Witnessing: Witness for REVIVAL

About three weeks ago I tore the calf muscle and plantar ligament in my left leg. That’s bad in regards to the fact that it is a rather painful injury. However, it has also been a good thing that I have had the time to delve more deeply into Bible study, prayer, and discipleship. Witnessing was one of the areas of daily living that I have devoted a great deal of time in study and prayer to.

As we have all learned, being a witness for Jesus Christ is a sharing of the Gospel of Christ. We have also learned that each and every believer is commanded by Jesus to be His witness in the Books of Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; John 20:21; and Acts 1:8. Five times in five successive Books of the Bible we are instructed to share the Gospel of Christ. I’d say that is pretty important. Also, in Acts 1:8 it appears that Jesus’ last words before ascending into heaven were imperative that we become His witness and share His Gospel (good news) with the world. Of all the topics Jesus could have chosen for His last words on earth, He chose the sharing of the Gospel.

I believe that the American church has fallen asleep and has neglected the calling of Christ to share the Gospel. Revivals are becoming fewer and fewer. Itinerant evangelists are having difficulty filling out their calendars. Crusades of the magnitude that Billy Graham conducted are seemingly a thing of the past. Why is this? Has the economy gotten so bad and the Church so concerned about investing money in the kingdom that the Church has lost sight of what its function truly is? No, I do not think so. I don’t believe that God works on the basis of our economy or on the basis of our fears. I do believe that God works in regards to our obedience.

Question. What is revival? Is it the reviving of the individual’s spirit to become obedient to God? Does revival center around inviting the evangelist to come in and preach the Gospel to a “handful” of lost individuals invited INTO the church by a small number of the faithful few so that the lost come to a saving knowledge of grace and acceptance of salvation? Perhaps, maybe, revival is more in line with the revival of the church as a whole to go OUT and share the Gospel within the community, area, and the world?  What do you think?

Certainly, revival within the individual is important. Revival within twenty to fifty people is important. There can be no doubt about that. However, revival within the Church as a whole begins with the revival of one individual. Are you that individual? Revival of all individuals within the church places the burden for a lost and dying world at the forefront of the Church. How much more could be accomplished if the Church, as a whole, went OUT and shared the Gospel in joyful obedience.

I have another question, and it is purely hypothetical. What would happen if a medium sized church of 300 to 500 people sent out 50 local church missionaries who were knowledgeably and spiritually prepared, with a genuine love for the lost, and on fire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the community? If each of the fifty shared the Gospel and won only one person to Christ each month, that would mean 600 people would be saved and brought into the Church in the first year alone! Let’s make this clear. I am not talking about obtaining numbers for the sake of obtaining numbers alone. However, I do believe that obtaining numbers for the sake of pulling people off the highway to hell through the love of Christ honors God.

I realize that scenario may be wishful thinking. But I must raise the question, “Can that be accomplished?” I believe that it can happen. However, if it is attempted without much prayer and calling upon a total dependence upon the Holy Spirit that this endeavor would be doomed to failure.

So what does sharing the Gospel entail? Sharing the Gospel is a proclamation of the Good News

Mark 16:15 (NASB95)

15       And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Acts 14:15 (NASB95)

15       and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.

The Gospel Message is revealed by God

Galatians 1:11–12 (NASB95)

11       For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

12       For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel Centers on Jesus Christ.

Mark 1:1 (NASB95)

1       The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Ephesians 3:8 (NASB95)

8       To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

The Gospel announces God’s kingdom.

Acts 28:31 (NASB95)

31       preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.

The Gospel states that God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:3–5 (NASB95)

3       and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”

4       Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see:

5       the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

The Gospel is in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (NASB95)

3       For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4       and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

The Gospel announces God’s Salvation.

Romans 1:16–17 (NASB95)

16       For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

17       For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

The Gospel is a call for repentance for the forgiveness of sin.

Luke 24:47 (NASB95)

47       and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

The Gospel is an announcement of peace with God.

Ephesians 2:17–18 (NASB95)

17       And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;

18       for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being an obedient witness, is not easy. It was never meant to be. Persecutions will come today just as swiftly as they have come throughout history. Do you, as an individual, carry a burden for the lost? Does your church have a burden for the lost? What are you going to do? Are you going to be obedient or merely continue to turn a blind eye to a lost and dying world? God Bless!

In His Grip,

Lonnie Richardson

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