Have you ever wanted to talk with someone about Jesus but you didn’t know how? Maybe you wanted to share with them your relationship with Jesus, but didn’t know how to start the conversation. Maybe you were afraid that you might say the wrong thing. Maybe you were afraid that you might not say enough, or maybe you were afraid that you might say too much. Or maybe you were afraid that you might offend them and make them mad at you.
We’ve all experienced those fears but imagine what life would be like if God gave each of us the opportunity every day to talk with someone about Jesus. Think of the joy and happiness we would experience. Think about how fulfilling life would be. Think about what it would be like if we could look around in the church and see individuals whom God used us to help bring them to Christ.
Can that happen? Would we like for that to happen? Today I want to share with you a sermon I have entitled: How to Tell Someone About Jesus Every Day. One of the primary purposes of the church is to help people come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Look with me once again at Acts 2.
Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Notice once again the end of verse 47: ‘And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.’ Apparently, every day, someone was coming to Christ. That’s amazing!
Perhaps you and I will not be able to lead someone to Christ every single day, but most likely many of us will have at least one opportunity every day to talk with someone about Jesus. Maybe it will be someone who has never heard of Jesus, or, maybe it will be someone who might even claim to be a Christian yet is not where they need to be in their relationship with the Lord.
Today let’s consider how God used Peter and John.
Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. 11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. 12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
Today I want to share with you four important principles concerning how God uses believers to help bring others to Christ.
I. We Must Always Have Eyes That Are Open to Opportunities
The first thing I would point out to us is that we must have eyes that are open to our opportunities. How many of you have walked away from a conversation and afterwards thought – “I could have talked with them about the Lord, but didn’t”? I know that I have. Just the other day Tammy and realized later that we had a great opportunity to talk with someone about the Lord but failed to do so. We came upon them expectantly and didn’t say a word to them about their relationship with Christ. Later we realized that we had missed a golden opportunity.
A. Peter and John Went to the Temple
The Bible says that Peter and John went to the temple at the hour of prayer, which was the ninth hour, or in other words, 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Why did they go to the temple? There are at least a couple of possible reasons:
1. Perhaps They Were Still Following Jewish Tradition
Most Jews went to the temple for prayer at 9 am in the morning and 3 pm in the afternoon. Perhaps Peter and John were going to the temple just to pray.
Let’s suppose that Peter and John went to the temple at the hour of prayer because that’s what they always did. What does that tell us? It tells us that sometimes the Lord may give us opportunities when we least expect it; just like the Lord did for Tammy and myself the other day.
In His Great Commission Jesus said, “As you are going throughout the world, or, wherever you go, make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19) The person God may want to use you to reach may be the person sitting beside you at work or the guy on your team.
2. Perhaps They Went There Intentionally to Spread the Gospel
There’s another reason why Peter and John may have gone to the temple. Perhaps they went there with the intention to spread the gospel. In other words, they were on a mission.
If that was the case, then that tells us that we must be intentional about telling others about Jesus. We must prepare ourselves with prayer and go with the expectation that the Lord is going to give us an opportunity.
B. Peter and John Were Aware of Their Surroundings
1. Being Aware of Our Surroundings
Whether they were there intentionally or unintentionally, I doubt very seriously that they anticipated their open door being a man begging for money. We might see such a person as an inconvenience or someone who is hindering us from getting to the really good stuff.
Jesus said that the Spirit of God moves like the wind – we never know where He comes from or where He is going. In other words, we never know God is working. Therefore, we must always have our spiritual antennas up and ready to take advantage of our opportunities.
2. ‘Conversation Starters’
For me personally, the hardest part about talking to someone about Jesus is getting the conversation started. For 99% of us, if we could just get the conversation started, we know more than enough to talk with them about Jesus.
Because Peter and John had their spiritual antennas up, as soon as the man asked for money, Peter was ready to play off of his request and direct the conversation to Jesus.
Acts 3:4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
A really good way to start a conversation about Jesus is to get individuals talking about themselves. Everyone has the need for Jesus and sometimes we just need to let them tell their life story so that we can share with them how Jesus can help them. I know that Pastor Bruce likes to ask people if there is something that he can pray for them about.
II. We Must Always Remember That It’s All About Jesus
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk…
A. We Don’t Have to Have the Answers to All of Life’s Questions to Tell Someone About Jesus
The man asked Peter for money. Peter said, “I don’t have any money to give you. But I do have something that is even better. Let me tell you about Jesus.”
Our duty is not to solve all of life’s problems. We’re here to help lead people to Jesus who is the answer to all of their needs. Sometimes this might happen in a single conversation. Other times it might take weeks, months, or even years. God is the One who determines who, where, and when it will happen. We just need to be ready every moment of every day for Him to use us.
