Sermon Quotes: "The Church and the Outsider"

“It is with cheerfulness that we dismiss our twelves, our twenties, our fifties, to form other churches. We encourage our members to leave us to found other churches. We even seek to persuade them to do it. We ask them to scatter throughout the land, to become goodly seed which God shall bless. I believe that so long as we do this, we shall prosper.” Charles Spurgeon

“Paul had a remarkably positive and happy angle on personal evangelism.” John Piper

“We may describe the difference by saying that while the apostle looks for many opportunities for direct evangelism and teaching, the typical Christian in Colossae is to look for many opportunities for responsive evangelism. If this distinction is a correct one it immediately commends itself by its sanity and realism. Harm can be done by sincere believing people who feel compelled to preach and testify to those with whom they mix in shop or office. Their privilege, simply put, is to answer everyone. That is to say they are to respond to the questions of others rather than initiate conversations on leading topics; they are to accept openings rather than make them. This is, emphatically, not to sound the retreat. Paul evidently believes that opportunities for response and explanation are to be found everywhere, for everyone is looking to discover answers about life and its meaning. And Paul evidently thinks that believing Christians should be found everywhere too, ready to take up these frequent opportunities. It is obvious what strain this removes from conscientious Christians. The pressure to raise certain topics and reach certain people can make it difficult to live and talk normally. In any case we go to the office to work, not to evangelize. But by being ready and willing to respond the way is opened to a more serene, and successful, approach to each day’s opportunities. It opens the way, too, for a greater dependence on God’s leading as well as for a more relevant and sensitive witness, suited to each individual. And remember, when the outsider has chosen the time and the place and the subject, how wonderfully free is the Christian to ‘open his mouth’ and tell ‘the good news of Jesus.” Dick Lucas