Theology and Practice of Evangelism - Lesson 8
Body of Christ
If you understand the core of the Gospel, you can be consistent with it and flexible with everything else. People are hesitant to do ministry because they lack motivation, fear rejection and assume inadequacy. I Cor. 12, the church is indispensable for your survival, and you are indispensible for the church to be the body that God has called her to be. When someone falls in sin, it’s an opportunity for reconciliation. 90% of evangelism is showing up and paying attention.
Body of Christ
A. Reasons for people to lack ministry motivation
B. Fire and smoke analogy
II. The Body of Christ
A. The body is a unit with many parts
B. The Body of Christ is not a metaphor
III. The Messiah is one of us
A. The story of the monastery and the rabbi
B. The message of the cryptic saying
1. The church is indispensable for survival
2. Each person is indispensable for the church's function
IV. Gifts of the Spirit
A. Each person has different gifts to minister effectively in their sphere of influence
B. All gifts needed to minister effectively are available
C. Prophecy is the only gift common to all four lists of gifts in the Bible
D. Gifts should not be abused and should be used to encourage people
V. Importance of all parts of the body of Christ
A. The weaker parts of the body are indispensable
B. Christian television can be used by God to bring people to Christ
C. God can use most anything if there is a little bit of good in it
D. Humans do not always understand healing, but God is still a healing God
- In order to share the Gospel, you must know what it meant, and how people are understanding what you are saying. The gospel core is the least you can believe and still be a Christian. If the least you can believe is sufficient to get you saved, then the least you can believe is the most you can require of anyone.
- Christianity is the only world religion with an understanding of grace. Your most important ministry will be helping people understand how much God loves them. The heart of the gospel is that God loves you. Sin happens when we attempt to live as if there is no God. God, since the fall has done everything he can to establish relationship. God wants to make himself known to you in a way that you can understand.
- At the Fall, Satan gained control of the world. Jesus takes it back in Revelation 5 because he meets the qualifications. The core elements of the sermons of the apostles are authoritative proofs, prophecies fulfilled, God’s activities described, apostolic eyewitnesses and miracles proclaimed. You will be heard with authority to the degree you are willing to put your life on the line. You die spiritually when you rationalize sin. Wind moves from high pressure to low pressure. We access the power of the Spirit by repenting and believing. Two sins mentioned throughout scripture are self-reliance and oppressing the poor.
- The lesson tells the story of a professor who faces personal struggles and overcomes them with the help of faith, healing, and learning to overcome sin, ultimately showing that it's possible to prevail over life's challenges with God's guidance.
- Through this lesson, you learn the core components of the gospel message, its theological themes, and how to effectively communicate it for evangelism purposes.
- In this lesson, you gain insight into leveraging your personal, church, and wider spheres of influence to effectively share the Gospel, overcome challenges, and expand your evangelistic reach.
- Gain insights into ministry experiences and the power of faith, prayer, personal testimony, and baptism stories to navigate emergency situations that are bigger than yourself.
- You will learn from this lesson that you are uniquely equipped to minister to those in your sphere of influence and that the church is indispensable for your survival. By treating others with respect and recognizing each person's importance, the church can become the living, breathing body of Jesus Christ.
- In this lesson, you will learn that people are often hurting, angry, lonely, or tired, ministry requires dependence on God and rejection is important, preaching the text is key, our weaknesses can be our strengths, and close community is crucial for doing the work of the kingdom, while leading someone to Christ without providing ample opportunity for growth and nurture is a mistake.
- In this lesson, you will learn about Charlie Haley, a man with a pastoral background who is currently involved in retreat ministry and considering going into the mission field abroad. The lesson covers topics related to evangelism and ministry, including tract ministry, follow-up and discipleship, and the importance of love and forgiveness within one's sphere of influence. The lesson also discusses the importance of building relationships and addressing felt needs with spiritual solutions.
- This lecture begins as Dr. Tuttle is relating a story about a lady he met on an airplane. Jesus chose people as disciples that he could demonstrate by showing and telling them, and then depend on them to reproduce what they had been shown and taught. When Jesus gets too close, we raise the religious question to change the subject. As a result of the sin in the garden, we lost our ability to perceive reality beyond the senses. The Holy Spirit came, not to compensate for the absence of Jesus, but to guarantee his presence. We hold the truth, but the world sets the agenda and has the right to ask its own questions.
- Often, it is implied that once you commit your life to Christ, all your problems are solved. The Hebrew concept of soul is body, mind and spirit. The Greek concept is that soul and body are separate, and that soul is good and body is evil. Prophecy and spiritual gifts are essential for the body of Christ to function. In the teaching in mainline churches, there is sometimes a disconnect between faith and life.
- Trusting the Spirit of God is the key in this lesson. By remembering and trusting the Spirit, one can be utterly dependent upon God and do the hard work in preaching. Dr. Tuttle shares his personal experience of trusting the Spirit and provides context for Paul's second missionary journey, including Paul's conversion and early ministry, Peter's vision, and the conversion of Gentiles. The Spirit of God also taught Saul how Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
- Through a deep exploration of Wesley's Methodism and Calvin's Reformed tradition, you gain an understanding of their respective theological frameworks, evangelistic strategies, and lasting influences on modern evangelism.
- Through this lesson, you grasp the significance of Wesley's Societies, their organizational structure, theological practices, and the lasting impact on modern church practices.
