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I am very privileged to work with a group of boys in an organization called the Boy Scouts.  This is a great organization that serves the young boys of our community from the first grade up through the twelfth grade and there is a program called Ventures which boys can be actively involved in until they are twenty-one years old. Two of the things that a Scout has to help guide him are called the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.  The oath goes like this, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”  The twelve points of the Scout Law are, A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”   These two things, the oath and the law are what a Scout is to model his life after.  In the oath he is pledging on his honor do his duty to God and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people and to keep himself strong in body, keep his mind active and to stay true to the morals that he has been taught.  And when a Scout comes to the Scoutmaster to have a Scoutmaster conference to see if he is ready to be promoted to the next rank one of the things that the Scoutmaster asks is how that Scout has lived the Scout Oath and Law in his everyday life – how does he apply it to himself.  Now take a look at that Scout Law for a moment.  Does it kind of remind you of another law?  The Scout law has 12 points to follow and the other has 10.  Can you think of 10 guidelines that were given for people to follow?  Yep, it’s the 10 Commandants.


Now I am not saying that the Scout Law is equal to or even in the same ballpark as the 10 Commandants but it’s a good guideline for Scouts to follow.  And what I would like to propose is that it’s also a good guide for everyone to follow.  We can all take a lesson from the Scouts and the codes that they follow and apply to their lives.  If we as Christians took the Scout Oath and Law seriously and applied them to our everyday lives imagine what it would do.


            There are several parts of the Scout Law that I would like us to look at and the first one that I would like for us to see is the last one.  A Scout is reverent.  Just what does it mean?  Basically it means that a Scout has reverence towards God and he is faithful to fulfill his religious duties and he is respectful of the beliefs of others.  The other part of the Law that I would like to point out is that a Scout is obedient.  He obeys his parents, Scout Leaders, teachers and others in authority.  We as Christians also need to be reverent and obedient.  We need to be reverent to God and obey God but does being obedient to God mean that we have to disobey the laws of our community?  No it doesn’t.  Titus 3:1 says, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards men.”  We are to also obey the Word of God.  In Luke 11:28, Jesus says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it.”  It’s a fine line that a Christian walks.  We must obey God and also obey those who are in authority over us.



Now that brings me to this.  In the last part of Matthew, Jesus gives us some instruction, marching orders if you will.  Matthew 28:19-20 states, “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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you”.   The question is – are we doing what we were told to do?  Are we following the instructions that Jesus is giving us?  Are we being obedient?


As I said these verses can be looked upon as our marching orders to evangelize our neighbors, community, and so on.  But there is one thing that we must consider when we receive our marching orders.  We must accept them.  We have to accept the call of God.


I got involved with Boy Scouting when one night my wife came home and told me how our son Jeff was crossing over to Webelos, which is the forth and fifth graders, and that since they didn’t have a leader I was it.  I didn’t have to accept that call to be a Scout leader.  I could have gone on with my life and not be involved with Scouts at all.  But I did accept and I know that over the past eleven plus years I have been personally involved with and made a difference in the lives of hundreds of boys.  You have to accept the call and become involved in the lives of people because you can make a difference because if you don’t there may be someone who will never hear the Word of God.


Several years ago Bill Cosby did several skits about Noah and the coming flood.  In the first one he relates how Noah was down in his work room sawing on some wood and God called him, “Noah!” and Cosby replied, “What?  Who’s there?”  Then he goes back to work.  God once again calls Noah, “Noah!”  And Cosby says, “Who’s there?  Who’s calling me?”  God replies, “It’s me Noah, God.”  And Cosby gets this strange expression on his face and sarcastically replies, “Riggght.  What do you want with me, I’ve been good.”  And it was a great skit, it was awesome.  Sometime I wonder if we are a bit like Noah in Bill Cosby’s skit.  When God calls us do we respond like Noah, “What do you want with me?  I’ve been good.”


