‘Tis The Season To Preach Adapted from a Steve Shepherd sermonhttp://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly.asp?Con tributorID=&SermonID=152491
The minister gave his Sunday morning sermon, as usual, but this particular Sunday, it was considerably longer thannormal. Later, at the door, shaking hands with church members as they left theservice, one man said, “Your sermon was simply wonderful - so invigorating andinspiring and refreshing.” The minister of course, broke out in a big smile, only to hear the man add, "Why I felt like a new man when I woke up!"
I doubt you’ll get that refreshed after listening to my sermons! They aren’t long enough for you to reach that deep level of sleep. GOD’S WORD CAN MAKE YOU FEEL MOVED AND MOTIVATED!My sermons hopefully present God’s Wordso it can motivate you to action for the Lord in living the Christian life!
James 1:22 NET But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. 23 For if someone merely listens to the messageand does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he gazes at himself and then goes outand immediately forgets what sort of person he was.
25 But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there,and does not become a forgetful listener butone who lives it out — he will be blessed in what he does.
Be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it! It’s not enough just to hear God’s Wordpreached! We must take some action based on what we hear. Otherwise, James is saying that going to church listening to sermon and then doing nothing about it is like looking in a mirror. Then turning from the mirror & forgetting instantly your hair needed combed, your face is dirty, you need a shave or beard trimmed.
What was accomplished when you looked in the mirror?A healthy person looks in the mirror to dosomething, not just to admire the image. Even so, a healthy Christian looks intoGods word to do something about it, notjust to store up facts that they wont use. (Guzik)
James is saying when we listen to God’s Word, whether in a sermon or in personalstudy, and see ourselves for what we really are....perhaps messed up somewhat spiritually, then if we do nothing about it, never repent or make any changes in our lives, then we are not pleasing to Godbecause we haven’t done anything positive to change the way we live!
So when I preach, my aim is not refreshment as much as it is repentance and renewal! I’m reminded of the theme at the KiamichiMen’s Clinic I attend ever May, “How can I make my life count more effectively for Christ.” Maybe we should ask ourselves thatquestion before & after every sermon, Bible study or reading of the Scriptures.
Christmas was finally over and thepreacher’s wife dropped into an easy chairsaying, "Boy! Am I ever tired." Her husband looked over at her and said, "I had topreach two special services last night, three today, for a total of five sermons. Why are you so tired?" "Dear," she replied, "I had to listen to all of them."
I’m sure that’s probably how Gayla feels! It’s a good thing I don’t preach more thanonce on Sunday. Of course, she might say that I’m preaching all the time anyway: atchurch, at home, etc. HEY, THAT’S NOT ABAD IDEA! In fact, I think we all need to bepreaching Jesus all the time! He’s the best and most important person we could be talking about to others, wouldn’t you say?
Matthew 10:7 NET As you go, preach this message: The kingdom of heaven is near! Jesus said to His disciples, “As you go,preach!” Good advice for us today. As you go, wherever you go, preach the messageof Jesus! As you go to work, preach! As you go to buy groceries, preach! As you go to Wal-mart shopping, preach! As you go to the bank, preach!
I’m saying that at this time of the year morepeople are thinking about Christ so we needto capitalize on this and preach about Jesus every chance we get! Have you ever thought about what would happen if we preached Jesus or talked about Jesus everywhere we went? We would turn some people on & turn some people off. If every Christian did this, just imagine the converts we could make!
Have you talked to anybody lately about Jesus or the Christian life, the Christian faith? If not, why not? NOW’S THE TIME. Don’t wait. Do it now.You might influence someone to become a Christian! This is why God put us here.
In this sermon, let me suggest some ways to preach Jesus. Preach Jesus Individually Preach Jesus Publicly Preach Jesus Impartially
Preach Jesus Individually Preach Jesus personally, from you to another person. From person to person. One on one. Here’s a story in Acts 8:26 NET Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Get up and go south on the roadthat goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." (This is a desert road.)
27 So he got up and went. There he met an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official ofCandace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and was returning home, sitting in his chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over and join this chariot."
