02 04 04 07-26 - Barriers to Good Evangelism

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Barriers to good evangelism

 John 4:7-26


·         @ I’ve had a love/hate relationship with jogging for a long time

o    I love how it helps get me in shape

o    I hate how hard I have to work at it

·         @ Now that I’ve lost some weight, I’m able to get back at it again

o    But I want to make sure that it’s worth it – hard work

§  Because you can do a lot of running, and it not actually do you any good

o    So, I’ve done some research to make sure that there are no barriers to this being a good thing

§  Found some music to help me keep pace – intervals

§  Following a training schedule so I don’t overdo it

§  I bought some proper shoes to avoid damage

§  I’m working on proper breathing and proper strides

o    If I don’t do these things, I can make a lot of motion but not really accomplish anything good

·         Last week, we began studying about witnessing, evangelism

o    We need to be prepared like Jesus demonstrated in 4:1-7

o    When we share the Gospel, we find it is not always easy

§  Fear

§  Saying the right thing

§  Right time

o    So, it is important that we make sure that we don’t waste the opportunities God gives us

§  By following Jesus’ example we can overcome four barriers to effective evangelism

I.       Man-Made Rules Make YOu Right with God  (7-9)

A.    Background

1.    Four things Jesus did that went against Jewish customs

a.       Spoke to a woman — Didn’t even speak to their wives in public

b.       Spoke to a Samaritan — Covered that last week

c.        Intended to use her water pot —ritually unclean

d.       Intended to eat food prepared by Samaritans — ritually unclean

2.       None of this was biblically supported!

a.       Therefore, Jesus did not allow it to stop Him

b.       And Jesus did not hold ritualistic expectations for the woman

B.    Application

1.    Theological Man-Made Rules

a.       Catholics

(1)    Seven Sacraments “...are at the same time signs & instruments of God's grace.”[1]

(2)    Grace given to us through the sacraments will help us lead a good life in this world and help save us for the afterlife.[2]

b.       Mormons

(1)    Salvation from Sin. To be cleansed from sin through the Savior's Atonement, an individual must exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Those who have been baptized and have received the Holy Ghost through the proper priesthood authority have been conditionally saved from sin.[3]

c.        Bible Response

(1)    Ephesians 2:8-9 — Titus 3:5 — Galatians 2:16 - yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

2.    Practical Man-Made Rules

a.       @ teens asked —stop swearing and drinking for salvation?

(1)    Explained to them that it’s not about doing (or not doing) things  that saves you

b.    Some act as if they believe: “You’re right with God if:”

(1)    stand against abortion — have the right political persuasion

(2)    you become just like our church

c.        All of this is the same thing.

(1)  These positions are not necessarily bad...BUT...if you make agreement to these as part of:

(a)     Your willingness to evangelize

(b)     Their ability to receive

i.      ...You’ve fallen for man-made rules make you right

II.    The Gospel is about meeting Physical needs (10-14)

A.    Background

1.       Verse 10 – Jesus introduces the idea of living water

2.       Verse 11,12  -- She is still thinking physical water

a.       It’s hot, she’s thirsty, and she has a long job ahead of her bringing water up (30 meters deep)

3.       Verse 13,14

a.       Jesus could have stopped and recognized her physical need

(1)    He could have met that physical need

(2)    Ho often DID meet the physical needs of people

b.       BUT Jesus recognized that meeting physical needs was always only temporary

c.        So He offers her living water

(1)    OT— right with God described — “fountain of living waters,” “fountain of life,” “water from the springs of salvation,” etc.

(2)    Jesus’ offer was FAR better than the physical well water

(a)     It would provide eternal life!

B.    Application

1.    Many in Christendom have exchanged a good msg. for the best msg.

a.        A result of justifiable criticism

(1)    Christians — the priest and Levite in Good Samaritan

(a)     We have walked right by those who needed physical help

(b)     We’ve ignored poverty, addiction, family abuse, etc

(c)     So focussed on getting the “stuff” that God supposedly offers, we ignore the needs of fellow human beings.

(2)    This is WRONG!

b.    Answer has been to focus on the temporary in lieu of the eternal

(1)    So, many Christians are doing socially good things, but not helping people eternally

(a)     The message of the Gospel has been marginalized because it is seen as politically incorrect

2.    We may not say we are doing that, but...

a.       Do we avoid evangelism b/c it might make someone feel bad?

b.       Have we done well because we have given a meal to someone?

c.        Do we think that because we have taught children to obey parents, given teens a good activity, taught couples how to have a good marriage, that we have reached the family?

3.       There is nothing wrong with all of this!

a.       But these are just temporary fixes

(1)    Obedient children still go to hell if they die without Christ

(2)    Socially able teens — Committed marriage partners...


