sunday Bible Study 9:30 am, Worship Service 10:30 am, Fellowship meal will follow morning service, Worship Service 6:00 pm, and Monday through Wednesday 7:00 pm. There are some flyers of the gospel meeting at the Welcome Center pick some up and invite a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor to our gospel meeting.
Don’t just own a Bible; read it!
How Deep The Father’s Love
(Lyrics By: Stuart Townsend)
How deep the Father's love
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) You ever think about WHY? Why did HE make us…why does HE love us? “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Even though He knew we would fail Him…knew we would struggle at times to live like we love Him…He created us, and He sacrificed His ONLY Son for us. Why? Because we are His “joy.” (Hebrew 12:2) He wants to rescue you. Will you reach out to Him?
- - - - Darrell Powell
Walnut Street Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, Alabama 36037-0551