Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"Tactical Evangelism" - a Message from Acts 17:1-9

It is good to be back on the blogosphere after a short time away.  It is even better to be back to what I love so much - opening God's Word with you so we might gain insight into living for Jesus in a  world that needs him.
Today we open Acts 17 as Paul and his entourage ministry in Macedonia.  Though Paul was well-versed in the Greek culture - and, therefore, could have ministered effectively in the Acropolis or Marketplace - he chose to minister to the Jews, first.
From this passage we see a good model for Christians to follow as it yields a Tactical approach to Evangelism. As you listen, may the Lord inspire you to ask Him for the courage to share the Gospel.

Let me know what you think or how the Lord spoke to you. I'd appreciate the feedback.  God bless you as you respond to His Word. - Pastor Kirk McCormick

Acts 17:1-9

Focus Verses for the Four Tactics
(key words are underlined)

As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,’” he said.  
(Acts 17:2-3)

Tactic 1 -  “Reasoned”

= to talk through or dissect/pick apart an idea

** There are some people who like to debate spiritual things…they learn by ASKING questions and TALKING TRHOUGH ideas…

…and Paul was willing to engage their discussion by helping them think through the claims of Jesus.

Tactic 2 - “Explained”

= to “open the mind”…unpeel the onion

** There are some people who are genuinely curious…

…and they simply need people to show them the steps, reveal the truth, turn on the light, pull back the curtain..

…so Paul was able to explain the simplicity of the Gospel.

Tactic 3 - “Proved”

= to compare alongside another

** There are some people - the analytical - who need to know what makes Jesus special/different than all the other prophets…

…what makes Christianity different from all the other human constructs of religion.

ILL:  Paul used OT Scriptures to prove that Jesus is unlike all others -

  • ·      God Incarnate
  • ·      Lived perfect life
  • ·      Fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies that were hundreds of years old
  • ·      not just another prophet, but Son of God
  • ·      not jus another teacher, but Truth in the Flesh

Tactic 4 - “Proclaimed”

= to “lay down or spread out the news”   

…this is more of a unilateral approach to Evangelism…

…even Jesus used this approach in Capernaum in the synagogue where he quoted Isaiah 9:1,2 -

Matt. 4:16 - “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

** There are some people who just need to hear, perhaps for the first time, the claims of Jesus…

…it’s not a dialog/debate/discussion…

…it’s a one-sided presentation of the magnificence of the Gospel

Applications for Meditation:

1.  When it comes to sharing Jesus… Start with your own

** Paul went to the Synagogue (v. 2a).

…didn’t go to Acropolis (religious center) or Agoura/marketplace (cultural/economic center)

… went to Synagogue

Jesus - “When Holy Spirit comes upon you, be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea, and ends of earth.” (Acts 1:8)

2.  When it comes to sharing Jesus… Effective witnessing is layered

…Paul/Silas employed 4 Tactics and went on 3 Sabbaths/times to BUILD the witness of the Gospel (v. 2b).

…talk and teach…discuss and preach…

…not one approach fits all…

…so we layer.

3.  Focus on the “some” more than the “mob”.

Acts 17:4 - “Some of the Jews were persuaded…”

Acts 17:5 - “But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city.”

** The kingdom is built one person at a time…

…God saves Persons… not crowds.  

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