B. We Must Tell Them About Jesus
Consider how many times the name ‘Jesus’ is mentioned in this passage:
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Acts 3:16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Acts 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Acts 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
Why is the name Jesus so important? Peter tells us in Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Eventually all conversations must be directed to Jesus. Jesus is the one who saves men’s souls. Jesus is the one who died for our sins. Jesus is the Savior. We’re just His servants.
Peter and John were commanded to not speak the name of Jesus, yet Peter said that they must for there is no other name given to men whereby we must be saved. There is no other way to be saved other than in Jesus. There is no other Savior other than Jesus. Jesus is the answer to every need in our life.
III. We Should Not be Surprised When We Experience Opposition from Satan
What I have noticed is that we can talk about God all day long and maybe even use the phrase ‘the Lord’ a time or two without receiving too much flack, but once we speak the name of Jesus, everything changes. At that moment we have stepped onto the battlefield.
Acts 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
A. The Name ‘Jesus’ Often Produces Spiritual Opposition
Speaking the name of Jesus will often bring spiritual opposition. I have intentionally called it ‘spiritual’ opposition because the real opposition is not from men, but from Satan. Consider what the Apostle Paul said:
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Satan will do everything he can to intimidate us and keep us from telling others about Jesus. He will tell us that we’re a fool. He will tell us that we’re going to offend them and that they will get mad at us. He will tell us that nobody wants to hear about Jesus. He may even try to tell us that there is no God and therefore there is no Jesus.
Yet, notice what God inserted right in the middle of this story.
Acts 4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
What if Peter and John had run from this opportunity and remained silent? What if they had let Satan back them down? Five thousand people would have never come to know the Lord. And I’m sure that with those five thousand men also came five thousand wives and perhaps five thousand children.
I know you’ve heard me say it a thousand times, but I would love to know who it was that got up enough courage to invite the mailman and his family to church some fifty years ago. I stand here today both as a believer and as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ because someone believed in Jesus enough to approach the mailman.
B. We Must Not Let Satan’s Opposition Silence Us
Acts 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
As I was preparing this message the Spirit brought to my mind something said to a young preacher named Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
There are many who believe that the word ‘spirit’ should be capitalized, indicating that it is not just our spirit that Paul is talking about, but the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit who dwells inside of us is not ashamed of the name of Jesus. He is afraid to use it.
The other day it dawned on me that whenever I am filled with the Spirit, I have not only the boldness to talk about Jesus, but an overwhelming desire to do so. The presence of the Holy Spirit gives us:
1. Courage in the Face of Opposition
2. Love for Men’s Souls
3. And Clarity of Mind in Presenting the Gospel
IV. We Must Pray for Boldness and Courage
The name of Jesus is often a lightning rod that draws fire. There is a lot of opposition today concerning faith in Jesus alone. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that there is no other name whereby we must be saved. Therefore, we must pray for boldness and courage to speak the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel…
Notice, it was the Holy Spirit that gave Peter and John the courage to stay true to Jesus in the midst of opposition. Without the Holy Spirit, Peter might have done what he did back by the campfire that night.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
A. The Church’s Options
1. They Could Have Cowered Down and Remained Silent
Someone could have said, “We need to just be kind to people and show them that we love them. We need to have a bake sale and give the proceeds to those who are hurting. We shouldn’t do anything that’s going to offend people because we might turn them off and they’ll never come to Jesus.”
The church could have done that but thank God they didn’t.
2. They Prayed For God to Give Them Courage in the Face of Opposition
I’m encouraged by the fact that the church did not let the opposition silence them. I am encouraged by the fact that they prayed for spiritual boldness.
Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
In Ephesians 6, Paul talks about our spiritual battle with Satan and the forces of evil. He mentions several pieces of armor that we must put on in order to stand strong and fast. But notice what else he says in this passage:
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
What did Paul ask them to pray for? He asked them to pray that he would always have the boldness to tell others about Jesus Christ. Why did Paul make this prayer request? He did so because he sometimes faced the same fear that you and I do. Yet, Paul knew that he could not remain silent. Paul said in Romans 10 that men can’t believe in Him of whom they have never heard and they can’t hear unless we tell them.
B. God Heard and Answered Their Prayers
How will God respond to such praying?
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
God poured out His power upon them.
I pray that today’s sermon has been both a challenge and encouragement to you. I hope that it’s fired some of us up to go out and tell others about Jesus. I’m excited to hear how the Lord is going to use each of us for His glory.