North Anderson Baptist Church
Missions and Evangelism Are Not for the Weak of Heart
Locations & Times
Expand
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
“It is said that when the knights of King Arthur’s court, returned from the field of battle, if they did not bear in their bodies some scar of the battle, they were thrust forth by the king, with the command, “Go, get your scar!”

How few of us can say with Jesus’ faithful warrior, Paul, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17); “Christ Jesus my Lord...for whom I have suffered the loss of ALL THINGS” (Philippians 3:8). Remember that when we appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to be judged for the deeds done in the body, Christ is not going to look for the medals. He is going to look for SCARS!”

God has not promised that doing His work of missions and evangelism would be easy and without danger but He did say that it would be worth it all. {In my office on the wall is a cross-stitch my mother made for me years ago. It says, “Working for the Lord doesn’t pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world!”} Things may never be like we want them, yet all we experience will be worth what happens to us here. We have a God who is in control and He will bless those who serve Him with faithfulness.

Paul’s life was a testimony to the greatness of God. He had many victories and times of triumph as he served the Lord with all his heart. Even though Paul was the most important missionary ever, who affected millions of lives with the Gospel and his writings, it didn’t come without the difficulties and heartaches in doing the ministry. We read in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28,
What I clearly want to say is, no matter when you have served Christ or if you decide to serve Him in the future, there have been or will be problems and trials because of the enemy of God and His church, satan. Satan hates the Lord Jesus and all His followers and particularly those who share the Gospel with the lost and dying world. If you serve and work for the King of kings and Lord of lords, be prepared to have troubles and trials in your life; you need a strong heart and spirit to be a believer. These were but a few of the troubles Paul experienced and I could give more examples in the Word, but I have chosen one specifically to speak about that shows the opposition to Paul’s and possibly to your service for Christ. Listen to what the Word of God says in Acts 18:5-13
Matthew Henry spoke about this passage and the related thoughts in his commentaries. Here is what he said.
“Many of the Jews, and indeed the most of them, persisted in their contradiction to the gospel of Christ, and would not yield to the strongest reasonings nor the most winning persuasions; they opposed themselves and blasphemed; they set themselves in battle array (so the word signifies) against the gospel; they joined hand in hand to stop the progress of it. They resolved they would not believe it themselves, and would do all they could to keep others from believing it. They could not argue against it, but what was wanting in reason they made up in ill language: they blasphemed, spoke reproachfully of Christ, and in him of God himself. To justify their infidelity, they broke out into downright blasphemy.
Paul hereupon declared himself discharged from them, and left them to perish in their unbelief. He that was “pressed in spirit to testify to them” (Acts 18:5), when they opposed that testimony, and persisted in their opposition, was pressed in spirit to testify against them (Acts 18:6), and his zeal herein also he showed by a sign: he shook his raiment, shaking off the dust from it (as before they “shook off the dust from their feet,” (Acts 13:51), for a testimony against them. thus he cleared himself from them, but threatened the judgments of God against them. As Pilate by washing his hands signified the devolving of the guilt of Christ’s blood from himself upon the Jews, so Paul by shaking his raiment signified what he said, if possible to affect them with it. He had done his part, and was clean from the blood of their souls; he had, like a faithful watchman, given them warning, and thereby had “delivered his soul,” though he could not prevail to deliver theirs. He had tried all methods to work upon them, but all in vain, so that if they perish in their unbelief their blood is not to be required at his hands; here, and Acts 20:26; he plainly refers to Ezek. 33:8, 9.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary - Bible Gateway)
From Matthew Henry we can take away that the persecution and opposition to Paul was really toward the Gospel and the Word that Paul presented. Yes, there were many times the Jewish leadership targeted Paul, but it was mostly because of His message not because of him. The enemy of God hates the Good News of the Gospel and will seek to destroy it, but he delights in persecuting and even killing the messenger of that Good News. You too, dear friends, may come up against opposition to the message of Christ and may need to be strengthened in your heart because of what is said or done to you. Will you be “abused” or physically hurt? Who knows but be prepared and willing to receive what the enemy will dish out.
Notice that the Jews “opposed Paul” in such a way that they became abusive to him and the followers of Christ. Paul described for us in the 2 Corinthian passage read earlier, that there were other “abusive behaviors” toward him, liked being stoned or whipped, etc… What did Paul do in response to the abuse? He continued to share the Gospel but this time He would go to the Gentiles who would listen and receive what he had to say. He strongly proclaimed his disgust for the Jews through shaking out his clothes in protest to their behavior and said, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
Paul basically said, you have had your chance I will go to those who want to hear what I have to say.
{I have been asked recently, “Should we waste time on those who refused to hear and could care less about God and the Gospel; rather than wasting that time, should we go to someone who really wants to hear?”}
When you come up against those who are regularly refusing to hear or those who are in complete opposition of your message, using this Scripture, there will be times where a clear and definite message from the Holy Spirit will come so you will know, as Paul knew, that it is time to go to someone else to share the love and forgiveness of God who is willing to hear.
Paul heard the Word from the Lord when he made the decision to stay in Corinth, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” What a special Word from the Savior for Paul. He had just endured persecution and opposition, and then to know that he would be free without opposition now when he shared the Gospel, must have been a great relief.
Right about the time Paul thought all would be fine and easier, he is drawn into court to be charged again, this time officially by the Jews, for turning people against the Jewish faith. What about God’s promise? The rest of the story, Paul Harvey used to say, is that the judge threw out the charges and Paul was set free. Paul was free to share with people a different and the true way to worship the Lord God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. I think God was testing Paul to see if he would trust God’s Word or to be in court anxious and worried. Well, Paul passed the test and trusted God daily for the Gospel to reach it’s mark for the Lord.
Robert G. Lee the great preacher of the past was fond of saying of Paul: “Wherever he went, he started either a riot or revival. Put him in jail, and he would come out with the jail door under one arm and a convert under the other.”