- By exploring the Ethiopian Eunuch story, you gain insights on divine guidance, Scripture's role in evangelism, and early church inclusivity, while learning to apply practical evangelistic lessons.
- Through this lesson, you learn to effectively share the gospel through action evangelism by understanding its theological basis, applying key principles, employing various methods, and overcoming common obstacles.
- You gain insights into action evangelism's importance, principles, and various methods, while learning to overcome fears and obstacles, and equipping others for effective Gospel sharing.
Dr. Tuttle teaches three critical points around evangelism: how to share your faith story, what evangelism is and how to approach it, and that God has more invested in evangelism than we do – He is in control. God is at work. He wants us to, "show up and pay attention [to the Spirit]," and to care about people enough to "press" them by asking probing questions about what they think and what's going on in their lives.
Evangelism is essentially about the core of the Gospel, ministering in your sphere of influence and sustaining those you reach.
Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World
Those who serve on mission fields in areas where Christian faith is not the dominant religion quickly come to understand a central truth: when one is sharing the gospel, one...
Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World
Those who serve on mission fields in areas where Christian faith is not the dominant religion quickly come to understand a central truth: when one is sharing the gospel, one...
Dr. Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
Body of Christ
[00:00:15] Somebody. But it's not a bad little book, and I think it'll help you, but it'll give you a feel for what we're doing. First Corinthians 12, we said You have a sphere of influence for only you can minister most effectively. I said, I mentioned yesterday and we're going to talk about it more today, more in detail. People are has it to do ministry for at least three reasons. They lack motivation. They fear rejection, and they assume inadequacy. They're like motivation. We've lost our sensitivity to fire and smoke. We don't realize our sisters and brothers are going to hell. They're already in hell. You don't have to die to go to hell. And if you've forgotten that. Everyone in this room knows that. But if you've forgotten that, let me remind you. A lot of your friends are in bondage to the stuff that would attempt to swallow them whole. To gobble them up like a dragon. Verse 12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts and the oldest parts are many. They form one body. And get this. So it is with Christ. Doesn't say spoil it for the church that make this a metaphor don't matter for her intended. You're not like unto the body of Christ. You are the body of Christ. You understand something? Jan, you understand? No metaphor here intended. We have an eye right here. Look. I have an air right here. Okay, ma'am. A leg. What do you want to be? You want to be. Index finger on the body of Jesus. I've got a great big mouth here, you know. We've got all the body parts here represented. We were all baptized by one spirit and the one body where the Jews are Greek slave or free.
[00:02:14] And we were all given the one spirit to drink. Hey, if you won't like this door, rent a motel. It anyhow is the Scott Peck. Write the book. A different drummer. There's a story about halfway through that about a monastery and latter part of the Middle Ages at the height of the anti monastic movement. The same period from a little girl who had visited a 12 year old girl had the same period. There was a monastery in northern Spain. Maybe in northern Italy, I can't recall. All of their buildings have been reduced to one active building. And for monks and abbot all over 75 years of age. Just a matter of time and their history. And a coach or a wooden area next to the monastery. There is a cabin occupied by on occasion as a retreat for a rabbi. These monks and this abbot knew and intuitively when they when the rabbi was in residence. I don't know how this works, but. But maybe it is smoke from the cabin or something. I don't know. On one occasion, this abbot says to his monks, you know. We're just about history. I think this rabbi's got a word for us. I'm going to go talk to him. It goes on with the words. He knocks on the door, the rabbi comes to the door, the abbot says, Mr. Rabbi, I'm the abbot of the neighboring monastery here. Our buildings have been reduced to one. We're all over 75 years of age. It's just a matter of time and we're history. And I believe you have a word for us. Do you have a word for us? And the rabbi says, Sir, I'm sorry, I do not have a word for you. The synagogue is about to go down for the same reason.
[00:04:07] You see, the Inquisition would not only end to persecuting wayward Christians, but Jews and Muslims. Little girls. Wicked institution. It'll embarrass you. Kind of like some of the Crusades will embarrass you. Just thank God for Saint Francis of Assisi. You know, he went on one of the Crusades, I think it was the third one, and hung out with those Muslims and attempted to have a ministry amongst them. And they liked him. You didn't know that, did you? Anyway, they the rabbi said we're about where the synagogue is about to go down for the same reason. So he invited him in. They have tea and they commiserate for a couple of hours. After a couple of hours there, the abbot says, Sir, I've got to go back to the monastery. But I was sure you had a word for us. Are you sure you don't have a word for the rabbi? Said sir. I don't have a word for you except. Messiah is one of you. The Messiah is. I hope it goes back to the monster monks gather around. What do you say? What you say? Nothing. The synagogue is about to go down but the same rate. You mean you had said that he had nothing to say and you were so sure he had nothing to say except for this cryptic saying. The Messiah is one of us. And so they began to look at each other. Well, I wonder who it is. Yeah. I mean, I Eldridge here is pretty, pretty low key, but he always speaks the truth. Philip over there screws up a lot, but he's. He's always there when you need him. Maybe it's Philip. Maybe it's the ad, but everyone knows the ad is the man of God.
