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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,
Pastor Emeritus

A lesson adapted from D. James Kennedy, Evangelism Explosion,
taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, November 8, 2020

Chorus Sung Before the Lesson:
    “I Will Make You Fishers of Men” (by Harry D. Clarke, 1888-1957).

I. First, church members must evangelize the lost.

1. Christ’s first and last instructions.

First     “Come ye after me, and I will make you…fishers of men”
(Mark 1:17; p. 1046 Scofield).

Last     “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is
come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8; p. 1148).

Christ thus began and ended His earthly ministry by telling His followers to be fishers of men. Christ told His followers to “go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15; p. 1069).

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2. The wiles of Satan.

     The Apostle Paul said not to be ignorant of the “wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11; p. 1255).

3. Satan’s greatest victory.

    It was to convince the believers to let the preachers fight the war! This Satanic idea gradually taught the Christians to forget what they did in the early church. Examine Acts 8:1-4 (p. 1159).

“They that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4; p. 1159).

    That is made clear by verse 1: “They were all scattered abroad… except the apostles” (Acts 8:1; p. 1159). The word “preaching” in verse 4 is translated from the Greek word which means “evangelizing.” The point to remember is that everyone in the church also went evangelizing.

4. The early results of every Christian evangelizing.

        That is how the Church of Jesus Christ in 300 years accomplished amazing results. The whole pagan, Roman Empire was overthrown by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
    The Christian Church was growing so rapidly that by the middle of the second century a great Christian leader could say, “We are everywhere.”

5. The clergy/laity division.

        By A.D. 300 the church was growing so rapidly that it appeared that the whole civilized world could be evangelized by A.D. 500.
    That is when the Devil’s plan kicked in. Since the “preachers” became the only ones committed to winning souls, now nearly all people today are won to Christ by the “preachers.” It is estimated that now over 95 percent of American church members have never won one person to Christ!
    Take myself as one example. I was never given the Gospel by any of the Southern Baptist preachers I had. Not once! The preachers were too “busy” to lead a teenager like me to Jesus.
    I myself fell into this trap. I believed that I had to be saved by doing some great work for God. It gave me no answers and no real trust in Jesus. I told our people to get names and phone numbers of people, then have someone else phone them to come to a party. My sermons were supposed to get them saved. It didn’t work! Yes, we brought in lots of names, but they were a mixed multitude – and they rebelled and led one church split after the other.
    Dr. Chan learned my false method well. He thought that he could lead a mixed multitude to be saved by becoming slaves to the church, not able to help people to find eternal life through Jesus.

II. Second, pastors must equip their members to evangelize the lost.

Turn to the 4th chapter of Ephesians (p. 1253).

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16; p. 1253).

-- Fear of witnessing
-- Life-changing experience
-- Failure of classes
-- On the job training needed
        (Chan and Waldrip never do that)

My mistake, Luke 14:23 (p. 1096).

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

Verse 24 shows that won’t get people saved.

“For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper” (Luke 14:24).

See Luke 15:4 (p. 1096).

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?” (Luke 15:4).

Stand and sing our chorus!

I will make you fishers of men,
    Fishers of men, fishers of men,
I will make you fishers of men
    f you follow me;
If you follow me, if you follow me;
     will make you fishers of men
If you follow me.
    (“I Will Make You Fishers of Men” by Harry D. Clarke, 1888-1957).