The apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Rome made it very clear of the importance of obeying the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. In chapter 10:13, Paul quotes an Old Testament passage, Joel 2:32, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Robert Mounce wrote, “If everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved, it is important that everyone have the opportunity to hear.” (The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture- Romans)

“Apart from hearing the message no one can believe” wrote Mounce. He points out Paul’s exposition states clearly that “No one can believe in one of whom they have never heard.” (Romans 10:14) Paul makes a profound statement, “And how can they hear without a preacher?” Paul is reaffirming the Great Commission in this verse and with his statement. Unless, the Christians and the church is intentionally going and evangelizing, that is making Jesus known to the world, lost people will not know, he wrote.

Also, Paul clarifies who is supposed to go. “How will they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:15). Therefore, it is necessary that a messenger (Mounce), an evangelizer be sent. The New Testament Greek Lexicon, defines the English word “sent” as “I send forth” or send away. The New Testament Greek word is a compound word, “apo” (away) and “stello” (send), and the tense is “passive”.

The passive tense means that the person being sent is not making the initial decision to go. It means a Superior, a leader, is making the decision for him. The structure of the Greek language in Romans 10:15 is best understood as “sent on a defined mission by a superior.” (Biblehub.com/Lexicon) This is clearly understood that God sends us to go evangelize our community and the world.

In verses 14 and 15 of Romans Ten, Paul primarily deals with evangelistic preaching. The Greek word “kerusson,” is the more commonly used verb for preaching. (Mounce) The Lexicon defines it this way as “to preach (announce) a message publicly and with conviction (persuasion).” Evangelistic preaching is supposed to with conviction and persuasively. Paul affirms this thought in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.”

The Greek word for persuade, “peitho’” is also in the passive tense. Which would also mean the messenger is not the one trying to persuade lost people to believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior. No, by no means. The passive tense means that it is God Almighty, God’s Holy Spirit, speaking through you persuading lost people to believe in Jesus Christ.

Again, Paul makes this clear in 2 Corinthians 5:20. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” It is God who is making the appeal through us. It’s source is from God.

So the question every Christian must answer, “Is God sending me?” Yes, He has, according to Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. You are sent. Now Go and Tell others about Jesus Christ.

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Gospel of Luke 18:13, “13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be[a]merciful to me, the sinner!’

Jesus did teach on the sinner’s prayer. Jesus even gave the words ‘God, be[a]merciful to me, the sinner!’   The Greek word for “merciful

ἱλάσθητι ilasthēti 2433 to be propitious, make propitiation for

Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: hilaskomai

The Definition: propitiation, appeasement/satisfaction of divine wrath on sin”) – properly, to extend propitiation, showing mercy by satisfying (literally, propitiating) the wrath of God on sin;

Let’s finish the lesson, Jesus said, “14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other;” Luke 18:14. Jesus said because the tax collector who had prayed the words ‘God, be[a]merciful to me, the sinner!’ was justified.

The Greek word justified means:

justified δεδικαιωμένος dedikaiōmenos 1344 to show to be righteous, declare righteous

Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: dikaioó

Justified before God –  ikaióō (from dikē, “right, judicial-approval”) – properly, approved, especially in a legal, authoritative sense; to show to be righteous, declare righteous.

Jesus was saying “The believer is “made righteous/justified“. The Greek Strong’s Concordance number is (1344 /dikaióō) by the Lord, cleared of all charges (punishment) related to their sins.

Jesus is cleared about the sinner’s prayer and He even gives us the “words’. But it is more than just words. It is the through at the core of the heart of a person who is shameful about his sinful nature.

Are the words magical? No. But these words reflect a repentant heart. They are spiritual words. They are life giving. It is words from the heart. They acknowledge God as Supreme Being. They acknowledge us as inferior beings. These words acknowledge us as sinners in need of a Savior.

God, be merciful a Sinner!

