"A Vision for Evangelism"
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’” Acts 16:9 NKJV
As Paul was making preparations to go on his second missionary journey, he assembled a team that included Silas, Timothy, and Luke. When they left Antioch, they wanted to go to Asia and parts of Asia Minor, but the Holy Spirit closed the door in those directions. They headed northwest instead and stopped over at Troas, a port city on the Aegean Sea.
That night, Paul has a vision. The vision was a man of Macedonia (Modern Day Greece) who was standing and begging for Paul to come over to the other side of the sea to Macedonia and help them.
The result of the vision Paul had received was recorded by Luke in the next verse. It reads: “Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
Paul received the vision as an individual, but the entire group took ownership of the vision. Notice Luke writes that “immediately we sought to go” and their conclusion was “that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” This was a team effort.
The president of the SBC, JD Greear, has a vision for evangelism for our churches in America today. That vision is called “Who’s Your One?” That vision is for members of SBC churches to identify at least one person they know who is far from God that they can pray for, build a relationship with and then share the gospel with. It’s simply to do what Paul and his team did in Macedonia.
There are two main ideas from this passage when it comes to having a vision for evangelism. One is that the gospel is the greatest need that people have. The man in the vision was pleading with Paul to come and “help us”. If we are going to have a vision for evangelism, we have to see people as needing the gospel. We can help people with financial, social, mental, relational and physical needs. But if we don’t help them with their spiritual need for salvation, we are not doing evangelism.
The second greatest need that people have, when it comes to vision for evangelism, is that people need someone to share the gospel with them. The man in the vision pleads for Paul to “come over to Macedonia.” The team agrees with Paul and they all conclude that the Lord has called each one of them to preach the gospel to them. If JD Greear is the only one called to do this, it will not get done. If only the preachers and church ministers are called to do this, it cannot get done. It takes each member to see their own self as called to reach their “One” with the gospel.
Today, we have a Durham call. We have men, women, boys and girls, who are in desperate need of help. Their greatest need is the gospel. They just need someone to come and tell them the good news. You are the one for your “One”. Do you have a vision for your “One?”
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor,