January 3

As we enter this weekend, think about the necessity of true worship of Jesus.

  • From the heart: The shepherds worshiped Christ and that worship poured out of them as they witnessed of His birth to those in Bethlehem.
  • From the mind in truth: The Magi knew that the King of the Jews was arriving in Israel. They sought Him out because they responded to the truth. The religious leaders rejected the truth and ultimately Him.

The Bible cries out for heart passionate worship as well as intellectual truth-based worship. The two go hand-in-hand. That is the kind of worship God accepts.

  1. Are you more intellectual in your worship? ______________________
    1. If so, how can you increase your passion when you worship Christ? _____________________________________________
  1. Note, this does not mean you have to become something you are not. Passion does not immediately translate into dancing, waving your hands, or being physically expressive. Passion means you are excited for the Lord and that excitement is overflowing.
  1. Are you more passionate in your worship? ______________________
    1. If so, then how can you infuse more biblical truth into your worship to ensure it’s pleasing and acceptable to God? ___________________________________________________

Now, I’m more of the intellectual type, so tapping my toe during Sunday worship is a lot of passion for me physically. If you were to compare two of my favorite preachers, John Piper and John MacArthur, both are intellectually oriented on teaching clear Bible doctrinal truth, but Piper is very emotional and expressive whereas MacArthur is not so much. Is one more right than the other? No.

In fact, you will see how the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible but did so through the writers’ individual personalities (II. Peter 1:21). Similarly, each of us has to guard the temptation to judge how others worship God so long as their passion is not unbiblical (like using seductive dancing in a service, or the pole dancers for Jesus found in Texas (https://abcnews.go.com/US/hallelujah-christians-pole-dance-jesus-texas/story?id=13194891)). I once knew a Charismatic woman complain that Baptists don’t know how to worship because her definition was that worship was the physical manifestation of praise to God (which in her world included dancing, hand waving, screaming, etc.). While many Baptists might judge her passion as not being worship, she was judging the lack of many Baptists to move their bodies as not being worship (i.e. someone like me who barely toe taps). We both need to be careful lest we become like David’s wife, Michal, who judged his passionate worship expression when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Israel (II. Samuel 6:16).

Having discussed the necessity of passion and the infusion of Bible in one’s worship, let’s now look at the natural result of our worship: Evangelism.

As I have expressed before, I am not a fan of Evangelism classes. This 20thcentury phenomenon has morphed into a belief that the church’s problems in reaching its community all stem from a lack of training. That is biblically bogus and practically bogus.

  • Biblically because we don’t see anywhere in Scripture that people began witnessing once they were trained in Evangelism.
    • Acts 9 shows Saul being converted, baptized, fed, and then off to the Synagogues preaching Christ. No classes, no inhibitions.
    • Acts 18 discusses Apollos who came from Alexandria to Ephesus. When Aquila and Priscilla met him they led him to Christ and then he went out and preached the Gospel to the Jews.
    • John 4 is about the Samaritan woman at the well. This is when He adjusted her thinking about worship and proclaimed that it must be done in spirit and in truth. Once she encountered Jesus and drank from His living water, she went back to her community begging them to come and meet the Messiah. A large crowd followed her and believed.
  • Practically because it’s not working. Plain and simple, the more we focus on Evangelism classes the less evangelism seems to be taking place. America was once passionate about Jesus, about His return to earth to judge it, about the lost state of the masses, and the American church responded by sending out more missionaries than any other country.
    • After the massive upheavals caused by the Civil War and the post-war tensions of freed slaves, European immigrants, and racist Supreme Court decisions, in 1857 the Dutch Reformed Church hired Jeremy Lanphier to begin an aggressive visitation program to reverse their declining numbers. Nothing came of his visitation program as people did not respond to it—the church was too apathetic to the cause of Christ to engage others. However, in September of ‘57 Lanphier began a businessmen’s prayer meeting. Only 6 showed up that first day, 20 the next, and by early October more than 30. But, when in October 10 the stock market crashed the meetings exploded and within 6 months over 10,000 were flocking to these meetings. Further, these prayer meetings spread to Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, and elsewhere. In Philadelphia, Episcopalian pastor Dudley Tyng preached from Exodus 10:11 (“Ye that are men, go and serve the Lord.”) and saw many converted. A week later he died from a farming accident, but before passing stated, “Let us all stand up for Jesus.” At his funeral pastor George Duffield of Temple Presbyterian Church delivered a poem in tribute to Tyng (“Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” which would become the YMCA motto and a popular hymn). Hansen and Woodbridge note: “The life and death of Tyng show how the revival had united the churches and burdened Christians with passion to introduce the lost to Jesus Christ. The organizers of the prayer meetings solicited requests for unsaved family members and distributed evangelistic tracts as people exited. ‘By conversing with a friend, by inviting him to a Christian minister, by giving him a book or tract—above all by making him the special subject of prayer in secret, simple as these means appear, they have been all-powerful through the blessing of God to produce the desired result’.” (Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge (2012). A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir. Zondervan)
    • By the way, one of the people converted in this national revival was Lottie Moon, who, under the preaching of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary founder, John Broadus, would go out and tirelessly serve in China spreading the Gospel (from whence our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering was named).

