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EVANGELISM ALSO REACHES INWARDLY
Victor M. Eskew
A. Evangelism is usually associated with “outreach.”
1. We reach out to the lost in our community.
2. We reach out to the lost in the world through missions, both foreign and domestic.
B. Evangelism can also reach inwardly. In this lesson, let’s talk about several ways that “Evangelism Also Reaches Inward.”
I. KEEP THE SAVED, SAVED
A. Sometimes we refer to this as the work of edification.
B. If we convert the world, but lose half the church, we still have a huge problem on our hands.
1. We have lost souls.
2. In fact, the end for the lost of the church is even worse (II Pet. 2:20-22).
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and, the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
C. Some things the church must do in this area.
1. We must keep our homes strong (i.e., divorce, worldliness, materialism, the cares of this world).
2. We must develop an extremely strong curriculum within the church that emphasizes Bible teaching (Acts 20:32).
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
3. We must identify those who are weak and struggling in their Christian lives.
2) Those who have suffered loss
3) Those in sin
b. Things we can do.
1) Good attendance records
2) A weekly elders’ meeting wherein the elders review the list of members and talk about their attendance, struggles, and involvement in the work of the church.
4. We must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3), and, to live peaceably with all men (Rom. 12:18).
II. SAVE THE NEXT GENERATION
A. We often think that our children “grow up in the church.” This is not really the case.
1. Our children grow up, reach the age of accountability, and are lost.
2. They need to be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to be saved (Mark 16:15-16).
B. Many of our children convert between the ages of 12 and 16 years old.
1. Parents need to do a good job teaching the steps of the plan of salvation.
2. Church curriculums need to have courses in that focus upon conversion during those years.
3. NOTE: I am hesitant to baptize a child just because he wants to be baptized. Why? Teaching comes before baptism (Matt. 28:19; John 6:44-45; Heb. 8:11).
C. A few proverbs and adages:
1. Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.
2. We are only one generation away from apostasy.
3. Our youth are the future of the church.
III. SAVE THOSE WHO ARE CLOSE TO US
A. The Bible refers to unbelieving spouses of Christians in a couple of passages.
1. I Corinthians 7:12-13
But to the rest speak I, not the lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And if a woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
2. I Peter 3:1-2
Likewise, ye wives, be subject to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word; they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
B. Not only are there spouses, but mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and others who could be approached.
C. Make a list of all the names possible. Get true soul-winners to make visits. Go with a definite purpose of getting a Bible study.
IV. SAVE THOSE WHO ARE ERRING
A. It is possible for a Christian to err, to become unfaithful, to be overcome with sin, and to apostatized.
1. Galatians 6:2
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault…
2. Hebrews 3:12
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
3. James 5:19
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth…
B. When individuals become unfaithful, it is essential for us to bring them back, to restore them, to convert them.
1. Galatians 6:2
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2. James 5:19-20
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him: let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
3. Jude 22-23
And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
C. My friends, only lost people need to be restored, converted, and saved.
D. NOTE: There may come a time when church discipline is needed to save the erring. This is one of the purposes of this practice.
1. I Corinthians 5:5
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
2. II Thessalonians 3:14-15
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
a. To save: that he may be ashamed
b. Continual efforts to save: admonish him as a brother
V. SAVING THE CONGREGATION
A. There is a possibility for an entire congregation to be lost.
1. NOTE: I realize that we will be judged as individuals.
2. But congregations as a whole can deviate from the truth (i.e., the seven churches of Asia in the book of Revelation).
a. The Lord addressed congregations as a whole.
b. Several of them had deep problems, which, if not corrected, would bring the judgment of God (Rev. 2:5).
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
B. In order to stay pleasing to God, congregations need to make certain several things are in place.
1. There must be a strong leadership in place.
a. They must be knowledgeable of God’s Word.
b. They must be qualified to serve.
c. The must understand their work and be committed to carrying it out.
d. NOTE: A church will only be as strong as her leaders.
2. The Bible must be the authoritative standard of the church.
3. There needs to be strong Bible preaching from the pulpit.
4. There must be faithful members who are committed to laboring in the Lord’s vineyard.
A. Evangelism is an important task of the church.
1. Many churches seek to do work in foreign fields.
2. Many also try to find works within the United States to support.
B. The reality is that our mission work can start “in-house.”
1. We need to keep the saved, saved.
2. We need to save the next generation.
3. We need to save those who are close to us.
4. We need to seek to restore the erring of our number.
5. We need to save the congregation as a whole.
C. Jesus was right (John 4:35).
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.