An Answer to Every Man
INTRODUCTION: Once again, please focus on a very simple word – “always” which is used some 85 times in the Bible.” It’s often used to describe certain Christian behaviors we should manifest. In this message we will focus our attention on the “always” found in I Peter 3:15 where we read,
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
I believe we would agree that in these days we find that men and women’s hearts are failing as they grope for the answers not only to the purpose of life but also to their destiny. Now the greatest responsibility that God has placed upon us is to reach out to these people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The landmark of the Bible Believing Church has always been Soul Winning, and our song has ever been,
"Rescue the perishing, care for the dying.
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save."
Solomon said in Proverbs 11:30, "The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." Soul winning and witnessing ought to be the heartbeat of every Christian and the main business of every church.
Then just before Christ ascended into Heaven he gave this very familiar command to His disciples found in Mark 16:15, "Go ye into all the World, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Now that the Lord Jesus Christ has gone back into heaven, it is our responsibility to take Christ's place and go out and reach the lost for Him. Someone said,
"The greatest thrill that can come to a human being is knowing that under God you have been humanly speaking responsible for bringing someone to Jesus Christ for salvation.”
You know there is a sense of pride that swells up inside of us when we are asked about our children. I know, we have 5 of them. And we are grateful to God for their lives and goals as they live for the Lord.
There is also a sense of pride that comes when you want to talk about our 21 grandchildren.
But there should also be a justifiable sense of pride welling up in you and I because we have spiritual children and grandchildren.
Now from our text in I Peter 3:15 let me call your attention to several things in this verse:
First: Peter tells us to "Sanctify the Lord in our Heart." Simply put, we are to literally turn everything over to him and to live only to please Him and glorify Him. Do you realize that when others see Christ living in your life, and you are living a consistent testimony before them, even though they might not listen to your words, they are observing your life?
One day in a time of crisis or need in their life, they will turn to you. Why, because you have put Christ first, and now you have a chance to become a witness to them.
Second: Peter tells them to be "ready always to give an answer." Now the Greek word for “answer” is the word “apology.” Apologetics is the branch of theology that deals with the DEFENSE OF THE FAITH. Every Christian should be able to give a reasoned defense of his hope in Christ.
Third: This witness must be given "with meekness and fear (literally with respect)" We must be sure that our lives back our defense. Never argue with the lost person, rather present to the unsaved an account of what you believe, why you believe it and what it has done in your life. Our purpose is not to win an argument as a prosecuting attorney, but to win lost souls to Christ.
Now if we are to defend our faith as a witness to the unsaved, we must possess 3 things.
Number 1: If we are to be ready to give an answer to everyone that asks us; then we must possess a life that has been TRANSFORMED by the power of God. The greatest qualification of a soul winner is the ASSURANCE OF HIS OWN SALVATION.
We need to be able to personally point to a TIME and PLACE when and where we had a transforming encounter with Jesus Christ, and as a result, we were BORN AGAIN INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD. We must be absolutely certain that our lives have been transformed by the CROSS OF CHRIST AND GOD IS ALIVE IN US.
Number 2: If we are to be ready to give an answer to everyone that asks us, then we must possess a life that is INFORMED through the Word Of God.
God’s word is unmistakably clear that soul winning is mandatory for the child of God. It’s not some elective ministry or an extra-curricular activity for the Christian life.
The last COMMAND of our Lord before returning to Heaven, should now be our first and greatest CONCERN.
Just before our Lord Jesus Christ returned to heaven, He gave to the church corporately and to us as believers individually what we have come to call the GREAT COMMISSION. The GREAT COMMISSION speaks of you and I giving our personal attention in reaching the lost for Christ.
In Matthew 28:19 we read, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
In Acts 1:8 we read, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
The GREAT COMMISSION chorus could be,
Lord lay some soul upon my heart, And love that soul through me,
And may I humbly do my part to win that soul for thee.
The Bible teaches that we are saved to tell others. The GREAT COMMISSION is simply what Mark 16:15 tells us to do, "Go ye into all the World, and preach the gospel to every creature." Concerning this, some have well said,
“The vast majority of Christians have never dreamed that this is a personal individual command to every child of God, to go into HIS OWN PERSONAL WORLD and to do soul winning to every creature in it.”
