I heard a preacher say, “If you hear that I have died tonight, when you bury me, stick up a sign that says, ‘Temporary residence. I’m coming back up. You can count on it!”’ I say, Amen and don’t look for me in the graveyard!
That’s good news from the graveyard but it’s also a strange place for good news. That’s what Easter is all about!. If you’re looking for Jesus, don’t look in the graveyard. He isn’t there. He left the graveyard 2,000 years ago and never went back. And if you are looking for a Christian loved one who has passed away, don’t look in the graveyard because Jesus said, “Where I am you will be also.”
That’s the “big deal” about evangelism! We have the holy opportunity to team up with Jesus and tell people how much He loves them and wants them to live with Him for eternity. There is an alternative, you know. We can keep silent, sit in our pew, hug each other, have great fellowships, and never share what someone shared with us…the spectacular news of Christ. What then? Our friends and family go to hell without Christ. Definitely not His desire!
These articles are written to plead and encourage you to share your faith and to become a multiplier by teaching others to share their faith. Below is the testimony of Dana Orsbun, a member of First Baptist Church of Greenwood, Arkansas, where Ronnie Deal is pastor. Here we see an excellent example of a pastor teaching, someone learning, and then the learner passing it on, multiplying herself in others.
Here at Greenwood First Baptist Church our pastor led us through systematic evangelism training. I learned to share my faith without fear, and it changed my life. During the process the Lord really began working on me.
Since my husband’s death five years ago, I knew God was calling me into missions. We had a 13-year-old son, so I had spent numerous trips serving on our youth mission trips. But this was a new calling. I realized that delayed obedience is really dis-obedience and answered that call after a disaster relief trip for hurricane Katrina.
I am a thirty-year veteran RN, and it was natural to begin serving in a medical team with a local ministry in Nicaragua. God really opened my eyes and heart to the people there. Now I spend two to four weeks each year helping to lead medical teams.
Last year, as we were making plans for 2010 mission trips, the Lord impressed upon me the need to adequately prepare the youth for the culture shock, but also with a simple way to be ready to share their faith at any opportunity. Of course, my training in evangelism came to my mind, and Pastor Ronnie allowed us to use the church’s program. We only had eight weeks, at 4:45 p.m. each Wednesday, to meet. During this time each youth was able to learn and share the outline at least once or twice each time they went out and visited in the local community. Several were led to the Lord and added to the church family as we trained.
On the last evening, one of the mothers, a youth leader, shared the Gospel with her neighbor who lived just down the road from the church and led her to the Lord. I knew the instant she exited her car what had happened. She literally was beaming. Stephanie, a shy mom, learned before she left her community how to be the leader/example both to her daughter and the youth team. She had become a multiplier! That group came back changed forever. Currently, this team continues with local evangelism in their youth program.
We will always be blessed and amazed how the Lord can use us when we are equipped and available.
Because of the “big deal” we can sing:
Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior.
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord.
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes.
He arose a victor o’er the dark domain.
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose, He arose.
Hallelujah! Christ arose.
We can have a blessed Easter season because �HE AROSE!�
Bobby H. Welch is pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Florida, Strategist for Global Evangelical Relations with the SBC Executive Committee, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and originator of the FAITH evangelism strategy.