[00:05:49] Who knows? It might even be me. And guess what? They began to treat each other, to relate to each other differently. And began to relate to themselves differently. Are you hearing this? Even treating themselves with more respect. So much so that the people from the neighboring villages who would come out to have picnics on their grounds while their children ran through the empty buildings as children are prone to do, began to notice how these monks related to each other. They've been coming out for years. They weren't particularly impressed. But now they began to realize, Whoa, something's going on here. They are treating each other and themselves with greater respect. And they were so impressed. After a couple of years, a couple young men from the neighboring village came out and asked if they could join the order. And within five years, the order was completely renewed. What do you think of that? I like that story. All because of the cryptic saying, The Messiah is one of you, which of course, is not true. It. The Messiah is not one of you. The Messiah is. We are the body of Jesus Christ. That's why Allah, Carl Bart solves the election. Controversy. You can have your cake and eat it too. He said, Jesus is the elected man and is were baptized by the Holy Spirit and to his body, the Church. We become the elect. You better believe in election. It's in the Bible, for crying out loud. But it's Jesus who is the elected man. And if we're baptized, we repent of our sins and put our faith and trust in Jesus. We're baptized by his spirit and to his body, the church. So we become the elect. I love it. It's good. We work well together, don't we? Don't.
[00:07:58] Don't leave me. Don't leave me, Cathy. We work well together. Don't. The point I'm making is when I teach and preach this passage. I want to make two points. First point, the church is absolutely indispensable for your survival. Remember I told you about Leakey and his people are like they're not allowed in here. 1.2 1.5 million years ago. Four strains of humankind revolving simultaneously. This is the research the result of digging around the old dry lakebed southern part of Ethiopia. Just north east of you. If we thought that the strain survived to evolve into modern human chimeras, the macho strains, the ones that ran some of the strongest physically, they were the first to become extinct because they were loners and they got picked off. The only strain that survived to evolve into modern humankind was Homo sapiens, because Homo sapiens, though it was not the strongest physically, was the only strain to become community. They watched each other's backs. You get single out, you get picked off. I'm a you. You stick. You stick your head out the door of this church and you shout loudly enough. I promise you, I promise you this. Your voice will fall on the ears of people who are not going to survive because there's no one to watch their back. That's what church is all about. We're not into this for the pain, folks. We go to church because it's really important for somebody to know my name. We can't afford to let the bars. We're the only ones to sing that song. You better have someone to watch your backside. You get single out, you get picked up. That's what church is all about. You need to find a fellowship where somebody knows you by name and prays for you every day by name.
[00:09:49] Who's watching your back. You get singled out, you get picked off. The second point I make from this text and I'm about to read it to you, is you're absolutely indispensable. In order for the church to be the body that God has called her to be. The church is absolutely indispensable for your survival. You get single out, you get picked off. You are absolutely indispensable. On your good days, Kathy, with an eye on you, you hit about 10% of what you shoot at. On your good days. If you're the only one doing ministry, 90% of your needs aren't being met. How are you going to get all your needs met? Everybody needs to get in on the fun. Are you listening? I haven't come to increase your burden. I've come to increase your evasion. I'm not going to lay a trip on you. I mean, being used to God is the instrument of grace gives your life meaning a purpose. It means you get up in the morning with a sense of sparkle and anticipation. Most people are bored out of their freaking minds. They get up, they go to work, they come home, they watch TV, they go to bed, they get up, they go to work, they come home, they watch TV, they go to bed, they get up, they go to work. They come home and watch TV. They go to bed. There's got to be more life than that. 80% of the people in this country cannot stand doing what they do. Don't you know that? Why? They're bored. Now. I don't care if you work in a factory. On an assembly line screwing in number. Screw 234. That's all you do all day long. And you've done it for 30 years.
[00:11:47] You think you've turned in to screw number 234. And all of a sudden you have an encounter with Jesus. And you realize that the one next to you screwing in screw number 233. As a need of encouragement. And the once growing in numbers grew to 35. Really is in a bind and needs help. And so suddenly, because God calls upon your life and you're filled with the Holy Spirit, you realize the Spirit is at work right on this assembly line. I mean, preparing people for my ministry, suddenly I get out of bed in the morning with a sense of sparkle and anticipation. Whoa. This gives my life meaning and purpose. I can be used to God detecting eternal change in the hearts and lives of others. Imagine spending the rest of your life chasing dollars and climbing ladders. I have told all of my children, do not please do not do that. No one in my family's ever going to go hungry. I guarantee you I will feed you myself on my meager salary. You will not go hungry. Do not chase dollars and pay your bills. Pay your debts. Live responsibly. Give to the poor Ty. I don't care how little you make. That's a minimum tie of your income. God. What God won't. You'll never go hungry because of your tie. And if you think you have, I will feed you myself. I've told whole churches that I mean it. Imagine what it means. For the Holy Spirit. To fill me to the place where my life has meaning and purpose. I mean, that's why you're on this edge, Jim. You don't have to be ordained. I want to be an instrument of God. Do I do that best? As a lawyer. Ah, ah.
