Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fishers of Men R U 100% SURE?


Luke 10:2 The harvest is truly plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers into the harvest.

John 14:6 …(Jesus said) No man comes to the Father but by Me.

John 6:44 No man can come to Me unless the Spirit of My Father draws him …

Acts 17:30 … God has commanded all men everywhere to repent.

There is a God thing going on all around us all the time. God is preparing hearts to hear a witness. The potential is greater than anyone imagines.

It is my responsibility to equip the saints to work the ministry. Therefore, in order for me to please God on my job, I must give you tools to win souls.

There are two critical things I am going to ask you to do right now:
1.   Disregard any thoughts that come to you telling you that the people around you don’t want to get right with God and be saved.
2.   Put yourself in the mind to participate

Tonight I will continue teaching how to:
1.   Identify those who are ripe and ready to be harvested.
2.   Awaken the command of God in their heart.
3.   Close the deal.

There is one basic overriding reason why Christians do not witness to others – they don’t know how. Tonight I will teach you how – how to begin and what to say. Each one of us needs to be a confident witness. Confidence comes from knowing what to do. Listen closely and I will teach you 3 easy-to-remember steps and then how set the hook and catch the fish. Remember – we are only looking for ripe fruit. OK – let’s begin …

Imagine you hear a big crash behind you and all of the sudden a purple casket crashes through that wall and into the sanctuary knocking chairs over as sheetrock and metal studs go flying through the air. As the casket speeds by you dodge to keep it from hitting you and you see something is written on the side. The casket hits this platform, almost flips and slides to a stop. When the dust settles you can read what is written on the side. Written in big black letters you read the words, “R U 100% SURE???”

You think you would remember something like that? Sure you would. You would be 105 years old and telling your great great grandchildren, “One time I was sitting in Church at COTR, Pastor Ron was preaching and all of the sudden a purple casket crashed through the back wall. It made a terrible noise, it almost ran me over. That casket smashed straight into the platform and slid to a stop right behind Pastor Ron. When the dust settled we could all see there was something written on the side of the casket in big black letters. It said, “R U 100% SURE???” with three big question marks … nearly scared us all to death. If that happened right now you think you would remember it? Yep – you’d remember that one for life.

OK, imagine that purple casket sitting right there and on the side of the casket the words, “R U 100% SURE???” While you watch the casket lid opens and man gets out wondering where he is. When the man  looks around he sees someone dressed like a soldier standing right over there beside a big beautiful gate. The casket guy starts walking towards the soldier and notices he is wearing one of those big sandwich board signs. You know the kind – one of those that hang on the shoulders and cover the front and back –they’re used to advertise things. Written all over this sandwich board sign on the front and back is one word: “Why” Why – Why – Why – Why – Why – everywhere …

Just as he reaches the soldier, the soldier takes the sandwich board off and sits it down beside him and rushes straight over to a big tall “Can” , like a coke can or a monster drink can … It’s sitting just on the other side of the casket. The can is about 10 foot tall. Over half way up in middle of this tall can is a giant “eye” and it’s looking around watching everything that’s happening. On the very top of this tall can is a red “telephone” – one of those big old square telephones. The phone begins to ring and so the soldier takes out his sword, reaches high, jumps a little, swings his sword and hits the top of the can and knocks it over. The can falls and the phone hits the floor and breaks open.  When the phone breaks open hundreds of “Bibles” come spilling out all over the stage.

Now do you remember what’s happened? Let me go over the high points one more time.
1.   The purple casket crashes through the wall, hits the platform and stops right behind me in a cloud of sheetrock dust. On the side of the casket written the words: “R U 100% SURE???”.
2.   A man gets out of the casket sees someone dressed like a soldier standing beside a big beautiful gate. The soldier is wearing a sandwich board with one word written all over it on the front and the back sides: “Why” Why- Why- Why- Why- Why- Why … everywhere.
3.   The soldier takes the sandwich board off and sits it down and rushes straight over to a big 10’ tall “Can” sitting on the other side of the casket. On the side of the can there is a big “Eye”. On top of the can is an old red “Telephone”. The phone begins to ring and the soldier takes out his sword, reaches high and knocks the can over, it falls and when the telephone hits the floor it breaks open and “Bibles” spill out all over the stage.