Now, theological training is necessary as the Bible commands that we carefully study and teach the Word of God. But, evangelism is predicated upon a passion for Jesus and a biblical understanding of the Gospel and conversion—not upon endless witnessing training.

I am calling on you to change Waikoloa, Hawaii, America, and the world with the life-changing power of the Gospel. As we discussed last month, Pentecost started with a prayer meeting. As we’ve been promoting, www.blesseveryhome.com is your chance to begin a personal prayer focus for your lost neighbors in the Village. As we have seen today, true worship in both spirit and truth will result in us responding by witnessing to those around us. They will know we are in love with Jesus, that He has saved us from eternal damnation, that they too can become worshipers when they see our passion and hear the Gospel.

Book Recommendations:

  1. The Great Commission to Worship: Biblical Principles for Worship-Based Evangelism by Dr.s Wheeler and Whaley
  2. Worship and Witness: Becoming a Great Commission Worshiper by Drs. Wheeler and Whaley (workbook that interacts with the above resource).
  1. For 2020 we will be focusing on realigning our church to the biblical need for evangelism founded on lifestyles of worship and prayer.
    1. What is your prayer life like?
  1. Do you pray regularly for the lost? _______________________________________________
  2. Do you pray regularly for your governmental leaders (my suggestion is salvation, wisdom & protection)? _______________________________________________
  • Do you pray regularly for your church family (health, spiritual growth, love, unity, protection, and so forth)? _______________________________________________
  1. Do you pray for your pastors (wisdom, protection, rightly dividing the Word, health, etc.)? _______________________________________________
  2. Do you spend time in thanksgiving? _______________________________________________
  3. Do you spend active time in praise and worship of the Lord? _______________________________________________
  • Do you pray for those Christians around the world (the persecuted church, our missionaries, the HPBC, the SBC, etc.)? _______________________________________________
    1. What is your worship like?
  1. I’ve asked this before, but if you are a father or husband, do you lead your family in worship? _______________________________________________
  2. Do you personally worship the Lord (not just in music)? _______________________________________________
  • Do you worship the Lord with His Word (even reading the Worship Book of Psalms)? _______________________________________________
  1. Do you worship with all your heart, soul, and mind? _______________________________________________
  2. Do you find God’s grace and mercy to be refreshing each and every day (Lamentations 3:23)? _______________________________________________
    1. What is your evangelism like?
  1. Do you witness to people? _______________________________________________
    1. If you do, how frequently? __________________________________________
  2. Are you afraid to tell others about Jesus? _______________________________________________
    1. If so, remember that in God’s sovereignty He draws people to Him and His Holy Spirit convicts them to salvation. You are not required to do anything else but present the biblical Gospel. If they reject your message it doesn’t really matter since the results are in God’s hands, not yours.
  • Do you realize that biblically evangelism is as natural as sexual reproduction? _______________________________________________
    1. The Bible uses similar terminologies to describe the natural desire for sexual reproduction as well as what should, for the born-again believer, be the natural desire for spiritual reproduction (see Alan Hirsch’s book, The Forgotten Ways).
      1. And, most people don’t need classes on sexual reproduction to motivate them because it’s a natural, internal physical desire God built it into people. Likewise, a Christian should not need classes or overt motivation since God’s Spirit testifies within us and our love for Jesus should naturally pour out of us with a desire for spiritual reproduction.
    2. Do you look for opportunities to use tracts (not as a replacement for spoken evangelism, but a supplement for when you don’t have the time or means for face-to-face)? _______________________________________________
    3. That old saying went: “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” What does your life look like in relation to this question? Would a lost person laugh at the idea that you’re a Christian? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    4. Is the way you are living, interacting, speaking, and so forth the marks of a Christian? Or is there sin in your life that needs to be dealt with before the lost see the Jesus within you? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” by George Duffield

1 Stand up, stand up for Jesus

ye soldiers of the cross;

lift high his royal banner,

it must not suffer loss:

from vict’ry unto vict’ry

his army he shall lead,

’til ev’ry foe is vanquished,

and Christ is Lord indeed.

 

2 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,

the trumpet call obey;

forth to the mighty conflict

in this his glorious day:

ye that are men now serve him

against unnumbered foes;

let courage rise with danger,

and strength to strength oppose.

 

3 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,

stand in his strength alone;

the arm of flesh will fail you,

ye dare not trust your own:

put on the gospel armor,

each piece put on with pray’r;

where duty calls, or danger,

be never wanting there.

 

4 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,

the strife will not be long;

this day the noise of battle,

the next the victor’s song:

to him that overcometh

a crown of life shall be;

he with the King of glory

shall reign eternally.