Witnessing is Not an Option, Sermon 1/6/2019

WITNESSING IS NOT AN OPTION

Is. 60:1-6 Matt. 2:1-12

Today is the Epiphany day.  The name “Epiphany” means “Manifestation.” The Light manifests itself in the darkness, God reveals himself in Jesus and the glory of God is seen in Jesus.

In the course of history Epiphany was known by other names; Feast of the Manifestation, Feast of Lights, Feast of the Appearing of Christ, Feast of the Three Kings.

The purpose of the star of Bethlehem was to guide men to Christ. The star is help from above in bringing us to Christ. This is one reason why epiphany is the time for the church’s emphasis upon evangelism. The star also guides us into the truth of this new-born child in the manger. We are led to an ever-deepening understanding of the nature of Jesus Christ.

The light of Christ is not merely to shine on Christians but through them to the salvation of humankind. During this season the church places emphasis upon the outreach time. Why is eternal life in Christ a light to all mankind? Because death brings eternal darkness and only Jesus’ eternal life planted in us will keep us alive in his new Kingdom for eternity. When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, he paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and man. His death and resurrection make a new life possible for all who believe in him. First Timothy 2:5, “God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together.” When Jesus Christ died on the cross, he made it possible for men to be reconciled with God. Jesus was the bridge across the chasm of sin, back to God. The apostle Peter said, “For Christ died for sins one for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

Regardless of the popular opinion that there are many ways to get to God, Jesus said, “l am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn. 14:6). Faith in Jesus Christ, not human effort, brings us to God. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation it is by grace all the way. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

Christ came to earth to offer mankind the hope and light of his eternal life. It can’t be bought, only received as a gift.

When we follow Jesus, the Light, we can avoid walking blind and falling into sin.  He lights the path ahead of us so we can see how to live.  He removes the darkness of sin from our lives.

Is. 60: 1 says, “Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” This verse tells us that the light is in God and that light came in Jesus to earth. We

Christians are to reflect the light to those around us. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

And the gospel of Mark 16:15, Jesus said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” Jesus told his disciples to “go into all the world” telling everyone he paid the penalty for sin and that those who believe in him can be forgiven and live eternally with God. Christian disciples today are living in all parts of the world, telling this good news to people who haven’t heard it. The driving power that carries missionaries around the world and sets Christ’s church in motion is the faith that comes from the resurrection.

Do you ever feel you don’t have the skill or determination to be a witness for Christ? We got to realize that Jesus rose from the dead and lives for us today. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, he will provide us with both the opportunities and the inner strength to tell his message.

God’s great message of salvation must be taken to others, so they can have the chance to respond to the Good News. In some way we are the vessels to let people experience the love of God. That is a great commission to us from Jesus Christ.

The Scripture says, …anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But hos shall they ask him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them unless someone sends him? That is what the Scriptures are talking about when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace with God and bring glad tidings of good things.”

Dear friends!

There is so much to do for the Lord. There are so many people without Christ. The world is lost; the world is in darkness. The world is Christless. We must be about our Father’s business. We are to witness for our Savior, Jesus to the world. We are to witness for the Light of the world. WITNESSING IS NOT AN OPTION. There is no way we can escape this responsibility and opportunity. Witnessing is part of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Christ will always be with us in whatever we do. He will go with us, support us and guide us in our efforts. We will never be alone.

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