Come and SeePrinciples for Evangelism John 1:35-52
The Greatest Fear • Personal evangelism • Sharing one’s faith with another person • After all • I may not know what to say • They might ask me a question I cannot answer • I might fail • I am not gifted in evangelism • I am afraid • That’s the pastor’s job, isn’t it?
The Most Neglected Discipline • Christian Life Disciplines • Bible reading • Prayer • Fellowship • Witnessing
The Most Neglected Discipline • Jesus’ final words to the church were a commandment to spread the gospel to all the world • Most Christians have never personally led another individual to Christ or shared their faith with an unbeliever • “I am afraid. I cannot think well on my feet.” • So, fear is no real excuse. • “I do not know what to say. I am afraid they will ask me a question I cannot answer. What do I say to someone?” • The simplest of all witnessing tools - “come and see”
Every Person Is Different • Andrew and John • Trusted Christ through the faithful testimony of John the Baptist • Peter and James • Came to Christ because of the personal testimony of their brothers • Philip and Nathaniel • Jesus wins Philip personally • Then Philip witnesses to Nathaniel
John’s Testimony vv. 35-37 • Tell Them Who Jesus Is • The Gospel’s first witness of who Jesus is • The testimony of John the Baptist: Jesus is • The Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world v. 29 (gospel message!) • The Pre-existent One • The One who baptizes with fire • The Son of God
John’s Testimony vv. 35-37 • Help Them See Jesus • John the Baptist defined his role as a forerunner • He was one called to prepare the way for Jesus - a voice of preparation • That is our role, in a sense, because Jesus is the One who changes peoples lives, we just prepare the way • John simply wants others to see Jesus • Especially those closest to him – his own followers! • The ultimate aim of a witness is to direct others to Jesus
Come and See Evangelism vv. 37-40 • Following Jesus v. 37 - John accomplished his goal - “and they followed Jesus” • A willingness to forsake all and follow Christ only - the idea of surrender v. 38 - Jesus turns and asks a penetrating question, “What do you seek?” • Jesus’ first words in John’s Gospel • Jesus wants to know • “What are you looking for?” • “What do you seek in your life?”
“What do you seek?” • A hidden answer in the question • Jesus is the fulfillment of the true seeker! • Everything that an individual seeks can be found in Christ! • The world seeks for fulfillment and contentment in the wrong places • Money, power, drugs, alcohol, sex • Genuine and lasting satisfaction only comes in Jesus Christ • What are you seeking this morning? • Happiness? Contentment? Peace? • Stability in a shaky marriage? • Answers to life’s questions? • Know that fulfillment is only found in Christ
Seeking a Relationship vv. 38b-39 • Answering Jesus’ question with a question • “Rabbi where are you staying?” • Reveals their true desire—they seek to spend time with Jesus, to get to know Him better • Jesus’ response? “Come and see” • An open invitation to spend time getting to know Jesus • An open invitation to every person on the earth! • Come with me and you will see
Call to Relationship with Jesus • The Lamb of God calls us to a personal relationship with Himself • A call to be one of His disciples • A call to have your eyes opened to God’s Truth • The disciples answered the call • Their eyes were opened to the Truth • Their lives were changed • If you spend time with Jesus, you will not be the same
Sharing the Good News vv. 40-52 • The First Thing to Do - vv. 40-41 • As a result of this time with Jesus, Andrew realizes that he must share his good news with his brother, Simon • Immediately - “first” - he finds his brother to share with him the wonderful news: We have found the Messiah • Every time we see Andrew in John’s Gospel, he is bringing others to Jesus • 1:41 – brings his brother Simon • 6:8 – brings a lad with 5 loaves and 2 small fish to Jesus • 12:22 – brings Greeks to Jesus in the Temple