[00:14:09] Perhaps his God calling me to a different kind of ministry. God, you show me the way. That's why I said let God make the next move. You're in a good place right now. It's a good place to be. God delights in you. You hear that? Please, God delights in you. I'm not messing with you. I don't have anything to gain by telling you that. You're in a good place. This is a season and. And you're going to come out of this rejoicing. I mean, this is going to launch you into the rest of your life. If you continue in the law profession, it'll never be the same. And if God is least leading you into more full time Christian ministry, you'll never be the same. Whatever it is, it's going to be good. I wish I could live my life and used to this. It's going to be a blast. Thank you. Hallelujah. Rejoice. Okay. Are you in the mood for a little more? Okay. Ronnie, stop and take a body count here. Anybody out there dying? Now you are first point. The church is absolutely indispensable for your survival. You get single out, you get picked off. Second point, you're absolutely indispensable. But the church to be. The church that God has called her to be. Now the body is not made up of one part, but of many. At the foot should say, because I'm not a hand, I do not belong to the body. It would not, for that reason, cease to be a part of the body. Kathy with an eye looks at drew. Whoa. I don't have his gifts. I'm no longer part of the body of Christ. We're going to let this young woman get away with that. Absolutely not.
[00:15:54] I mean, if you fulfill some need in your life to hang limp on the body of Jesus, I reckon God will let you do that. But that does not make you any less a part of the body of Jesus. Once you bind to the body of Jesus, you're indispensable to it. I got along without you before I met you. Can't get along without you now. Now the great doesn't have exclamation points on it. So so when I want to emphasize something that says it all over again, listen to this next first. And if the ears should say, because I'm not an I do not belong to the body, it would not raise, for that reason, cease to be a part of the body. Drew looks at Kathy and says, Whoa, I don't have her gifts. I'm no longer part of the body of Christ. We're going to let him get away with that. Absolutely not. I mean, if you fulfill some need in your life, young man, to hang limp on the body of Jesus, God to let you do that. But that does not make you any less a part of the body of Jesus. Once you bind to the body of Jesus, you're indispensable to it. I got along without you before I met you. Can't get along without you now. Listen to this. If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? But in fact, God has arranged the parts and the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
[00:17:24] Everybody gets in on the fun. I pray to God you believe in the priesthood of all believers. Thank God for Martin Luther. He got that right. Now, I know he said the church is like Noah's Ark. If it wasn't for the storm on the outside, the stench on the inside, it make me jump overboard. He had his moments and he drank a lot of beer. God bless him. But I love the guy. But in fact, God has the reins, the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. Each of you has a sphere of influence where only you can minister most effectively. Everyone in the pew has a sphere of influence. And what is your responsibility as pastor or as leader? First of all, to help them understand that God loves them and then to help them remind them that they have a sphere of influence. Only they can minister most effectively. And then what do you do? You remind them again, because we have a thousand members outside community. Mostly we forget. You remind them that whatever gifts of the Holy Spirit, you better believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Listen to me carefully. The fruit of the spirit is the only unimpeachable marker of the spirit. Feel alive. If you ever see the gifts without the without the fruit, they're not the gifts of the Holy Spirit for someone else's gifts. But don't. And if you got to choose, some churches just have to choose between fruit and gift. You got to do that. Choose the fruit, for crying out loud. But you'll never be the church because the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given by God to when to equip each body part to minister effectively within its own sphere of influence.
[00:19:16] I have a sphere and whatever gifts are necessary to enable me to minister effectively a mass before God makes those available to me. You don't covet my guest because our spheres are different. Our gift, our gifts are going to be different. I'm not talking, fool. But I can talk for 50 years. If that's a threat to you, get over it. I'm not going to lay that trip on you. We have different spheres of influence. God has given me the gifts to enable me to minister effectively in my sphere of influence. By the way, just an aside, it occurred one or two of your rod if you busted out in tongues on the spot because you've been resisting resisting it long enough. Now the gifts, the gift of tongues is not for everybody. Some of you folks got no business speaking in tongues. Whatever gifts are necessary to enable you to minister effectively in your sphere of influence. You want to be open to all of those gifts. Don't tell the Spirit of God what gifts God needs to give you. Let God make that choice. And by the way, as our sphere shift, that's why we're going to spend all the next week talking about how to develop guidelines for keeping in touch, keeping in touch, mind you not getting in touch, but keeping in touch with our spheres of influence because our spheres change and we need it. Need to expect our mix of gifts to change. How many gifts are there? All are not mentioned in first Corinthians 12, this first first part of this chapter. What a wisdom, knowledge, discernment, faith, healing, working miracles, prophecy, tongues and interpreting tongues. Those nine. But those simply depict the range of the Spirit's gifts. There are four different lists of gifts in the Bible, first Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians four and first Peter four.
[00:21:07] The only one gift common to all four of those list. You know what it is? You'll never guess. I dare you. What gift is common to all those left? Prophecy. How did you know that? Dying cannot teach you anything. You've taught me a lot. Prophecy is the only gift common to all. When's the last time you heard a word? Prophecy in your church? Maybe in this church. Now, you don't abuse these gifts. Do you have any idea how many prophecies have been pronounced over me? If I believed half of them, I would have been dead 20 years ago. Last year, I had a woman come up to me and said, Do you believe in prophecy? What am I going to say? Well, of course I do. She said, Well, you don't want to hear that. I said, Whoa! Right, stop right there. I don't want to hear this. Keep it to yourself. I will not allow you to manipulate me. Of course, I believe in prophecy. It's a word from on high to encourage the people. The priest speaks to God on behalf of the people. The Prophet speaks to the people on behalf of God. Whatever gifts are, I guarantee whatever gifts are necessary to enable you and your people to manage effectively in their sphere of influence. They are available. Teach them about the gift of the Spirit. What is wrong with us? My denomination wants to choose between fruit and gifts and has chosen the fruit. We got whole, whole parts of the body that are important. And it's just a matter of time. We're going to be a dead set at the Spirit of God. Doesn't do something in a hurry. God help us. Okay. You're gonna love this next part.
