Creation – Faith

Creation Theology
If we wish to understand Creation, and the origins of the universe, plants, animals, and even mankind we must turn to the scripture. Scripture is the sole authority on all spiritual matters, and Creation is indeed a spiritual matter. (2 Corinthians 4:18). While we understand that in this world we have certain laws of nature and science that are used to sustain the way in which life is organized and controlled, we must also allow that the origin of these comes from the supernatural, or spiritual. All of Creation is a construct of God. Scripture gives us an explanation of these events and reveals God to us as the Creator. Science can help us to validate some things found in scripture. Historical records can give account to the trustworthiness of certain biblical figures, their actions, and how they lived their lives. Archeology can validate the existence of ancient civilizations and allow us to reconstruct what daily life may have been like for our forefathers. Paleontology, and other related studies, can also show us the different species of animals that once thrived on the earth, and give us possible evidences of why they are no longer with us. Geology can give us clues to catastrophic events like the flood, and the subsequent ice age. Laws of nature and physics can give us the boundaries of universal laws that have existed since the creation event. DNA and gnome mapping can give us insight into the complexity of life and how traits are carefully passed down from generation to generation. We can see the safeguards that are put in to protect the species from crossing unseen lines of generational evolution through defect and mutation. All of these studies point to an intelligent design. They tell us of the need for a highly intelligent designer. These sciences can point us towards the reality of God. Scripture can tell us who God is. Nature can show us his intellect, and his involvement in our everyday lives. The Gospel Jesus Christ tells us about his love for all of his creation, especially mankind as a whole, and as individuals. Genesis reveals God’s plan of salvation established before the creation of the universe.
Science, however; is restricted to being able to measure, and interpret the things that are inside of the creation. Science cannot give answers to the things that are outside of the created universe. Science cannot give us a full understanding of eternity, origins of the universe, or even gravity for that matter. Science cannot answer questions like: What caused the creation event? Where did matter originate? Where did energy originate? When the end of space is reached, what is after that? Is there a God? If there is a God, where is he? If there is a God, why did he create us? These are questions that demand an authoritative answer. An opinion or a guess does nothing to satisfy this deep need of an answer. Mankind has always had one stirring question, “Why are we here?” Where science finds its limits, scripture abounds with the answers. Science can drive us to realize the need for an existence of God, but scripture tells us of the certainty of God. Scripture introduces us to God and reveals who he is, why we were created, and what our purpose is.


The Old and New Testament Scriptures of the Holy Bible are our authoritative text that answers all of these questions and more. When the Apostle, Paul of Tarsus, wrote his child in Christ, Timothy, he encouraged this young Pastor that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16). We can see the confidence that the apostle had in the scriptures. We can see the confidence that Pail told Timothy he needed to have in the authority of scripture. We too as believers in Jesus Christ, should also have this bold confidence in the scriptures. Many modern Christians have been brought up in the aftermath of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. We have been told that this science is the authority of human origins and that as such, it is unquestionable. At this point I employ you to do your own research. Just as Paul said that we should search out the scriptures to see if what he was saying was true, we should search out what Darwinist are saying to see if it is true. If an apostle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is willing for you to search out and verify that what he is saying is true, then shouldn’t we have the same challenge accepted by Darwinist? Can Darwin’s theory really be proven, or is it something that we have to just take on faith and hope? I think you will find as, I did and, many modern scientists are finding out; the Big Bang, Evolution, and even the fossil records are all taken by faith, just like Christianity and the Holy Bible. Darwin himself proposed excuses for why his theory may never be proven. He stated that the geological record was a history of the world imperfectly kept. Then later he laid out the process of how the evidence should be regarded. He said that in cases of positive paleontological evidence we can implicitly trust them, but negative evidence is worthless. Darwin says that any possible evidence found to support evolution must be admitted as science, but any evidence that does not support evolution must be ignored. That fails the scrutiny test, doesn’t it? We must grant that science either cannot or will not give truthful answers to things that are inside of creation. Nor, can science, by its very nature, give us answers to things that are outside of the laws of nature and science. We should turn to the only authority who can. This authority is the Holy Bible, and it begins with the book of Genesis.
Genesis is the first of five books referred to as the Pentateuch. The author of the Pentateuch is traditionally ascribed to Moses. This book is believed to have been written from 1450-1410 B.C. Genesis contains a record of the real-life history of individuals, peoples, tribes, and nations. Much of the information concerning these events are readily available in archaeological finds that have corroborated the customs, languages, and common life events recorded in the Bible. From this book we get such familiar stories as Cain and Abel, Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel, the Plaques of Egypt, Moses and the Ten Commandants, and the Origins of life. One of the great things that the Pentateuch does is give detailed enough lineages that can be used to get a general estimation of the age of the earth.


Interestingly we can see through the linage of Adam, how the Creation event could have been passed down with accuracy from Adam to Noah. Adam is reported to have fathered his son Seth at the age of 130. He then live on for another 800 years, dying at the age of 930 years. (Genesis 5:3-5) Adam would have lived long enough to relay the events of creation, the fall of man, and the promise of a redeemer to generations of descendants including: Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah. Methuselah is the Grandfather of Noah. It is clear by Noah’s faith in God that he was well aware of who God is, and that God was the Creator of the Universe. Genesis 9:29 tells us that Noah lived 950 years. Just counting Adam and Noah, this gives us over 2000 years of historical data from the creation to after the flood. Here is another something that these genealogies give us. Noah lived 450 years after the birth of Shem. Shem had Arphaxad when he was 100. Arphaxad had Salah at the age of 35. When Salah was 30 he had his son Eber. Eber had Pelet when he was 34. Then Peleg had Reu at the age of 30. When Reu was 32 he had Serug. Serug had Nahor at 30. Nahor had his son Terah at 29. Then finally at the age of 70 Terah had Abraham, who it the father of the Jewish nation. That is a total of 400 years. How long did Noah live after having his son? The answer is 450 years. Noah could have passed on the eyewitness testimony of Adam, and his own eyewitness testimony of the flood to all of his descendants for 9 generations, including Abraham. Including the linage of Noah up to the life span of Abraham gives us another 500 years of constant history. This means that we have a constant chain-of-custody of the world-wide flood, and the beginning of the creation event to include the creation of Man. (Adam). Abraham had his son Isaac who had his son Jacob (Israel) who the tribes of Israel come from. This then leads to Joseph and the Egyptian slavery. This leads us into Moses the author.


The English word genesis comes to us through a Latin word based on the Greek tittle to this book. The Hebrew word used translates to, “in the beginning”. Merriam-Webster defines Genesis as, “the origin or coming into being of something”. In the book of Genesis, in the Holy Bible, we find the origins of the universe, and everything that is contained within. This includes the stars, earth and moon, man, sin, civilization, and time. This also includes the laws that govern science and nature. Genesis also reveals to us a personal God, the purpose of man, and the anticipation of a redeemer. “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:14-15) With all of these things that Genesis covers, it never mentions the origin of God. This is simply because, God existed prior to the creation event. The Genesis story just begins with a simple assumption.

Examples of this found in scripture are:
• John 17:24, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
• Ephesians 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
• Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began”
• Hebrews 1:10, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:”
God simply IS, and God simply CREATED. This is the first matter of faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1). Through faith we know that the whole structure of the universe was planned out and implemented by God. From generation to generation men have staked their lives, their families, and the existence of the human race on this faith in God. (Hebrews 11) God as the Creator is the single important most concept upon which the rest of the scriptures hinge upon. The apostle John wrote concerning Jesus that, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). The word beginning refers to the creation event, thus reinforces that (1) Jesus existed prior to creation, (2) Jesus is God, and therefore God existed prior to creation. We know this because the following verse tells us the all things were made by him (Jesus, God). We must believe that God is, and that the events he has let us know concerning creation are true. Without this basis we cannot proceed in faith. If God lied about the events, timing, or sequence of creation, then we cannot trust anything else that God reveals about himself in the scriptures. (Psalm 33:4; Psalm 56:4; 2 Timothy 3:16; John 8:32; John 17:17; Revelation 21:5) Our faith would be in vain. But God has provided this record for us, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4), this is so that we can take comfort in what he has promised, and look forward to his fulfillment of his promises. We can look forward in hope to the resurrection of life in Jesus Christ, because it is this same God who has ordained it. This God, who created the entire universe has always cared for his creation, and always will.


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
The beginning is not a reference to eternity. This beginning is a reference to the creation of the universe. This also gives us the establishment of time. Time gives us past present and a future. Without a reference in time we cannot know how things were established. There would be no order, and no frame to the events that God was soon to put in effect, in his creation. If there were no construct of time the meaning of days, years, or seasons would have no effect or purpose. We must also consider that the sequence of events was important and necessary to the design of creation, and that God thought it important enough to tell us of the sequence. This shows forethought and intelligence in the design and manner of creation. But this does something else. It tells us that before “time” began, God IS. This means before there was a universe, before there was time, space, matter and all the things that were needed to create life, let alone sustain it, God IS. He exists. One more thing to ponder, if there is a beginning, there must be an end. This shows that there is a completed plan of events that must transpire, and eventually there will be an end to the creation. This also means that time itself will end. God, however, will still exist-because he exists outside of time and creation. “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” (Isaiah 43:13)
God does not need anything to sustain him or to give him life. This is an extremely hard concept for us to fathom, because everything in our world and the universe needs something else to sustain it. Nothing is self-sustaining in all of creation. We have no way to comprehend how something could have always been in existence, or how it is self-sustaining. We are like a fish in an aquarium we have no reference for anything outside of the aquarium’s environment. The fish can look at everything in the aquarium. The fish, if it were capable, could know that everything it needs to live is present. It gets food, oxygen, the water is cleaned, and his environment never runs out of water. The fish can see in everything around it the care of the owner of the aquarium, but it cannot grasp the concept that there is another whole world outside the aquarium. The fish has no comprehension of how the aquarium was put together to give it life. The fish is born into the aquarium, and therefore has no reference of the age of the owner of the aquarium. It does not know how the owner came into existence and it cannot comprehend such a concept that the owner has always been there, even before the fish was brought into the aquarium. This is the way man is with God.


We have no frame of reference available to us to understand how God could have always been in existence. Since we cannot know this, Genesis starts off with a simple assumption, God does exist. Instead of explaining God right off, Genesis explains how everything was brought into existence by God, and the rest of the scriptures reveal God to us gradually, so that we can come to know the Creator. It is like any other relationship we encounter. No one ever meets someone and immediately receives a dissertation on who they are or where they come from with follow up questions and evidentiary procedure motions after that. Nor do we immediately know what there likes and dislikes are, and so on. Instead we learn intimate details of someone over time from spending time with them and having mutual experiences with them. We learn about who someone is by seeing them in life events and watching how they handle those events. How someone handles both good and bad events can reveal a lot about them. This is how we learn about the Creator, in the study of scripture, study of his creation, and in time spent in prayer and worship. We enter a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, and learn of him as we spend time with him. Therefore, God, who has always existed, decided to create. This first verse tells us where space, time, matter, and energy all came from.


God created. (John 1:3). God created the heaven and the earth. First is it important to understand that this verse clearly shows that God is separate from his creation. I mention this to directly dispel the belief of pantheism. Pantheism is a belief that the culmination of the universe and everything in it is
God.

We see in the first two chapters of Genesis that:

(1) God existed first,

(2) God created,

(3) everything God created was good.

This would also dispel polytheism, because there is only one God who made everything. It would also dispel the eastern philosophies that give root to a good and bad mutual relationship of interaction in the universe like yin-and-yang, or karma. God and the universe are exclusive, and separate from one another. The universe was created by God, for God. Consider the following verses concerning God’s existence as separate from his creation:
Before the mountains were brought forth,or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (Psalm 90:2)
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psalm 33:6)
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)
It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name. (Amos 9:6)

In Genesis 1:1 the word heaven is singular and references space. At this time God spoke the physical universe into existence. Space gives us three dimensions: length, height, and width. This is important because there must be a place created in which everything could be placed. In computer programming this is called a container. We could also look at it like this, you need a pot to make a soup in. Without the space in the pot, you could not put all of the ingredients together to make the soup. This is what the creation of space did, it make a place to put all of the ingredients needed to make the creation event possible. The word earth is a reference to the creation of matter. Matter also had three dimensions: liquid, solid, and gas. We now have a container that has something in it. The matter in its raw state was uninhabitable. Even at this stage though we now have established the basic building blocks of life. We also have a suitable environment that life can be created in. There is also the construct of time through which project benchmarks can be measured. Even at this stage there is evidence of an intelligent design. This is the same intelligence of design that is used in boardrooms by project managers, engineers, and military strategists all over the world today. We have a timeline and a project board, and ingredients and a place to prepare them.