            Let’s take a look at one that heard the call of God and jumped right in.  In Isaiah 6:8 we read, Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?’  And I said, ‘Here I am.  Send me!’”  Isaiah took the call of God seriously and made a personal commitment to be in His service – to go where God sent and to do what God asked.  Are you willing to make that same kind of commitment to God?  Jesus has made the call and you accepted Him as your Lord.  The question is, are you ready to follow through with your commitment to Him.  Jesus gave us our marching orders in Matthew 28, “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  Are you willing as Isaiah was willing to step out in faith and say, “Here I am!  Send me!”


We have to be willing to be in God’s service and follow His commands.  If we are, then before we take off to spread the good news of the Gospel there are some things that we must know before we can be effective witnesses for God.  One of the first things that we need to know is just what the Gospel is. 


At it’s simplest we can look at the Gospel as three things. 

First it’s a record of God’s love for us.  It’s His love letter if you will. 

Second it’s a record of the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. 

Third it’s about the salvation that God grants us through His Son Jesus.

God’s love is displayed throughout the Old and New Testaments but no where is it shown more vividly as in John 3:16 and 17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”  How much more could God do to show His love us. 

This one verse sums up the entire Gospel.  It tells us that God loves us and that He has provided a way redemption that can be found only through His Son and that this salvation is open to everyone everywhere.  Jesus wasn’t sent to condemn us or judge us but to save us.  Every one of us has memorized this verse at one time or another in our lives.  It’s the most quoted Scripture in the world.  Let’s look at it in a more personal way.  Where it says “the world” insert your name.  “For God so loved Mike that He gave His one and only Son, that if Mike believes in Him Mike shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son to Mike to condemn Mike but to save Mike through Him.”  It becomes just a bit more personal doesn’t it?


            God loves us so much that He was willing to give up His Son for us.  It wasn’t like God was doing this just for those who were trying to be good or for those who tired but just missed the mark.  He sent His Son Jesus to everyone everywhere. 

He gave His Son for the drunks, murderers, thieves, liars, drug addicts, prostitutes, rich, and poor.  He sent Jesus to everyone and if anyone accepts Christ they will receive eternal life.  Look at John 3:16 again, “…that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”.   That’s love.


God knows everything about you.  He knew you before you were born and has kept his eye on you.  Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” God knows us – He knows everything that we have done and yet He stills loves us so much that He gave us His Son.  How many of us are willing to let our child be executed so a murder can go free?  I seriously doubt if any of us would.  But God did.  That’s love beyond measure.


            John 3:16 tells us that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to us, but why?  Why did God send Jesus to live in the midst of a world full of degenerate people?  Turn with me to Romans 5:6-8.  Here we read, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.  Christ Jesus was born for one reason and that was to die in our place.  Christ was born to die.  It is through His atoning sacrifice that the penalty of sin was paid.  That your penalty and my penalty was paid.


            Now Jesus sacrificed more than we could ever imagine to be our Savior.  Jesus lived with God the Father in a place more glorious than we can ever dream about.  Living with God there was no pain, no sickness, no death, no hunger, no tears, no sorrow, or anything like that.


There was never ending joy and contentment being with God the Father.  But Jesus left all of that and became flesh and bone.  He became human.  He was born in a lowly stable to humble parents.  I’m quite sure that Jesus, while growing up learning a carpenter’s trade, more than once smashed his thumb with a hammer or got stuck with splinters and that hurt.  John 1:14 says that, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”  He took on our human frailties and became one of us.  He had the same feelings the same hurts and temptations as we do.  Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”


Jesus gave up paradise to live with us teaching us about the Kingdom of God.  But He knew that there was no way that we would ever enter the Kingdom on own accord.  There was no way that we could ever be good enough or righteous enough.  So Jesus then faced the greatest trial of all.  Humiliation, beatings, pain beyond belief and crucifixion and death – this was a hard situation that Jesus faced and I know that he didn’t look forward to it even though He knew what the end product would be.  Look at Luke 22:42-44, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.  An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him.  And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”  This was a tough situation that He was facing but He went through it for one reason and one reason only – us.  He knew that it would take His death to make atonement for our sin, our disobedience to God.