Now for the most part, you are saying, Pastor, right on, I believe that. But I wonder how many of us are GENERALLY, LITERALLY, or PERSONALLY involved in the great commission of Christ. Statistics tell us that at least:
99% of God's people are NOT GENERALLY, LITERALLY, PERSONALLY involved in the committed task of soul winning.
99% of born again believers in Christ NEVER, on any occasion, for any reason, for anything, try to win a soul to Jesus Christ.
96% of pastors either do not, cannot, or have never tried to lead a soul to Jesus Christ.
How sad that:
Too many are wrapped up in their religious programs.
Too many are wrapped up in their own worldly pursuits.
Too many are too busy to be concerned about a great big world of PEOPLE – RELATIVES, NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS, FAMILY, PARENTS, and CHILDREN that are on their way to a Christ-less eternity in Hell.
The last COMMAND of our Lord should be our first CONCERN and COMPASSION. Now that the Lord Jesus Christ has gone back into heaven it is our responsibility to take Christ's place and according to Luke 14:23 to "Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in."
Nowhere in the Bible does God tell the sinner to go to church. Instead, He tells the church to go to the sinner. The key word is to "GO." You must seek them. Listen to this definition of a missionary church.
“A missionary church is not a missionary church because it has a mission’s budget, or because it sends its’ people to the field, or because it hosts an annual mission’s conference, or because it has a full-time mission’s pastor. A missionary church qualifies as a great missionary church only when it becomes a church full of those who are missionaries wherever they are and wherever they go. That’s what the Lord had in mind. Institutional missions were never invented to take over the role of individual missions in our lives, and that is one reason why we are not reaching the masses today.”
Now let me dispel some fears and frustration as I define for you the difference between witnessing and soul winning.
To WITNESS is to relate what you have personally experienced.
I am to relate what God has done for me.
I am to relate what God is doing constantly through me.
A witness tells what He has seen and what He has heard personally. Witnessing is telling the gospel story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
SOUL WINNING is actually personally leading someone into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and seeing them drawn by the Spirit of God into the kingdom of God.
Here is the difference. WITNESSING is my responsibility before God. SOUL WINNING is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit of God through my life when I am yielded to him.
Now the question arises, How do I know when I am to lead someone to Jesus Christ? If they don't want to hear the gospel, THAT IS THEIR PROBLEM! I am to be a witness and tell them. So how do I know when to go deeper?
The answer to that question is simple. If I have to COAX, COERSE, BEG, PRESSURE or PUSH someone into accepting Christ, it is of the FLESH and not of the SPIRIT.
When I am presenting the claims of Christ, I must rely upon the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The Spirit is using me, but also drawing the heart of the individual to Christ. Therefore, when that individual is OPEN and RECEPTIVE and READY and WILLING all I need to do is apply Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
If I am to be ready to give an answer to everyone that asks me, then I must possess a life that has been transformed by the power of God.
If I am to be ready to give an answer to everyone that asks me, then I must possess a life that is informed through the Word of God.
Number 3: If I am to be ready to give an answer to every man or woman or young person who asks me about Christ, then I must have a life that is CONFORMED to the Son of God.
If people are going to listen to our message, they must see in us a life that is conformed to Jesus Christ. If they don't see that life, then in all probability even if we present a clear message, our witnessing will produce NIL! Why should they accept our Christ when we live no differently than they do?
Now, what constitutes a life that is conformed to Jesus Christ? In John 12:24 Jesus is speaking of His own life and death. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a kernel of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Now in verse 25 Jesus turns his attention towards us. “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” What does this mean?
He that loves his life to the extent that He will not GIVE it up, or
He that loves his life to the extent that he will not RISK it for a worthy cause, shall loose its usefulness.
Folks, we have not been given NEW LIFE IN CHRIST in order to:
Enjoy all the pleasures of this world, or to stuff ourselves with all the food we can eat, or watch all the sports we can on TV. That's not what life is all about. Our lives are to be lived to the GLORY OF GOD. And if I LOVE IT and HOLD on to it, I LOSE THE USEFULNESS AND THE PURPOSE OF IT. Therefore, I must give it up.
Now notice verse 26 where we read, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” If I hate my life to the extent that I will give it up, and risk it for His cause, then He shall preserve it forever.
You will not fully understand all this until you see the son of man bleeding and dying on the CROSS OF CALVARY.
You will not fully understand all this until your soul is gripped with the reality of those around you who need this eternal redemption in their souls.
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon "An Answer to Every Man," then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to, pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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