Introduction: Most Christians know that Jesus taught us to share the
gospel. How much time do you spend thinking about how to accomplish
this goal? If you are like me, your focus is more inward: How do I
accomplish some work-related goal? How do I get someone to think I’m
worthy of respect or likeable? How can I better enjoy my free time?
How would your life be different if the first and most important
question of the day was, “How do I bring glory to God today? How do I
advance the Kingdom of God today?” Let’s dive into our study of the
Bible and see what we can learn about how to advance God’s Kingdom!
- Salt and Light
- Read Matthew 5:13. What is the purpose of salt? (To
enhance the flavor of your food.)
- What happens when you have too much salt?
- Jesus compares us to salt. Can you have too much
Christian witness? (We know that we need to be
careful about the use of salt. I think we also need
to be thoughtful about how we witness.)
- What happens if we don’t witness at all? What good
- Read Matthew 5:14-16. How does “a city on a hill”
logically fit into this series of statements? The city on
a hill cannot be hidden, but a light can. So, why make
reference to the city? (Jesus seems to say that Christians
will be noticed. The question is, “In what light will they
- What is it that we want to have noticed? (Our good
deeds. This reinforces our lesson of two weeks ago.
We are saved by grace alone, but someone with true
faith will be on the road to righteousness.
Influencing others for good is one important reason
to be on that road.)
- What is the goal of our light and works? (To bring
glory to God.)
- Read Deuteronomy 4:1-2. I think Christians fall into
the ditch on both sides of this road. Either we teach
people not to take God’s commands seriously, or we
make up commands God never gave and try to enforce
them. Matthew 5:16 is helpful. Instead of making up
our own commands, why not suggest that in every
activity we ask, “Is this giving glory to God? Is
this leading to praise to God?”)
- What do you make of the fact that Jesus refers to
people “seeing our good deeds” as opposed to “hearing
our good words?”
- Salt and Light Coach
- Read Luke 24:46-49. Why do you think that God told the
disciples not to begin their witnessing in earnest until
they received the gift of the Holy Spirit? (It is
essential. We need to learn this lesson.)
- If you are still thinking about the deeds/words
issue, what is the role of words here?
- Read Acts 8:26-29. If you are not familiar with this
story, finish by reading Acts 8:30-39. What do verses 26-29 suggest about witnessing while having the power of the
Holy Spirit work in us? (The Holy Spirit is like GPS! The
Spirit can lead us right to the exact people who want to
know more about the gospel.)
- Have you ever wondered if you should witness to a
certain person? How about asking the Holy Spirit to
lead you to the right people?
- Read John 20:19-23. How else can the Holy Spirit help us
in our witnessing? (Jesus has the power to forgive sins
( Mark 2:5), and He tells us to forgive those who have
sinned against us, or we will not be forgiven (Matthew
6:14-15). It seems contrary to the rest of the Bible to
conclude that one human can forgive (or refuse to forgive)
the sins of others in a way that binds our sovereign God.
However, at a minimum this text suggests that the Holy
Spirit has a powerful role in working with us to defeat
sin in the world.)
- Read Matthew 28:16-17. Jesus meets with His disciples
after His crucifixion and resurrection. These are His
closest followers. What problem do you see? (“Some
- What do you think they doubted? (That this was
- Read Matthew 28:18-20. What is Jesus’ response to the
doubt? (He says that all authority has been given to Him,
and that He will be with us “always, to the very end of
- Making disciples seems inconsistent with doubt. How
can you make disciples if you yourself have doubts?
(This must be another reason why Jesus refers to His
authority. That authority gives proof that He is
- What is our mission, according to Jesus? (It has
three features. We seek out everyone to become a
disciple. We baptize them in the name of the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit, and we teach them to obey God.)
- End Time Mission
- Jesus tells us that He will be with us until the end of
the age. Will our message or our audience change then?
- Read Revelation 14:6. Is the audience the same? (Yes, we
are still targeting everyone.)
- Has the message changed? (No. It is the “eternal
gospel” which is to believe that Jesus died on our
behalf to save us from sin, was raised from the dead,
and now has all authority in heaven and earth.)
- Read Revelation 14:7. Wait a minute. Has the eternal
gospel changed? (The urgency has changed. The “hour of
judgment has come.” The need to repent and believe is
- Why does the angel include the discussion about fear,
glory, and the creation? (I think this goes back to
“all authority” has been given to Me. The call is
still to acknowledge Jesus as God.)
- Read Revelation 14:8. What is the adultery of Babylon?
(Nelson’s Bible Commentary tells us that “the world in
rebellion against God is called ‘Babylon’.” Thus, the
adultery is rebelling against God.)
- Why is that “maddening wine?” (Wine dulls our senses.
Rebellion against God is nonsensical. It is crazy.
The great news is that the rebellion has collapsed.
It has fallen.)
- Read Revelation 14:9-10. How often do you hear this
message: “Inside tip, make the wrong decision and God’s
anger will hit you full-strength in the form of burning
sulfur?” What reason would we have to avoid sharing this
- I think the message of the three angels is a logical
argument. Let’s go through the logic. The first angel says
the Creator of the world has decided to bring matters to a
final judgment. The second angel says that God’s
opposition in the debate has just collapsed. It is done.
The third angel announces that being on the wrong side is
a really bad idea. Painfully bad. What do you think about
sharing the message that it is judgment time, we won, they
lost, choose carefully?
- Is there any merit to arguing that this is the end-time message, and not the message for all times –
therefore a focus on it might be unbalanced?
( Revelation 14:6 says that this is the “eternal
gospel.” It does not say that it is only the end-time
- Let’s see if this matches our perception of reality.
Is it correct to say that the opposition has
collapsed? That the time of judgment is here?
- Read Revelation 12:13-17. Has the opposition collapsed
here? (The opposition got booted out of heaven. It lost at
the cross. But, it is still dangerous for those “who obey
God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”)
- Let’s go back to Revelation 14. Read Revelation 14:12.
What group do we see here? (The same one, the group which
is obedient to God’s commands and faithful to Jesus. The
same group targeted by Satan.)
- Why does this group need “patient endurance?” (I
think we are beginning to get the whole picture. Our
message is the gospel. Our message is that we have
won and the opposition has lost. Our message is that
making the wrong choice is a very bad idea. But, we
need patience because this is not obvious to
everyone. Satan is still roaring around.)
- Friend, have you taken the gospel message personally? Will
you accept Jesus as your Creator, Savior and Lord? Will
you remain faithful to Him and to His commands? The wrong
choice is unthinkable. Choosing to lose is illogical. Why
not accept Jesus right now and share this message with
- Next week: The Law of God.