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Sabbath School Lessons on Evangelism and Witnessing
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 4: Evangelism and Witnessing as a Lifestyle *
Introduction: Anyone who looks honestly at the world and at God's
standard knows that there is a huge gap between the two. As a
witness, as an evangelist, you stand between those two. You are the
connection between the world and Christianity. Between the world and
eternal life. There is at least one substantial problem with where
you are standing. Jesus tells us in John 17:14 that the world hates
us. How are you going to be a proper connection when you are dealing
with hate? How do we connect with hate? Let's race into our Bible
study and see what we can learn!
- Jesus' Battle Plan
- Read John 17:1-4. Jesus gives this wonderful prayer that
describes what He has done on earth and His plan for the
future. What is Jesus' main mission? (To bring glory to
- How does this text say Jesus brought glory to God?
(By completing the work God gave Him to do.)
- What is that work? (It is the bridge. To bring those
in the world over to eternal life.)
- How does a person cross this bridge? (Eternal life
comes from knowing Jesus.)
- If we are Jesus' apprentices, what clue do we have
as to our own work? (We need to bring glory to God
by helping people to know God. Helping people to
cross this bridge.)
- Read John 17:13-14. How did Jesus help us to know God?
(By giving us God's word.)
- What do you think it means that Jesus gave us God's
word? ( John 1:1 comes to mind. Jesus is the
expression of God. Jesus' life and teachings help us
to know God.)
- What is the reaction of the world to the word of
God? (The world hates them.)
- How do you feel about being hated? (Jesus says He
wants to give us joy!)
- How does this work? They hate, you laugh? (If you
understand that the reason for the hate is that you
have the truth, you can feel good about life.)
- In John 17:14 Jesus is talking about His instruction, His
word. What did we learn about our continuing education
last week? (Read John 16:7-13. In our work as a
connection between pagans and eternal life, in our work
as apprentices to Jesus, He did not leave us an
instruction book. He left us the Holy Spirit. Just as we
would consult with Jesus, so we should consult with the
Holy Spirit. Remember it was the Holy Spirit who worked
out the book!)
- Read John 17:15-18. What else do we have to contend with,
in addition to hate? (The evil one.)
- What does the "evil one" have in mind for us?
(Whatever it is, Jesus has in mind protecting us
from the evil one.)
- What is one of our main defenses? (Jesus prays that
we will be sanctified (set apart) by the words of
God. Again, this points to the Holy Spirit as
critical to our defense.)
- Let's read three important texts: Ephesians 6:12, Matthew
9:36 and Luke 14:26.
- The word translated "hate" in Luke 14:26 is the same
word Jesus used to describe the attitude of the
world towards us. How does that shape our attitude
towards the world? (The "hate" may merely be a
preference for something else.)
- What characterizes most of the people we encounter?
(They are helpless sheep. They may not prefer us,
but we need to have compassion on them.)
- How does the existence of the evil one and his
helpers help us to have a proper perspective on
witnessing and pagan hatred? (While there are some
truly evil people out there, our struggle is in
general not against people, but against evil. This
means the hatred is not personal between you and
pagans. Rather, it is personal between God and
Satan. You are just part of the bigger picture. You
are mostly dealing with confused people who have
- Read John 13:34-35. As we stand as a connection between
the pagan world and eternal life, what attitude are we to
- At least in this verse, the love command is directed
towards fellow believers. How should we relate to
fellow believers who are joining us as guides on the
bridge to eternal life? (We will face hate from the
world in our bridge work, but we should receive love
(and give love) from our co-laborers.)
- Let's review. As witnesses and evangelists, we are
guides to the bridge between the world and eternal life.
Our work is to bring glory to God. We do this by helping
people to know God. While our work is done in the middle
of a battlefield, in which the evil forces on the other
side hate us, our mission is for people who are not so
much hostile as confused.
- Mission Story
- Read Mark 5:1-5. How do you think this fellow affected
local property values? (Negatively. Would you want to
live in an area where a crazy man was loose? Imagine
hearing him cry out at night. Luke 8:27 adds that this
fellow did not wear clothes.)
- Read Mark 5:6-7. How do you think the disciples reacted
to this crazy, naked man who could rip chains in two,
running towards them? (I suspect they were running the
opposite direction. Their necks were probably not as
tough as chains. Plus, how much could they take? In the
previous chapter (Mark 4) they barely escaped drowning.
This ministry stuff led to an action-packed life!)
- Have you seen the bumper sticker "Hate is not a
family value?" What is really being said? (This is a
product of the homosexual rights lobby. The
suggestion is that if you believe homosexuality is
wrong, you are a hater.)
- What false accusation did the crazy man hurl at
Jesus? (That Jesus was a torturer. Jesus was cruel.)
- Read Mark 5:8. Why did the crazy man say this? (It was
the demon inside him. Jesus told the evil spirit to
leave. Jesus distinguished between the sinner and the
sin. However, the evil spirit saw it all as one thing
and falsely called Jesus someone who hated so much that
He would torture a person. Don't be surprised if you are
called names by evil spirits.)
- Read Mark 5:9-13. What do demons have in mind for your
life? (They want to drown you.)
- Can they? (Not without permission.)
- Read Mark 5:14-17. What did the town people, those whose
property values had just increased, ask Jesus to do?
- Why? (Their pig values had dropped.)
- What does this say about them and your
ministry? (That people value their stuff over
the salvation of other people.)
- Notice that these verses also say that people were
afraid. Why? Jesus had just eliminated one obvious
threat! (Think of the supernatural events that had
just taken place. This was a huge battle between God
and the forces of evil. The people were naturally
- Nudge Evangelism - the Letter
- Read 2 Corinthians 3:2 and Mark 5:18-19. What is the
formerly crazy man? (He is a "letter" from God.)
- Wasn't the crazy guy a little short on theological
training? Could he have used a few laps around the
lake in the boat with Jesus before being sent on
this mission? (He was a witness. He was telling his
own story. He did not need evangelistic training for
this, because he knew his story better than anyone
else. You know your story the best of anyone.)
- Read Mark 5:20. Was the man an effective witness? (The
people were amazed.)
- Read 2 Corinthians 3:3. How often is our letter "mailed?"
(Continuously. Our job is to continuously stand as a
guide to the bridge between the pagan world and eternal
life. Everything we do should be a "nudge" towards
- Who gives you daily instructions on how you nudge?
Who is critical to the writing on your letter of
life? ("The Spirit of the Living God." We cannot
effectively minister without the Holy Spirit writing
the letter of our life!)
- Friend, will you commit in everything to be a guide to
the bridge, to be a letter, that connects and informs the
pagan world about eternal life? It is for the glory of
- Next week: Sequential Evangelism and Witnessing.
* Copr. 2012, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.