“Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ And they struck him in the face. Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, ‘Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.’ When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man.’ As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, ‘Crucify! Crucify!'” John 19:1-6
Jesus would later be crucified.
The following is from the Archaeological Study Bible, page 1757, regarding Crucifixion. In the ancient world crucifixion was seen as a particularly disgraceful and grievous form of execution. Assyrian battle reliefs depict a precursor to crucifixion – impaling victims on poles outside the walls of conquered cities. The Persians made widespread use of crucifixion, although sometimes the crucifixion took place only after the victim had been executed by other means (Herodotus, Histories, 3.125. 2-3). The practice of crucifixion became widespread under Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.). It became the common form of execution for traitors, defeated armies and rebellious slaves. Later, under the Roman Empire, only non-citizens, lower class Romans and violent offenders could be crucified. The only possible exceptions were in cases of high treason or desertion during wartime. Slaves were particularly vulnerable to the imposition of crucifixion. Latin literature reflects the dread slaves felt at the prospect of this fate. It was officially accepted as the most painful and disgraceful form of capital punishment, more so than decapitation, being thrown to wild animals or even being burned alive. For these reasons this heinous penalty was often imposed upon foreigners who were seen as threats to Roman rule.”
Did you know that there are 66 books in the Bible?
There are 39 books that make up the Old Testament.
There are 27 books that make up the New Testament.
The Jewish Talmud says there are 24 books that make up the Jewish scriptures. This is not in conflict with the 39 books we have. Many ancient people counted the Old Testament scriptures in this way.
Here’s why they are grouped together in 24 books.
The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally one book.
The same was true of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles.
When these were translated from Hebrew to Greek, they couldn’t fit on a single scroll. Therefore, they were divided into two books.
Something else to think about are the Minor Prophets. There are 12 books referred to as the Minor Prophets. Not because they are not important. But rather, because of the size of them compared to other prophet books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.
Since these writings are so small, they were all grouped together on a single scroll and counted collectively as one book.
The same can be said about Ezra and Nehemiah.
There you have 24 books. They are the same books that we have in our Old Testament (39). They are merely grouped differently.
There are a variety of ways one can reach out to the community and share the gospel.
1. One can post sermons or articles on Facebook. That’s a good thing to do.
2. You can purchase a newspaper ad inviting the community to sit in on a Bible study. That’s good as well.
3. You can begin a neighborhood Bible study. There is certainly nothing wrong with that.
4. You could write write religious articles for a newspaper. Earlier this year, I was able to write an article about the resurrection of Jesus in one of our local newspaper.
All of these tactics are really good. Yet there is something very important to remember.
Evangelism is Personal.
Personal Evangelism must be Personal.
As we seek to invite other and welcome people who visit our congregation, let’s remember that eventually things must become personal. Here’s what I mean by that. We will need to get personal and ask someone if they would like to have a Bible study. We will need to get personal and sit down with someone face to face. We will need to get personal and answer tough questions people will have. Evangelism is personal in nature. While we can do things as a congregation (like a Bible class on Evangelism), eventually it must become personal. We must make the decision to talk, share, and study with others.
Let’s make it personal. Great things will happen when we do.
Is it really worth my time to look for opportunities to share my faith with others? Is it really worth my time to study so that I can be prepared to share the good news of Jesus with others?
Is it really worth it?
Some may have theses kinds of thoughts when it comes to evangelism. I’m sure many of us have heard countless sermons about this topic.
After all, giving a card to someone is not really going to convert them, right? And in the unlikely event that they comes to services, they will probably be turned off since we don’t have women preachers or a band, right?
So, is it really worth putting myself in an uncomfortable position to invite someone to come to a building they have never been to or to spend time with people they don’t really know? The answer is YES. When it comes to doing God’s great work, it is always worth our time. It is worth our time to study God’s word for ourselves so that we can share it with others.
It’s worth our time to think about the people around us. It seems like more than ever people are isolated, hurting, and lonely. So many people are wandering around like sheep without a shepherd. The words of Jesus from Matthew 9 are still true today.
Do you have someone you can talk to today? Do you know someone who is need of prayers? It will be worth your time.