Here is what Isaiah has to say concerning creation:


Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12)


I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. (Isaiah 45:12)


Since God created the universe this makes him the Creator. Seems simple enough. As the Creator he has absolute authority over his creation. He directs the creative process. He establishes the boundaries. God engineers the dependencies and sets the foundation. He establishes the rules, rewards, and even the punishments. He manages the workflow and is responsible to provide everything necessary for the project completion. He answers to no one, including his creation. (Job 37:14-16). Since he has complete autonomy over his creation, he is under no obligation to explain anything. Furthermore, his creation has no authority to demand an explanation if one is not forthcoming. It is arrogance for the creature to look to the creator and either deny he exists, or to tell him that the manor of which he created, makes no sense. Lucky for us, God wants us to know who he is, and has supplied the answers we need in scripture and in creation itself. (Job 12:7-10; Psalm 19:1; Psalm 96:11-12; Isaiah 43:20; Romans 1:20) What then can we learn about God in his act of creation as revealed in the scriptures?
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)


Before we move forward in this verse, we must discuss the white space between verse one and verse two. This is referred to as the Gap Theory. The gap theory suggests that there is a very large time interval that takes place between the two verses. This theory is referred to as Theistic Evolution. This is considered by some theologians to explain the claim of evolutionist, that the earth is billions of years old instead of the thousands of years of age that the genealogies within the bible place the age of the earth. This theory tries to give time for the gradual crawl of creation out of the primordial soup, and crawling to the land and eventually forming animals which through billions of years. This is saying that God created man through the process of evolution. Now to further explain, this theory tells of a preexisting time period in which there was life on the earth, and then the earth was flooded and made formless and void. This is commonly referred to as the Luciferian flood. After this period, God decided, he would re-vamp his creation to creation 2.0, a much-improved version of creation. At first it may seem logical and appear to fit science and the Genesis account together rather nicely. Many Christians do adapt to this theology because it does seem to match the science with the theology and Genesis. I myself when I was a new Christian also thought that this might be a possibility when I heard other older Christians speaking to this theory. This is however; a heretical doctrine which compromises the Christian’s faith. Once I began to really study the science and the Scripture, I began to realize that either evolution or creation had to be correct. The truth is you either must take God at his word and believe on him in faith or call him a liar and be honest with yourself, that you have no faith in him. Here is somethings to consider; if this Christian-Evolution doctrine were true then why wasn’t the Luciferian flood recorded or even referenced, in the Scriptures, like the flood of Noah? If God cared so much to give us the sequence of events, why leave out such an important detail?


Scripture makes references to a flood in the time period of Noah and his family, but not to a previous flood. (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:4-5). There are several cultures that have differing stories of a great world-wide flood, in which the gods saved one man, and his family in a boat. But no ancient civilization tells of another world that existed prior to this one, or that it was wiped out twice. Peter tells us, “All things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:5-6) Peter’s reference here is clearly to the very beginning, when time began. In fact, he could have easily said, since the beginning of time, everything functions the same-nothing has changed since the creation. The sun, the moon, the stars, people’s attitudes and manners, are all the same since they were created. This statement, by the way, says that there has been no evolution from one species to another. (Genesis 1:26-27; 5-10) A literal reading of the scripture suggests a continuation of thought from verse one to verse two to verse three. Before we move on there is something else to consider with this theory – Death. 1 Corinthians 15:21 says, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” The scripture goes on to specify that it was Adam who brought death into the world through sin. (1 Corinthians 15:22). That means there could not have been death prior to the creation of Adam.


If we do not believe the first two chapters in Genesis, then we cannot believe anything else in scripture. Is God a liar? “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:4). It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Psalm 118:8) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17) Now, true science and true scripture will actually line up and support one another. God himself tells us to look to nature to see his handiwork. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”(Romans 1:20) Science changes as they gather more information and gain greater understanding of the laws of nature, mathematics, energy, and even the mysteries of the universe in space. Proof of this is easy to see by comparing textbooks over time. For instance the original concepts of geological layering supported a young earth model, one of only 6-7 thousand years of age. Then later the geological layering was reported to have reflected, hundreds of thousands, and even billions of years. Now there are openly conflicting views of how old the earth is and how reliable the data actually is. This is largely because, everyone is just guessing. They make estimates in order to back up their own point of view. More scientist have openly put their reputations on the line, by reporting that Darwinism is an unprovable hypothesis. Harold Urey is quoted as stating, “All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel that it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did.” Geologist dispute the old earth age theory based on the Geological Column pointed out that it is more likely a cataclysmic event that cause the layering, much like the one recorded in the Bible concerning the Noetic flood.


The earth was without form and void. Some have translated the word was as the word became. Although in Hebrew the word may mean became as in Chapter 19 verse 26, the construction of the clause does not support such a consecutive statement describing something that happened subsequent to verse one but rather describe something included in verse one. In other words, the initial creation was formless and empty, a condition soon remedied. The phrase means that at this point in God’s creation activity the earth was yet unfastened an uninhabitable. What is important to see in verse two is that God moved. You see this is showing the sovereignty of God. He is taking divine action. We see here the Holy Spirit of God moving on the waters. This is a glimpse of the Triune God head. This is an amazing revelation of God. Right from the beginning God shows us that there is the Father, then he shows the Holy Spirit, next he reveals the Word. (Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; 1 John 5:7; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 48:16)
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

This brings us to another revelation-God speaks. God is a God who communicates with his creation. God begins his very creation by speaking things into existence. This becomes the model of God as he unveils himself to his creation. Throughout the whole Bible God is talking and desiring to be heard. More importantly he speaks not only in signs and miracles, but in manners that we as his creation can understand. He uses written language, thundering voices, dreams and visions, and even still whispers. But this verse also reveals something else about God. God is a God of light.


God said, let there be light: and there was light (Genesis 1:3) at this time there was no sun or stars or moon. This is an important part of the verse that gives us a truth concerning the Almighty God that we will see reemphasized in Scripture repeatedly. 1 John 1:5 tells us, “this is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” I think that it is comforting to see that the Lord started creation by shedding light. I can picture a craftsman getting ready to make a great piece of furniture or a great wood carving. He goes out to his shop, he opens the door and stops staring into the blackness of the work area. He then reached in sliding his hand along the inner wall. His searching fingers finally find the switch. Then he flicks the light switch, and the darkness is driven from the room. Now, he can begin his project. I know, God didn’t really need the light to work. But this is an indicator of who he is. He is light. This gives a great meaning to what Peter says, “but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) so here in the very beginning we see a truth concerning God, that he is light and desires for us to walk in light so that we could be with him. When God said let there be light, he was revealing himself to his creation.


Evidence of God’s participation in creation is mentioned several times in this first chapter of Genesis. In the first chapter various phrases are used that show the authority of God and the power of his word. The use of these phrases demonstrates the intimacy of God and his act of creation. “God said” is used 10 times in the first six days of creation. “God called” is used three times and first six days of creation. “God made” and “he made” are used five times in the first chapter of Genesis. “God created” is used three times in the first chapter of Genesis. Other phrases used in the first six days include; “God saw”, “God blessed”, and “God set”. If you notice the phrase God called, this is an act of naming and is evidence of Lordship or ownership. The phrase God set, shows us that God established limits and boundaries to creation. One of these would be detailed in verse 11 where God says, “after his kind” thus establishing fixed boundaries beyond which reproductive variations cannot go.

We see these things happen in the first chapter of Genesis:
• Day 1 God Said = Light (v.3)
• Day 2 God Said = Firmament (v.6)
• Day3 God Said = Dry Land/ Grass/ Herbs/Fruit (vv.9,11)
• Day4 God Said = Sun/ Moon/ Stars (v.14)
• Day5 God Said = Fish / Fowl (vv.20,21)
• Day 6 God Said = Living Creatures/ Beasts/ Man (vv.24,26)
Let us take a closer look at what scripture says concerning these portions of creation.


What is a Day? When we consider what the author of Genesis is speaking of in a day, we must understand that Genesis is considered to be a historical book. Many of the places, events, and individuals recorded in the Genesis accounts have been located and verified through many archeological sites. Many of the major events recorded in Genesis, to include the flood of Noah, have been recorded in other ancient religions and traditions from around the world. So when we examine this crucial point of what a day is in Genesis 1, we need to do so from the context of the surrounding scripture. The Hebrew word used for “day” in Genesis 1 is Yom. The word Yom does have different meanings available to it depending on the context of its use. It can denote:

(1) the period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness);

(2) the period of twenty-four hours, which is used over 400 times in the Old Testament;

(3) a general vague “time;”

(4) a point of time;

(5) a year (in the plural; 1 Sam. 27:7; Exod. 13:10, etc.).

Being that the mention of each day covered in the creation dialogue says, “the evening and the morning were” (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19, 23,31), we can easily do away with explanation (1) of Yom meaning the period of light in a day (daylight). The meanings of (3), (4), and (5) are commonly grouped together under the allegorical or figurative theology. This means that in some way or another these three show up in an attempt to add time to the length of a day. This is an attempt to show that the time period used in creation was not a short time period, but that God did each phase of creation over longer “representative” days (periods).
Great periods of time or phases for the term day was not intended by the Moses (the author of Genesis), nor God. In addition, basic science tells us that there are certain things needed to create and sustain life. None of which could have been able to develop on its own, and sustain itself over billions of years while the support structure slowly evolved. It is a scientific impossibility. For example, plants could not have existed without the sun. We know according to Genesis that God created the plants on day three, but the sun on day four. So how could the plants have survived for 1000-2000 years, much less billions of years without the sun to initiate photosynthesis? A geological period of time assigned to each day is not likely.


24 hour day (literal) – The phrase, “evening and the morning”, indicates that these are literal days. The use of this phrase is repeated 61 times in the Old Testament, and always refers to a 24-hour sequence in time. Science has shown that life can exist where there is no light.
“So what about life that does not depend on the Sun to survive? Deep in the ocean, there are some autotrophs that use energy from the Earth’s hot core to make their food. The only examples I know about are bacteria that live near hydrothermal vents (jets of hot water coming from deeper in the Earth). These bacteria use chemicals like methane and hydrogen sulfide and the energy from hydrothermal vents to make their food. We call this process chemosynthesis (which roughly means “making things [food] from chemicals”). Other life forms can eat these bacteria and also survive without sunlight. The only examples I know about are called giant tube worms, riftia pachyptila. Scientists only discovered these strange chemosynthetic bacteria in 1977. Now we know that life can exist without sunlight, but there are still a lot of things that we don’t know about how it works. I would definitely say that humans need the Sun to survive, and we probably always will.”
“Plants and some microbes use the energy from the sun to perform photosynthesis. In photosynthesis, light energy is used to combine CO2 in the air with water to make sugars and oxygen. Any organism that doesn’t perform photosynthesis usually eats an organism that does to indirectly get the energy from the sun. However, there are living things very deep in the ocean near deep sea vents that do not need the sun to survive. They are so far down in the ocean that no sunlight reaches them and they get all of their energy from chemical dissolved in the water near the vents. Also the very first organisms that ever existed didn’t use photosynthesis and got their energy from chemicals like deep sea vent organisms. In different sense, every organism needs the heat provided by the sun because then the entire Earth would be too cold for any life to exist. So not every organism needs the energy of the sun for food, but all living things need the heat of the sun to survive.”


This recent discovery is not only essential for the establishment of a day not depending on the sunlight, but also because according to Genesis the Sun was not created until Day Four. The cycle of light and darkness upon the face of the earth does not define what a day is in the solar system. The rotation of the earth is what determines the 24hours of a period we call a day. We will address these by making the argument in support of meaning (2), the day is meant as a 24-hour cycle. Once the literal 24 hour meaning of the Yom is removed from the translation then all types of other timeframes and events in the Bible become questionable. These event of coarse would include, (1) was Adam created as a man or an ape? (2) Is the fall of man an actual event, or metaphoric? (2) If Adam was not a real man, then was Jesus? (3) Was death the result of sin or not? (4) Is there a need for a redeemer? (5) Is there an afterlife? (6) Do we need to have a moral law, or any law? Thank the Lord we can have confirmation in the context of the text immediately surrounding the word Yom, and in other scriptures and events. We also have witnesses and confirmation of others closer to the source, and the original author’s support documented.


The Hebrew word Yom is used 2,303 times in the Old Testament, of those Yom is used 1452 times in the singular. In Genesis 1 the predominant use of the word Yom is in the singular-referring to a 24- hour day. This is attested to the fact that the mentions of Yom in Genesis one are associated with a number. There is a sequence of numbers used here and there is no skipping around. When Yom is used in other places in the Bible with a number, it is used as a 24- hour sequence. The Pharisees in time of the gospel events held to this position that the days in Genesis were literally 24 hour days.


Moses believed in the literal 7 days of creation. The 10 Commandments, in establishing the Law of the Sabbath, refers back to Genesis 1:1-2:3. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11) This gives us the basis for our seven-day week. Or did God mistakenly say the wrong thing over and over when he was talking about how long the creation even took? When the information concerning genealogy records in Genesis chapters 5-10 are put together we can literally count backwards to the time that Adam was on the earth, and thus to the beginning of creation itself. Adam was 130 years old when he had Seth. Seth has Enosh when he was 105 years of age. At age 90 Enoch had his son Cainan. Cainan had Mahalalel when he was 70 years old. Mahalalel was 65 when he had Jared. Jared waited until he was 162 years old to have his son Enoch. Enoch was at the age of 65 when his son Methuselah was given birth to. Methuselah was 187 when he received his son Lamech. Lamech was 182 and had a son we are all familiar with, his name was NOAH. Noah had his sons starting when he was 500 years old. It is estimated by the texts that from Adam to Jesus was approximately 4000-5000 years, since Jesus’ resurrection it has been approximately 2000 years. These dates vary depending on the text, however in the matter of billions of years verses thousands they are close enough for the argument.


This historical record establishes the fact that the age of the earth is measured in thousands of years and not billions. Burt Lockwood wrote,
One needs to only examine historical records to know that we have pretty complete records for civilizations that existed down to the village and town (tribe) level up to 6 or 7 thousand years ago, and none earlier than that. Who wrote the history of 120,000 BC for example? Obviously, no one. Yet according to one scheme of man’s history, homonids (a primate of a family that includes humans and their fossil ancestors) no different than modern man existed up to 2 or 3 million years ago, and these “men and women” not physically different from us were not able to start recording history until 6 thousand years ago. Or could it be that history started 6 thousand years ago because that is when God created the universe and Adam and Eve? I leave that to your scholarship and wisdom to decide. Since Adam was created “very good,” I doubt he lacked in intelligence or ingenuity, and he lived much longer than any of us do today; so, he had plenty of time to figure out a written code. Even the native American Indians, who supposedly did not write, used colored beads (wampum) to record their histories, a method of code no longer available today, long lost.


