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-- © GodSpeak International 2005 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Victoria Werneth <worldoutreach@comcast.net>
Editor: Teresa Seputis

Prophetic Evangelism

(Second Edition)

Lesson 5
Jesus Is Our Example

By Victoria Werneth

Jesus is our example in every area of our lives and walk, and He is also our example when it comes to evangelism. Jesus heart was always to reach the lost. That is why He said in Luke 19:10, "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." The souls of men were Jesus' heart. Jesus said (in Luke 4:16-21) that He came to reach the lost, to let the oppressed go free, to bind up broken hearts, and set at liberty those who have been bruised. He also came to heal the sick and to raise the dead. That was the life our Jesus lived and taught. And He commanded His disciples to do likewise.

In fact, evangelism was on Jesus' heart and mind right from the early days of his ministry. He stated that right from the start when He asked Peter and Andrew to become His disciples in Matthew 4:19. He told them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." And He extends the same invitation to us today.

We become fishers of men when we follow Jesus instead of following men or doctrines or traditions. Why? Because God's heart is people. Many people who are strong and effective soul winners started out by asking God what His will was for their lives. It is plain, He spelled it out clearly it His word: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!"

When you become born-again, you have a ministry birthed inside of you. That is the "ministry of reconciliation." "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor 5:17-18).

We are to be just like Jesus. He had a ministry to reconcile, and now so do we.

The ministry of reconciliation is birthed inside of you, just like a newborn baby's nature is to nurse. Reconciliation means the ability to change or reconcile from a state of enmity to friendship. It is the ability to take someone from the wrath of God that is against them, to a state of repentance, union and communion with God.

You, my brethren, have that ministry inside of your being. We must exercise it. "To who?" you may ask. To whosoever will. You say, "Is it that easy?" Well, it is like fishing. If you have never been, it will take you a little time to get familiar with everything you have to fish with, the rod (Holy Spirit), tackle or bait (gifts of the Spirit and the Word of God in your mouth). Then just get in your boat (your body) and go!

Jesus said in John 17:19, "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." God has sent us just like He sent Jesus. That is to preach to the lost, to heal the sick, to raise the dead and to cleanse the leper.

Look at what Jesus said in Mark 16:15-18:

16 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

That command seemed pretty clear, Jesus wanted make me a fisher of men and to send me out fishing for souls. I remember my first time I went out to obey Him in this. I went by myself because I couldn't get anyone to go with me. So I prayed and asked Jesus to lead me where He wanted me to go. (I don't recommend you going by yourself but I was young and zealous.) I went to the park and talked to many, many people about Jesus but no one was hanging on my leg begging to meet Jesus. I came home very disappointed. I asked the Lord why no one got saved.

He told me, "Because you were not listening to Me."

I said "what Lord?"

He said "you went where I lead you, now you must listen and I will speak to you."

So I was very excited about that and I went back to the park the next Saturday morning. I was lead to this man, and as I asked him if he knew Jesus and he answered "Yes." I silently asked God if he really knew Him and the Lord said, "No he doesn't." So I asked the man again, "Do you really think you know Him?" And the man answered "Oh yes, I know the Lord." So I asked God again, "Lord, he said he knows you. But You tell me that he doesn't?" The Lord said, "That's right, he does not know Me. He thinks he knows Me, but He doesn't." So this man rambled on and on about his times of going to church. He was bragging about all the good things he has done. He looked to me to be homeless; in much need.

As he was talking, I began to converse with the Lord. I said, "Lord he really thinks he knows You, and he's going on and on about it. You led me to him for a reason, so Lord, what is it?"

And about that time the Lord said "He's bragging about knowing Me, he does not know My power to save or to deliver. He has a bottle of whiskey in his left pocket in his trench coat. He drinks and I want to deliver him."

So while this man continued to talk I repeated his saying. "You really know the Lord do you?" He had a smile from ear to ear while I questioned him. Then I asked, (as my hand began to move toward that bottle) "the Lord wants to know why you think you need this?" And I then hit the bottle behind his trench coat with the back of my hand.

All of a sudden he was not smiling any more, his eyes got big around, and he asked "How did you know that?"

I told him I didn't but that the Lord had showed me, and it was because the Lord wanted to help him because he really did not know His power to deliver and save him. God got his attention that day, and God saved him.

You see, Jesus does not want us to go fishing for souls on our own. He wants to go with us and to help us and to lead us and empower us so that we can be effective fishermen. We don't have to do it on our own, He will be with us and tell us what the Father is doing. Be He definitely wants us to be His witnesses.

In John 14, Jesus teaches us that He left earth (ascended to heaven) so that we could participate with God in preaching the good news here on earth! In John 14:2-6, He said, "'In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.' Thomas said to Him, 'Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"

Jesus could have stayed on earth after He was resurrected from the dead. Sure He could have. He did not have to ascend into heaven to keep His resurrected body physically alive. He could have chosen to stay here on earth with us. But if He did, then we would not have the opportunity to be His witnesses, for He Himself would be present and would not need to send us to represent Him because He would be representing Himself. When He said, "I go to prepare a place for you," Jesus did not mean that He was going to the Father's house to get a room ready for each of us in it. He meant that He was leaving earth (and going to His Father) so that there would be a place on earth for us to witness for Him. He was making room for us to do kingdom work.. to represent Him and share the good news.

He gave us the same work He did when He was here on earth. He did exactly what the Father was doing and spoke only His words. Now Jesus sends His disciples -- us -- to do what the Father is doing and to speak His words. His words are about how He made a way for man to be reconciled to God through what Jesus did for us on by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead. We are to be imitators of Jesus, to do His work here on earth, to share God's message.

Jesus tells His disciples that they know the way (in verse 4) and when they ask Him for clarification, He says that He is the way (verse 6). He makes a space for us to go and share Him. That is our assignment. That is why we are here on earth right now instead of in Heaven with Him. He promises He will come and get us later, after we have finished our assignments (verse 3). He desires us to be present with Him for all eternity and He will bring us to be with Him. But before He takes us there (to His Father's house) He gives us an opportunity to God be His ambassadors here on earth. He is the way to the Father, and He wants us to go share that wonderful truth with others so that they can enter into a personal relationship with the Father as well.

-- © GodSpeak International 2005 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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