Bible Text: 2 Timothy 4:5
One of the differences between rich people and poor people is that poor people watch TV and listen to entertainment; rich people read and love reading. So learn to read.
Some people only resurrect on Sunday morning, we only see them on Sunday. Coming to church is a way of life, it is a place you sharpen yourself for the real world, don’t take it likely.
2 Timothy 4: 5 – “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. (NKJV)
“As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry”.(AMPC)
Joseph endure affliction, Job endured affliction and you see the end of these two people, they had more than enough at the end of their life. This book of Timothy was the last book Apostle Paul wrote to his mentee and he was giving an instruction.
Some people will say I do not have a ministry but you have, there is nobody who is born again who does not have a ministry.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 – “17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
18 But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].
19 It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).” (AMPC)
God has given us the ministry of reconciliation and this ministry is for everybody.
There is a word which many of us are familiar with, the word “NEWS”. It was a word that was introduced in the 14th century. It can be defined as newly received or noteworthy information especially about recent and relevant events. In the world today there is various kind of news, whether on radio or TV, we have world news, entertainment news, headline news, sports news, in recent times news was added called fake news. Donald Trump has propagated this news. One thing about news is that people are committed to sharing it. CNN share news, Organisations share news, even you share news when you hear about someone waiting on God for many years either for a job or baby and then suddenly gets one; you share it.
You hear it through news network. I did a research recently and discovered that about 84 public news channel exists. There are 179 private news channels, there are 33 business news channels, there are 14 sport news channels, in Africa alone; there are 18 news channels. You can see that sharing news is something people and organisations are committed. Human beings are interested in learning and share news, what is going on; nowadays technology has increased the speed of news sharing. Organisations have taken advantage of this. Before it should be word of mouth. Some of you are used to sharing and tagging on Facebook. However one common thing about the news channel of close to 370 is that most of this news is fake, are bad, they are not too good news. It is always very depressing when you switch on your TV or radio and you hear an aircraft crashed in southern Sudan, a man came back from work and discovered that his wife has been beheaded, a child walked into the neighbourhood and have not been found. Most of the news in the world is not too good; even at that many people still depend on the news, many people trust it and many people adhere to it.
There is, however, news which I believe everyone around us deserves to hear. You know you share a lot of news. For example “…our club won, Spain defeated England but there is news worthy of sharing with those people around us and people in our neighbourhood need to hear and deserve to hear. While news can be defined as newly received, or noteworthy information especially about relevant and recent events. The good news literally can be defined as news received or worthy information of a high standard. We share a lot of news especially on social media but we refuse to share the news that those who are around us deserve to hear from us. The good news of the gospel of Christ is beneficial and to the advantage of someone. It is news of a high quality. Of all the news, the best news is the good news which the Lord Jesus Christ gave us to share. He didn’t give us world news.
As believers, we share a lot of other news with friends, family, colleagues and unbelievers in various forms but we do not share the good news as we share other news. If we share the good news as we share other news, this world will be a better place. All other news is depressing.
However, there are characteristics that make the news Jesus gave us the best news of all.
The book Matthews emphasizes that the purpose of the news God gave us is to pass it on.
If you and I can share the bad news why is it that we are not committed equally to share the good news? The best news of all is the good news. If you are used to news sharing through any means, this is an important thing to share with them. The good news has 3 parts that people you share it with will appreciate. The 3 parts are:
- God has done something about the peoples past. 1 Corinthians 5:17 emphasizes that old things have passed away for those in Christ. Every one of us has a past with a lot of mistakes. I don’t know about you but I have made a lot of mistakes in my past. Between 1973 and 1980 I lived a terrible life. But the good news God is saying is that “I have taken everything you have done and wiped the slate clean”; you do not have to be guilty anymore over your past. The pregnancies either you impregnate somebody or you got pregnant the lies. Though you since may be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow. Your past is gone, even if that is the only news that is good news but there is a second part to it.