If there were large geological periods then God would still be resting, but God is not resting. We know this because of his continued work in sustaining his creation. (Psalm 36:6; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17; 2 Peter 3:7) God does not need to rest, he rested to provide model for us, to give us time to reflect on his creation, as a testimony to his authority and his majesty. Isaiah wrote, “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31) God has given us a time of renewal in the Sabbath. This is a foretaste of the final rest we will receive when we have completed our kingdom work here on earth and joined him in his full presence in his kingdom.


Science itself has begun to dispute the old-earth view of the planet. The use of Carbon dating that was once used as a scientific tool to support an older earth has run into some issues. Not in the science of carbon dating, but in the presence of carbon in the fossil records. Carbon 14 has a theoretical longevity of 100,000 years. Anything older than that should not possess readable amounts of Carbon 14. The problem is that there has been numerous fossils and non-fossil findings from the Precambrian era that have Carbon 14. The Precambrian Era compasses all of the geologic time prior to 600 million years ago.

Paul Giem wrote in an article for Geoscience Research Institute:
It is interesting to follow the implications of the data further. Since it is believable that most fossil carbon has roughly the same 14C/C ratio, it is reasonable to conclude that all this carbon was in the biosphere at approximately the same time. In that case, since most, if not all, fossil carbon was deposited by water, the data suggest a flood of massive proportions, and that the biblical account has to be taken seriously. If the difference between fossil carbon and Precambrian carbon is approximately 0.05 pmc, and we assume that 0.05 pmc is the true level of residual carbon-14 in pre-Flood fossil carbon, then the first simplistic approximation to the time of burial of fossil carbon is 19,000 years ago. A reasonable upper limit for the time of burial is 25,000 years ago, and with favorable assumptions regarding the pre-burial 14C/C ratio, a time of burial as recent as 4,300 years ago (the traditional Masoretic date for the Flood) is not unreasonable from these considerations alone.
What this ongoing research seems to imply, is that the commonly accepted theories of evolution based of the current dating methods of using Fossil records, and the Geological Column are flawed. Either Carbon 14 dating cannot be trusted, do to error, contamination of subject material, or the assumptions of the Geological Column are inaccurate. This means the dating of fossils are in accurate also. This is because fossils found in certain layers of the Geological Column are given an assumed age according to the layer of the column they are found in. Amazingly enough that is also how the layer is aged also. The layers age is based on an assumption of what is found in the layer. We suppose that a layer is of a certain time frame because of the fossils found within it based on a chart that makes basic assumptions, needed to support the theory of evolution. The fossil and geological charts are both theoretical charts that are based on one another’s theory. The Carbon 14 dating based on those charts would also be proving inaccurate data, and in some cases the data would be conflicting. Even if we did assume that the layering of the earths surface (Geological Column) was indeed a method of measuring time, and that fossils that are found in a particular layer depicted when they animal or plant life died we would still have to come to grips with the fossils of sea animals found on the tops of mountains. In addition, thee are whole time periods in the Geological Column that are in reverse order and that are missing from wide areas of the globe. This would mean billions of years of discrepancy across the planets Geological Column. How then can we determine with any scientific accuracy which timeline to use? It seems more likely that a catastrophic event, like a world wide flood would have cause the rapid layering, and mixture of the fossil records. This would then be further evidence of the validity of the scripture by proving the Noahtic flood (2348 BC) did indeed happen as relayed in Genesis 6:9-9:17. Here is what the book of Psalms 104:3-9 explains on the flood.
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
Genesis claims that all human life on earth came from two people, Adam and Eve, as a divine act of God. When God created man, he made man distinct from all of the other creatures. (Genesis 1:26-27) The Apostle Paul tells us, “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” (1 Corinthians 15:39) and Genesis 2:7 it shows us that Adam and Eve were created in a very intimate way. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) when we take this information and look back at chapter 1, where, the scripture shows that on the sixth day God created the beast and the animals.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.(Genesis 1:24-28)


This scripture shows a separate entry of God creating man as a separate creation from the rest of the animals. This shows the distinction between man and beast, and man distinction from the other animals in creation. Between these two references we can see that man was not formed from any other animal. But he was formed as a separate being, man was formed by the hands of God, and this formation was from the dust on the ground, not from another animal. It also immediately gives man a purpose in existence. Man is to have dominion over the earth and every living thing. Man was created and given lordship from the very beginning. This is demonstrated later when God brings all the creatures of the earth to be named by Adam. This is the same exercise of dominion and authority we mentioned previously concerning God in the creation when he set boundaries and named things. Even so in the scripture it says, “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” (Genesis 2:19) So Adam had the authority to name, and whatever he named it, it was called that from then on.


This means that the creation of man was not an evolutionary process that took millions of years to complete, or employed a random development of thousands of increasingly complex organisms to reach our present state. We can also look at Genesis chapter 2 verse 23, “and Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.” (Genesis 2:23) This little verse tells us that he did not have a mother. It also tells us that God and Adam were in communion, because, it is clear that, God informed Adam of how Eve was created. In verse 21 of the same chapter it tells us that Eve was created after God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. While Adam slept the Lord God took one of Adam’s ribs close up his flesh and created Eve from that rib. This tells us that Man and Woman are each distinct and interdependent on one another. Man is made for Woman, and Woman is made for Man. Adam declared, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)


Man is different from all other animals in many ways. Man has the ability to think in analytical terms. This means that man has a superior reasoning capability, we have the ability to discover how things work. This gives us a unique avenue available for us to study the creation event unlike no other animal can. We can discover the intelligence needed to create such a wonderful place like the earth, and the universe. Man has the ability to communicate on many different levels. Man can not only speak and communicate in many different languages and symbols, but we have the ability to learn and create new languages, and methods of communication.


We have the ability to design methods of communication that can talk to satellites that are at edge of our galaxy. Another form of communication we have is the ability to record and pass down historical events, like those recorded in Genesis. We communicate our impressions, and feelings through art, music, and liturgy. Mankind is the only creature that buries its dead. Man is the only creature that has a moral compass. Man is the only one who can know what is right from wrong, and good from evil. (Genesis 2:17) Having this ability gives us another uniqueness – since we have a moral code -the Creator can punish us for choosing to do what we know is wrong. However; there is something wondrous in this also, man alone had the ability to know God for who he is, and worship him in spirit and in truth. We have the ability to love God for who he is, our magnificent creator.


Jeremiah 10:12 says, “He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” When we look at all the sophistication of creation, with all the components that are necessary to create life, and the dependencies required to sustain it, we must understand that it took intelligence and great understanding in order to put in place the environment in which we live. God is the only power in or out of the universe they could have provided the energy necessary for the creation event. In his wisdom, he established the laws of physics, the laws of energy, the laws of time and space, and the laws of thermodynamics. In these unseen things, we can clearly see that there is one Creator, nothing happened by chance, and when the creation first made it was very good. (Genesis 1:31).


In Scripture we can see the God created the universe and man, and Israel, and the church to reveal his glory. Isaiah 43:7 tells us that everyone that is called by his name (speaking of the Lord) was created for him and his glory that were made by him and for him. The apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians, “for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:16). The psalmist David in Psalm 19 tells us the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork. He goes even further to tell us that all creation speaks in unknown language and shows its knowledge through all the earth concerning the creator our Lord God. This means, if we look and use true science, we can see the signs and we can read the language that all creation itself is declaring that God is its creator and gives him glory. We must understand that God did not need to create us, in order to make himself complete. God simply is. He whole in himself. Rather God created us to demonstrate his excellence. Creation shows us his great wisdom and power and ultimately it shows us his mercy and his lovingkindness in Jesus Christ. God created the universe simply to take delight in his creation. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)


Much like a modeler creates a model just to see the finished work. He enjoys the work of his hands. We can also look at this way, a composer must compose because it is in his nature to do so. God created the universe to fulfill his own expectations. And God said the creation was good, then we can logically see that when God finished the creation it was complete, and it was good; everything was functioning as it should. So God took delight in it, and rested. “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3)



Bibliography
26 May 2016. 14 August 2019. http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=5412.
Edgeworth, Dr. Arv. Dismantling Evolution Made Easy – A Simple Guide for taking Evolution apart, piece by piece. Unk, 2008. PDF. 13 August 2019.
Gawne, Richard. American Institute of Biological Sciences. Vers. Volume 65, Issue 11, Pages 1077-1083. 30 September 2015. Internet. 20 August 2019. https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/65/11/1077/374311.
Giem, Paul A. Origins. 1 Jan 2001. Internet. 29 Jul 2019. https://www.grisda.org/origins-51006.
Jr, Gleason L. Archer. “Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.” Harris, R. Laird. Moody Press, 2003. 29 July 2019.
Lockwood, Burt. The Fulness of Time. 14 February 2017. Web. 9 August 2019. http://www.blogos.org/exploringtheword/adam-Jesus-timeline.php.
Patterson, Roger. Chapter 6 Grological Column. 20 January 2011. 21 August 2019. https://answersingenesis.org/geology/geologic-time-scale/geologic-column/.
Staff. Age of Earth. 2014. 9 August 2019. https://genesisapologetics.com/faqs/age-of-the-earth-does-the-bible-really-say-that-god-created-everything-in-six-days-just-6000-years-ago/.
Urey, Harold C. Christian Science Monitor 4 January 1962: 4. Magazine.

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Evangelism in the Sunday School

Evangelism in the Sunday School

Sunday school is probably the most important arm of the fruitful, evangelistic, church.  The secret to long-lasting, exponential grown in the local church is in the efforts put forward by teachers who have an evangelistic mindset and desire to save souls.

Ken Hemphill wrote in Revitalizing the Sunday Morning Dinosaur:

The Sunday School must be plugged into a passion for evangelism; otherwise, it will settle into the comfort zone of a maintenance organization. By ignoring the evangelistic potential of the Sunday School, we have reduced Sunday School to a stagnant pool of introverted groups that look primarily to their own needs and interests and ignores the plight of the unsaved.

(“How Is Evangelism Related to Sunday School?” Sunday School Leaders, 19 Aug. 2014, www.sundayschoolleader.com/722/.)

The Tennessee Baptist Convention did a 25-year study that looked at the number of baptisms per year and compared it to the numbers of attendance in Sunday School programs.  What they found was in the churches that used effective evangelism in their Sunday school programs had the highest baptism rates for the time period studied.

In 1923, Dr. P. E. Burroughs published a classic called Winning to Christ, a Study in Evangelism. In this publication Dr. Burroughs explains the purpose of the Sunday school.

Beyond all question the supreme business of the Sunday school is winning to Christ.  We do not forget to obscure the necessity of divine grace in the saving of men and in their spiritual growth, when we urge faithful human effort.  This is our task; taking the child at the threshold of ts life, we are, through the ministry of the Cradle Roll and through the instruction and training of the Beginners and Primary departments, to prepare him for Christ; very early we are, through divine grace, to bring him to a personal surrender to Christ and acceptance of Him as Saviour and Lord; then we are to seek to bring him to a personal surrender to Christ and acceptance of Him as Saviour and Lord; then we are to seek to bring his whole life into harmony with God’s will and to make him a Christian in all the depth and wetness of that term.

Failing here, we have failed utterly. It is of little avail that our youths shall grow up to know the Bible if they do not come to know by a vital experience the Christ of the Bible.  It is of little moment that men shall come to know the framework of Bible history if they are not to know the living Spirit which breathes in every part of that history.  We have signally failed it, having taught out youths the Ten Commandments of God, we do not bring them to know and obey the God of the Ten Commandments; if, having taught them to know the twelve apostles of our Lord, we do not bring them to know our Lord Himself.  Let all the estates of Israel, let all the forces of the home and the Sunday school set forth this as the supreme goal, that the young life about us shall be redeemed by the blood and brought into complete subjection and conformity to the will of Christ. – Dr. P. E. Burroughs. Winning for Christ.

Many if not most Sunday school programs cannot grow because they do not have an evangelistic approach.  There is focus on reaching out to new people.  They are not prepared when new people show up. They do not even try to follow up with new members or guests attendance.  When we talk of Sunday school, we are not just talking about the children’s church or the young adult’s classes.  We are talking about the complete church program of teaching bible students in the local church, in order for the student to grow in the knowledge and fruits of faith in Jesus Christ. Sunday school is not just a church social club.  It should be involved in evangelism, ministry, and discipleship.   Without these three parts, the Sunday school program will dry up and wither away.

Developing effective evangelism and discipleship methods in the Sunday school is important to the local church.  Effective training, coaching and practical application can be safely implemented in the Sunday school program.  Implementation of weekend and afterschool/work activities of walking through neighborhoods handing out fliers, bibles, and even personal witnessing will get your church out where it belongs, in the marketplaces of the community.   A culture of Sunday school evangelism creates an environment that holds one another accountable and encourages the young/new believer in the sharing of their faith.

Evangelist Dr. Summers states that 82 percent of all current church members come from the Sunday school program.  A clear indicator of a church that does not have an effective evangelistic Sunday program is the presence of the elderly church.  I travel to many different churches across Texas, and I can see the blatant signs everywhere.  I know of churches that are filled with elderly who sit in the pews and classrooms, and whose tithes and offerings help the church with a great many things, and by their financial report, these churches appear to be very healthy, yet they only have one or two youths in the whole youth department.  I mean of school grades from 3rd to college level, there are only a handful of youth.  Those that are there only come because their parents make them come.

This may not seem bad, however; in just a few short years, the youth grow up and leave, the elderly die off, or become unable to come to services, and slowly and painfully, the church just dries up.  If you can picture a dead tree, the tree is still standing yet the inside is rotten, and decayed, eventually it will collapse on itself because it has nothing inside, no root system, and no fruits. Yet just a few blocks away the church there has a vibrant youth program with 10 – 20 students in every classroom.  What is the difference?  An attitude of Evangelism is throughout the church.  The successful church shows a constant desire to win souls for Christ.  Like scripture reads, as you sow, so shall you reap.

