40 Days of Witness - Great Commission Church
THE ANDREW EFFECT (bring people to Jesus)
Intro: Lyrics to “Don’t Tell Them Jesus Loves Them”
And a young girl sells herself on Seventh Avenue
And you hear her crying out for help,
"My God, what will we do?"
Don't tell them Jesus loves them till you're ready to love them too
Till your heart breaks from the sorrow and the pain they're going through
With a life full of compassion may we do what we must do
Don't tell them Jesus loves them till you're ready to love them too
Oh, the desperate man
Are we reaching for the souls that are sinking down in sin?
Oh, cry for the child
We've lost our passion for the lost and there are billions left to win
And another forty thousand children starve to death today
Would we risk all we have to see one of them saved?
40 Days of Witness is designed to return our church to a corporate commitment to evangelize sinners for the glory of God.
Two of John’s disciples heard the witness of the Baptist and followed Jesus.
John 1:37-38 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
The first words the disciples heard from the Lord were, “What do you seek?”
The Redeemer’s first public utterance was a gentle, piercing question. “What do you want out of life?”
It is more confrontation than question. The Lord challenges those who make a move towards following Him. He demands they articulate what they really want in life.
Why does He ask this question? To reveal hearts and show motives.
Sooner or later when we begin to take Jesus seriously, we face the same question: What do we really want with Him, or from Him?
John 1:39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
Note that Jesus does not press them for an immediate response but gives them opportunity to spend time with Him before making a commitment.
illus: Rosaria Butterfield – former tenured professor, Syracuse University, from “out lesbian” to “out Christian.”
How Pastor Ken evangelized her: “I had been the beneficiary of real Christian evangelism. Pastor Ken Smith spent time with me (and not just spare time). He spent pricey time, real time. He did not hide behind bumper stickers or slogans.”
This is a lesson for over-zealous Christian witnesses for whom the only valid response to the gospel is one made immediately upon hearing it presented.
Even the new birth can have a gestation period. We want to guard against partial-birth salvations. To force a birth prematurely can have disastrous repercussions both in the natural and the spiritual.
When sinners are given time to consider the Bible’s answers to life’s big questions, often they will receive a radical conversion that sticks. We must provide a safe environment for those questions to be asked.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
John 1:40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
John 1:41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).
John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
Andrew was the first follower of Christ mentioned by name. Also, he was first to declare that Jesus was the Messiah.
In bringing his brother Simon Peter to Christ, no man did the church a greater service than Andrew.
THE ANDREW EFFECT:
PRIORITY – I want the very best for my “one.”
“He first found…”
Andrew had clearly understood the magnificent treasure of meeting Jesus.
In that singular encounter, everything changed. He was so full of joy nothing could prevent him from sharing it with someone else.
Who needed this good news first? His own brother (business partner). The single most loving thing you can do for someone in this life is make it your priority to help them meet Jesus.
ACTION – For those closest to me, it is more than a wish.
“He first found his own brother…and he brought him to Jesus.”
Andrew’s reaction to finding Jesus has been a classic model for Christian witness over the centuries.
He began with his immediate family; witness, like charity, begins at home.
D.A. Carson – “The most common and effective Christian testimony is the private witness of friend to friend, brother to brother.”
Statistics repeatedly demonstrate that while gospel preaching is undoubtedly important, personal witness and friendship continue to be the primary means by which people are brought to Christ.
With hindsight, Andrew’s bringing Peter to Jesus was “perhaps as great a service to the Church as any man ever did.”
Andrew did not try to convince his brother that what he had said was true; instead, he brought him to Jesus. It was being with Jesus that had convinced Andrew that Jesus was the Messiah. He believed it would be the same for Simon.
Like John the Baptist, the disciples learn that the best witness is simply to introduce people to Jesus and let him do the rest.
CLARITY – I want my “one” to know exactly who Jesus is.
“We have found the Messiah.”
Not: “We have found religion” or “We have found what works for us” or “We have found success in life.”
Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
MISSION – I have no idea what God might do with my “one.”
“You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas (which is translated, A Stone).”
When Andrew brought Simon to Jesus, we are told that Jesus looked intently at him, hinting that he saw into the very heart of Simon.
The Lord Jesus could simply look at someone and know their character and destiny.
John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
The name of a person in the ancient world often described their hopes for the destiny of that baby.
When Jesus looked at Simon, He knew that he could build a foundation on this rugged fisherman’s future ministry.
“Cephas” = Aramaic; “Peter” = Greek – both translate to “Rock”
“Simon, I have a job for you. You will have a new name to go with your new assignment.”
He would be a rock-like man in the church during its early years.
Andrew was the first disciple to follow Jesus, but he is never mentioned first in any list of the disciples in the New Testament.
Peter, on the other hand, rose to dominance in the Jerusalem church. He was hardly a rock when Jesus called him, but he became that after Pentecost.
Jamieson & Brown – Happy brothers, thus knit together by a new tie! If Peter soon outstripped not only Andrew but all the rest, he would still remember that his brother “was in Christ before him,” and was the blessed instrument of bringing him to Jesus.
illus: Pandy Pass “web movement” – she invited her best friend – one invite turned into dozens of new believers and church members…