- God has something good for you in the present. He has made you for a purpose but for you to discover the purpose you need to come to Christ and discover God. There is a purpose of God for your presence. You may feel hopeless but there is hope, you may feel destitute that life is tough and very unfair, but there is hope. People are committing suicide, throwing in the towel, abandoning their husband, wife and children. Not only has He dealt with my past but he has provided for my present. The present is brighter even more than you can imagine, think or believe. Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:17
“How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”
- Not only is your past taken care of, not only is there a provision for your present taken care of but there is a great future for you with a home in heaven. It is good to have a home in Las Vegas, Washington DC, it is good to have a home in Madrid or even in London but you need to have a home in Heaven. You may not even have a home here, maybe you are still renting but the good news is you have a home in Heaven and it is a place you will abide forever and ever; even without you buying a land. There is a plan for your future.
All these 3 constitute good news. God says forgiveness for your past; there is a purpose for living in the present and a home in heaven for the future. Don’t you think some people will be interested in that? Old things have passed away, tell your friends, families, people you meet every week, on a daily basis, and colleagues need to hear this. How can they come to the knowledge of this without you fulfilling your ministry? Your ministry is to share this good news. You don’t have to make it happen, you don’t have to do anything more than tell people about it, and if they believe it; it will change their lives. Do the work of an evangelist, that is what God says, He didn’t say leave your work, resign from your work just share the good news. Many of us do the work of a pharmacist when we prescribe drugs and give medicine to our kids at home, or when someone comes to you for advice; you do the work of a lawyer, you are not a lawyer. Let me tell you when He said to do the work of a preacher, he didn’t say you are a preacher, he didn’t come down with thunder and speak to you. Like he did to Moses. But he said, “Do the work of a preacher, do the work of an evangelist…” Another one says “go on preaching the good news, another one says “keep the message alive.” When you share messages, you keep it going on, keeping it alive.
Many of you have received messages on WhatsApp; after reading it; it says “share / forward it to 10 people or 20 people. Some of you do it, if they say you can get free human hair, you will forward it so why won’t you forward a more beneficial message. Someone forwarded it to me, that is why I am here and I have forwarded it to you, so you need to forward it to other people. Keep the message alive. A Bible version says, “do the work of telling good news”, many of us like to carry bad news. There is a news station in Yoruba (Nigeria Tribe) named “Iroyin Kayefi” which means hefty news.
Another one says “work and tell others the good news”.
I remember when I bought my first house in Spain in 1992, I could almost tell anybody when I bought my house in America, I could tell anybody.
Oh taste and see, singing “I have seen the Lord’s goodness, his mercies and compassion …” How many of you have seen and experienced the Lord’s goodness, the Lord has been good to you? If you have? then share the good news, you have depth and wealth of knowledge to share from. Good news is refreshing to a thirsty soul. Proverbs 25: 25
“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far [home] country”.
The heat of this world is terrible; people need to cool off, how do you do that? By sharing the good news, Good news is reviving.
Make full proof of your ministry. The ministry many of us have is not the ministry of singing, the ministry is not being able to counsel people, being able to tweak, there is the ministry you don’t need any microphone, your ministry is to save souls. Mathew 18: 11. Some people say my ministry is to play the drums. No, it is to preach the gospel, to share the good news. When I newly gave my life to Christ, I had nothing but my testimony, I share my experiences, this was who I was, this is who I am now and this is who I AM BECOMING, AS I SHARED they started listening and becoming like me. Good news is reviving, refreshing, delightful, reassuring, comforting. Good news is different. It is different from world news, sports news, entertainment news and every other kind of news. I want to implore you to make full proof of the ministry and share the good news.
2 Corinthian 5:18
“But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].”
Paul said it; God gave us the ministry, everyone, anyone, no matter who you are, what you do, and what your circumstance is. One translation says “he has given us the work of reconciliation. Adam was in a relationship with God, but walked away but reconciling means to bring us back to God.
Another translation says; “He has committed to us the work of making peace” you have the ministry of making peace; making peace is a serious work, how many of you have seen two people fighting and try to separate them, but you need to do this. One translation says “the task of making others His friend…” If you are a friend of God, don’t you think it’s a good position that others need to be? He has also called us into a work of restoring relationships; he has called us to settle our relationships with each other. It is a general ministry; you are not a Christian if you do not have this ministry.
He has committed unto us the task of telling others about the peace in Christ. We need to pass on the good news. He has given us the task of bringing others back to him through Jesus Christ. It is so simple; you have tasted and seen, all you need to do is describe your taste. He has also given us the office to preach the atonement; atonement means what God did to bring man and God back together again.