So He let Himself be taken, beaten beyond recognition, have a crown of thorns shoved onto His head with the thorns cruelly piercing his scalp, be spat on and humiliated, and then brutally nailed to a rough wooden cross.  He did this for you and me.  He gave Himself as the sacrifice for us.  But why did He do this?


            It is so we can have salvation.  So we will be able to enter into God’s presence.  Salvation is a gift that God has given to us through His Son.  Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Salvation is a gift, a free gift that has been offered to us.  But a gift is only a gift if you do something with it.  At Christmas we received presents.  Did you just leave them under the tree?  Not me, I grabbed them, tore them open, and enjoyed the gift that had been given.  If I hadn’t accepted that gift, if I hadn’t opened it, I could have never enjoyed what was inside.  That’s my point.  God has offered you the gift of Salvation through His Son Jesus.  But you must accept it.  You must open it.  There is only one gift and no other.  Acts 4:12 tells us, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  Only in Christ do we have Salvation.


            Now we have a good idea of what the Gospel is about – it’s about God’s love, it’s about Jesus’ sacrifice, and it’s about Salvation through Jesus – now we need to figure out why we have to evangelize.  What motivation do I have to tell others about God’s plan of Salvation?  Why should I even get involved?


Well the first thing we must know is that we must glorify God in everything that we do.  1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Even in the simplest things that we do, such as eating and drinking, we must glorify God.  God deserves glory.  He is the creator God who set time into motion, who spoke creation into existence and blew the breath of life into the first man.  We need to give glory to the Lord of Creation.  1 Peter 4:11 says, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”  Whether we are witnessing to others by telling them about Jesus or we are showing love through our service to others, it should all be to the glory of God.


Next we are commissioned by Jesus to be witnesses for of all that He has said and done.  Matthew 28:19-20, “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surly I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Like I said earlier, you can look at this verse as your marching orders.  What are the four actions that must be taken here? 


The first is that we must go.  You cannot be an effective witness for

the Lord sitting at home watching soap operas and such.  We have to

 follow what Jesus says to do.  We have to go out to the neighborhood

and our community.  We have to witness at work and at play. 


The second is to make disciples.  Now what is a disciple?  Is a

disciple some ‘holier than thou’ person?  No being a disciple simply

means being a follower of Jesus.  You and I are disciples if we are

following after Christ.  And the Lord has told us to make disciples,

which means that we are to help bring others into a saving knowledge

of whom Jesus is. 


Then third we are to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son,

and the Holy Spirit.  But it doesn’t stop with baptism. 


And finally we are to teach them. But you cannot teach unless you

fellowship. They need to become involved in a local church.  They

need to find fellowship with other Christians so they can grow into Spiritually mature Christians.


            But why did Jesus leave these instructions?  Can’t people hear about God on the radio and television?  Can’t they just read the Bible and come to know the Lord?  Remember the Ethiopian eunuch that Philip witnessed to?  Acts 8:30-31 tells us, “Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet.  ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked.  ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’”  He was reading Scripture but he didn’t understand what he was reading.  He needed some explanation of what he was reading and Philip did just that.  Sometimes we also need explanations because we don’t understand what we are reading.  And if we need explanations about God’s Word think about the people who are in the world who have no clue about what Scripture is truly about.


But there is another reason we need to be out evangelizing and spreading the Gospel message.  How many of us remember the old song from around the 70’s called ‘I Wish We’d All Been Ready’?  It talks about what happens when Jesus returns and calls His church home and the unsaved were left behind.  It tells how bad things become and what happens to those who are left behind.  Jesus doesn’t want anyone left behind.  Neither should we.  I want my relatives, my neighbors, my friends all standing with me when God says, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”  Jude 22 says, “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them…” If we don’t tell others about Jesus there may be no one else who will.  You have to step out in faith and trust in the Lord and He will make clear what you must do.