III.   Confronting Sin is unNecessary (15-19)

A.    Background

1.       Samaritan woman wants the water!

a.       We’d say, “She’s realized she needs the living water!” “OK, pray this prayer”

2.    BUT look at what Jesus did...

a.       He changes the subject to focus on her...SIN

b.       She had to realize that receiving was not just adding to her life

(1)    It was a matter of her giving up her life

(a)     Not talking about “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”

(b)     Talking about admission and repentance of sin

3.       If some Christians today had been with Jesus, they would have said, “C’mon Jesus, she already feels bad.  She’s avoiding the other women by coming here at the middle of the day to a well further than the others.  You don’t need to make her feel worse.  You need to tell her that God loves her and wants to give her a satisfied life.”

4.    But Jesus knew the reality of God’s Word:

a.       Proverbs 28:13 - He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

b.       Isaiah 55:6-7 - 6“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

5.    She made a weak attempt to cover her sin (v. 17)

a.       But when Jesus showed her He knew the truth

b.       She stopped denying and accepted what He was saying as true (v. 19)

B.    Application

1.       Too many Christians are skipping over the sin bit

a.       We are falling victim to political correctness

2.       @ Would you consider it to be politically incorrect if an employer said, “To work here, you must turn your back on working for our rival company?”

3.       @ Politically incorrect for a preacher to say, “will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

4.       Then how can it be politically incorrect to say to a person, “You have the opportunity to enter into an eternal relationship with God.  Are you willing to forsake – repent of – your sin?

5.    A conversion without repenting of sin is not a biblical conversion.

a.       If all a person has done is choose to follow Jesus, as if He is just one more advisor along this journey of life, then that person has not repented of sin and has not found eternal life.

IV.   There are many roads to God (20-26)

A.    Background

1.       Samaritan woman convicted of sin and now really wanting to have the living water that will give her eternal life – thus making her right with God – wants to know where to go to receive this living water?

2.    Two places of worship

a.       Samaritans – Mount Gerizim

(1)    Near where Abraham had first built an altar to God

(2)    The place where the blessings of keeping the Law were read out to the Israelites

b.       Jews — Jerusalem

3.       In essence — “since we’re both worshipping the same God, aren’t there different ways to go to Him?”

4.    Jesus’ response:

a.       Coming to God is not dependent upon a place (21)

(1)    In about 40 years, Jerusalem would be destroyed

(2)    and nearly 12,000 Samaritans would be killed by the Romans for their own revolt at Mt. Gerizim

b.       Coming to God is not dependent upon a race (22)

(1)    While the Jews were closer to the truth

(a)     They accepted the entire OT rather than just the Pentateuch

(b)     While the Jews were the nation from where the Messiah came

(c)     They were still not saved because of their race (or their position in life)

(2)    Coming to God depends on what you embrace (23-26)

(a)  Spirit

i.         Not the Holy Spirit — The human spirit

ii.        IOW – not external rituals or ceremonies

(b)     Truth — The Word of God

(c)   The Messiah

i.         Woman — “the Messiah would explain these things”

ii.        The opposite of rituals is Jesus

iii.      The truths is found in Jesus

·         Jesus said, “That’s me.”

B.    Application

1.       While all roads might lead to Rome...

a.       ...while the peak of a mountain can be reached by all sides...

b.       ...God is not Rome and He’s not the peak of a mountain

2.    Sincerity Fallacy

a.       The Mormons, JW’s, are sincere and they follow God

b.       The Muslims (Not the terrorists) are sincere

c.        The Hindus, Buddhists, etc are sincere

d.    You can be sincere, but sincerely wrong!

(1)    @ I believe I can fly.  After the service is over, we’re going to TeMata Peak.  I resist your attempts to convince me otherwise; we go up, I – fully convinced I can fly – jump off the edge.  What will happen?  BUT I was sincere!

3.       They all have their own way to God

a.       Exactly!

b.       They all have THEIR own way to God!

4.       But it’s not OUR own way that should concern us!

a.       John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

5.    AND...just because they “love God” doesn’t mean they are saved!

a.       @ Wedding

(1)    In 1987 I loved a girl named Lisa.

(2)    I bought a ring with all the money I had for her

(3)    But we weren’t married

(4)    It wasn’t until June 10, 1988 when I committed my life to her that I became her husband

b.       A person may say they love God – and they may do a lot of nice things in the name of God

(1)    But until they commit their life to Him by repenting of sin and trusting in Jesus they are not right with God!

(2)    Matthew 7:22-23 - 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

6.       There is ONLY ONE WAY to be right with God!!!

a.       Acts 16:31 - Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved


·         If we are going to be involved in witnessing, we will find it not an easy thing to do.

o    So when you do this, you want to at least make sure you’re doing it right!

o    So don’t fall for these false statements. Instead...

§  Man-Made rules DON’T make you right with God

§  The Gospel is NOT about meeting physical needs

§  Confronting sin IS necessary

§  There is only ONE road to God

·         Commit yourself to believing these biblical truths

·         Commit yourself to sharing these biblical truths

·         Commit yourself to following Christ’s example of evangelism


[1] The Seven Catholic Sacraments, http://www.americancatholic.org/fEATURES/sACRAMENTS/default.asp

[2] The Seven Sacraments, http://www.jesuschristsavior.net/Sacraments.html

[3] Salvation,  http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.

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