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Inglesia del Nazareno Communidad de la Esperanza
June 9, 2013 : A Contagious Faith
2 Kings 7:3-10
Evangelism is the first step in the disciple making process. Amazingly, God calls you and I to be contagious with our faith, spreading it to as many other people as possible. God wants to use every one of us to be actively involved in leading others into a relationship with him - to make disciples. I am confident you can grow and learn how to become more effective in this area.
The first motivation for developing a contagious faith is what I call the “Stockpile Factor.”
“Now it came about after this that [the King of Syria] gathered his army and went up and besieged Samaria. There was a great famine in Samaria; and … they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver and a fourth of a [pint] of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.” (2 Kings 6:24, NASB)
Now, look down at:
“There were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, ‘Why do we sit here until we die? If we say, “We will enter the city,” then the famine is in the city and we will die there; and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us go over to the camp of the [Syrians]. If they spare us, we will live; and if they kill us, we will but die.’ They arose at twilight to go to the camp of the [Syrians]; when they came to the outskirts of the camp of the [Syrians], behold, there was no one there.” (2 Kings 7:3–5)
2 Kings 7:6–8 says:
“For the Lord had caused the army of the [Syrians] to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, ‘Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to come upon us.’ Therefore, they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life. When these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and carried from there silver and gold and clothes, and went and hid them; and they returned and entered another tent and carried them from there also, and went and hid them.” (2 Kings 7:6–8).
The Leper’s found stockpiles of these provisions. They can’t believe it. It was like winning the lottery!
“We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but here we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” (2 Kings 7:9).
It was the abundance of the provision that led them to go back and make the announcement to the people back in the city.
One of the most effective ways to develop a contagious faith is to stay mindful of the extent of our inheritance in Christ.
Satan will do everything in his power to convince spiritual princes and princesses that they are, in fact, spiritual paupers.
The second motivation for developing a contagious faith is “the honor of being an agent of God!”
In Acts 1:8 Jesus said:
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
We, as God’s witnesses, as God’s ambassadors, or agents, are “PLAN A” in his strategy for reaching the world.
Keep in mind, Jesus said that you are going to receive power. You’re not on your own. The Holy Spirit is going to make you an effective witness.
Effectiveness as an agent is almost always tied to my being surrendered to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.
The third motivation for developing a contagious faith is “the reality of hell.”
The plain truth is that hell is real and real people go there for eternity!
Jesus confronted anybody and everybody with the basic message that unless you turn and put your faith in him you would die in your sins and face condemnation in eternity.
In Luke 16:23–26 we read:
“In hell, where he was in torment, [the rich man] looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’”
“Then I beg you … send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.” (v. 27).
If there’s no resurrection, no heaven and hell, let’s all just party! We all need to develop attitudes that say, “Whatever it takes to help people understand how to get off the road that leads to hell and get on the road that leads to heaven! Whatever it takes is worth it!”
I’ll close with one final motivator: it’s “the reward of leading somebody to Christ.”
Just one time, have one person look you in the eye and say, “You know, I was heading down the road to hell, and God used you to bring me to himself.”
Why develop a contagious faith? Why share Christ with others? Why? Because our relationship with Christ is the best thing to come down the pike. He’s wonderful and he blesses us. We’ve been honored and empowered by God to participate in this grand endeavor to bring people to faith. It’s an honor to be an agent.
Why share our faith? Because hell is real! And what an incredible moment to have somebody say, “Thanks for all eternity for leading me to the cross!”
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