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Appealing for a Verdict Telugu Christian Congregation, Kuwait 11/8/2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Appealing for a Verdict Telugu Christian Congregation, Kuwait 11/8/2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Appealing for a Verdict Telugu Christian Congregation, Kuwait 11/8/2005

2 Appealing for a Verdict Popilius, by order of the Roman Senate, demanded Antiochus to withdraw his army from the Kong of Egypt. Antiochus pled for time to deliberate. Popilius drew a circle in the sand around Antiochus and insisted, in hoc stans delibera “In this standing place, deliberate” that is answer before you move Just so, the evangelist must press the people…whether an audience of one or 100,000 to immediately surrender to the demons of Almighty God. No work in the ministry of the Kingdom poses great difficulty and takes a greater personal toil on the evangelist than bringing the lost to a decision for Christ. Positively no work is more important. To fail here spells defeat in tote. Dr. Sam Shoemaker, the Episcopalian Dr. J.C. Massey, the Baptist Evangelist D.L. Moody, the Congregationalist Dr. John Sund, the Methodist Sadhu Sundar Singh, the converted Indian Sikh 1

3 Appealing for a Verdict Dr. Walter A Maier, the Lutheran Dr. Emil Ealliet, of the assemblies of God Bishop Athanasius, the Mar Thoma cleric Francis Xavier, the Roman Catholic World Evangelist Charles G. Finney, the Presbyterian The list goes on Mennonites, Syrian Orthodox Copts Seventh Day Adventists Greek orthodox Armenian Evangelicals Plymouth brethren Church of Christ Like sermon construction, apologetics, New Testament Greek, appealing for a verdict is equally important. Princeton trained William Edward Biederwolf said, “It is souls, not sermons that count” 2

4 Appealing for a Verdict The very uniqueness of evangelism demands an appeal for a decision of some kind. It is a favorable verdict, however expressed, that every evangelist is seeking by his message. Indeed, it’s with this in view that he as prepared the whole of his message Not to appeal for a verdict may mean for some delay of decision that could spell their eternal doom And for others, it could rob them of precious time during which they could be enjoying the richness of life to be found only in Christ Jesus. A person owes it not only to Christ, his family and his neighbours, but to himself to make a public decision for Christ and confession of Christ. Christ hung on the cross for him. He can well afford to take a public stand for Christ. Christ suffered shame in public. Tom Phillips, the former head of Raytheon who influenced Church Colson for God Maria Mills, the servant girl who won Lord Shaftsbury (Father of Industrial revolution) to faith in Christ. 3

5 Appealing for a Verdict Mr. Kimball, the Sunday School teacher, who influenced Dwight L Moody for Christ Ignatius Loyola, who won Francis Xavier to faith in Christ John Wesley, who won William Wilberforce to faith in Christ Irwin H. Linton, the celebrated jurist, who through his book, influenced Ted for Christ Mrs. Carrie Hagan, the Greenwood, South Carolina housewife, who influenced for Christ, a young prison inmate, Eddie Lieberman, who matured in to one of the most powerful Jewish evangelists and Bible teachers of this century. Scripture records appeals, entreaties, pleadings, invitations from Genesis to Revelation. Repeatedly, men, women and young people are commanded to hear and to heed the challenge of God. 4

6 Appealing for a Verdict From the Lord’s entreating query to Adam in Gen 3.9 Adam, where art thou? To the final appeal of the Spirit and the Bride in Rev 22.17 The Spirit and the Bride say, Come and let him who hears say, come, whoever is thirsty let him come and whoever wishes let him take the free gift of the water of life. Scriptures reverberates with invitations to the lost and to turn to Christ, who came to seek and to save that which was lost. You may not find in the Scriptures an exact example of a modern invitation extended in an evangelistic meeting. This does not condemn the evangelistic appeal as unscriptural Before 17th century extending modern invitation was hardly practiced, so also Sunday Schools, Young people’s organizations, Women’s missionary societies, church bulletins, Television ministries, Christian radio broadcasts and Christian Publication houses…. The New Testament makes clear that brining people to Christ openly and publicly is the main business of the Christians. 5