To do missions and evangelism for the Lord will be a testing ground for your faith. It will be a place where your mind and your heart will grow strong in the Lord because of the opposition.
I watched a historical presentation of the Seal Teams for the Navy and one of the ways they teach the men to be strong in mind, spirit and body, is to take them to the very edge of their strength and put them in trials that reshape their heart and mind to believe they can make things happen under any circumstances. So they learn through difficulties in practice, so when they are doing the missions for real, they can know for sure they can succeed. We too will gain more and more strength of mind and heart, the more we share the Gospel and do missions under difficult circumstances.
Not all witnessing will be easy and carry no danger. Many believers all over the world have been killed because they have stood up for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many missionaries lives have been taken from them while serving the Lord.
I will close with this story of a missionary in China by the name of Horace Pitkin.
Dr. W. B. Riley tells the story a of missionary to China in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. When the Boxer Rebellion movement, in China, was on, the missionary Horace Pitkin was among those whose death had been determined upon by the Boxer crowd. Fortunately his wife and child were in America during this dangerous time. Pitkin was taken from the place where he was found and led out to be beheaded. While leaving, he said to a friend, “If you survive, tell my son that when he is twenty-five years of age, I want him to come out here and take my place as a missionary of the Lord Jesus.” After doing research on the martyrs of the Boxer Rebellion, I found that there were 189 Protestant missionaries murdered and 500 native believers, too.

Hershel Hobbs has said, “The greatest obstacle for witnessing is the fear of failing. Persons who witness cannot fail. The very act of bearing witness is success!”

It is your turn to bear witness to your faith! You might not have the opposition of Paul or Horace Pitkin but the command is nonetheless, “to go and share the Gospel.” Maybe you could use your new list of people, you know, that list you made from last week’s message. Now go to them and tell them of the love Jesus has for them and how He has changed your life. Be a successful witness!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com