1. INTRO: Purpose of the I.D. (Intentional Discipleship) series:
1.1. Aimed at Christians, not unbelievers.
1.2. Salvation not in doubt; question now is the level of fruitfulness and service we give God
1.2.1. Luke 19:11-18 (AUDIO) different results and rewards
1.2.2. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (AUDIO) as above, different results and rewards.
1.3. There will be a final outcome for everyone in LWBC, and we want to ensure as many as possible hear the words in Matthew 25:22 “Well done, good and faithful servant”
2.1. There is a fundamental divide between people: those who are God’s (us) and those who aren’t. Incidentally, we need to make sure we are on the right side – 2 Corinthians 13:5 – “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” – unless indeed you are disqualified.
2.2. In the world believers and unbelievers mix together as a matter of course. We are not told to avoid unbelievers entirely (1 Corinthians 5:10). This session is about how we as believers should live and conduct ourselves during our regular contact with unbelievers which isn’t just the world of work. This will cover our behaviour / actions and words.
2.3. The fundamental destiny for us is that we will be with God forever, and we are loved incredibly by Him. 1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” Unbelievers is contrast have no covenant relationship with God and He looks on them and treats them differently from us.
2.4. God wants to demonstrate Himself to the world and we’re the ones through whom He is going to do it. Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” So, the world will look at us to see what God is like.
2.5. God is also looking to expand His church and to add to it with people getting saved: 2 Peter 3:9 – “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” Part of His strategy is to use us among the unbelievers we come across on a daily basis – work, leisure, shopping or any regular contact we have with people – to get them saved. We therefore need to be wise – he who wins souls is wise Proverbs 11:30 – and confident about what to say and how to actually get people saved.
2.6. God may also use us in acts of mercy or kindness, healing, revelation or other supernatural ways, not just straight gospel preaching.
2.7. God says you are to be My witnesses, not preachers: Acts 1:8 – “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” A witness simply tells what he or she has seen and heard and experienced, usually in answer to questions, and if we are faithful to that, God can use our individual testimony and lifestyle to point people to Him.
2.8. God has prepared things for each of us individually to do for Him. Ephesians 2:10 – ” For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God directs our steps and puts each of us individually in front of the people He has selected for us personally to relate to: Proverbs 3:6 – ” Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding: In all your ways acknowledge Him. And He shall direct your paths…” You may speak to people I will never come across and vice versa. We need to have confidence that God has directed our steps to bring us across those we come across daily.
2.9. We need to ask God for an ability to read situations and see spiritually where people are at, and which fish are biting: e.g. Acts 14:9 – Not everyone will be interested, so we need insight and direction from God as to who to go to.
2.10. We need to be bold and to ask God for boldness to say what we ought to and ask that the gospel will make headway. Ephesians 6:19-20 – “that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak”
2.11. Salvation at the end of the day is vital and that should at least make us concerned for the unbelieving world, whether that drives us to prayer, evangelism or righteous living in front of people.
2.12. We need (in a defensive way – not everyone is an evangelist) to make sure that our lifestyle does not detract from our message.
2.13. Halfway house between direct evangelism and not giving off any negatives: always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in within you – 1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
2.14. Find what works for you and do it – 2 Timothy 4:5
“Well i like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it” – DL Moody
3. Working this out
3.1. Get known as a Christian as a first step.
3.2. The world can spot hypocrisy and so will look intently at us to look, if we are hypocrites. So, we need not to be.
3.3. Be known as someone whose work or work ethic backs up the gospel – would your employer / customer have anything negative to say about you?
3.4. Pray for opportunities to preach.
3.5. Intercede for those who you are amongst – ask God to convict them, and to get them seeking after Him, to give them revelation, to make them open.
3.6. What did you do at the weekend? Sometimes pushing at a door can have consequences.
3.7. Make sure we know the salvation message and if we get a 2 minute slot, what to say: Acts 16:30-31 ” And he brought them out and said:” Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
3.8. Bringing things to a head: useful questions:
- Would you like to become a Christian?
- Would you like to become a Christian now?
3.9. Difficult situations: unclean humour: being asked to lie e.g. secretaries; drunkenness as office culture; fiddling
3.10. Need for wisdom especially in the public sector where ideologically anti-Christian
3.11. Share things with other Christians and get them to pray for your situation / see if they have anything helpful to say.
3.12. How do you deal with nasty people? Forgiveness; loving your enemies – make them tea but also keep your distance if difficult; don’t trust everyone, let God vindicate you.
4. Discussion points
4.1. What are the scriptural differences between us and the unbelieving world, both in terms of how God relates to us and them, and the differing ultimate destinies of both groups?
4.2. What positive experiences have you had in the workplace / among regular groups of unbelievers when sharing your faith ?
4.3. Have you got any tips for others on this whole issue?
4.4. Are there any things you think you could be doing differently?
4.5. What can we take away from this topic?