An evangelistic Sunday school program has rewards other than the obvious spiritual rewards.  These rewards have some very tangible advantages to the local church.  The primary of which is that is opens the doors to local schools, and community events and outreach opportunities.  An effective evangelistic Sunday school program puts the church on the front line of the battle for the hearts and minds of the community.  The church is no longer a building that the lost just drive by.  Instead it is a beacon of light in the community.  The Evangelistic Sunday school draws the lost and allows the Spirit of God to reach out to individuals of all ages that would normally have not responded to other evangelistic means.  The potential for evangelism in the Sunday school is unlimited.

Let us not also forget those who are in the Sunday school because they are forced to be by their parents, or a spouse.  Yes; a spouse, we cannot forget the adult Sunday school participants.  You see those that are there sitting in your classes, no matter their age, or how long they have attended, may not be saved. Pastor Richard Sumner (of New Hope Baptist in League City, Texas) relayed a story to me one time about a man that would come to his services faithfully every Sunday.  This man proudly announced repeatedly that he did not believe, but that he came because it pleased his wife.

There are other couples, in my church, where one spouse comes and goes to the services, and the Sunday school, because their spouse is a believer.  Some have even been saved, as the Word of God is explained to them through the Sunday school teacher.  To be honest with you I know of more Christians who say that they were saved in Sunday school or Vacation Bible School, under the direction of a volunteer teacher, then those that were saved by listening to a corporate evangelist or a preacher.  God is truly amazing.

The point is we never know what the spiritual condition of someone is, when they enter our Sunday school, whether it be for the first time, or the one-hundredth time. We do not know what they are dealing with in their lives, or what the Spirit is dealing with in their heart.  We must keep in our mind that even though students come to our classes, they may not be saved.  All of them know, deep in their hearts that they should be saved.  Even though they may put up a front, they want to be saved.  Paul spent time in the market places, daily making argument for Christ and Grace.  This is your time to make your arguments.  We cannot let the lost who come to our classes slip through our fingers.

Once saved we must instill, in the newly saved, the necessity to share their faith to others.  We must teach them how to share their faith.  We must disciple them and encourage them to live a life worthy of the calling to which they have been called.  We must show them that there is an expectation from Jesus that they too are to share the gospel to their friends, their family, and their immediate community. In short, we must bring them up in the way that they must go, so they will not depart from it.

The student of the Sunday school classroom is of vital importance to the church, their family, the community, and to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The student of the Sunday school then becomes a part of the body that is necessary for the whole body to function properly.  Instruction must be given with how to read and study scripture, what is sound doctrine, historical Christianity and the importance of their role in the Kingdom of God. This brings us to an important part of the Sunday school program-the teachers.

Many churches will spend months or even years in selecting a Pastor.  Personally, I think that is a bit extreme, but the role of the Pastor is extremely important.  The Pastor has many responsibilities and his vision that God has given him for the church is very important.  Poor leadership can wreck a church. However, many times churches will immediately take the first person who volunteers to teach a class.  There is not formal vetting, no board review, or selection committee appointed to fill these vital positions.  Teachers play a vital role in the church and are very influential positions.  Most regular attending members of the church will spend more time with, and receive more biblical instruction from the Sunday school teacher, then from the Pastor.

In the book The Biblical Evangelist there is a good basic list of things we should look for in a Sunday school teacher.

Qualifications for Sunday School Teachers:

  • Must be a person who loves people
  • Must be a person wo believes God
  • Must be a person who lives Christ
  • Must be a person who knows the Bible
  • Must be a person who visits
  • Must have sound Doctrine (added by me)
  • Must be able to pass a background check (added by me)
  • Must be a member of the local church for at least 6 months (added by me)

These may seem like they are obvious, however; I met a man who has taught Sunday school for over 10 years at a youth program.  Eventually this young man became the head of the youth department.  Once we were alone and began to discuss in detail his approach to Sunday school, he confessed to me that he does not even believe the Bible.  He is not sure if God even exists as the sole creator of the universe.  When I asked him what he teaches, he said he mainly just teaches the philosophy of the scriptures. Folks this is Gnosticism!  This is the very heresy that divide the early church.

Think of all of the hundreds of souls that were lost because of the failure of the church elders who did not vet or monitor this Sunday school teacher.  Even worse, they promoted him, and gave him a salary to spread his false doctrine into all levels of the program.  No purpose for saving souls was in this Sunday school.  How many others were lost because of the false doctrine his students then shared.  Sunday school should not be a second-hand venture passed off to the first person who comes along.

The Pastor should take time to intentionally disciple the Sunday school teachers and administrators.  The direct involvement of the Pastor will let his vison of evangelism guide and direct the teachers and will unite the church in the common mission of saving souls and raising up disciples that will unashamedly seek souls for the glorification of Christ.

We should also create an environment in the Sunday school that allows the unchurched or unsaved newcomer to feel accepted and valued.  They should feel comfortable in asking, “the stupid questions”.  They should be invited back.  Invited into the sanctuary to listen to the preacher and see how worship is conducted. Taken out for coffee or lunch after the services.  We should teach with substance, so that we are not wasting their time, or our opportunity. Summarize previous lessons to bring them up to date on the current lesson.

We can also create a culture of Evangelistic Sunday school by having regular prayer meeting with all the teaching staff and administrators.

Some things that the Sunday school staff could pray for:

  • Eyes to see the needs in the community and the opportunity to evangelize
  • Pray for boldness to testify and share the Word
  • Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit
  • Hunger for the lost
  • Desire to serve Jesus faithfully
  • Confidence in the scriptures
  • Patience and awareness to be a good living witness
  • Pray for the lost

Soliciting prayers from students and praying for them before the class starts.  You can also pray for the class to have the same things we mentioned for the staff.

You should also develop an expectation of sharing in the class and out in the world.  Give a few moments for someone to share a personal testimony.  Encourage your Sunday school members to plant seeds for the gospel by sharing what they have learned this week with a friend or a family member, or a co-worker.  Then the following week ask for testimonies of how they shared what they learned in class.

Dr. Joseph Clark wrote a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 for Sunday school workers.  I thought this would be something that you might want to share with your Sunday school workers in the future.

“Though I speak with the tongues of scholarship, and though I use approved methods of education, and fail to win my pupils to Christ, or to build them up in Christian character, I am become as the man of the wind in a Syrian desert.

And though I have the best of teaching skill and understand all the mysteries of religious knowledge, and lost not myself in the task of winning others to Christ, I become as a cloud of mist in an open sea.

And though I read all Sunday school literature, and attend Sunday school conventions and institutes and summer schools, and yet am satisfied with less than winning to Christ and establishing my pupils in Christian character and service, it profiteth nothing.

The soul-winning teacher, the character-building teacher, suffereth long and is kind; he envieth not others who are free from the teaching task; he counteth not himself, is not puffed up with intellectual pride.

Such a teacher doth not behave himself unseemly between Sundays, seeketh not his own comfort, is not easily provoked.

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things.

And now abideth knowledge, methods, evangelism, these three; but the greatest of these is evangelism.”

I hope that this has been an encouragement to you and to your way of looking at the Sunday school program.  Evangelism in the Sunday school program is the seed that is planted that will eventually grow a strong and vibrant church for years to come.  Like any crop, it must be tended to, watered in due season, and fertilized.  A hedge should be built about it to keep out the wolves.  Constant monitoring is necessary to keep out the weeds.

 

References

“How Is Evangelism Related to Sunday School?” Sunday School Leaders, 19 Aug. 2014, www.sundayschoolleader.com/722/.

Burroughs, Prince Emanual. Winning to Christ: a Study in Evangelism. Sunday School Board, Southern Baptist Convention, 1923.

Sumner, Robert L. Biblical Evangelism in Action. Sword of the Lord, 1966.

The Roman Road

Matthew 4:17-19, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”

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1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

In a web article written by R. C. Sproul published in 2014 for Ligonier Ministries, the Reform Theologist declared,

“One of the most important subdivisions of theology is Christology, which is the study of the person and work of Christ.  Within that field of study, when we want to get at the aspect that is most crucial, the aspect that we may call the “crux” of the matter of Jesus’ person and work, we go immediately to the cross.  The words crucial and crux both have their root in the Latin word for “cross”, crux, and they have come into the English language with their current meanings because the concept of the cross is at the very center and core of biblical Christianity.  In a very real sense, the cross crystallizes the essence of the ministry of Jesus.”  (Sproul, R.C. “What Does It Mean to Know Nothing except Christ and Him Crucified?” Ligonier Ministries, 11 Apr. 2004, http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-it-mean-christ-and-him-crucified/.)

Every Christian should be in the business of witnessing for Christ and the power of the Cross in our lives. We should be sharing what Christ can and will do for those of whom we are speaking to, or communicating with.  When Jesus told Peter that he was going to be a “fisher of men”, he meant that his purpose in life was to make disciples.  This is the mission of every Christian who is on the face of the earth.  The first part of discipleship is the process of personal evangelism.  As we see by the example of Paul, the cross is the center or our message.

This is our objective then, to share Jesus Christ, and his work of salvation that was completed at the Cross, Jesus declared on the cross, “it is finished” (John 19:30).  These are probably the most important words ever said in the history of man on earth, maybe even in all creation.

What are we trying to tell the individual about this work of the cross?

Personal Evangelism is about relaying this information:

  • The individual is lost
  • Christ made sufficient provisions for them
  • Salvation is only obtained by faith in Jesus and the work of the cross
  • A choice must be made

As we begin our personal evangelism efforts; we must consider how important our relationship with to whom we are speaking.  It is actually very rare to find someone, especially in the United States, that has not already heard something about Jesus.  They have been informed from a wide variety of sources.

Most of these sources are unfortunately untrustworthy.  There have been a lot of false teachings, frauds, and legalist that have convoluted the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to gain authority or financial supremacy over others.  Many have been enslaved by false doctrines and blinded by Church Dogma. Their perception of Christ has been understandably distorted.

For this reason, evangelism is an ever changing process, but one thing will always remain true.  The best way to evangelize is always through a personal relationship with the prospect.  Gaining the trust of the lost soul, in order to show them Jesus Christ. In this manner we can show what a personal relationship with Jesus looks like.

A genuine relationship disproves lies, and breaks down fears, stereotypes, pain, and anger.  It gives you an opportunity to speak to the heart of the individual and address their spiritual need on an ongoing basis, developing trust, and opening doors through the intervention of prayer and the Holy Spirit.  The importance of this was relayed by God himself.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14a).  God, through Jesus Christ, became accessible to man on an intimate level. To dwell among us means to reside, or live with.  God came and shared his time with us.  This is what the church needs to do.  This is what you need to do as a Christian. Get into the neighborhood, embrace a neighbor, learn their stories, develop relationships for the sake of spreading the gospel, showing them Jesus.  Jesus ate with sinners, ministered to the sick, confronted false doctrine.  If we are the salt of the earth, then this is how we must live to be effective for the cause of Christ.

The most common route of scripture that is used for leading someone to Christ is referred to as “The Roman Road”.  This is a selection of scriptures from the book of Romans.  These verses lay out the plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  There are some small variations, however they following verses are commonly used.

Rome1

The “Roman Road” Plan

  • Gain the attention

o   Romans 3.23

o   Romans 3.10

o   Romans 5:12

  • Establish the Need

o   Romans 6:23

  • Supply the Answer

o   Romans 5:8

  • Close the Deal

o   Romans 10:9-10

o   Romans 10:13

o   Reassure

o   Romans 10:17

Deeper Look

We must never assume that whoever we are speaking to has a proper understanding of God.  We must also never assume that they are ignorant of scripture.  When I share scripture with someone I generally either tell them the scripture in a form of conversation or either locate the scripture and pass my bible to them and have them read it aloud for themselves, then I begin a dialog with basically asks them to tell me what they have read and what they think it means.  This is where knowing other scriptures than the Roman Road comes into play.  The other scriptures can be used to explain the text and give it context.  Your personal witness gives you the ability to make it real to them.

Romans 3.23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3.10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

With these opening verses we establish some facts concerning God.  We show that God is a holy God. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5).  He has established a set of laws, we commonly refer to as the 10 Commandments.  These were established to show us the holiness of God, and how impossible it is to be righteous and holy like God is.

It does not matter how “good” we are in compression to someone else.  If we point the finger at our neighbor who cheated on his wife, and yet we look at his daughter with lust, we are still just as guilty of adultery as our neighbor is (Matthew 5:28). So when the Lord said thou shalt not commit adultery, you violated that commandment. But the list goes on, how many “white” lies have you told? How many times have you passed on gossip about someone else?  If so then when the Lord said thou shalt not bear false witness of they neighbor, you violated the law in both external application and internal intent.

The Ten Commandments are only an outline of the Law, if you could not even keep them, then how could you ever hope to keep the whole law?  But even if it were possible to keep the entire law with every jot and every tittle you would still have the inherited sin of rebellion that has been passed down from the original sin of Adam.  Some sins follow generations.

Ever here of “Sins of the father?”  This is an illustration that shows a spiritual principle, “Sin has a consequence for the sinner and his whole family, even to the children and grandchildren.”  This is also why some sins take what is called a Break in the Cycle to alleviate.  An example is child or spousal abuse, or even alcoholism, or drug abuse.  Lee Strobel cites that almost down to the last, every predominant atheist in history has had issues with their Father, either abuse, neglect, or abandonment.  Prisons are filled with men and women who had the same issues.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The argument then comes to “I didn’t know”.  There are some terms that are thrown around in the legal system.

  • Malum in se (latin) – meaning wrong or evil in itself. In other words, “the act is inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing conduct.
  • Malum in prohibitum (latin) – meaning wrong because prohibited.
  • Ignorantia juris non excusat or inorantia legis neminem excusat (latin) – basically both terms mean that ignorance of the law excuses no one.