Sharing the Good News vv. 40-52 • Andrew models the response of a believer to being with Jesus - bring others to Jesus • Brotherhood of St. Andrew • Andrew was faithful to fulfill his calling • The biggest need at The Lighthouse? • We need some Andrews - People who will be committed to bringing others to Jesus • Some older Andrews • Some young Andrews • Some teen Andrews • Some mom and dad Andrews • Some Sunday School teacher Andrews
Let Jesus Change Themv. 42 • Andrew knew what to do • Just get him to Jesus - Come and see • He pointed his brother to the one who could change him • No fancy evangelism methods • No memorizing lots of Scripture so you never make a mistake • Just getting them to come and see Jesus • Jesus takes one look at Peter and sees more • You are now Simon, but you will become Peter • Jesus sees us for what we can be in Him • Allow Jesus to make the transformation • We cannot change people, but Jesus can
Jesus Came to Seek Them Out vv. 43-44 • “Come and see” evangelism continues • “The next day” - 3rd time - evangelism creates a chain reaction • Jesus seeks out Philip, a friend of Peter & Andrew, and Jesus says to him, “Follow me” • Jesus came to seek and save the lost – Luke 19:10 • He seeks out Philip, calls him, and Philip follows • Philip’s immediate response • He finds Nathaniel and testifies, “We have found him, the one about whom Moses and the prophets spoke—Jesus of Nazareth”
Dealing with Skeptics vv. 45-52 • “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” • Nathaniel has some prejudice issues • He does not respond in immediate faith • So what does Philip do? • Give in? Shy away? Throw in the towel? Absolutely not! • He does the only thing he knows to do…he says, “Come and see” • I don’t have all the answers, but come and see
Jesus Is In Control • “Behold the Israelite in whom is no guile” • I know you Nathaniel for who you are • Nathaniel seems taken back, “How do you know me?” • And Jesus draws him in, “I saw you before you even came. You were sitting under the fig tree” • Jesus is saying, “Nathaniel, I know who you are. I know everything there is to know about you. I know what you think and where you go and what you do. Nathaniel, I know you. And I want you to follow me.”
Jesus Is In Control • Nathaniel responds by placing his faith in Jesus • “I am glad you believed, but you believed because I gave you a sign. You are going to see greater signs than these. As a matter of fact, I am the One in whom God is revealed” • Jacob’s ladder points to the reality that Jesus is the link between heaven and earth • Jesus is the means by which God is brought down to earth
Basic Principles of Evangelism • Recognize a Prospect • Think about them right now • Point them to Jesus • It is all about Jesus • Tell them why • Jesus changes lives
Basic Principles of Evangelism • Recognize a Prospect • If you are a believer, you have a prospect • For John the Baptist, it was his disciples • For Andrew, it was his brother • For Philip, it was Nathaniel • Who is it for you? • Think about them right now • Who God is placing on your heart right now?
Point Them to Jesus • Your words are simple, “come and see” • John the Baptist did it: Behold the Lamb of God • Andrew did it: We have found the Messiah • Philip did it: We have found Him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote • And you can do it - Point them to Jesus - Tell them who He is • Programs are useful, but they do not change lives • Little boy attending Sunday School for the first time • Who was your teacher? • I don’t know but she must have been Jesus’ grandmother. She did not talk about anyone else!
Tell Them Why • Why is it important? • It is important because Jesus is the Way, Truth, and the Life • No one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ • It is important to point people to Jesus because there is no hope of eternal life outside of Him • Another reason - because Jesus changes lives • When Jesus changes your life, you want to tell others
“Come and See”Very Simple Evangelism • Recognize a Prospect • Point them to Jesus • Tell them why - Jesus changes lives • We need some Andrews and Philips • “By God’s grace, I will bring one person to Jesus” • Edward Kimbrall, a SS teacher • Led DL Moody to Christ in the back of a shoe store • A Salvation Army worker • On a curb in Chicago - led Billy Sunday to Christ • Deacon on a low attendance snowy night • Taught a lesson led to the surrender of CH Spurgeon to Christ