 

Luke 12:13-15

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

The man in this passage wanted what he thought was rightfully his. From a legal perspective, he may have had a portion of his father’s estate coming to him. The man was anxious at heart, waiting to receive his desired portion of his father’s possessions.

When the man made an appeal to Jesus for him to instruct his brother, who was probably the administrator of their father’s estate to give him his portion Jesus responded with a caution. “Watch out!” In other words, “examine yourself that your greed has not consumed you!” Greed is like cancer that will eat away at your inner being.

This individual probably had a world view that life without “things” or “without an abundance of possessions” is not a quality of life. “Watch Out!” That your worldview is not crowded with thoughts of wanting what someone else has. The Bible refers to this a covetousness.

Jesus responded with “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (V 15) Material things, possessions, will eventually deteriorate, wear out, break down. Or materials thing can be stolen or lost. Jesus taught where our focus and treasure should be in Matthew 6:19-21:

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We can acquire many possessions and wealth. We can store up great wealth. But in the end, at death’s doorway, someone else will eventually get all your possessions. When you die it will not be how much you held in your hands. What will matter is “Who has you in His hands?” Your soul must be in God’s hands. Jesus taught,

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

If you have never given your heart and life to Jesus Christ by repenting of your sins. You can do it right now. Ask Jesus to forgive your sins. Confess He is Lord and Savior. Thank Jesus for dying for your sins and taking your eternal punishment in hell. Thank Him for making a way for you to get into heaven, by His resurrection.

If you want God to have your soul and life in His hands, pray a simple like this.

Dear God, I believe that Jesus is Your Son. That He died for my sin, was buried and rose again from the dead. God, I have sinned against You and I ask You to forgive me. Jesus, I ask you to be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus Name.

If you prayed the prayer, and invited Jesus into your heart, Congratulations! I want you to grow in Christ Jesus.

Things to grow in Christ:

  1. You will want to begin reading your Bible every day.
  2. Begin with the Gospel of John. Read one chapter every day.
  3. Pray every day to God in Jesus Name.
  4. Read a daily devotion. To get a free daily devotion go to https://billygraham.org/devotions/
  5. Get the Living in Christ booklet – https://myhopewithbillygraham.org/product/living-in-christ-booklet/
  6. Watch how God has changed other people’s lives. Watch free videos at https://myhopewithbillygraham.org/programs/
  7. Find a Bible teaching preaching church. Go to http://www.sbc.net/churchsearch/

 

 

 

 

A study in the New Testament Greek of the Matthew 28:19-20, grammatical and linguistically and an exegetical exposition gives us a clear understanding of Jesus Great Missionary Mandate to the church to go evangelize the lost peoples of the world.

A Chronological and logical interpretation of Matthew 28:19-20 helps us to grasp the true message. A dear friend of mine, Dr. Thom Johnston, Professor of Evangelism at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has spent numerous years studying in the various translations and languages the verses of Matthew 28:19-20.

Dr. Johnston gives us a profound understanding as written to earlier Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew passage. Plus, earlier translations of the Bible.

Here is a chronological and logical interpretation of Matthew 28:19-20
(1) Go!

(2) Win disciples to and for Christ! (3) Baptize those who are won! (4) Teach to obey (make disciples) those who are won and baptized!

(3) Baptize those who are won! (4) Teach to obey (make disciples) those who are won and baptized!

(4) Teach to obey (make disciples) those who are won and baptized!

Go! reveals a church that is not stagnant, not staying within the four walls of the church. We are to be a going church.

Win disciples to and for Christ! The church is to be actively evangelizing lost people that are around the church. As the church members are in its normal daily patterns of life, they are to be looking to speak to individuals God sends our way. We are to tell everyone we speak to about Jesus Christ.

Baptize those who are won! Jesus Christ gave us the example, He is our role model for how the church should begin the disciple making process. Baptism is an identification process. Jesus identified with us, sinners before He was crucified through baptism . We identify  with Jesus as our Savior, through baptism, because He was crucified.

Teach to obey those who are won and baptized! The church has an active role in making disciples. By church, this is inclusive of all spiritually mature believers. The church is to teach new believers, make disciples by teaching God’s word, Jesus teachings, teaching biblical principles of the Bible.

 

 

 

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has available a booklet by Dr. Bill Bright that every Christian needs to read.  The booklet is entitled “5 Duties of a Christian Citizen” by Bill Bright.

There are 5 main topics discussed in reference to a Christian and our duty as a representative of TheLord Jesus Christ and our God-given freedom in America.

  1. Pray
  2. Register to Vote
  3. Become Informed
  4. Help Elect Godly People
  5. Vote

Here are some excerpts from Dr. Bill Bright booklet, “5 Duties of A Christian Citizen”

  • “By our actions, God is able to do His will in Government.”
  • “Voting gives us an opportunity to be salt and light in government America’s moral fiber is cut away one layer at a time. “
  • “We are in danger of losing our nation, and our God-given freedom to those who disdain the God of nation’s founders.”
  • “If we lose Christian freedoms to express our faith, we will lose the freedom to fulfill the Great Commission throughout America.”

You can get your copy of Dr. Bill Bright booklet at www.BillyGrahambookstore.org

Or contact vbenavides@billygraham.org  in Metro Atlanta, GA/ Metro Macon, GA.

 

Does prayerwalking work? I learned how to prayerwalk from Foreign Missionaries while in a foreign country years ago. We prayerwalked for hours each day. I learned how to pray specifically and generally over people, in neighborhoods, in communities, and in the cities. I prayerwalked, prayed on buses, prayed on ferry boats, and on sidewalks. What an experience and mentoring moment it was for me. Having gained this knowledge on prayerwalking, since that time, I have taught and conducted classes on prayerwalking. I have led teams prayerwalking in inner cities and communities all across our nation.

Prayer and Prayerwalking still work. Recently, I received a testimonial from my son, who is Senior Pastor in Georgia. He has been preaching and teaching his church members how to be intentional in sharing the gospel and praying. Recently, he encouraged the church to prayerwalk their children’s campuses. Here is a story how prayer does impact our communities.

“As I sit here and read Colossians 4: 2-6 I want to thank you for your challenge you gave us Sunday. As we visited (our daughter’s) school yesterday I asked the principal, her teacher and her paraprofessional- “How can my family pray for you this year?”  Each was surprised 🙂 but their response was awesome! The teacher and para-pro were appreciative and shocked. They both stated no one has ever asked them “How can my family pray for you this school year” – the para pro- got a little misty eyed and stated – “That gave me goosebumps”.
I’m not sharing this to boost but once again to thank you for listening to God and preparing His words for us each week. Through this opportunity, I believe a door was opened with my daughter’s teacher and para-pro that probably would not have if we just had a simple greeting. Stay in the word, continue to seek God’s will for our church and keep preaching the truth!
Love ya brother,“

What an amazing story! This story contains several important facts for the Christian who is living an intentional Christ-like life. (1) Teachable spirit – church members allowed God’s spirit and their pastor to teach and encourage them how to be intentional Christians. (2) Intentional spirit – church members are obedient to the Great Commission to go and make disciples. (3) Celebratory spirit – God rejoices, but so does the church when we go in obedience and connect people to God through Jesus, through prayer and the gospel.

I will never forget what a teenage drug dealer said, after one our mission teams, on a Saturday morning, had engaged a group of young men with the gospel and prayer. They said, “We cannot know that God loves us unless, you guys, (the church) comes out here and tells us.” If your community does not know God loves them, that the Jesus died for them, and that Jesus rose from the dead and conquered sin, death, and the devil, then go tell them. Then your community will know.

Let me pray for you.

Dear Jesus, we ask that you empower us and sent us out in Your Holy Spirit’s power to go and make disciples. Give us favor with people in our communities. Give us the words to say during each witnessing encounter. And allow us to see people born into Your kingdom by Your Spirit as they believe in You Jesus as Lord and Savior.  In Jesus Name!