[00:23:08] Oh, it's so good. You're gonna love this. The I can not say to the hand, I don't need you and the head can I say to the feet, I don't need you. On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable. Now you've been struggling with some sorry rascal and your church forever. Every church has a clergy killer. Trust me on that. Maybe not every church. I never met one. Probably that didn't have at least one clergy killer. And you pray for that person. You've given that person to God. How many times? Every church has somebody who just can't do anything right. They are an embarrassment to you. It's like Christian television. Sometimes you just want to shut up. Cause they're giving giving people out there. The wrong impression. Although, having said that, I've got to tell you a story. I've got a friend. Who's a lawyer on the hill. They say. I have no idea where I met him, but I got an email how he got my email address. I don't know. A big law firm on the Hill. His wife is now the vicar of the National Cathedral. She was the verger at St John's, which is across the street from the White House. Episcopal Church. This guy calls me up, this lawyer and this huge firm. He took me to a to one of those posh. Houses and the district where we're a club, you know, and had me speak to these lawyers anyway. He called me up and said, Tunnell, you just changed my opinion of a lifetime on capital punishment. I said, you got the wrong man. I've never spoken on Capital Park, Capital punishment. He said, I've got you on video. I said, Well, what did I say? He said, It was inside.
[00:25:19] You're talking about how precious life is. And you said you'd in the history of the Supreme Court. There's never been a Supreme Court justice that hadn't split their vote on abortion and and and capital punishment. And he said, I did the research. And you're right, it's changed now, by the way. It's different now, but I don't know how long ago he said, you're right. And I said, if life is precious on one hand, why wouldn't it be precious on the other? There's no justice in capital punishment. You've got enough money to get away with murder by knows that. And so I'm against capital while I'm against abortion, at least on demand. I'm not going to take the life of the mother, and you better not either. No mess will make folks grow up. Don't be knee jerk we can't afford. This is not an age for any anything. Knee jerk. Think about what you're saying. Think about what you're doing. Too much is at stake. God adores you. Hamid sacrificed his son before you were made. Loved you before you were made. Redeemed you before you were created. God is a good God. Adored God. Oh, he's a good God. Anyway, this lawyer, he had me up to Washington. He took me one of those clubs and had me speak to a hundred lawyers. I said, I want you to come speak on the catapult. I can't do that. I've already told you everything I know. I'll come talk about Jesus. So I gave my 15 minutes of Jesus. You know, lawyers. Teenager Doesn't matter. They all get it. But he was working on his third wife. This woman who I love her, love this one, but she was raised in the Bush Bush household.
[00:27:07] Which drives me crazy. And she was she was the one who who appointed all the ambassadors for the different countries. And and and and after the Bush first, this was the first Bush administration, the old Bush. She became a headhunter for these huge companies because she had that expertise, you know. And then she got called God in one of our meetings and is now an Episcopal priest in the National Cathedral. Can you believe? Anyway, she's she's working on his third wife. This woman, he's not married, hadn't had married yet. And he was an alcoholic. He comes home one night dead drunk, like 2:00 in the morning. You're going to love this story. Grabs the remote for the television, turns on the television, and it's own a Christian television. Somehow it got stuck. And he he's so drunk he cannot get the flipping thing off. Finally, he takes the remote, throws it against the wall, sits down on the floor, crosses his legs and watches this guy named evey hill. You never heard of every hill, An African-American from Los Angeles. And every hill leads them to Jesus. I mean, to tell you, say what you will about Christian television. God will use anything. I refuse to be critical of it. God help me if I. If I'm critical of anyone else's ministry. I really don't want to have that spirit. I call you some strange stuff to get folks say this guy not only got saved, he got sober, he married this woman. And I mean to tell you, he did a day man at at Wesley and Washington, D.C.. His wife went to seminary and is now an Episcopal priest and is the vicar at Washington Cathedral. Go figure. Why am I telling you that? Oh.
[00:29:00] Television. Christian Television. Don't knock it. You never know what God will use. Just rejoice. It might not be your ministry. It might turn you off. But that's okay. God will use most anything. If there's a little bit of good in you. I've had occasional word with God. I get angry with God sometimes. I got mad at God two weeks ago because God didn't heal my wife and she was going to have to come home from China. When I first got, I told God, I don't I don't like you very much right now. I'm mad at you. And all simplicity. I know you're healing. God. I prayed, believing. I know you can do it. You know, like the man who said to James, I get a lot of mileage out of this. If you want to, you can heal me. And Jesus says, What? What? What do you mean? If I want to, of course I won't do. I like that. I don't pray if it's God's will. I assume it's God's will. I just don't. I just don't understand healing. Sometimes God heals the way I think that all too rarely. And most time God heals just the way God wants to. Humans say. But I know God still a healing God. And I'm not telling God, but I'm doing what God tells me to do to pray for the sick anointing with all I carry, all with me everywhere I go. Never without it, never know. I know that people on airplanes. Alan, I want you if you squeak. Anyway. Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker. Let me tell you a story that tell you a story that I tell you about and I'm sure I didn't about the Special Olympics.
