Give Up Everything?

This study is on the hard saying of Jesus about having to give up everything (Mark 10:17-31) Mark 10:21. This is an amazing illustration of evangelism? Is this the Jesus method of evangelism? With what method are you most familiar? Which method appears to be most effective? What is the difference between sharing your story and sharing his story? Imagine this evangelism encounter as a dream come true. The man point blank asks how to be saved! Jesus does not just hand him a tract and get him to pray the sinner’s prayer. Jesus does not correct the man’s theology, good works don’t save. This man had not come to Jesus to hear him say that keeping the commandments was the way to eternal life … Continue reading

Writing Your Testimony

Command six in this WIN or Infant stage is on evangelism (click here for the overview chart). Here is a list of what we have covered up to this point… Invitation – Come and See (John 1:35-51) Salvation – Repent and Believe (Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 4:17, Luke 4:14b-15) Fear is a Barrier to Faith (Luke 12:4-12) Greed is a Barrier to Faith (Luke 12:13-21) Baptism is that First Step of Obedience (Matthew 28:19-20) Evangelism Comes from the Joy of Our New Found Faith (John 4:3-42) If you intend to be effective in evangelism, you need to be clear on your personal testimony. Your testimony is the story of how you began your spiritual journey with Jesus. This is good old fashioned way to open the … Continue reading

The Best-Laid Plans

“The best-laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry” Perhaps you’ve heard this phrase. It speaks of how (as human beings) we make our well-intended plans, utilizing the best of our knowledge and ability, but then things don’t always turn out as we had hoped. The phrase was made most famous by John Steinbeck in his 1937 novel “Of Mice and Men,” which came from a line within the Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1785, called, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough.” According to legend, Burns wrote the poem after finding a nest full of mice, in his field, during the winter. ” On a personal note, as a parent, how many times have … Continue reading

Six Problem Passages

Six Problem Passages for Water Baptism: 1. Mark 7:4 – “and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse [literally sprinkle] themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing [literally baptizing] of cups and pitchers and copper pots.)” Western and Syrian manuscripts add “couches” at the end of the sentence (A.T. Robertson). For those who don’t immerse, they ask, “How would the Pharisees go about submerging “couches or beds” in their ceremonial washing? (Leviticus 15:20)” You would need a large body of water like a pool or river. So, this passage seems to permit a mode of baptism to be sprinkling or pouring. The Mishnah (the first part … Continue reading

The Command of Baptism

We are now up to the fifth command in this initial infant stage, or Win Level. So far we have… Come and see – John 1:39 Repent and Believe – Mark 1:14-15 Fear as a barrier to faith / Do not Fear – Luke 12:5-7 Greed as a barrier to faith / Covetousness – Luke 12:15 This lesson focuses on the topic of water baptism, which is the first step of obedience for a new believer. Jesus baptized new converts and instructs us to do the same. Historical Background: The gospel of John is the only one to bear witness to Jesus’ early Judean ministry, which lasted about nine months. The synoptics don’t reveal this time period which took place between Matthew 4:11 and Matthew … Continue reading

Greed Builds Bigger Barns

We are now up to the fourth command in this infant stage, or Win Level. So far we have… Come and see – John 1:39 Repent and Believe – Mark 1:14-15 Fear / Do not Fear – Luke 12:5-7 Greed / Covetousness – Luke 12:15 Last time we saw how GREED was a second barrier to faith in this introductory level, Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15). Only Luke records this story (SEC 147). Our passage today is from Luke 12:13-21, regarding the issue of dividing inheritance, and Jesus’ story about the accumulation of wealth and building bigger barns. … Continue reading

Greed is a Barrier to Faith

We are now up to the fourth command in this infant stage, or Win Level. So far we have… Come and see – John 1:39 Repent and Believe – Mark 1:14-15 Fear / Do not Fear – Luke 12:5-7 Now we come to GREED being a second barrier to faith in this introductory level, Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15). BEWARE and BE ON YOUR GUARD – present imperatives that could be translated, “be ever on alert and be guarding yourself from every form of greed.” Jesus is pointing out that greed seeks more material possessions which are not … Continue reading

Why We Don’t Make Disciples

David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills and author of Radical, presents a compelling argument regarding the importance of missions and the understanding of discipleship. If we truly understood evangelism, the gospel, and salvation, the Great Commission would compel us toward growing in faith and reaching the lost. Since Jesus came to save the world from sin, how can we say that those who have never heard of Jesus will somehow get a pass, after all, they have never heard the name of Jesus? In essence this argument claims that “ignorance is bliss.” If this is true, Jesus would not have given us the Great Commission. If this was true, the absolute worst thing we could do would be to send missionaries to … Continue reading

Small Groups Don’t Work?

This is a compelling talk on how we desire for lost people to get involved in small groups… A missionary is one who sacrifices everything except the gospel for the sake of the gospel. How do we get people to think through that lens? How do we change their behavior? How do people in church feel about community? Where? – Where does it happen? Generally at church or in a home. When? – On Sunday in worship or mid-week on Wednesdays. What? – What does the room look like? In a circle, face to face. Or perhaps rows. How? – The dominant view is that community is an event, and a place to go at a specific time. We gather to talk about God and … Continue reading