The Gospel Begins With Bad News
Shep Johnson
Sunday, August 14, 2016

We are blessed to have Jeff Harvel from Morristown, Tennessee preaching the Gospel here at First Baptist Church during our Evangelism Emphasis this week.  Jeff has been an evangelist since 1992.  And he has a passion for sharing the Gospel with the lost.

  Jeff will be preaching Sunday, August 14th, at 8:15 AM, 11:00 AM, and 6:00 PM; and Monday through Wednesday, August 15th through 17th, nightly at 6:30 PM.

  The Greatest News in the world is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Ironically, the Gospel actually begins with bad news because the Bible says, “ ... the wages of sin is death,” and we are all sinners!  But the greatest news of the Gospel far outshines the bad news of our human condition; because while the Bible says, “ ... the wages of sin is death,” it goes on to say, “BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (NASB95).

  For many weeks now we have been talking about this series of meetings.  You have seen these meetings promoted in the Grapevine and in the pulpit.  You’ve been asked to submit names of people you know who need to be saved.  You’ve been asked to pray for Jeff and all those in our city and county who need to hear the Gospel.

  Perhaps, you have procrastinated.  Perhaps you meant to make some contacts and yet failed to do so.  Maybe you intended to pray, but never followed through.  Listen, there is still time so I want to challenge you to do three simple things this week.

1.Attend every evangelistic service.  There is nothing more inspiring and encouraging than hearing the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  True believers never tire of hearing the Gospel.  We learn and grow every time the Gospel is declared to us.  The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:16 (NASB95), “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

2.Invite as many as you can to attend every service.  Ask everyone you possibly can to join you in attending, especially the unchurched and uninvolved.  If you know of someone you would like us to visit, let me know.  In one of His parables Jesus said,“Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23 (NASB95).

3.Pray for the Holy Spirit to move and souls to be saved.  We have no strength to save anyone apart from the Holy Spirit, nor does Jeff Harvel.  Jesus said in John 3:5 (NASB95), “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  Without the work of the Holy Spirit no one can be saved.

Charles Spurgeon said, “You might as well expect to raise the dead by whispering in their ears, as hope to save souls by preaching to them, if it were not for the agency of the Spirit.”  D.L. Moody said, “There is not a better evangelist in the world than the Holy Spirit.”

Finally Mark Dever writes, “In our evangelism we must be partners with the Holy Spirit, presenting the Gospel but relying on the Holy Spirit of God to do the true convicting and convincing and converting.”

As one of our great old hymns says, “All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down; brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.”