He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41).
Have you ever wondered how you can personally participate in world missions, and the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, even while you are punching a clock at your 9 to 5 job, or while you are a stay-at-home mom? A recent survey of new Christian converts in America asked how they came to know Christ.
Ninety percent of these new believers said they came into contact with the gospel through family or friends!
Jesus’ own disciples are a perfect example of this kind of evangelistic networking. John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin. Once Jesus was publicly acknowledged as the Messiah at his baptism, then John publicly revels in Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John’s disciple Andrew leaves John and follows Jesus, then goes and gets his brother Peter in order to introduce him to Jesus as well. Jesus recruits Philip — who just happens to be from the same town as Andrew and Peter — and then Philip recruits Nathaniel. All this, in just the first chapter of John’s gospel!
When it comes to evangelism, family and friends is a great place to start.
Reading this chapter is like watching dominoes: one disciple leads to another, who leads to another, and on and on it goes.
This example can be taken too far, of course, because otherwise the gospel will never jump across the railroad tracks, so to speak, to other cultures or people groups or nations. But it does remind us that, when it comes to evangelism, family and friends is a great place to start.
Baptists may disagree with Presbyterians regarding some of the implications of household baptisms in the New Testament, but shame on us if we miss the obvious, hand-grenade explosions of salvation that happen over and over again in the book of Acts. There is Cornelius and his family in Acts 10; there is Lydia and her family, and the Philippian jailer and his family, in Acts 16; and there is the synagogue leader Crispus and his family in Acts 18.
In the story of Cornelius, we are told specifically that he invited all his family and near friends to hear the gospel from Peter. Then the Holy Spirit fell on everyone who heard the Word (Acts 10:24, 44).
Did you catch that? The Spirit fell on everyone who heard the Word!
Imagine if everyone you shared the gospel with, or prayed for, this week were to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. How many people would that be? None? One? Or, like Cornelius, all your family and friends?
Let us follow the good example of Cornelius, and Andrew, and Philip, and Lydia, and the jailer. Let us support world missions this week with our prayers, with our money … and by inviting friends and family to meet Jesus.