Ok – if you can remember that simple story, you have just learned a well proven and successful way to be an effective witness for Christ.

Here are 3 steps to awaken the command of God in a person’s life. This will work in any setting. You can inject this into any conversation. Be sincere and really care. You simply have to ask the first question and you will remember the rest. What is the first question? Remember the casket? What was written on the side? This is how you ask the 1st question:

1.  Are you 100 percent sure if you died today you would go to heaven?

Then you wait and listen and let them answer. If they say yes or if they say no or if they say I don’t know or if they are silent for a long time … that’s ok. You see, it really does not matter what they say to this first question – you have a plan … you know where you are going … you are on a fishing trip, you have the best bait and you already know your next cast.

So, listen – be attentive – and be ready to ask question #2 when it’s your turn to talk. Remember the soldier and the sign he was carrying? This will remind you and keep you on track with the next question. Question 2:

2.  If you were standing before Jesus and He said, “Why should I let you into My heaven?”, what would you say?

Again – be attentive, give them time to respond and listen to their answer. Remember however, it does not matter what they say, you have a plan and you know the next question. You are not here to prove, to lecture, to argue or get sidetracked by anything else. You are simply a laborer in the fields of this world harvesting the ripened and ready fruit for Christ.

Some people will respond to this question by saying that they have been good or that they attend Church or perhaps even say they don’t know or that they don’t expect to go to heaven or whatever. But keep in mind that it does not matter what they say. You should respond in a generally supportive way in understanding why some people may think or feel that and yet remember – you have another question to ask as soon as this person feels they have been heard. Remember, you are the fisherman, they are the fish – don’t let the fish dictate when they will be caught. You have the best bait in the universe and it’s free … you are doing the fishing!

If you maintain your kind and caring approach and remain non-threatening and sincerely attentive, you will lose very few during this adventure. After their response, make a light comment to show you are listening and then move on to the third question. You can remember the next question because you can remember the story and what the soldier did next: He set the sandwich board down and rushed over to a tall can with an eye and a telephone filled with Bibles. So, here goes Question #3:

3.  Can I tell you what the Bible says?

Out of all of the numbers of people I have witnessed to, I don’t remember ever being turned down or stopped at this point. A kind, caring, sincere approach to winning souls is very effective. And remember – we are dealing with people God has been preparing. If you care they will respond.

From this point it is simple – all you have to know comes straight from the Bible and a well proven approach to soul winning called the “Romans Road to Salvation”. I first learned in a Southern Baptist Evangelism Training Course in the 70’s. I have re-written these basic Bible truths into 3 simple, easy-to-remember phrases which get right to the heart of God’s Word. Here is what you say after you ask question #3 – and by the way, you don’t have to wait for them to respond even though most will.

·        The Bible says that we have all done wrong. (Romans 3:23)
·        The payment for doing wrong is hell …  (Romans 6:23)
·        But we get to go to heaven if we just ask!  (Romans 10:13)

Now here, right away you ask one final closing question in a very sincere, straight forward and caring voice:

Is there any reason in your wildest imagination why you would want to spend an eternity in hell?

Of course that answer is “No!”. At that point you awaken and release the command of God in that person’s life and say in a strong and directive manner. Say - “Then pray with me now.”

This is not a suggestion or a question – we don’t ask, “Would you like to pray now?” – rather this is the point where God awakens His command in their heart and the far majority of people sense true faith and respond.

You immediately bow your head and say, “God …” – If you don’t hear them praying with you, raise you head, look at them and say, “Pray, pray with me now.” then bow your head and begin to pray again. The vast majority will sincerely and openly voice their sincere prayer and receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of their life. Keep the prayer focused and brief.

Now I have some other things to teach you and ways to identify the ripe fruit verses the green fruit, how to answer every objection to the witness and what to do when a person does not want to hear anything about Jesus or wants to argue or has sincere questions about whatever … But for now – let’s practice these simple steps and become fruitful fishers of men.