So if we as mankind expect adherence to our laws, customs, and norms of society, and do not excuse ignorance of the law as a defense to defer adjudication, then why do we expect God too?

Now knowing that we are all guilty of violating the law of God and thus fore failing to live up to God’s standard of Holiness what does that mean?  Just like when you violate a law in society there is a consequence.  The consequence is death.

“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15).

Death brings an end to the hope of redemption.  “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27).

Death brings a time for judgement.  You can kind of explain it like this.  When you break the law, the police come and arrest you.  You are put in jail and then you are brought before the judge.  But unlike here in the United States, you only have a prosecutor, “Satan” and no lawyer for your own defense.  You are brought before the court, God is the Judge, the Word of God is the Law you are judged from.  Satan is the prosecutor and the witness against you.  It doesn’t matter what kind of “cool dude” you thought Satan was while you were living, he is revealed as your enemy and takes pleasure in insuring you fate,  a sentence of Death.  There is no appeal process.  Because God is just and holy, and  there is no higher authority, His judgement is final. Ignorance, willful or not, is no excuse.

The death penalty is so fierce it is described as “weeping and gnashing of teeth” and described as fiery torment.

  • Matthew 13:42 – And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
  • Matthew 13:50 – And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
  • Matthew 22:13 – Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  • Matthew 24:51 – And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  • Matthew 25:30 – And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I know there are allot of preachers out there that say we should not speak of hell, but I don’t see how we can love someone and not warn them of the truth of their fate without Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Ignorance is no excuse, and judgement is final, the consequence is death.  But there is hope!  “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17). Jesus Christ himself, who is God, provided the payment for the penalty.  Jesus died in your place.  This was the whole purpose for Jesus coming to the earth. He voluntarily took your place and received your death sentence.

He died so that you would not have too. In doing this, he stepped in as your lawyer in the throne room of God. Every sin you have ever  inherited from Adam, or committed in your life or will be has been removed from your account by the death of Jesus.  You have been set free from the penalty of death because he died.

That is what is so different of Jesus from any other religion on earth.  God loved you so much the God died for you.  NO other religion, no other philosophy, no other science can, nor will make that claim.  Not Buddha, Not Mohammad, not the Pope, no one can say that they restored you to God, but God himself in the form of Jesus who is the Christ, the living Son of God.

On top of that, you did nothing to earn it.  Look again at Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  It is a gift! A gift is a contribution, bequest (inheritance), bestowment, payment on behalf of someone else.  In it’s truest form requires no cost to the receiver.  This is more than just a “get out of hell free card”. More than just getting into “heaven”. This gift is eternal life in communion with God.  This gift restores you whole being to what it was meant to be before Adam ever sinned.

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

If you confess faith in Jesus, and Lord and Saviour of your soul and really believe in your heart that Jesus provides justification through his death, and believe that Jesus rose from the grave then you shall be saved according to your acceptance and profession of faith.  It takes an internal belief, acceptance in faith that results in a public profession in Jesus.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Whosoever means “anyone who will” believer and choose to act on their belief will be saved.  The bible says that even the demons believe in Jesus.  So believing in God, or even believing that Jesus existed and was a “good man” or a “prophet” won’t save you.  You have to understand that Jesus is the only way to salvation and call out to him.  You have to depend on him for your salvation.  If you were hanging out the window of a burning building, and a fireman on a ladder told you to take his hand and to trust him not to let you go, you can say all you want to, but until you take his hand you wont be saved.  It’s the same with the kingdom of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Now is your time to choose.  Do you believe what I have told you?  Do you understand what the scriptures say about life and death?  Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God that was sent to die for you?  Do you believe that he wants you to live in freedom, right by his side?  Will you accept his give of life, or will you choose to die?

 

What Are We Doing With the Great Commission?

The spreading of the gospel is what created the church (Col. 1.5-6), and the primary message of the church is the gospel (1 Cor. 15.1-3).  By saying that, the spreading of the gospel is the primary message of the church, it is meant that we begin with the process of telling others the truth of Christ and salvation.  Salvation in Christ is not only believing, but accepting.  Accepting the Salvation offered through Jesus Christ means you HAVE BECOME A DISCIPLE.  Disciples MAKE disciples. This is what evangelism is, the start of that process.

Probably the most powerful verse in evangelism is what we call the great commission.  In this Jesus meets with his 12 disciples on a mountain and gives them one last bit of encouragement and a command.

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28.19-20).

A successful business has a business plan, and in that plan covers the vision and the goal for the business.  The Great Commission is that for the church.  It gives us our mission: What we are called to do; Our Vision: Where we hope to go; Our Plan: How we will get there: and Our Response:  What we need to do. We are told to “go”.  We should be a reaching church, ever expanding our message.  If you study things in nature, they are always growing, or they are dying.  If a tree stops growing then it rots from the inside-out.  This is the condition we see allot of local churches in today.

Jesus said, “As the Father sent Me, so I send you (John 20.21). This was God’s plan from the very beginning.  From the Old Testament on into the New Testament God demonstrated his plan of repentance and salvation through the word of mouth shared by men to men (mankind to mankind).  This spreading of the Word of God came through prophets, teachers, scribes, kings, Apostles and, finally, disciples.  In Acts 1.8 scripture tells us that we are to be witnesses of Jesus, starting in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  We read in the gospel of Mark that we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16.15).

We are not to be idle and wait for people to come to us.  We are to actively take the gospel to all nations, all peoples, all tongues.  This means we should reach out not only to foreign missions, but in our very neighborhoods.  We reach them by preaching, and teaching.  We have to teach them about the love of God and the salvation in Jesus Christ.  We have to proclaim what is acceptable to the Lord God.  We have to teach them how to apply these lessons in their life.  We are to baptize them in accordance to the profession of their belief in Christ.  Immediately we get them in an outward expression of faith, showing others that they are disciples of Christ Jesus.  Evangelism is never an end of means.  Evangelism is a starting point for the new convert.

Evangelism is part of a continuing cycle of growth in the Christian and in the local Church.  Evangelism is a beginning in once sense and the process is a continuing of growth in the other. Like a tree that grows from a single seed, it puts out roots, stretches for the sky, bathes in the Sun and grows up and puts out more seeds that are carried by the winds to new locations. Christians should focus everything in their lives to keeping the gospel message at the center of our mental, spiritual, and emotional life.  This is achieved through deliberate, prayer rooted in Christ, Spirit led, lovingly felt, fervent Personal Evangelism.

One of the deacons shared a story in my Sunday school class on Personal Evangelism.  He told of how a woman had come in to the church just before the service and asked for money for food.  One of the members went out and talked with the couple and believed that their situation was sincere.  The member gave them some money and told them that after they had eaten to come back to the church and join the service.  While that was a good and noble thing to do, it was a wasted opportunity.  What would have been so wrong with two or more members missing service and going with that couple, buying their meal or even some groceries and then sitting with them right then and sharing Christ? That would be keeping the gospel the center in the situation.  If we look at the examples of Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament we see that they met the immediate need, but they also went further to identify the real spiritual need and offer a solution.  Yes we are to care for the widows, and orphans, and the poor and needy, but we need to care for their spiritual needs as well as the physical, medical, and financial needs.  We do this by sharing everything we know about Christ.

Evangelism is probably the best way to keep the message of the saving grace of Jesus Christ a reality in our lives.  If we are actively evangelizing and concentrating on spreading the gospel it is less likely we will be distracted by the world.  Having gospel conversations with unbelievers builds up our knowledge and confidence in the scriptures.  Being intellectually challenged drives us to seek a deeper understanding of Christ in the scriptures, in history, and in science.  We get to learn more about God’s character, his holiness and judgments, we gain a deeper understanding of how God works in man.  We have to think through how to explain all these concepts to different types of audiences.  This gives us better tools to study and trace God’s truths in scripture and see the evidence in life itself.

Soldiers are taught tasks and skills then immediately are made to go and teach other soldiers these newly learned skills.  This makes them learn the tasks and skill development on a deeper level than they would have ever know in just listening to lectures.  Philemon 1.6 says “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”  Knowing and explaining the gospel to someone who does not understand it or believe in it is different than having an academic understanding.  This process of personal evangelism enlightens the one teaching as well as the one receiving.   Brian Parks in his 9Marks Journal gives 6 Benefits of Evangelism fir Disciples:

  1. Evangelism helps keep the gospel central in our lives and churches
  2. Evangelism deepens our understanding of the most fundamental truths of Scripture
  3. Properly motivated evangelism grows our love for God and neighbor
  4. Evangelism prompts unexpected questions and objections from non-Christians, which can deepen our faith
  5. Evangelism protects us from mistakenly assuming that those around us are saved.
  6. Evangelism increases the likelihood of being persecuted for the gospel which leads to our growth

(“Six Benefits of Evangelism for Discipleship.” 9Marks, www.9marks.org/article/journalsix-benefits-evangelism-discipleship/.)

Evangelism by individual members has a direct effect on church growth.  If we look in the book of Acts there are several examples of how the local churches grew after a short period of active evangelism by its members.  Acts 11:19-26 tells us of how, that after persecution in Jerusalem, some believers went to Antioch and began telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus and how the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.  It goes further to say that believers in Christ were first call Christians at Antioch.  The strength of the evangelism effort has a direct relation to the growth of the church.  The local church and its membership should be a vibrant and dynamic reality in the local community.

The early churches demonstrated a recognition of needs in the local area, and even in other distant churches.  Each member of the community was concerned about the welfare of the whole and the individual above themselves.  Resources were shared and this created a social-economic system the benefitted all those around the church area.  The effects of evangelism made it possible for these churches to grow and have a positive effect on their neighbors, their civil governments, and eventually the whole country and even the world.  The church is responsible for the widespread use of the tablet form of writing, what we call a book today.  The church is responsible for the advent of schools, hospitals, and vocational centers, for rehabilitation centers and even the Constitution of the United States, the freedom from slavery instituted in Britain and the U.S. came from church movements.  The “Ivy League” schools were originally schools of Biblical Study.  Personal Evangelism has had a great effect on the world.

Christian organizations supply food and clothing to poor, war torn communities all over the world.  Christian legal teams fight slavery, sexual trafficking, Christian and Jewish persecution, and abortion not only in the United States, but in places like Africa, Iraq, Israel and all across Europe.  Without evangelism efforts these Christian churches would not have the resources to send missionaries to local neighborhoods, much less to the foreign mission field.  God provides for these missionaries from the harvest of the evangelism effort.  The building up of the local churches and the resources that they share are affected by the evangelist efforts put forward in their own communities.  With all the good that we do in our neighborhood and in the world around us we must not forget that these are by-products of the spread of the gospel.  Evangelism is for making changes in people’s lives.

Remember back to Matthew 28:20, Jesus commanded that we are to teach the nations “all that I have commanded”, and to “observe all that I have commanded.”  The command is not just to have them confess Christ, but to teach them to be obedient to what Jesus has commanded.  Remember the Lord prefers obedience over sacrifice.  He must be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth.  Those who obey His commandments demonstrate the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Faith that saves has the sign of obedience.  Scripture tells us that we should not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of the mind.  The renewing of the mind is accomplished by the Spirit of God by the study of scripture and fellowship with Christ.  Is this what we are doing?

“How do we usually read this scripture, which is familiarly called The Great Commission? Ordinarily we read it like this, “Go ye therefore, but if you don’t want to go, you can sing in the choir as a substitute and let someone else go for you, teaching all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Other people read it like this, “Go ye therefore, but if you don’t want to go, you can teach a Sunday School class on Sunday morning as a substitute for going and let someone else go for you teaching all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Or, sometimes folks read it like this, “Go ye therefore, but if you are afraid to go or don’t want to go, you can paint on the church building as a substitute and let someone else go for you teaching all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” There’s just one thing wrong with all these various renditions of the scripture as the church members ordinarily read it; it’s not in the Bible. No matter what you say when you get out your Bible, you m7ill still read Jesus saying to you, “go YE therefore and teach all nations.” It does not say anything about if you do not want to go or are afraid to go. It simply says, “GO!” I’m afraid that we in the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ of America have not been going like Jesus Christ told us to go.” (“God’s Plan for World Evangelism.” Sermon 15a)

The sad thing is that most modern Christians have never won a soul to Christ.  In fact most church going Christians do not even try to share their faith, or even invite friends or family to their church for fear of rejection of ridicule.  The danger in this is that Jesus said that whoever is ashamed of me in from of men, him I will be ashamed of in front of my Father.  Many churches don’t even get out in their local cities and perform a corporate level of evangelism.  There is virtually no effort to train or hold church members accountable to participate in Sunday school recruitment or youth development or recruitment programs.  The lack of identifiable leadership in evangelism is often used as an excuse by the members of the congregation to avoid their obligation to share the gospel. The result is that local churches are closing their doors all over the United States.  Members are disenfranchised and quit.  They lack the vision and without a vision they eventually give up and die. The following statistics were released in 1993 from Michael Parrott of Spokane, WA.

EVANGELISTIC STATISTICS

Ninety-five percent of all Christians have never won a soul to Christ.
Eighty percent of all Christians do not consistently witness for Christ.
Less than two percent are involved in the ministry of evangelism.
Seventy-one percent do not give toward the financing of the great Commission.

One particular denomination did a survey on its leadership ministries. The results are as follows:

  • 63% of the leadership in this denomination, including deacons and elders, have not led one stranger to Jesus in the last two years through the method of “Go Ye” evangelism.
  • 49% of the leadership ministries spend zero time in an average week ministering outside of the church.
  • 89% of the leadership ministries have zero time reserved on their list of weekly priorities for going out to evangelize.
  • 99% of the leadership ministries believe that every Christian, including leadership, has been commanded to preach the gospel to a lost world.
  • 97% believe that if the leadership had a greater conviction and involvement in evangelism, that it would be an example for the church to follow.
  • 96% of the leadership believe their churches would have grown faster if they would have been more involved in evangelism.