7 Appealing for a Verdict You may find close parallels to modern evangelistic invitations in may Biblical passages. Moses in Ex 32.26. after the golden calf incident, stood at the gate of the camp and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me. All of the sons of Levi responded. The people of the other tribes resisted the appeal and refused to stand with the Lord’s people An evangelist appeal for a verdict calls men to take the Lord’s side and forsake the world’s side. Joshua appealed to Israel to make a definite decision and commitment. Towards the close of his life he gathered all the tribes of Shechem and appealed for a verdict…choose you this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. And the people answered, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord and serve other gods. (Josh 24.15) 6

8 Appealing for a Verdict 2 Chr 34. 30-32 He went up to the temple of the Lord with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites, all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord to keep His commandments, regulations and decrees with all his heart and with all his soul and to obey the words… Ezra appealed for a verdict when he asked the people to swear publicly to carry out the reformation (Ezra 10.5) So I stood up and demanded that the leaders of the priests and the Levites and all the people of Israel swear that they would do as Shecaniah said, and they all agreed. Nehemiah made an appeal for a verdict, where Jewish leaders and the rest of the people made a covenant of loyalty to the Lord and His law. (Neh 10.29) All these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our God 7

9 Appealing for a Verdict Jesus was constantly appealing for a verdict. (Mat 4.19) He said to Peter and Andrew, Follow me I will make you fishers of men Jesus invited Zaccaeus to make haste and come down; for today I must abide at thy house (Luke 19.5) No work in the world is quite so hard as evangelistic work. It is exhausting. Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a study that concluded that it takes out of a person physically and emotionally to speak for one hour than to work with pick and shovel 13-1/2 hours. Wrestling with souls is infinitely the hardest work out of all the works. Half an hour of it means more exhaustion, nervously, than half a week of sermon study. Making an appeal for a verdict at the end of the conclusion of a message is immeasurably more exhausting than even the delivery of the message 8

10 Appealing for a Verdict One can preach every night for a week with a concluding benediction at the end of message than preach one message and give ourselves conscientiously to the appeal for a verdict Sometimes, out of physical fatigue, we may not give out the invitation. An aged man may have the same heart, the same understanding, the same mental capacity but he may not have physical stamina. Different communions approach an appeal for a verdict in different ways. Some ask people to stand, others may ask people to sign a card; others may call upon unsaved friends to come to front or even to attend a series of classes. If you say God will bring to Himself those who He wills to save, but since we are commanded to turn many to righteousness, we must as though everything depends on us while realizing that it is God who is working through us who accomplishes His own purposes 9

11 Appealing for a Verdict Impression without expression leads to depression. When God uses you to show your audience their need of Christ, and you don’t give them some public opportunity to respond, consistent with the worship style of your church, you create frustration and depression. Just as thorough sermon preparation creates the best possible opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak through the messenger, so the best possible preparation for the appeal for a verdict creates a God honoring opportunity for the Spirit of God to do His work. We need to take time as to how you would conclude the message than preparing the message itself. What is the purpose of a sales man? What is the purpose of a lawyer? What is the purpose of a treaty? Therefore, a minister must give as much attention to prepare his invitation as for the sermon itself. You may not perspire while preaching, but may sweat when you are just about to make an appeal. 10

12 Appealing for a Verdict We need a lot of strength to endure perplexity of facing the possibility that after the appeal is made no one will respond thinking it will discredit one’s own ministry and the word that is preached, specially when you find many coming forward while others preach in different places. Therefore fear should not dissuade people from doing it. When we read Charles Finney’s autobiography, you will find that this lawyer who came to Christ in his early thirties served as an evangelist for ten years. On one occasion, he saw 30,000 people come to Christ every week for period of six weeks, which was before the day of radio, television, news paper advertising or even public address systems! May God give us wisdom how to win souls for Christ! 11

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