[00:30:47] There's there's a there's a guy named Ed Beck. He's an evangelist in my denomination who is an all-American basketball player at the University of Kentucky in the late fifties for Adolph Rupp Rupp Arena. And we were living in Colorado Springs. He was serving one church and was serving another. He's writing a book on community. And Colorado Springs is the training grounds for the Summer Olympics. So it goes out to the training grounds to watch the athletes looking for an illustration on community. Guess what he found? Nothing. These folks are so competitive, they're canceling each other out. Two months later, the Special Olympics. Do you understand? Special Olympics. It's Olympics for people who are who are physically challenged. You understand? I got this from the horse's mouth, so to speak. The guy who saw this tells me this at breakfast. Within days of it had happened, he said, You won't believe what I saw. He describes a 100 yard dash. Now, if you've read this anywhere else, they got it from me. Trust me. Ah, from Ed Buck back. I've seen some of my stories surfaced sometimes and people say, Well, you used so-and-so story. I said, Child, that is my story. Story. I can prove it. Leighton Ford preaches at 25th Man Sermon, the 25th May one, 225. We haven't talked about that yet. I led a man to Jesus in prison. I went to polish him up the next day. He makes me at the bars and said, Tuttle. I laid awake all last night thinking, and suddenly it occurred to me, that takes an average of 25 different witnesses before any real encounter with God takes place. Just because you were number 25, you think you did it all and you stink. I started to cry because he had me.
[00:32:34] Well, I'm going to talk about that in a moment. I'm getting ahead of myself. That's that. We fear rejection inherent to ministry 24 times more rejection and affirmation latent for preachers. That sermon, including the illustrations. I never mentioned my name, but I guarantee you got it for me. And I can I can tell you the guy who Le Mans, Lewis, Albert Dobry, and when he got out of jail, he'd spent 28 out of 44 years, years in prison. When he got saved, he got out of jail and a Baptist preacher. And then he died, went to heaven. Anyway, he describes 100 yard dash. The kids are lined up. You went to this. The gun goes off. So I'm pretty quick out ahead of the pack, fellow. I'm just a little faster than a walk. 50 yards down the track. You can purchase 50 yards down the track. A little girl stumbles and falls and starts to cry. One of the trailers. Gets there. Saved a little girl. Get down on her knees in the dirt. Brushes off her shirt and kisses it, saying, Are you all right? Are you all right? And helps her to her feet. Now they're going to restart this race in the middle of the track, right 50 yards down to practice and restart it. They're all holding hands, looking up. Are you ready? Are you ready? Yeah, we're ready. The gun goes off. They finish the race. They all forget to hold hands, not hold hands. They all hope and pray. Hold it there and no one loses. Don't you love this story? And everyone wins. I love that story. You know what the moral story is? I've never had anyone come close. What's the moral of that story? Someone had to fall.
[00:34:24] It hit me like a ton of bricks in the middle of the night. No one falls. That never happens. They say is Christian Army is the only army in the world that slays its own wounded. I've been in two churches of late that have had services of reconciliation. One of them. One of the staff got in trouble. Some kind of, uh, sexual kind of thing. I forgotten what it was. Quite frankly. I hate it when that happens. Sometimes the best, the most gifted, and the first of all. That's why I don't hog any women under 90. Both these churches rather than trashing these. Just firing them. Getting rid of them. They gave him leave. After they were in therapy. And counseling and reconciliation have taken place. They rehired them at a service of reconciliation where the person who had been put on leave confesses the sin. And allows the reconciliation to take place. And I'm telling you, both those churches are the stronger for it. No one falls. That never happens. You got to get some. Usually the weaker one comes along, gets done, the dirt takes off. Just takes over. Somebody in your church, for crying out loud, take over. Gather around that person as far. Bring them to the place of repentance and and a renewal of faith. Give them some time off. Put him on leave. Let him get some therapy. Let them get the help. Minister to them. We're the only one army in the world, Ashleigh, that's on wounded. No one follows. That never happens. Here's a chance to shine. Then they all have to take hands. They all have to forget not to hold hands. So they all finish the race together. In that. Good. And the parts that we think are less honorable, we treat with special honor.
[00:36:54] And the parts that are presentable are treated with special modesty. While our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and given greater honor to the parts that lacked it so that there should be no division in the body. But that it's part should have equal concern for each other. Are you letting that sink in? Don't you love the word of God? If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored. Every part rejoices with it. Is it easier to suffer with those who suffer or rejoice with those who rejoice? Be careful. We have envy in the church. Sometimes it's easier to suffer with those who suffer than to rejoice with those who rejoice. You don't think that's true? I just. I just had a student. Do a dissertation a demand dissertation. On stress. Amongst clergy people. And the part of the state where I live. Western part of North Carolina. Trying to get pastors together. And community just for the purpose of talking about stress. You know what the the biggest block was? They were afraid that they would share something that might come back to haunt them. And they were jealous. They're always looking to the next appointment. Imagine that. What I saw yesterday. If you're really blessed, the bishop will appoint you or God will appoint you to a little place where no one else wants to go. That's your best opportunity for greatness. The first are going to be LAUGHTER. Trust me on that. That's the first principle of Christianity. Only way to gain your life. Give it up. Oh, let it be great to be a servant. Are you preaching that? Are you teaching that? Her days in weeks.