Because of this, our results in evangelism have been mediocre, at best.

(“Street Level Evangelism, Where is the Space for the Local Evangelist,” by Michael Parrott, Acts Evangelism, Spokane, WA, 1993, pp. 9-11.)

We should constantly analyze ourselves with regards to the “Great Commission”.  Are we effectively reaching our neighbors? Are we teaching those we reach?  Are we seeing lives changed because of the gospel message we proclaim?  What are we that we should not be doing?  What are we NOT doing that we should be doing to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ? The uppermost desire for every Christian should be to bring someone to Christ.  You can do the personal work that you are called to do as an individual Christian.  You can work and win a soul to Christ.  All it took was one man crying in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord!”  Jesus started by getting one disciple.  Then one disciple got another. All it takes is one person in your neighborhood to proclaim the gospel of Christ.

 

References

“Southern Baptist Convention.” Southern Baptist Convention The Baptist Faith and Message. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017.

Foundations: An Overview of Systematic Theolog. Perf. R. C. Sproul. Series 11: Three In Persons. Right Now Media, n.d. Web. 28 July 2017.

Coleman, Robert Emerson, and Billy Graham. The Master Plan of Evangelism. Revell, 2008.

“God’s Plan of Salvation.” Bible.org, bible.org/article/gods-plan-salvation.

  1. C. Ryle, Practical Religion (Darlington: Evangelical, 2001), 73

Lindsey, Art, PhD. “The Priesthood of All Believers.” Institute for Faith, Works and Economics (2013): Print.PDF

The Biblical Evangelist, biblicalevangelist.org/index.php?id. 4 August 2017

Steele, David N., et al. The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, Documented. P & R Publications, 2004.

Zagzebski, Linda. “Foreknowledge and Free Will.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 13 Apr. 2017, plato.stanford.edu/entries/free-will-foreknowledge/.

“Ezekiel 3:19 Commentary – John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible.” Bible Study Tools,

“Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry.” Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry, II, no. 2, 2014. FALL, doi:The Gospel and Evangelism. www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/ezekiel-3-19.html.

“Six Benefits of Evangelism for Discipleship.” 9Marks, www.9marks.org/article/journalsix-benefits-evangelism-discipleship/.

Unknown. “God’s Plan for World Evangelism.” Sermon 15a, www.white-fields.org/uploads/1/5/7/7/15776806/my_favorite_missionary_sermons_sermon_15a.pdf.

“Street Level Evangelism, Where is the Space for the Local Evangelist,” by Michael Parrott, Acts Evangelism, Spokane, WA, 1993, pp. 9-11.

John 7:41-43 Hath Not the Scripture Said?

 

“Others said, This is the Christ.  But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?  Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?  So there was a division among the people of him.” (John 7:41-43)

I sat in a church as a guest a few weeks back and they had a guest speaker.  The guest speaker started off saying how he could encourage the members of the church on how they could have confidence in their bible.  I did not have a real problem with this, however; it became evident that he had some issues against the Authorized Version of the Bible.  This is what most of us know as the King James Version of the Bible.  Now I know that there are allot of differences between the versions of the Bible and I have my own view of which one is best.  However, I did not understand how telling someone NOT to read a version of the Bible that has lasted for over 400 years and had such a great impact on the English speaking world would be productive.

So in light of that I thought that I would share my own ideas on why we can have trust in the scriptures.  No there are not allot of dates and scripture textual comparisons, instead, I am looking from the perspective that the scripture is consistent.  There are allot of people who say that the Bible contradicts itself, and this is one of the main arguments used against new Christians who are bold enough in their zeal to try to evangelize.  This lie has been told so many times that many Christians have assumed that it is true.  I will use this scripture as an example of how a lack of study, and proper context can be misleading.

There is an estimated 400 plus prophecies concerning Christ in the Old Testament.  (Associates for Biblical Research. Website. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2012/07/27/400-Prophecies-of-Christ-in-the-Old-Testament.aspx#Article)

  • 117 prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowing of Christ in the Law
  • 144 Prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowing of Christ in the Writings
  • 153 Prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowing of Christ in the Prophets

So does the Bible contradict itself?  Are the Old and New Testament in disagreement with one another?  The confusion caused by this lie has gone on since the book of Genesis.  Even Satan tricked Eve with misleading the message of the Word of God. This though process as we will discover is not a new phenomenon.  This belief comes from a lack of knowledge of Scripture.

  • Some Scripture can be ambiguous.
  • Some Scripture can be symbolic and require dedicated study.
  • But some Scripture just takes a little research to gain understanding.
  • Some Scripture is written so plain that it cannot be missed if it is read in context with other Scripture.
  • All Scripture should be read and studied with an attitude of prayer and direction of the Holy Spirit.
  • “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Scripture tells us and most readily accept that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth yet Jesus chose the Galilean fishing village of Capernaum as His home base during His ministry. However, for those who were closet to the time period, they did not know all the circumstances of Jesus’ early childhood, that we are privileged to.

Capernaum comes from two words:  Kaphar Nachum (Village of Nahum), though it does not refer to the prophet Nahum. We don’t read about this village in the Old Testament because it simply did not exist in the time period of the Old Testament.  Capernaum first appeared during the 2nd century BC.

Why did Jesus privilege Capernaum as His ministry base?  There has been allot of speculation.  Different scholars and historians have tried to have relevant reasons for Jesus centering his ministry in this reagion.

  • Some might say because Capernaum is where he successfully called the following disciples:
    • Peter
    • James
    • John
    • Andrew
    • Matthew

 

  • Others might say because Capernaum offered a seaside escape from the hostility and drama of urban Jerusalem.  But even in Capernaum, a town of about 1,500 people, Jesus would withdraw “by boat to a secluded place by Himself.”(Matthew 14:13; Mark 1:35–37)

 

While these are some good reasons and may have contributed to the reasoning of Jesus, there is one that is already recorded hundreds of years prior.  The restoration of the Kingdom of David would be set to begin in this rejected area.  Israel would be redeemed to her King and her God. The real reason that Jesus chose to begin His ministry in Capernaum is that it fulfilled prophecy and set the stage for the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel and all nations of the world.

Eight centuries before the incarnation of Jesus the Messiah, God allowed the empire of Assyria to capture and take into captivity the ten tribes of northern Israel, whose land included the Upper and Lower Galilee. God had warned His people for centuries and even up to their final days that if they did not repent, then this would be the judgement they would receive.  They would be chastised by God for their disobedience. God warned them through a prophet named Hosea.  Hosea 11:1-6 reads:

 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.

I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.

I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.

He shall not return into the land of Egypt, and the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.

And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.  (Hosea 11:1–6)

By 724 BC, Assyria had captured northern Israel.  This invasion brought a massive change of populace.  The influx of Gentiles repopulated the region, bringing with them their culture of pagan idols, rituals, and customs.  This changed the Israelis and their way of life.  This was recorded in 2 Kings.

“The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria [the capital of Northern Israel] in place of the sons of Israel.  So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities.”  (2 Kings 17:24)

For this reason, the region took on the name Galil ha’Goyim (Galilee of the Nations or Galilee of the Gentiles). These Gentiles incorporated Jewish customs into their own pagan practices, developing a range of superstitions and false doctrines. However, evidence suggests that by the time of Jesus’ arrival, many parts of Galilee had regained its Jewish identity.

Jesus’s choice of Galilee as His home base caused a stumbling block for those who looked to Scripture for Messiah, because they were ignorant.  They said,

“Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he?  Has not the Scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”  (John 7:41–42)

  • These people did not understand thatJesus was, indeed, born in Bethlehem of Judea, where David lived (Micah 5:2; Luke 2:4–20).
  • He then had to flee to Egypt to escape to avoid death from the State
  • After the death of King Herod Jesus returned and His family was directed to Nazareth, located in the Lower Galilee
  • Jesus grew up in Nazareth (Matthew 2:13–23; paralleled in Hosea 11:1, 5).
  • Later Jesus moved to Upper Galilee, in Capernaum.

It is from Capernaum that Jesus would begin the work of restoring this once contemptible land to glory, as Isaiah prophesied: Isaiah 9:1-2 says:

 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:1-2)

This is what Matthew is referencing when he records:

And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,  The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;  The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (Matthew 4:13-16)

Isaiah said that this glory comes from a “great light” Just so that there would be no confusion as to who or what will be the source of this “great light” in Galilee, Isaiah tells us just a few verses later how to identify it: Continuing from Isaiah 9 at verse 6.

 “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon His shoulders; and He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Everlasting, Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6)

Jesus himself said that He (Jesus ) is the light, the way, and the truth!

700 years after Isaiah’s prophecies we find that Jesus has arrived.  He has been baptized (by immersion) by John the Baptist, then he was taken into the wilderness for trails and testings (put through the fire), and now enters Nazareth to declare His arrival as Messiah (Luke 4:16–21; Isaiah 61:1–2).

During this time, John the Baptist had been immersing people for the remission of their sins, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”  (Matthew 3:2) Jesus had begun recruiting his early disciples and started his missionary journey in Nazareth. But while in Nazareth, Jesus learned that John had been arrested.

The apostle Matthew tells us that when Jesus heard this news, “He left Nazareth and made His home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled. …”  (Matthew 4:13–14; see Isaiah 9:1–2)

Matthew wants us to know that Jesus came to this ancient land that God took away from the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali (due to their disobedience) because he wants us to understand that restoration has now arrived, as Isaiah prophesied.  That restoration is in Jesus.

Matthew tells us that Jesus entered Capernaum proclaiming, just as John the Baptist — “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

  • The Kingdom of God- Has Arrived
  • Jesus being there is in the direct fulfillment of prophecy
  • There is no error in Scripture
  • There is only error in human thought
  • John the Baptist declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
  • Jesus the Messiah declared, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
  • Christian you should be declaring, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

 

There, in the spiritual darkness of Galilee, Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  (John 8:12; also Luke 2:29–32)

Jesus declared he was indeed the messiah, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives,  And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” (Isaiah 61:1)

Jesus backed up His claim Messiah by performing glorious acts of physical and spiritual restoration before the people of Galilee.  Some examples are:

  • Jesus healed a woman with an issue of blood
  • Raised the dead daughter of Jairus
  • Healed a nobleman’s son
  • Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law
  • Jesus multiplied a handful of bread and fish to feed four thousand (Matthew 15:29–39) and five thousand (Luke 9:10–17).
  • Jesus expelled a legion of demons from a tormented man (Mark 5:1–20).
  • Jesus walked on water (Matthew 14:22–33) and calmed a raging sea (Mark 4:35–41), restoring and strengthening His disciples’ faith in Him.

These people whom Jesus touched in some way in Galilee believed in His identity as Messiah and did not at all take offense at Him.  Because of that, they were greatly blessed.  The message that God has told us from Genesis to Revelation is still the same. God is always reaching out to you and me and even to Israel and the whole world to restore us back to Himself. The message of the Bible is – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 

After His baptism, Jesus came to the land of Zebulun and Naphtali in the Galilee where God’s wrath against Israel’s disobedience first manifested in exile, as prophesied by Isaiah, and He is coming again to complete the physical and spiritual restoration of David’s kingdom for both Jew and Gentile, as prophesied:

“And I will set up one shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My servant David; He shall feed them, and He shall be their shepherd.  And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them.”  (Ezekiel 34:23–24)

You see the scripture can be trusted.  The Old and New Testament support one another and edify one another.  What we need to do is get serious with our study.  If we truly believe that God exists, and that Jesus is his Son and He has paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, then what are we doing?  When the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus the voice of God said, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, -LISTEN TO HIM.

 

Self-Study of Scriptures Fulfilled by Jesus.