With all I have just said, you will expect that many Christians will be sharing the good news, because of how beautiful it is. According to a recent research, 80% of believers know that they are called to preach, but 61% of them admitted they have not done anything along this line in the past 6 months they have not done anything about it. If I ask the same question now and if you all are going to be truthful; the statistics are right but it is your ministry. Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:17
“And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.”
I am reminding you and pricking your conscience. You are the one enjoying it but there are neighbours, friends, colleagues who need what you have but you have never shared the good news.
I went to visit one of our members in his office when I got there; there was this man sitting near him for the past 9years. I asked him “are you born again?” the man looked at his friend and said answer him, my member said NO and the friend said why you have not told me. There are friends, family, neighbours, colleagues you have not told about the gospel, you told them you bought a car, you told them you have a child, you told them you bought a house but this good news you refused to share. Make full proof it, give expression to it, and fulfil the work of the ministry.
Reasons why people don’t share the good news.
The seeming unwillingness of members to share good news has been a major concern and frustration for Pastors. If every member here share the good news and win one soul we will start the second service, and church growth will be very easy. When Jesus called Peter he didn’t say I will make you rich, He said I will make you fishers of men. Follow Jesus and He will teach you to catch people. The following is to help you develop a capacity to catch people.
Several reasons why many are not catching people, they toil all night and are not catching somebody.
- Many Christians are thinking it is an extraordinary assignment for the Prophet, for those in full-time ministry and not their job. However, Jesus Christ has committed this assignment to us. No matter what assignment you have, it is secondary; every member in any department needs to win soul first. Sharing the good news does not require any skill; share it with whatever language you can share it in. The early church was uncooked, ordinary men; if they can; you too can.
- People do not make it a priority. Women make making their hair a priority; they make manicure and pedicure a priority, painting your face a priority, make sharing the good news a priority. Anything you make a priority you are committed to doing. Singing should not be your priority, if there no souls in this Church who will you sing to, who will you record if there are no souls.
- We don’t share the good news because we have lost our love for God and others. If you love God for the price you have paid; don’t you think you need to help. If you love someone and you know the person has cancer, you know the cure for cancer won’t you tell them. Sin is worse than cancer. There are people who are from a Christian background but have wandered away. Jesus said if you love me keep my commandment, what is the commandments “…go ye into the world …” One translation says, “…go into your world….
- It is because we have become isolated from unbelievers. We don’t know how to connect with them. When you got saved you had unbelievers around but you were told for you to grow you; you need to make new friends. So after awhile Pastor says invite your friends to church you come inviting nobody. Over the years you have developed only Christian friends. There is an MP3 message I am going to give to the Pastor if you are interested in becoming a fisher of man, speak with the Pastor and get the message. You’ll need to understand how to connect with people, how to build bridges with people?
- Another reason why people don’t share the gospel is that of fear satan put in people. People are afraid of what they would do to them in their workplace, in school at colleges. If you cannot talk to them during work, speak to your colleagues after work.
Prov. 29:29, Number 14:24.
You can go to the park, the mall and speak to people. Where I stay in London, I just go to the mall; I invite people for lunch. Building bridges with people are very easy. Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice”.
I do not know the reason for the fear you have but God is with you.
- People are looking for an immediate result. I invited him but he did not come. You want to share and get an immediate result, the man that has been a sinner since 1920 you want him to turn around immediately. Don’t worry; do your best and leave the rest to God.
- It is because of their own spiritual state. If Christianity is not real to them, they cannot share what they do not have. You come to church, I agree with you because you are still closer to the person that doesn’t come at all. Your sharing the good news is a reflection of where you are in Christ. You cannot give what you do not have.
God will reward you as you share the good news. God will not reward you for building houses, for having many cars, for having plenty of money, God will not reward you for people you know but God will reward you for making Heaven happy.
Luke 15:7- “Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [[a]especially] wicked person who repents ([b]changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance”.
How many people will walk up to you in Heaven and say “Thank you for sharing the good news”.
Go ye into the world and fulfil your ministry, make full proof of the ministry by sharing the good news.
Prayer: Pray to be committed and bold to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The sermon, Make Full Proof Of The Ministry, by Revd George Adegboye, founder RHEMA Chapel International Churches.