Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 6th September 2015
Quarter Theme: A Revived Church: Lessons from the Acts of the Apostles
Topic: The Task of Evangelism and Discipleship
Texts: Acts 8: 4, 26-40, 15:36
Memory Verse: Acts 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went”
The resultant effect of revival is hunger to witness and be a witness for the Lord and expand his Kingdom. While leaving the earth, Jesus told his disciples, in Mark 16:15:“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned”.
The task of evangelism and discipleship is a task every believer MUST get involved in anywhere and everywhere he/she is. Evangelism is the work of helping someone begin a faith relationship with Jesus—and continuing to teach and nurture their faith, through discipleship. Evangelism and discipleship go hand in hand as you will observe in the Great Commission were Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 28:19 to evangelize in order to make more disciples. In effect, the disciples are to evangelize in order to produce more disciples. The word “disciple” in the New Testament literally means “learner”; being a disciple is to continuously learn the character of God and his call on the disciple’s life to live and do his work in the world.
In Acts 8: 26-40, we read the story of the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch which took place as a result of Philip’s prompt obedience to the Spirit’s direction. The Holy Spirit, is the enabler and empowers us to ensure the task of Evangelism is carried out. You cannot do it without Him. The story symbolizes God’s salvation reaching to the very ends of the earth and to the very people who were once kept outside of His salvation, but where reached by him due to the action of Philip. We have no right to exclude anyone from His salvation plan irrespective of who or what the person is. Philip was asked to go to the desert side, which, looking at it literally, does not make sense, but God uses the foolish things of this word to confound the wise. Obedience is critical. The Ethiopian represents the world we are to reach with the good news of Jesus. He was confused as he read the passage of scriptures in Isaiah and needed help. He seems to have “everything” going for him considering his background within Ethiopian government, but deep down him, there is a yearning of God to be filled. We should not be discouraged with how people look or their status or class to determine if we needed to share God’s word with them.
Discipleship, as Jesus showed us, is crucial to train and prepare followers for His kingdom. While it’s on record that Jesus converted very few people during His earthly ministry in a clear-cut way, he literally staked His whole ministry on twelve men to the gospel to the ends of the earth. As popular as He was during His earthly ministry, Jesus did not focus on the momentary applause of men but quietly poured His life in those who would multiply. Jesus was not trying to impress the crowd, but usher in a kingdom. Christ expects His followers to be fruitful but often we are not without external motivation and accountability. Jesus equipped the saints so they are able to lead the multitudes. This is discipleship and it is the foundation of Jesus’ ministry.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Is the task of evangelism restricted to only some Christians? If not, discuss, how you can be involved in this urgent task of the kingdom. 1 Peter 3:15, Matthew 9:37, Luke 9:2
2. Discuss the implication of Jesus call on our lives to disciple others and be a disciple? Matthew 16:24, Mark 3:14
3. What are the hindrances to evangelism and discipleship?
4. Discuss what you learnt from the topic through this study and Sunday sermon?