Living a Life of Maximum Evangelism Acts 17:1-6

Posted: July 19, 2013 in Personal Evangelism

Text: Acts 17:1-7
Title: Living a Life of Maximum Evangelism
Intro: The Book of Acts tells the story of a handful of men and women who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, did not leave their world the same way they found it. They were ordinary people whom God enabled to do extraordinary things. God’s Spirit began a movement that continues to this very day.
On the Day of Pentecost, about 120 believers gathered together to pray and the Holy Spirit was poured out Acts 2:1-4. Everywhere they went, they were ridiculed and opposed and persecuted and physically assaulted for their beliefs. Some were even put to death. But they lived out a life of Maximum Evangelism.
Yet within a period of about 30 years, this original group of 120 and their converts came to be known as “those who turned their world upside down.” When we see their fearless proclamation and witnessing and their expectant prayer and willingness to obey, these Christians almost seem fanatical.
But it isn’t that they were fanatical; it is just that we’re not living a life of Maximum Evangelism. Compared to these early believers we are living a watered-down version of the Christian life. What we see in the Book of Acts is normal, New Testament Christianity. If this is normal then what does this say about us?

I. Maximum Evangelism requires Courage Vv1-2
A. It Takes Courage
No one will ever influence the world for Christ who lacks courage; it is courageous people who make a difference. Paul reminded Timothy of that in 2 Timothy 1:7. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” Courage and Spirit empowered boldness were essential to the impact of the early church, and there is no more consistent illustration of that than Paul himself. The prospect of trials and persecution did not deter him from carrying out his ministry.

B. Conversion Enables Courage
Paul had received his evangelistic missionary orders from Jesus after his Damascus Road conversion. Paul was on his second missionary evangelistic Journey. In chapter 16 of Acts Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail for proclaiming Jesus as the Christ.

C. Courage enables Commitment
Paul knew how people would respond to the gospel. He himself had one at time hated Jesus and His followers. In spite of facing persecution he ran his race. In his letter to the church in Ephesus we see his striving to make Jesus known.

II. Maximum Evangelism requires the Right Content Vv 2-3
A. A Biblical Gospel
What is the true Gospel? Paul gave us the Gospel in a nut shell in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

The Fact of Christ’s Resurrection
##3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, #4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

B. The Promise of the Gospel
The gospel message of what Jesus has done for us is all the revelation we need to know God in salvation. Paul wrote in Romans 10:8-10
8But what does it say OT (Deut. 30:14)? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, #9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;#10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. NASB

C. An Undiluted Gospel
Paul didn’t proclaim a watered down gospel. He didn’t preach a gospel light. He preached about the Light of the Gospel, Jesus Christ. Paul made Jesus known in the face of his accusers who tried to discredit his preaching and his ministry.

III. Maximum Evangelism results in Converts V 3b-4
Everyone is not going to believe in Jesus, but Scripture teaches that even those who choose not to believe, yet, will respect a real faith. Acts 5:13, The non believers had a high esteem for disciples.

A. Paul Persuaded People v 3b-4
“This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
If you desire to live a life of Maximum Evangelism you must be an intentional witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul had most likely had heard Jesus teach and challenge people to turn from their sin. So Paul followed in his Savior’s foot steps.

B. Believer’s Persuade People
As a communicator of God’s Word you must do as our Lord and Savior and offer lost people the opportunity to repent and trust in Him. It is my understanding of God’s Word based on Scripture such as Luke 18-19 and Luke 13:3, 5 and many other passages that we are to persuade a sinner to repent. Paul wrote “because we revere God, we are to persuade men” 1 Corinthians 5:10-11. 

IV. Maximum Evangelism can result in Conflict V 5-6
A. The Gospel Cancels out all other Religions
The first century church lived a life of maximum evangelism. They zealously believed that Jesus was the one true God. They proclaimed Jesus was the way to eternal life in the face of a religiously pluralistic world. They proclaimed Jesus like there was no tomorrow. Verse 6 reveals that lost people stated they were upsetting the world with their message.

B. The Gospel Us to Upset all other Religions
In the Greek New Testament the phrase “turning the world up side down” comes from the word, anastatoo. The Koine Greek means really to upset, to stir up, to unsettle.

 

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