            Ok so now we’ve looked at what the Gospel is and what our motivation to evangelize is but how do I do it.  Well there are five things that you need to know to be an effective witness. They are What, Who, How, Where, and When.  So let’s take a look at the What.  Romans 1:16 tells us, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”  There is no magic formula that we have to recite, no special music that must be played, and no special setting that we have to be in.  We have to relate the Gospel to them.  The Gospel means Good News.  And the good news is Jesus.  We have to relate Jesus.  Now I am not going to get into what is called the ‘Romans Road’ on witnessing. We can look at that another time.  I just want to go over a few things.  What we are to be doing is sharing the Gospel with others and the Gospel is the power of God for everyone’s salvation. 


            Ok if we are sharing the Good News of the Gospel, whom are we sharing it with – Everyone!  Everyone needs to know about the Salvation that can be received only through Christ Jesus.  It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, what type of education you have, or what type clothes you wear.  It doesn’t matter if you have nose rings, tongue studs, or tattoos. Everybody needs Christ.  Everyone including everyone here are sinners. 

Romans 3:10-12, “As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”  The only difference between Christians and those who are in the world is that we Christians are ‘forgiven’ sinners.  Everyone needs Jesus.


Just how am I going to be able to witness?  I can’t muster up enough courage to start up a conversation with my neighbor.  I get cold feet if someone asks me to pray in Sunday School.  My palms start to sweat, I get cottonmouth, and I get queasy in the pit of my stomach. How am I supposed to tell someone something as important as this.  We are talking about their eternal soul.  You’re right.  You can’t do it on your own and Jesus doesn’t expect you to.  You have been given an awesome power to help you.  Look at the first part of Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”  You can rely on the Spirit to give you the strength and courage to talk to others.  The Holy Spirit gives the power and guidance when you need it.  Look at Peter when he addressed the crowd in Acts chapter 2 after the crowd heard them speak in tongues.  Peter spoke with authority and confidence.  But Peter was just a fisherman.  He wasn’t a public speaker or a rabbi.  He had just received the gift of the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to be a Billy Graham or a Robert Shuler, you just have to be you. All you have to do is rely on Him and He will give you confidence and strength to be a bold witness for Him.


            Now the question is where.  Do I have to go on some special mission trip to a far away country where I don’t speak the language, sleep in a mud hut, eat unidentifiable foods and fight off biting insects?  Let’s look at the last part of verse 8 in Acts chapter 1, “…and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Sameria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Jesus told the disciples to start where they were at, Jerusalem then to branch out to their neighbors, Judea and Samaria and then move on to bigger things.   Start small.  Start with your family who might not know Jesus.  Talk to a neighbor or a co-worker or a fellow student.  Serve meals down at the Salvation Army and talk to the people there.  Get involved.  Our mission field is right here in our own back yard.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again – America desperately needed evangelizing!  America needs a revival right now – let it start with you. God is calling, “Whom shall I send?”


            When will I know to witness?  Is there ever a good time?  You have to be ready at all times.  When the opportunity presents itself you need to be ready.  2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season…”  A pastor friend of mine told me about one of the ladies in his congregation that was visiting her fiend in the hospital.  Her friend asked her about Jesus and she picked up the phone and called her pastor and asked if he could come over and witness to her friend.  He politely told her that he couldn’t make it there but he had full confidence in her to be able to witness and he hung up.  So she said a silent prayer and then hesitantly began and as she continued she began to feel surer of herself.  And as a result of her witness and testimony her friend gave her life to Christ.


You need to be ready at all times.  You could be on the scene at an accident and the chance to witness arises.  Will you be ready?  Are you prepared?  Are you willing to step out in faith and answer the call of God?  God has been and still is calling, ‘Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?’  Is your answer the same as Isaiah’s – “Here I am, send me!”



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