It seems like a long time since last week. If you missed last week’s lesson, then please review it so this one will make more sense: “How Did Jesus Preach the Gospel?“. In Boot Camp this month, we have been learning how to evangelize like the preachers in the Bible and during the Great Awakenings. Since we have only scratched the surface, I plan on continuing Boot Camp into February. Many people who make New Year’s Resolutions, only keep them for a few weeks. By continuing our Boot Camp, we will insure that a habit has been made.
Many of us pray for Revival and Spiritual Awakening, but prayer is not enough to bring about a Great Awakening. If you study the Great Awakenings in the 1700 and 1800’s, you will learn that it takes evangelism and prayer for an awakening to occur. These revival preachers did some things differently than we do in evangelism today. I believe that we will see revival, if the church returns to the biblical way of evangelism as these preachers did.
We will study Acts 2 to see how Peter preached the gospel to a group of Jews. When studying the witnessing situations in the book of Acts, you must pay close attention to the audience of each event. The disciples and Paul used different methods of evangelism depending on whether the audience was Jewish, Gentiles who had heard of Jesus or Gentiles who have never heard of God. These are key to learning how to witness to the lost.
Let’s review our summary from the first two lessons on evangelism. What did we learn from Jesus and John the Baptist? These are some of the key components to look for as we study these witnessing situations in the Bible. There is a definite pattern used by these early evangelists.
Witnessing Tips from Jesus and John the Baptist
Every week we will add to this as we study other gospel sermons in the New Testament. If we are to witness like Jesus and John the Baptist we will . . .
1. Preach or teach that people should repent of their sins
2. Warn them of judgment to come
3. Be specific about sin by using the 10 commandments
4. Give the gospel message
Read Acts 2:14, 22-42
Verse 14 identifies the preacher as Peter and the audience the Men of Judea or Jewish Men. Notice that Peter is very bold when he speaks to these men in verse 22-23. He tells the men that Jesus was proven to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs. He also tells them that they nailed him to a cross. He could not have been any bolder than this statement. He is telling these men that they killed a man of God. I would say that he is being very specific about their sins. He repeats this accusation in verse 36, telling these men that they crucified the Lord and Christ, Jesus. No wonder the disciples were hated by many. They were not afraid to state the obvious sin in people’s lives.
In verse 24, Peter states that God raise Him up again. This is also followed by Old Testament prophecy. It was very important to use the prophecies to prove to this Jewish audience that Jesus was the Messiah. In verse 32, Peter states again that God raised Jesus from the dead. Notice also in this verse that there were witnesses. These are both key components to the gospel message, which can be found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time” 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NKJV).
Notice the parts of the scriptures I highlighted. The gospel in a nutshell is this: Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and was seen by many witnesses. We will add this to our summary at the end.
In verse 33 he mentions the Holy Spirit.
We are given the results of this sermon in verses 27. The men were pierced to the heart and asked Peter, “What shall we do?”. Peter’s response was more of the gospel message.
“Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” Acts 2:38-39 (NKJV).
The result of this sermon is given in verse 41. There were 3000 souls saved and baptized. So we will conclude with more witnessing tips from Jesus, John the Baptist and now Peter.
Witnessing Tips from Jesus, John the Baptist and Peter
1. Preach or teach that people should repent of their sins.
2. Warn them of judgment to come.
3. Be specific about sin by using the 10 commandments.
4. Give the gospel message that Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried and rose again on the third day according to the scriptures and there were many witnesses.
5. Remember when witnessing to use scripture, because it is the sword that will pierce the heart like nothing else can or will.