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Sermon #5789

The Problem of Evangelism

A Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 1:5


1 Thessalonians 1:5 ESV KJV
because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Does the passing of time necessitate a change in one’s method of evangelism? Does it mean the Christian must change the ways they communicate with a lost world? In this sermon on 1 Thessalonians 1:5 titled “The Problem of Evangelism,” Dr. Martyn-Lloyd Jones give an emphatic “no” in response to these questions facing the church today. Dr. Lloyd-Jones takes the listener to the apostle Paul’s words to the Thessalonians regarding evangelism and the power of the gospel. The problem Paul and the early church faced is the same problem before the church today. It is the problem of people worshipping idols rather than the Creator. It is the problem of people facing the wrath and judgment of God. But as Christians consider how to share the good news of Jesus who can redeem such a people, they must reject the modern idea that changing methods of evangelism is the solution. They must reject the idea that power, money, and advertising are necessary for gospel influence. When Christians proclaim the gospel, they do so out of confidence in the gospel to save. Be encouraged as Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that the New Testament shows all the necessary elements for effective evangelism today: preachers who proclaim truth and the testimony of changed lives. This is how the gospel was spread centuries ago and how it spreads today.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The problem confronting the church today is the problem of evangelism and communication.
  2. Many commissions and gatherings have been held to address this problem but the church is still failing to communicate the message.
  3. Some say we need a new message or new methods but we simply need to return to the apostolic method found in 1 Thessalonians 1.
  4. Paul went to Thessalonica, a pagan city, and preached the gospel. A church came into being as a result.
  5. The two factors in the spread of the gospel were:
  6. The preaching of the apostles. Preachers are still needed today.
  7. The life and witness of church members. Their testimony opened doors for the preachers.
  8. The message Paul preached was the gospel, the good news. It was not just a protest or political message.
  9. The gospel came in word and in power. It was not just a spirit or quality of life. Doctrine and words are needed.
  10. Paul preached about the one true and living God, not dumb idols. He preached about God's wrath and judgment.
  11. Paul preached about Jesus - His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming. This is the gospel.
  12. The gospel came in power, the Holy Spirit. Paul preached with assurance and power, not to please men but God.
  13. The Holy Spirit worked in the Thessalonians, convincing them of sin and enabling them to believe the gospel.
  14. The evidence of the Thessalonians' conversion was that they turned from idols to serve God, despite affliction. They were faithful.
  15. The Thessalonians became a phenomenon - changed lives that were talked about everywhere. This is the hope for today.
  16. We need the gospel, the Spirit's power, and changed lives to see revival. We must pray for awakening.

Itinerant Preaching

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.