Four motivations for evangelism 

By Adauto Rezende

 

Mark 2: 1-12 “Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

 

THE COMMANDMENTS OF JESUS

 

“You are my friends if you do what I command you " ( John 15: 14 )

 

I. Comply with the two great commandments

 

• That we love God above all

• That we love one another (John 13: 34, 15: 12-17 )

 

II. Carry out the Great Commission

 

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

The narrative tells us of a paralytic brought to Jesus.

 

Who are the Paralytics of your city? 

Are they are laying in their beds, unmoving?  Thousands around the world.

Maybe in your family, in your street, in your city.

 

• Problems, sorrows, struggles, needs, diseases...

• Paralyzed by drugs (millions killed by drug overdose), venereal disease, alcohol, gambling, ...

• Paralyzed by guilt, revenge, self-pity by, fear,...

• Paralyzed by government lies - Prostitution legalization, abortion clinics rights, laws against home education,... We have been called to govern.

• Paralyzed by cults – Romanism, Mormonism, Jehovism, Islamism, Hinduism, Occultism,…

• Paralyzed by the chemical poisons produced by hatred, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, which ultimately will destroy the body and soul.

 

The narrative tells us of four individuals that carry the man to Jesus

What do they represent?

FOUR MEN, FOUR VIRTUES

 

What did encourage the four men to carry his friend to Jesus?

 

1. LOVE

 

"And seeing the multitudes, he had compassion on them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd."  Matthew 9:36

 

When there is no evangelism in the church, eventually selfishness will replace love. Like the Ephesian church mentioned by Jesus.

 

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first." (Revelation 2: 4)

 

Years ago I witnessed in Brazil a passion for evangelism by many church denominations. They were sharing the gospel in the market places, streets, broadcasting daily evangelistic messages; true compassion for the lost, however, in our day evangelism is no longer a priority in their churches.

Is it worth preaching in a Nursing home, in prisons, hospitals or on a street corner? Why should we preach there? For the love of souls!

 

2. FAITH

 

a) Faith in Jesus name

The four heard and believed in the name of the Lord.

 

THE SAMARITAN EVANGELIST

 

"Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him." John 4:28-30

 

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4: 42

 

i. It is the only way to salvation

 

"And there is salvation in no one else, because also under heaven no other name given among men, whereby we must be saved ." Acts 4:12

A friend joined a church and a few weeks after he was shocked when he found out, that the congregation no longer believed in biblical infallibility. He later spoke to the pastor, who denied that Jesus was the only way to heaven. He left the church with his family and today this denomination is completely apostatized.

 

ii. It is the most powerful name in the universe

 

"And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils;" Mark 16:17

 

"Therefore also God highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven and on earth and under the earth," Philippians 2:9-10

The doctor who went mad.

He was taken back to the village, stuck with chains, in a hut. The food was thrown to him, for he bit and attacked anyone who approached. One day someone kicked him in the mouth and broke his teeth. Four men brought him to a crusade. During the ministry of the Word, demons went out one by one, and he returned to his normal state, they stripped him of the chains and the gagged mouth. He returned to school and became a living witness of Jesus. (T.L. Osborn –The great plan of love)

 

b ) Trust in the Word, Message, Gospel 

 

SEEDS FOR THE SOWER – Psalm 126: 6 "Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them." 

 

HAMMER - Jeremiah 23: 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? "

 

TRUSTFUL - Luke 21: 33 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

 

The greatest apostle and evangelist of all time said:

 

POWER FOR SALVATION – Romans 1: 16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." 

 

POWER OF THE MESSAGE – I Corinthians 1: 18, 21-23 "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

 

The good news

 

• To every sinner. Jesus took our sins. We no longer carry them.

• For those who live with a guilty conscience. He took our guilt, so that we may receive forgiveness.

•To anyone who is convicted for the penalty of sin. Jesus took our condemnation and offers redemption.

• To anyone who had failed. Jesus endured our failures in order to give us victory.

• To anyone who is sick with incurable illnesses. Jesus took our infirmities.

 

The problem of skepticism among believers to deliver the message.

Many Christian’s excuses: “It is not worth to invite. They are idolatrous, they are Buddhists, they are atheists. ..." 

The four saw the Cripples' need. They did not just say: “Poor guy, we feel sorry for you”, but they acted, they moved, they got together as a team and brought the man to Jesus.

3. OBEDIENCE

 

The Lord commanded to preach the gospel. The good news.

 

"He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation..." Mark 16:15

 

Believers are hiding in fear, not because they are cast to the lions in the arenas of Rome or to be fried in pans of boiling oil or for being crucified on stakes, but they are afraid simply for the fact of being despised or criticized by non-Christians.

 

4. ZEAL (dedication, diligence, priority)

 

Maybe among the crowd that day in Capernaum, many might had said:

 

“It is not worth! There are too many people in front of us! The people of Nazareth said he did not heal anyone there!”

 

The four men acted with zeal and moved on carrying the paralytic, though many pessimism and obstacle had to be overcome.

 

The gospel shall be preached in the entire world. There still hope:

 

i. There is forgiveness for the greatest sinner.

 

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Testimonials:

 

• A young man whom I shared the gospel, asked a question: “Does Jesus want anything with a bastard like me?

 

ii. There is still time for the sinner - The door is still open. Don’t you have a saying, "It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." John 4:35

 

iii. There is still room

 

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full." Luke 14:21-23

In 1968, the surgeon, Dr. Kenethe Swan, a newcomer to Vietnam, operated on a soldier victim of a grenade, who was left without both legs, his face torn and blind. After seven hours of surgery, other doctors, when they heard what he had done, raged at him saying: "let the patients in these conditions die. Why spend precious time with someone in this situation? There are many people in better condition who need you." He deeply saddened, carried these words for several years. After the war, 20 years later, he went to see if he could find out what had happened to his patient. Dr. Kenethe discovered that he had become a Christian. Although he was blind and in a wheelchair, he was helping thousands of crippled Americans, telling his testimony and that it was worth living.

 

LOVE – FAITH – OBEDIENCE – ZEAL

 

• Are you proclaiming the gospel?

• Are you obeying Jesus’s commandments?

- TO LOVE OTHERS AND TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS

• Have you any real zeal for souls?

• When was the last time you spoke of Jesus to someone?

• When was the last time you took a Bible or a brochure to someone?

• Jesus is waiting for the cripples. Can He count on you?