30 So Philip ran up to it and heard the manreading Isaiah the prophet. He asked him,"Do you understand what youre reading?"31 The man replied, "How in the world can I, unless someone guides me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of scripture the man was reading was this:
"He was led like a sheep to slaughter, and like a lamb before its shearer issilent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In humiliation justice was taken from him. Who can describe his posterity? For his life was taken away from the earth." (Isa 53:7-8)
34 Then the eunuch said to Philip, "Pleasetell me, who is the prophet saying this about — himself or someone else?" 35 So Philip started speaking, and beginning with this scripture proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him.
Philip had a captive audience. It was one on one as they were in that chariot together.That’s like the passenger sitting next to you in your car. They are a captive audience. Those kinds of situations are best for witnessing.
A preacher was in a local service station one day, visiting with a fishing friend andseveral other guys. They were talking about bass fishing. The preacher told one guythat any time he needed a fishing buddy, to give him a call and he would be glad to go with him.
Knowing he was a preacher, he said, “You would just preach to me!” The preachersaid, “No.” But he thought if the opportunity came up he would witness for Jesus. The guy would have been a captive audience, so why not?
Guess what? He declined the request. Henever asked the preacher. He never called. The preacher guessed the guy figured he would preach to him. However, the preacher did fish a few bass tournamentsand every guy he was paired with he would talk to him about the Lord when the opportunity presented itself. And he neverhad one guy get mad at him. In fact, he met a few Christian guys.
36 Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look, there is water! What is to stop me from being baptized?" 37 (TEXTOMITTED) A few later MSS add, with minor variations, "He said to him, If you believewith your whole heart, you may. He replied, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. " (NETnotes)
38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, andboth Philip and the eunuch went down intothe water, and Philip baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, theSpirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but went on his way rejoicing. When he preached Jesus to him, he responded in a positive way. He said, “Ibelieve in Jesus. Why can’t I be baptized?”
Many people say, “Why do I have to be baptized?” instead of saying, “Why can’t I?”Baptism is an act of obedience that the Lordasks us to do. If we truly believe in Him and want Him as our Savior, why not do as He asks?
Baptism is a very simple thing compared tomany other things that Jesus asks us to do. And it’s only a one time thing, unlike most things we are to do. In the past some preachers were pushing the idea of “EACH 1, WIN 1.”It’s the idea that each Christian should win another person to Christ.
Have you ever led someone to Christ, thatis, to the point where they wanted to accept Christ, confess their faith and be baptized? Wouldn’t it be amazing if every Christian in this world would do this? It is reported 2.1 billion people worldwide claim to be Christians. The earth’spopulation is 7 billion. If every Christian wonjust one person to Christ there would be 4.2 billion Christians in this world!
When the new 2.1 billion Christians“EACH 1, WIN 1” the number jumps to 6.3 billion. That would be fantastic! God would be pleased!Some Christians would win more than one person to Christ. So you can see howconverting the whole world is within reach.But sad to say, that probably won’t happen,because most Christians will never win one person to Christ in their entire lifetime.
THINK ABOUT IT. Then begin to think about the person or persons you could win to Christ and start praying for them. Then look for opportunities to witness to them.We all need to preach Jesus individually or one on one and as much as possible. ‘Tis the season to do this.
Preach Jesus Publicly Acts 20:20 NET You know that I did nothold back from proclaiming to you anything that would be helpful, and from teaching you publicly and from house to house,It’s the idea of: Don’t hide the gospel frompeople. Be out in the open about it. Preach Jesus publicly and in every house.
There was a time when preachers preachedon the street corner, but not much anymore. It was more acceptable in years gone by. I’m not sure any preacher would get much of hearing today preaching on a street corner. And in some cities in the US, he might even get beat up!
Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 - December 22, 1899 - 62). He was more commonly known as D. L. Moody. What apreacher he must have been! I don’t know if he did much preaching on street corners but he could sure draw a crowd in the later 1800’s
His first city-wide crusade in America was in Brooklyn beginning October 31, 1875, at the Clermont Avenue Rink, seating 7,000. Only non-church members could get admission tickets as 12,000 to 20,000 crowds were turned away. Over 2,000 converts resulted.
Next came Philadelphia starting onNovember 21 with nightly crowds of 12,000. The Philadelphia crusade was held at the unused Pennsylvania freight depot which John Wanamaker had purchased. It was located at Tenth and Market. His ushers were very well trained, capable of seating1,000 people per minute, and vacating the premises of some 13,000 in 4 minutes if needed.