[00:39:22] I don't want to be last. Get your five year old children and grandchildren or whatever to pray for me. I need help. I want to be that kind of Christian. I want to be the kind of Christian that wants to be last. I want to be the kind of Christian that rejoices just as much when God closes doors as when God opens doors. Ask God to sanctify me. I pray every day, God, you and I pray every day. God sweeten me up. I got an award once. You know what it was. Intimidator of the Year. Hurt my feelings. Sweet as I am. So this is my wife, by the way. Talk about sweet, intimidated of the here. It was a joke, but. Whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you doing? What are you doing? As sweet as I am. I want God. Sway me. Wake me up. Now you are the body of Christ. Each each one of you is a part of it. And then the church God is appointed, first of all, apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles. Those having gifts appealing. I love the get. I love hospitals. You won't see me in a hospital. I got to tell you, I was serving a church in Colorado Springs. And I had an orientation class for four weeks. First week. What's it mean to be a Christian? Second week? The history of the church. 2000 years of church history. So you can see how the church where we're sitting fits into the overall scheme of what God has been doing on planet Earth for the last 2000 years. I think it's important to have an understanding of that kind of continuity, not just because I'm a historian, but I think I think it's important to see the unbroken thread of the work of the spirit through the years, through the centuries.
[00:41:13] And then secondly, what the what what the church can do for you are various ministries and then what you can do for the church, how your gifts can fit into the work of the church of this church takes in 300 members every month or so, two or three months. This church took in 60 members a month and they had to come through my orientation class. Half the people there didn't want to be there. I mean, their wives made them come. I had a man sit over in one corner of this orientation class and scowl at me for four weeks. POUTED. He did not want to be there clearly the last Wednesday before they are to join the church. If they can repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus will welcome them. I don't care who you are. The knock on my door at Windsor on Wednesday. Before Sunday, I open the door and this guy standing there is live and he said, We got to talk. I said, Well, come into my office. He said, I got an old Jesus. I said, Son, you came to the right place. I closed the door, locked it and put a chair in front of it. I said, You're not. Maybe that's why I'm Intimidator. I said, I sat and thought about that. I said, You're not getting out. Do we pray through? I led that man to Jesus. He was a master sergeant in the Air Force. He took shorthand twice as fast as I could. Talk. And then transcribed in shorthand. He helped me with my first book. He was dying of leukemia. The last two years of his life. He gave me 40 hours a week, mowed my lawns, babysat my children and picked me up at the airport and took and brought me home or took me there.
[00:43:01] He was my servant for two years. He's lying in the hospital dying. I'm standing there pleading with God. He's in pain. He's foaming at the mouth. I'm pleading with God to spare him and take away the pain and the middle of my prayer, the tap on my shoulder. I turn around the doctor standing there and said, Would you mind stepping out? Dad, I need to talk to my patient, need to see my patient. I said. Yeah, I wouldn't mind. Matter of fact, I want you to step outside until I finish my prayer. I prayed around the world. I made a sin. After I finish that prayer, I want to put my finger on that doctor and said, Sir, I want you to know I would never treat you with such disrespect. Trust me, I would never do that to you. What are you thinking? Your name is not on this door. My best friend's name's on this door. And I want you to know my ministry is just as important to this man as yours. He said, while I'm busy, I know you don't want to go there. You don't want to compare calendars, you want to compare calendars, pull it out, I'll show you busy. I'm in my office between five and six every morning. You love my work ethic. Don't you compare calendars? He never did that again, by the way. So he told me. Now, I'm not saying I'm more important to anybody else. I'm just saying I believe that God has called us to an important ministry. And don't you take it lightly. And don't you let anyone else take it lightly. I don't have a messianic complex. I took the cure for that. I've taken it several times. I hope I don't take myself too seriously, but I'm dead serious about God.
[00:44:49] And I believe I believe God wants to use this little piece of clay as an instrument of grace for effecting change in the hearts and lives of others. That's what ministry is all about. That's why it's exciting. That's why you're blessed to be called a God, to be helping others get in touch with their gifts from ministry so they can get in on the fun. There's nothing like it, and there's nothing worse to have, nothing to live for. And that's where most of the people out there are. We've lost our sensitivity to fire and smoke. And I'm not just talking about hellfire. God help us. Listen to this. You're probably thinking, I'll put these on a string, aren't you? Now you are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it. Are all apostles. What? Of course not. Are all profits? Well, of course not. It's the gifts of the spirit are available to everyone. But only we only want those gifts that will enable us to minister effectively in our sphere of influence. Don't. Don't insist someone else. How have your gift has your gift? Why would you do that? I had Pentecostal sniffing around me when I first got converted. And asking me little questions do you believe in? INERRANCY of Scripture. Verbal Plenary inspiration. I don't know what the hell they were asking me. I went to Wheaton College. I could not name the four Gospels and graduate school. You had to go had to have 20 hours of Bible to get in. I did not have one. Never taken a religion course at Duke. You could take a religion course or philosophy course I took since I. My father was a minister. Thank you very much. I knew everything I needed to know about religion.