Scripture Prophecy Fulfillment

 

1. Gen. 3:15 Seed of a woman (virgin birth) Galatians 4:4-5Matthew 1:18
2. Gen. 3:15 He will bruise Satan’s head Hebrews 2:141John 3:8
3. Gen. 3:15 Christ’s heel would be bruised with nails on the cross Matthew 27:35Luke 24:39-40
4. Gen. 5:24 The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated Mark 16:19, Rev. 12:5
5. Gen. 9:26, 27 The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem Luke 3:23-36
6. Gen. 12:3 Seed of Abraham will bless all nations Galatians 3:8Acts 3:2526
7. Gen. 12:7 The Promise made to Abraham’s Seed Galatians 3:16
8. Gen. 14:18 A priest after the order of Melchizedek Hebrews 6:20
9. Gen. 14:18 King of Peace and Righteousness Hebrews 7:2
10. Gen. 14:18 The Last Supper foreshadowed Matthew 26:26-29
11. Gen. 17:19 Seed of Isaac (Gen. 21:12) Romans 9:7
12. Gen. 22:8 The Lamb of God promised John 1:29
13. Gen. 22:18 As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations Galatians 3:16
14. Gen. 26:2-5 The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer Hebrews 11:18
15. Gen. 28:12 The Bridge to heaven John 1:51
16. Gen. 28:14 The Seed of Jacob Luke 3:34
17. Gen. 49:10 The time of His coming Luke 2:1-7; Galatians 4:4
18. Gen. 49:10 The Seed of Judah Luke 3:33
19. Gen. 49:10 Called Shiloh or One Sent John 17:3
20. Gen. 49:10 Messiah to come before Judah lost identity John 11:47-52
21. Gen. 49:10 Unto Him shall the obedience of the people be John 10:16
22. Ex. 3:13-15 The Great “I AM” John 4:268:58
23. Ex. 12:3-6 The Lamb presented to Israel 4 days before Passover Mark 11:7-11
24. Ex. 12:5 A Lamb without blemish Hebrews 9:141Peter 1:19
25. Ex. 12:13 The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath Romans 5:8
26. Ex. 12:21-27 Christ is our Passover 1Corinthians 5:7
27. Ex. 12:46 Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken John 19:31-36
28. Ex. 15:2 His exaltation predicted as Yeshua Acts 7:5556
29. Ex. 15:11 His Character-Holiness Luke 1:35Acts 4:27
30. Ex. 17:6 The Spiritual Rock of Israel 1Corinthians 10:4
31. Ex. 33:19 His Character-Merciful Luke 1:72
32. Lev. 1:2-9 His sacrifice a sweet smelling savor unto God Ephesians 5:2
33. Lev. 14:11 The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood Luke 5:12-14Acts 6:7
34. Lev. 16:15-17 Prefigures Christ’s once-for-all death Hebrews 9:7-14
35. Lev. 16:27 Suffering outside the Camp Matthew 27:33Heb. 13:1112
36. Lev. 17:11 The Blood-the life of the flesh Matthew 26:28Mark 10:45
37. Lev. 17:11 It is the blood that makes atonement Rom. 3:23-241John 1:7
38. Lev. 23:36-37 The Drink-offering: “If any man thirst” John 7:37
39. Num. 9:12 Not a bone of Him broken John 19:31-36
40. Num. 21:9 The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up John 3:14-1812:32
41. Num. 24:17 Time: “I shall see him, but not now.” John 1:14Galatians 4:4
42. Deut. 18:15 “This is of a truth that prophet.” John 6:14
43. Deut. 18:15-16 “Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me.” John 5:45-47
44. Deut. 18:18 Sent by the Father to speak His word John 8:2829
45. Deut. 18:19 Whoever will not hear must bear his sin Acts 3:22-23
46. Deut. 21:23 Cursed is he that hangs on a tree Galatians 3:10-13
47. Joshua 5:14-15 The Captain of our salvation Hebrews 2:10
48. Ruth 4:4-10 Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us Ephesians 1:3-7
49. 1 Sam. 2:35 A Faithful Priest Heb. 2:173:1-367:24-25
50. 1 Sam. 2:10 Shall be an anointed King to the Lord Mt. 28:18John 12:15
51. 2 Sam. 7:12 David’s Seed Matthew 1:1
52. 2 Sam. 7:13 His Kingdom is everlasting 2Peter 1:11
53. 2 Sam. 7:14 The Son of God Luke 1:32Romans 1:3-4
54. 2 Sam. 7:16 David’s house established forever Luke 3:31Rev. 22:16
55. 2 Ki. 2:11 The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated Luke 24:51
56. 1 Chr. 17:11 David’s Seed Matthew 1:19:27
57. 1 Chr. 17:12-13 To reign on David’s throne forever Luke 1:3233
58. 1 Chr. 17:13 “I will be His Father, He…my Son.” Hebrews 1:5
59. Job 9:32-33 Mediator between man and God 1 Timothy 2:5
60. Job 19:23-27 The Resurrection predicted John 5:24-29
61. Psa. 2:1-3 The enmity of kings foreordained Acts 4:25-28
62. Psa. 2:2 To own the title, Anointed (Christ) John 1:41Acts 2:36
63. Psa. 2:6 His Character-Holiness John 8:46Revelation 3:7
64. Psa. 2:6 To own the title King Matthew 2:2
65. Psa. 2:7 Declared the Beloved Son Matthew 3:17Romans 1:4
66. Psa. 2:78 The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated Acts 13:29-33
67. Psa. 2:89 Rule the nations with a rod of iron Rev. 2:2712:519:15
68. Psa. 2:12 Life comes through faith in Him John 20:31
69. Psa. 8:2 The mouths of babes perfect His praise Matthew 21:16
70. Psa. 8:56 His humiliation and exaltation Hebrews 2:5-9
71. Psa. 9:7-10 Judge the world in righteousness Acts 17:31
72. Psa. 16:10 Was not to see corruption Acts 2:3113:35
73. Psa. 16:9-11 Was to arise from the dead John 20:9
74. Psa. 17:15 The resurrection predicted Luke 24:6
75. Psa. 18:2-3 The horn of salvation Luke 1:69-71
76. Psa. 22:1 Forsaken because of sins of others 2 Corinthians 5:21
77. Psa. 22:1 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
78. Psa. 22:2 Darkness upon Calvary for three hours Matthew 27:45
79. Psa. 22:7 They shoot out the lip and shake the head Matthew 27:39-44
80. Psa. 22:8 “He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him” Matthew 27:43
81. Psa. 22:9-10 Born the Saviour Luke 2:7
82. Psa. 22:12-13 They seek His death John 19:6
83. Psa. 22:14 His blood poured out when they pierced His side John 19:34
84. Psa. 22:1415 Suffered agony on Calvary Mark 15:34-37
85. Psa. 22:15 He thirsted John 19:28
86. Psa. 22:16 They pierced His hands and His feet John 19:343720:27
87. Psa. 22:1718 Stripped Him before the stares of men Luke 23:3435
88. Psa. 22:18 They parted His garments John 19:2324
89. Psa. 22:2021 He committed Himself to God Luke 23:46
90. Psa. 22:2021 Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel Hebrews 2:14
91. Psa. 22:22 His Resurrection declared John 20:17
92. Psa. 22:27-28 He shall be the governor of the nations Colossians 1:16
93. Psa. 22:31 “It is finished” John 19:30Heb. 10:10121418
94. Psa. 23:1 “I am the Good Shepherd” John 10:111Peter 2:25
95. Psa. 24:3 His exaltation predicted Acts 1:11Philippians 2:9
96. Psa. 30:3 His resurrection predicted Acts 2:32
97. Psa. 31:5 “Into thy hands I commit my spirit” Luke 23:46
98. Psa. 31:11 His acquaintances fled from Him Mark 14:50
99. Psa. 31:13 They took counsel to put Him to death Mt. 27:1John 11:53
100. Psa. 31:1415 “He trusted in God, let Him deliver him” Matthew 27:43
101. Psa. 34:20 Not a bone of Him broken John 19:31-36
102. Psa. 35:11 False witnesses rose up against Him Matthew 26:59
103. Psa. 35:19 He was hated without a cause John 15:25
104. Psa. 38:11 His friends stood afar off Luke 23:49
105. Psa. 38:12 Enemies try to entangle Him by craft Mark 14:1Mt. 22:15
106. Psa. 38:12-13 Silent before His accusers Matthew 27:12-14
107. Psa. 38:20 He went about doing good Acts 10:38
108. Psa. 40:2-5 The joy of His resurrection predicted John 20:20
109. Psa. 40:6-8 His delight-the will of the Father John 4:34Heb. 10:5-10
110. Psa. 40:9 He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel Matthew 4:17
111. Psa. 40:14 Confronted by adversaries in the Garden John 18:4-6
112. Psa. 41:9 Betrayed by a familiar friend John 13:18
113. Psa. 45:2 Words of Grace come from His lips John 1:17Luke 4:22
114. Psa. 45:6 To own the title, God or Elohim Hebrews 1:8
115. Psa. 45:7 A special anointing by the Holy Spirit Mt. 3:16Heb. 1:9
116. Psa. 45:78 Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed) Luke 2:11
117. Psa. 45:17 His name remembered forever Ephesians 1:20-21Heb. 1:8
118. Psa. 55:12-14 Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy John 13:18
119. Psa. 55:15 Unrepentant death of the Betrayer Matthew 27:3-5Acts 1:16-19
120. Psa. 68:18 To give gifts to men Ephesians 4:7-16
121. Psa. 68:18 Ascended into Heaven Luke 24:51
122. Psa. 69:4 Hated without a cause John 15:25
123. Psa. 69:8 A stranger to own brethren John 1:117:5
124. Psa. 69:9 Zealous for the Lord’s House John 2:17
125. Psa. 69:14-20 Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion Matthew 26:36-45
126. Psa. 69:20 “My soul is exceeding sorrowful.” Matthew 26:38
127. Psa. 69:21 Given vinegar in thirst Matthew 27:34
128. Psa. 69:26 The Saviour given and smitten by God John 17:418:11
129. Psa. 72:1011 Great persons were to visit Him Matthew 2:1-11
130. Psa. 72:16 The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground John 12:24-25
131. Psa. 72:17 Belief on His name will produce offspring John 1:1213
132. Psa. 72:17 All nations shall be blessed by Him Galatians 3:8
133. Psa. 72:17 All nations shall call Him blessed John 12:13Rev. 5:8-12
134. Psa. 78:1-2 He would teach in parables Matthew 13:34-35
135. Psa. 78:2 To speak the Wisdom of God with authority Matthew 7:29
136. Psa. 80:17 The Man of God’s right hand Mark 14:61-62
137. Psa. 88 The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary Matthew 27:26-50
138. Psa. 88:8 They stood afar off and watched Luke 23:49
139. Psa. 89:27 Firstborn Colossians 1:1518
140. Psa. 89:27 Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings Luke 1:3233
141. Psa. 89:35-37 David’s Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever Luke 1:3233
142. Psa. 89:36-37 His character-Faithfulness Revelation 1:519:11
143. Psa. 90:2 He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2) John 1:1
144. Psa. 91:1112 Identified as Messianic; used to tempt Christ Luke 4:1011
145. Psa. 97:9 His exaltation predicted Acts 1:11Ephesians 1:20
146. Psa. 100:5 His character-Goodness Matthew 19:1617
147. Psa. 102:1-11 The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary John 19:16-30
148. Psa. 102:25-27 Messiah is the Preexistent Son Hebrews 1:10-12
149. Psa. 109:25 Ridiculed Matthew 27:39
150. Psa. 110:1 Son of David Matthew 22:42-43
151. Psa. 110:1 To ascend to the right-hand of the Father Mark 16:19
152. Psa. 110:1 David’s son called Lord Matthew 22:4445
153. Psa. 110:4 A priest after Melchizedek’s order Hebrews 6:20
154. Psa. 112:4 His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al Matthew 9:36
155. Psa. 118:1718 Messiah’s Resurrection assured Luke 24:5-71Cor. 15:20
156. Psa. 118:2223 The rejected stone is Head of the corner Matthew 21:4243
157. Psa. 118:26 The Blessed One presented to Israel Matthew 21:9
158. Psa. 118:26 To come while Temple standing Matthew 21:12-15
159. Psa. 132:11 The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body) Luke 1:32Act 2:30
160. Psa. 129:3 He was scourged Matthew 27:26
161. Psa. 138:1-6 The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings Matthew 2:2-6
162. Psa. 147:36 The earthly ministry of Christ described Luke 4:18
163. Prov. 1:23 He will send the Spirit of God John 16:7
164. Prov. 8:23 Foreordained from everlasting Rev. 13:81Peter 1:19-20
165. Song. 5:16 The altogether lovely One John 1:17
166. Isa. 2:3 He shall teach all nations John 4:25
167. Isa. 2:4 He shall judge among the nations John 5:22
168. Isa. 6:1 When Isaiah saw His glory John 12:40-41
169. Isa. 6:8 The One Sent by God John 12:38-45
170. Isa. 6:9-10 Parables fall on deaf ears Matthew 13:13-15
171. Isa. 6:9-12 Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words Acts 28:23-29
172. Isa. 7:14 To be born of a virgin Luke 1:35
173. Isa. 7:14 To be Emmanuel-God with us Matthew 1:18-231Tim. 3:16
174. Isa. 8:8 Called Emmanuel Matthew 28:20
175. Isa. 8:14 A stone of stumbling, a Rock of offense 1Peter 2:8
176. Isa. 9:12 His ministry to begin in Galilee Matthew 4:12-17
177. Isa. 9:6 A child born-Humanity Luke 1:31
178. Isa. 9:6 A Son given-Deity Luke 1:32John 1:141Tim. 3:16
179. Isa. 9:6 Declared to be the Son of God with power Romans 1:34
180. Isa. 9:6 The Wonderful One, Peleh Luke 4:22
181. Isa. 9:6 The Counsellor, Yaatz Matthew 13:54
182. Isa. 9:6 The Mighty God, El Gibor 1Cor. 1:24Titus 2:13
183. Isa. 9:6 The Everlasting Father, Avi Adth John 8:5810:30
184. Isa. 9:6 The Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom John 16:33
185. Isa. 9:7 Inherits the throne of David Luke 1:32
186. Isa. 9:7 His Character-Just John 5:30
187. Isa. 9:7 No end to his Government, Throne, and kingdom Luke 1:33
188. Isa. 11:1 Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer Matthew 2:23
189. Isa. 11:1 A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse Luke 3:2332
190. Isa. 11:2 Anointed One by the Spirit Matthew 3:1617Acts 10:38
191. Isa. 11:2 His Character-Wisdom, Knowledge, et al Colossians 2:3
192. Isa. 11:3 He would know their thoughts Luke 6:8John 2:25
193. Isa. 11:4 Judge in righteousness Acts 17:31
194. Isa. 11:4 Judges with the sword of His mouth Rev. 2:1619:1115
195. Isa. 11:5 Character: Righteous & Faithful Rev. 19:11
196. Isa. 11:10 The Gentiles seek Him John 12:18-21
197. Isa. 12:2 Called Jesus-Yeshua Matthew 1:21
198. Isa. 22:22 The One given all authority to govern Revelation 3:7
199. Isa. 25:8 The Resurrection predicted 1Corinthians 15:54
200. Isa. 26:19 His power of Resurrection predicted Matthew 27:50-54
201. Isa. 28:16 The Messiah is the precious corner stone Acts 4:1112
202. Isa. 28:16 The Sure Foundation 1Corinthians 3:11Mt. 16:18
203. Isa. 29:13 He indicated hypocritical obedience to His Word Matthew 15:7-9
204. Isa. 29:14 The wise are confounded by the Word 1Corinthians 1:18-31
205. Isa. 32:2 A Refuge-A man shall be a hiding place Matthew 23:37
206. Isa. 35:4 He will come and save you Matthew 1:21
207. Isa. 35:5-6 To have a ministry of miracles Matthew 11:2-6
208. Isa. 40:34 Preceded by forerunner John 1:23
209. Isa. 40:9 “Behold your God.” John 1:3619:14
210. Isa. 40:10. He will come to reward Revelation 22:12
211. Isa. 40:11 A shepherd-compassionate life-giver John 10:10-18
212. Isa. 42:1-4 The Servant-as a faithful, patient redeemer Matthew 12:18-21
213. Isa. 42:2 Meek and lowly Matthew 11:28-30
214. Isa. 42:3 He brings hope for the hopeless Mt. 12:14-21John 4:1-54
215. Isa. 42:4 The nations shall wait on His teachings John 12:20-26
216. Isa. 42:6 The Light (salvation) of the Gentiles Luke 2:32
217. Isa. 42:16 His is a worldwide compassion Matthew 28:1920
218. Isa. 42:7 Blind eyes opened. John 9:25-38
219. Isa. 43:11 He is the only Saviour. Acts 4:12
220. Isa. 44:3 He will send the Spirit of God John 16:713
221. Isa. 45:21-25 He is Lord and Saviour Philippians 3:20Titus 2:13
222. Isa. 45:23 He will be the Judge John 5:22Romans 14:11
223. Isa. 46:910 Declares things not yet done John 13:19
224. Isa. 48:12 The First and the Last John 1:30Revelation 1:817
225. Isa. 48:1617 He came as a Teacher John 3:2
226. Isa. 49:1 Called from the womb-His humanity Matthew 1:18
227. Isa. 49:5 A Servant from the womb. Luke 1:31Philippians 2:7
228. Isa. 49:6 He will restore Israel Acts 3:19-2115:16-17
229. Isa. 49:6 He is Salvation for Israel Luke 2:29-32
230. Isa. 49:6 He is the Light of the Gentiles John 8:12Acts 13:47
231. Isa. 49:6 He is Salvation unto the ends of the earth Acts 15:7-18
232. Isa. 49:7 He is despised of the Nation John 1:118:48-49, 19:14-15
233. Isa. 50:3 Heaven is clothed in black at His humiliation Luke 23:4445
234. Isa. 50:4 He is a learned counselor for the weary Matthew 7:2911:2829
235. Isa. 50:5 The Servant bound willingly to obedience Matthew 26:39
236. Isa. 50:6 “I gave my back to the smiters.” Matthew 27:26
237. Isa. 50:6 He was smitten on the cheeks Matthew 26:67
238. Isa. 50:6 He was spat upon Matthew 27:30
239. Isa. 52:7 Published good tidings upon mountains Matthew 5:1215:2928:16
240. Isa. 52:13 The Servant exalted Acts 1:8-11Eph. 1:19-22Php. 2:5-9
241. Isa. 52:14 The Servant shockingly abused Luke 18:31-34Mt. 26:6768
242. Isa. 52:15 Nations startled by message of the Servant Luke 18:31-34Mt. 26:6768
243. Isa. 52:15 His blood shed sprinkles nations Hebrews 9:13-14Rev. 1:5
244. Isa. 53:1 His people would not believe Him John 12:37-38
245. Isa. 53:2 Appearance of an ordinary man Philippians 2:6-8
246. Isa. 53:3 Despised Luke 4:28-29
247. Isa. 53:3 Rejected Matthew 27:21-23
248. Isa. 53:3 Great sorrow and grief Matthew 26:37-38Luke 19:41Heb. 4:15
249. Isa. 53:3 Men hide from being associated with Him Mark 14:50-52
250. Isa. 53:4 He would have a healing ministry Matthew 8:16-17
251. Isa. 53:4 Thought to be cursed by God Matthew 26:6627:41-43
252. Isa. 53:5 Bears penalty for mankind’s iniquities 2Cor. 5:21Heb. 2:9
253. Isa. 53:5 His sacrifice provides peace between man and God Colossians 1:20
254. Isa. 53:5 His sacrifice would heal man of sin 1Peter 2:24
255. Isa. 53:6 He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind 1John 2:24:10
256. Isa. 53:6 God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind Galatians 1:4
257. Isa. 53:7 Oppressed and afflicted Matthew 27:27-31
258. Isa. 53:7 Silent before his accusers Matthew 27:12-14
259. Isa. 53:7 Sacrificial lamb John 1:291Peter 1:18-19
260. Isa. 53:8 Confined and persecuted Matthew 26:47-7527:1-31
261. Isa. 53:8 He would be judged John 18:13-22
262. Isa. 53:8 Killed Matthew 27:35
263. Isa. 53:8 Dies for the sins of the world 1John 2:2
264. Isa. 53:9 Buried in a rich man’s grave Matthew 27:57
265. Isa. 53:9 Innocent and had done no violence Luke 23:41John 18:38
266. Isa. 53:9 No deceit in his mouth 1Peter 2:22
267. Isa. 53:10 God’s will that He die for mankind John 18:11
268. Isa. 53:10 An offering for sin Matthew 20:28Galatians 3:13
269. Isa. 53:10 Resurrected and live forever Romans 6:9
270. Isa. 53:10 He would prosper John 17:1-5
271. Isa. 53:11 God fully satisfied with His suffering John 12:27
272. Isa. 53:11 God’s servant would justify man Romans 5:8-918-19
273. Isa. 53:11 The sin-bearer for all mankind Hebrews 9:28
274. Isa. 53:12 Exalted by God because of his sacrifice Matthew 28:18
275. Isa. 53:12 He would give up his life to save mankind Luke 23:46
276. Isa. 53:12 Numbered with the transgressors Mark 15:27-28Luke 22:37
277. Isa. 53:12 Sin-bearer for all mankind 1Peter 2:24
278. Isa. 53:12 Intercede to God in behalf of mankind Luke 23:34Rom. 8:34
279. Isa. 55:3 Resurrected by God Acts 13:34
280. Isa. 55:4 A witness John 18:37
281. Isa. 55:4 He is a leader and commander Hebrews 2:10
282. Isa. 55:5 God would glorify Him Acts 3:13
283. Isa. 59:16a Intercessor between man and God Matthew 10:32
284. Isa. 59:16b He would come to provide salvation John 6:40
285. Isa. 59:20 He would come to Zion as their Redeemer Luke 2:38
286. Isa. 60:1-3 He would shew light to the Gentiles Acts 26:23
287. Isa. 61:1 The Spirit of God upon him Matthew 3:16-17
288. Isa. 61:1 The Messiah would preach the good news Luke 4:16-21
289. Isa. 61:1 Provide freedom from the bondage of sin John 8:31-36
290. Isa. 61:1-2 Proclaim a period of grace Galatians 4:4-5
291. Jer. 11:21 Conspiracy to kill Jesus John 7:1, Matthew 21:38
292. Jer. 23:5-6 Descendant of David Luke 3:23-31
293. Jer. 23:5-6 The Messiah would be both God and Man John 13:131Ti 3:16
294. Jer. 31:22 Born of a virgin Matthew 1:18-20
295. Jer. 31:31 The Messiah would be the new covenant Matthew 26:28
296. Jer. 33:14-15 Descendant of David Luke 3:23-31
297. Eze.34:23-24 Descendant of David Matthew 1:1
298. Eze.37:24-25 Descendant of David Luke 1:31-33
299. Dan. 2:44-45 The Stone that shall break the kingdoms Matthew 21:44
300. Dan. 7:13-14 He would ascend into heaven Acts 1:9-11
301. Dan. 7:13-14 Highly exalted Ephesians 1:20-22
302. Dan. 7:13-14 His dominion would be everlasting Luke 1:31-33
303. Dan. 9:24 To make an end to sins Galatians 1:3-5
304. Dan. 9:24 To make reconciliation for iniquity Romans 5:102Cor. 5:18-21
305. Dan. 9:24 He would be holy Luke 1:35
306. Dan. 9:25 His announcement John 12:12-13
307. Dan. 9:26 Cut off Matthew 16:2121:38-39
308. Dan. 9:26 Die for the sins of the world Hebrews 2:9
309. Dan. 9:26 Killed before the destruction of the temple Matthew 27:50-51
310. Dan. 10:5-6 Messiah in a glorified state Revelation 1:13-16
311. Hos. 11:1 He would be called out of Egypt Matthew 2:15
312. Hos. 13:14 He would defeat death 1Corinthians 15:55-57
313. Joel 2:32 Offer salvation to all mankind Romans 10:9-13
314. Jonah 1:17 Death and resurrection of Christ Matthew 12:4016:4
315. Mic. 5:2 Born in Bethlehem Matthew 2:1-6
316. Mic. 5:2 Ruler in Israel Luke 1:33
317. Mic. 5:2 From everlasting John 8:58
318. Hag. 2:6-9 He would visit the second Temple Luke 2:27-32
319. Hag. 2:23 Descendant of Zerubbabel Luke 2:27-32
320. Zech. 3:8 God’s servant John 17:4
321. Zech. 6:12-13 Priest and King Hebrews 8:1
322. Zech. 9:9 Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem Matthew 21:8-10
323. Zech. 9:9 Beheld as King John 12:12-13
324. Zech. 9:9 The Messiah would be just John 5:30
325. Zech. 9:9 The Messiah would bring salvation Luke 19:10
326. Zech. 9:9 The Messiah would be humble Matthew 11:29
327. Zech. 9:9 Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey Matthew 21:6-9
328. Zech. 10:4 The cornerstone Ephesians 2:20
329. Zech. 11:4-6 At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders Matthew 23:1-4
330. Zech. 11:4-6 Rejection causes God to remove His protection Luke 19:41-44
331. Zech. 11:4-6 Rejected in favor of another king John 19:13-15
332. Zech. 11:7 Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant Matthew 9:35-36
333. Zech. 11:8 Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them Matthew 23:33
334. Zech. 11:8 Despised Matthew 27:20
335. Zech. 11:9 Stops ministering to those who rejected Him Matthew 13:10-11
336. Zech. 11:10-11 Rejection causes God to remove protection Luke 19:41-44
337. Zech. 11:10-11 The Messiah would be God John 14:7
338. Zech. 11:12-13 Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver Matthew 26:14-15
339. Zech. 11:12-13 Rejected Matthew 26:14-15
340. Zech. 11:12-13 Thirty pieces of silver cast in the house of the Lord Matthew 27:3-5
341. Zech. 11:12-13 The Messiah would be God John 12:45
342. Zech. 12:10 The Messiah’s body would be pierced John 19:34-37
343. Zech. 12:10 The Messiah would be both God and man John 10:30
344. Zech. 12:10 The Messiah would be rejected John 1:11
345. Zech. 13:7 God’s will He die for mankind John 18:11
346. Zech. 13: A violent death Mark 14:27
347. Zech. 13:7 Both God and man John 14:9
348. Zech. 13:7 Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him Matthew 26:31-56
349. Zech. 14:4 He would return to the Mt. of Olives Acts 1:11-12
350. Mal. 3:1 Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah Mark 1:1-8
351. Mal. 3:1 Sudden appearance at the temple Mark 11:15-16
352. Mal. 3:1 Messenger of the new covenant Luke 4:43
353. Mal. 3:6 The God who changes not Hebrews 13:8
354. Mal. 4:5 Forerunner in spirit of Elijah Mt. 3:1-311:10-1417:11-13
355. Mal. 4:6 Forerunner would turn many to righteousness Luke 1:16-17

It Shall Prosper

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11

I heard a story about a minister by the name of Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892).  For those who do not know who this man was, he was and still is a world renowned Baptist preacher whose sermons and quotes are still used as a reference or verbatim in many pulpits even today.  He was a Methodist that converted to Baptist and still held to his Calvinist theology.  He once remarked, “I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist, but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, ‘It is Jesus Christ.’”

So as the story goes, Spurgeon was to speak at the Crystal Palace in London and the venue had an expectation of over 20,000.  Days before the event Spurgeon and some of the staff went to check the acoustics in the Crystal Palace, so that they could place the pulpit in the optimal position to carry his voice with the best reception throughout the room.

Spurgeon got behind the pulpit and bellowed out one verse, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).  This is the statement John the Baptist exclaimed when he saw the Spirit of God descend on Jesus and remained on Jesus.  Spurgeon’s sound test carried all though the structure and reached ears of one of the workers in an adjacent gallery.

The worker was immediately overtaken with conviction, and not know what to do, left and went home.  After a while the conviction grew so intense that the worker repented of his lifestyle and accepted Jesus as his savior.  With just those simple words of Scripture, the Holy Spirit went to work in this man’s conscience.  Spurgeon, unknowingly had planted a seed in the man’s heart.  The Spirit of God moved on the man’s heart and grew that seed into a spiritual harvest.

We tend to think that we have to have all the right words to say, or the right way to say it, that we have to be clever in our delivery.  We sometimes feel that we don’t even know what we should say.  Well, sometimes we should just get out of the way and do what the Lord told us to do, Preach the Word, and let Him do the rest.  The responsibility of saving someone’s soul is not ours.  Jesus already saved their soul.  Our responsibility it to just bear witness to the Truth. Peter said that “he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” (Acts 10:42).

When Peter proclaimed Jesus Christ to Cornelius in Acts 10.36-48, Peter did not even get to finish his sermon before the Holy Spirit fell on ALL that was there.  The Scripture that Peter shared and the testimony he gave concerning Jesus was used by the Spirit to convict Cornelius and his guests, all at the same time.  We should therefore concentrate on sharing of the scripture, and communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our own lives and in scripture.  We should focus on Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2.2)