The doors were opened one and a half hours early and in 10 minutes the 12,000 seats were taken. On January 19, 1876 President Grant and some of his cabinet attended. Total attendance was 1,050,000 with 4,000 decisions for Christ.(http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID= 82) I would say that was public preaching of Jesus!
Today, if you have a revival meeting in achurch you will hardly get a crowd. I hate to say it, but most of the time you can’t get church members to attend, let alone non- Christians. People just are not interested inthe gospel. They have too many irons in the fire. They are too busy. It’s been said that we are often too busy for our own spiritual good! True for saints and sinners alike!
"Many churches report no new members on confession of faith. Why these meager results with this tremendous expenditure of energy andmoney? Why are so few people coming into the Kingdom? I will tell you—there is not a definite effort put forth to persuade a definite person to receive a definite Savior at a definite time, and that definite time is now." (Billy Sunday)
If there is no effort put forth to preach Jesus publicly or witness publicly then there will no people coming to Christ and being saved. BEING SAVED IS WHAT GOD WANTS PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCE.’Tis the season to preach Jesus publicly and from house to house.
Preach Jesus ImpartiallyRomans 1:14 NET I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to thewise and to the foolish. 15 Thus I am eageralso to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of thegospel, for it is Gods power for salvation toeveryone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Don’t be particular about the people youpreach to or witness to. Everyone needs to hear the message, both Jew and Gentile alike. It doesn’t make any difference who the person is, all need Jesus. Someone wrote: What’s the state of the states of the union? Let’s see ... New Yorkers mock Southern drawls.
Southerners don’t cotton to West Coasthippies, who in turn can’t understand why Midwesterners live so far from the oceanbreeze. And Midwesterners? They wonder who could survive New York-the city that never sleeps. Yes, the U.S.A. is one big, happy dysfunctional family.
When a visitor to a town in Alabama spotted a dog attacking a boy, he grabbed theanimal and throttled it with his bare hands.An impressed reporter saw the incident and told him the next day’s headline would scream, "Valiant Local Man Saves Child by Killing Vicious Animal."
"I’m not from this town," said the hero. "Then," the reporter said, "it will say‘Alabama Man Saves Child by Killing Dog.’" "Actually," said the man, "I’m from New Hampshire.“ "In that case," the reporter grumbled, "the headline will be ‘Yankee Kills Family Pet.’"
While we might not like living in certainparts of the country or like the people wholive in other parts of the country, we must realize that people are people and God wants all people to be saved.
A man remembers going to Boston in 1989 to run the Boston marathon. While walkingdown the street he saw a man beating on a woman. They were yelling at one another and he was hitting her. He didn’t know if they were husband and wife or boyfriendand girlfriend. He thought, “What a bunch of crazy people who live here!”
Also, while walking down the street a lady came up to him asking for money. She almost fell on him and she appeared to be either drunk or high on drugs. He said, “Sorry, I can’t help you.”But you know, as he looks back, he should have helped her. Maybe not with cash,because you always wonder when you give money to some people they’ll just spend it on drugs or booze.
But he should have done something, fedher if she was hungry. He should have saidsomething to her about the Lord. He shouldhave witnessed to her with some words and showed her some kindness. We are not to be racists or prejudice, because God is not. God wants all people to be saved, regardless of their race or social level, etc.
A new family started attending a church. One lady said, “They’re not our class of people.” Meaning she looked down on them. WRONG ATTITUDE. BAD ATTITUDE. Preacher/author Carl Kectherside and hiswife, Nell, walked the inner city of St. Louis,talking to prostitutes and drug addicts about Jesus.
2 Peter 3:9 NET The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regardslowness, but is being patient toward you,because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.’Tis the season to preach Christ to all people!
Acts 10:42 NET He commanded us topreach to the people and to warn them thathe is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. He commanded us to preach. We don’t have any choice in this matter. It’s called the Great commission!
The same word (G4198 poreuomai por-yoo- om-ahee) translated, As you go,… in Matthew 10:7 NET is used in “The Great Commission.”Mark 16:15 NET He said to them, "Go (as you go) into all the world and preach thegospel to every creature. 16 The one whobelieves and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned.
Matthew 28:18 NET Then Jesus came up and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and (as you go) makedisciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Andremember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
2 Timothy 4:2 NET Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. ’Tis the season to preach Jesusanywhere, everywhere and to all people!