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!

  1. Jesus’ Battle Plan

    1. 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

      1. How does this text say Jesus brought glory to God?
        (By completing the work God gave Him to do.)

      2. What is that work? (It is the bridge. To bring those
        in the world over to eternal life.)

      3. How does a person cross this bridge? (Eternal life
        comes from knowing Jesus.)

      4. 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.)

    2. Read John 17:13-14. How did Jesus help us to know God?
      (By giving us God’s word.)

      1. 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.)

      2. What is the reaction of the world to the word of
        God? (The world hates them.)

      3. How do you feel about being hated? (Jesus says He
        wants to give us joy!)

      4. 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.)

    3. 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!)

    4. Read John 17:15-18. What else do we have to contend with,
      in addition to hate? (The evil one.)

      1. What does the “evil one” have in mind for us?
        (Whatever it is, Jesus has in mind protecting us
        from the evil one.)

      2. 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.)

    5. Let’s read three important texts: Ephesians 6:12, Matthew
      9:36 and Luke 14:26.

      1. 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.)

      2. 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.)

      3. 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
        other priorities.)

    6. Read John 13:34-35. As we stand as a connection between
      the pagan world and eternal life, what attitude are we to

      1. 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.)

    7. 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.

  2. Mission Story

    1. 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.)

    2. 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!)

      1. 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.)

      2. What false accusation did the crazy man hurl at
        Jesus? (That Jesus was a torturer. Jesus was cruel.)

    3. 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.)

    4. Read Mark 5:9-13. What do demons have in mind for your
      life? (They want to drown you.)

      1. Can they? (Not without permission.)

    5. Read Mark 5:14-17. What did the town people, those whose
      property values had just increased, ask Jesus to do?

      1. Why? (Their pig values had dropped.)

        1. What does this say about them and your
          ministry? (That people value their stuff over
          the salvation of other people.)

      2. 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

  3. Nudge Evangelism – the Letter

    1. Read 2 Corinthians 3:2 and Mark 5:18-19. What is the
      formerly crazy man? (He is a “letter” from God.)

      1. 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.)

    2. Read Mark 5:20. Was the man an effective witness? (The
      people were amazed.)

    3. 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
      eternal life.)

      1. 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!)

    4. 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

  4. Next week: Sequential Evangelism and Witnessing.