As an adjunct teacher for a seminary, I have had the opportunity to read and teach through the Old and New Testament books. This has created an opportunity for God to reveal to me and connect “the dots” in understanding God’s plans and purposes to make His truths known. As the church, Christ-followers, we are to still make Jesus known.

As I read, meditate and teach the Old and New Testament books, I see God’s plan, and methods for Himself and later making Jesus Christ known to the world. Besides, home visits, personal evangelism, evangelistic preaching at the temple, the most commonly used approached for the first-century church was street evangelistic preaching. Some scholars would call this “Market Place” evangelism.

Here are a few Biblical examples of God calling His men to proclaim His Holy Word.

  • King Solomon addressed the nation of Israel with a loud voice. (1 Kings 8:54-56)
  • The prophet Ezra call the people of Israel to repentance as they sat in the square.(Ezra 10:9-14)
  • The prophet Jeremiah stood at the gates of the Lord’s house and proclaimed the words of the Lord. (Jeremiah 7:1-3).
  • God sent the prophet Jonah to preached on the streets of Nineveh (Jonah 3:1-5).
  • In the New Testament we see God called Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, as the first street preacher, the first to herald the good news in the open-air, was John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2Mark 1:4Luke 3:3).
  • Jesus sat atop a hill and preached the greatest sermon ever preached in the open-air — the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
  • Jesus’s disciples preached on the streets in many villages (Luke 9:5-7).
  • Peter preached in the open-air at Solomon’s Portico, after healing the lame beggar (Acts 3:11-26).
  • Philip preached the gospel to large crowds on the streets of the city of Samaria (Acts 8:6-8).
  • Paul stood before the judiciary of Athens, atop of Mars Hill, and preached to the men of Athens in the open-air (Acts 17:22-34).

While in seminary, in my proclamation class, I would periodically hear professors share how they had to do one session of street/sidewalk preaching as a student as a requirement for classes for sermon preparation and proclamation. Where are our street evangelists?

On a daily basis, we hear in the news about all the street crime, killings, and violence. It seems that the streets are a fertile place for street communicators of the gospel. I had the privilege of serving on a team of street evangelists for over ten years. Most of these men were of the Boomer generation. Some were of the Builder generation. I have met a few men from Gen-X as street evangelists, but we need more street evangelists.

Who from the next generation, the Millennials, will stand up and be the street evangelists and take the gospel to your generation? This is not a calling for everyone, but there are a few good men who will and are called to this type of God-called ministry.

Being a street evangelist is not an “in the spot-light” ministry. Being a street evangelist will not make you rich but God does provide for your needs. However, the blessings of seeing the multitudes of hard-core lost individuals come to faith in Jesus Christ is super rewarding! You will see drug dealers go from selling to not selling in a matter of minutes. You will meet people who are broken, without purpose and meaning in life be transformed by the gospel right before your eyes.

I have seen an individual recently saved, transformed from not a Christ follower to after trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior, go and evangelize a neighbor. I have seen individuals saved and three minutes later encouraging friends they needed to listen to my message about Jesus Christ. The New Testament Church is built on street or market place evangelists making Jesus Christ known to a community and a city.

In the book of Acts, God revealed to me that His plan was to take the gospel in twenty years plus, over 1,500 sea miles from Jerusalem to the capitol city of the known world at that time, by using the apostle Paul. Paul had to go from city to city preaching and teaching in the communities. Paul had to first evangelize the lost, make disciples and then form the churches. The churches then supported Paul in his ministry. Also, the churches continued to evangelize, to make disciples and to send out evangelists to make Jesus Christ known.

We need some good men to stand up for Christ and surrender to become street evangelists. Some will do this full-time and others will be part-time. But God will call, empower and lead you to preach evangelistically and make disciples. Who of you will answer God’s call to be the next generation’s street evangelists?

America needs you! God is calling you! Will you answer God’s call?