[00:46:36] So I took the philosophy course. I learned all about Plato and enjoyed it. And then I get converted. My wife says, My fiance says she'll marry me if I go to Wheaton College. My dad said, Don't do it. They're a fundamentalist. I didn't know what a fundamentalist was. But a man named Mercy Penny, who was who's president of the National Association for Evangelicals, a Boston MA and a Harvard Ph.D.. He hadn't met a non evangelical in 30 years. And I was the first. I was his first. He took a sack lunch with me five days a week for nine months. The dean of the Graduate School at Wheaton Graduate School of Theology. Everybody was afraid. I didn't know enough to be afraid of him. He was sitting there with a sack lunch by himself. I'd just snuggle in next to him. I prayed for him till he. Till the day he died. I prayed for his son. And wife. But hey, disciple may change my life. He asked me, You're a methodist. What do you know about holiness? I had never heard of the war. I never heard the word. Going to church. Obama had never heard the word holiness. No idea why I told you that. God forgive me. There was a reason. But if it's important, it'll come back to me. Are all prophets are all teachers. Do all work miracles? Of course not. Do all have gifts of healing. Do all speak in tongues. Do all interpret. Eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the more excellent way. If I speak in tongues of men and have angels and but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. If I have a gift to prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing.
[00:48:42] If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing. Are you listening? Love is patient and love is kind. It does not kind. I knew I made it my marriage. Well, my wife and I are driving from North Carolina to Florida listening to a book on tape. Jan Karen, you know, one of the Medford, Medford, Medford gigs, you know, you ever read those books and now looking for one word to describe the other. I said dying. What one word would you use to describe me? You'll never believe what she said. She said kind. I meant to tell you. I've cried for 50 miles and I've been busting my rear end ever since trying to live up to it. Boy. Love is kind. Patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs o that that was in the Koran. Oh! Help! I want that to be in the Koran. You have that law that says. You have to exact revenge in perpetuity. It never goes away. You can never forgive. Keeps no score of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. I told you when I spent a summer with Stanley Jones once in 1969, I told him I do his ashrams. I work with his youth and his ashram for free. If he would give me 30 minutes alone a day that I tell you that first day I'm going to have 30 minutes for Brother Stanley. He said, Bob, he opens the hope in Bible verse.
[00:50:46] First Corinthians 13 is that Bob Paul dipped his pen in the blood of his broken heart and set pain. The music. I think, Samson. You don't know what that means. Paul dipped his pen and the blood of his broken heart and set pain to music. You understand? Love never fails. Where there are promises that they will cease and where their tongues they will be stilled. Where there is knowledge. I know what I was saying. I had Pentecostals sniffing me out, ask me about inerrancy of Scripture. I swear I breath. What brought Kenny up and asked, Have you received the baptism with the evidence of tongues? You have no idea how many people time times people ask me that. We charismatic, used to sniff each, sniff each other out like old dogs. I'm telling you, it's downright disgraceful. See, I believe you're baptized with the Holy Spirit normally when you're converted. I don't know about you. When I got saved that night on the on that fraternity house just a hundred yards from the Duke Chapel. I wasn't holding like, a back. I wasn't Hall Feinberg. I said, God. Even if you do not exist. From this one moment on, I'm going to live my life like you do. I want my life to count for something. Most of my friends are bored out of their out of their out of their laughter. And your brothers are bored. Only thing they have left. Left look forward to is if drinking on a weekend. I didn't have an English drink and I just wasn't particularly interested. I remember I'm hanging out with my fraternity brothers now. I remember when I'd go in on a Saturday night. Get this All my fury drunk, right? They see me coming in.
[00:52:38] I remember a couple of times they would. They would. What they learned at the chapter. Half of the common room with a fraternity house was long, and they lined up. 20. At least 20. Up on their knees and dead. Oh, Reverend Tuttle, don't condemn us. We're all drunk. And I laughed. I didn't, you know. And after I got say, they never did that again. And I ask, finally asked one of my fraternity. But why didn't you do that anymore? He said, Colonel, don't you realize after you got saved you're wearing your Christianity here? Not right here. Think about it. Love never fails. With their promises, they will cease where there is, knowledge will pass away. We know one part and we prop side part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child. I thought like a child, a reason like a child. And when I became a man or an adult, I put put childish ways behind me. Now we see. But a poor reflection, as in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face. Now. I know. And by the way, in Corinth. Have you been to court? I missed a great place. You'll love. And got to go to the Acropolis overlooking court. It is out of this world, way high up over the city. You know what they made in Corinth? They made mirrors. Which was just polished brass. They didn't have glass but they had I mean, I. Glass but they didn't make mirrors like I made them out of polished breath. And there was a poor reflection. They made mirrors and quite. You didn't know that, did you? A poor reflection. As in a mirror. And then we shall see face to face.
[00:54:34] Now, I know in part. Then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. This shape. What I do is about halfway through that message, I'm giving you the hour and a half version of that 20 minute sermon. You understand? I stop. And this card is in the in the bullet. And I just told them how each of them has a sphere of influence where only they can minister most effectively, and the Spirit of God has more invested in their ministry than they do. And the Spirit of God is at work on every street, in every town, preparing people for their ministry. All you have to show up and pay attention. And I have had them look at this card and read it. And then think about it. And then if they are willing to accept this challenge, Do you realize if every one of the rooms accept this, this little challenge, your double your attendance in one year. Only thing it says are, whoever you are, promise to pray every day between now and August 31st that the Spirit of God will reveal to me one or two persons of my sphere of influence that are present in that church. At that point, I usually look out and say, you know, and wouldn't it be wonderful if one of those persons was a person of color? This church could use some color. I know you're fully integrated in this church. But most of our churches could use a bit more color, folks. A lot more color. So that I can pray every day for them. The rest of the year I ask them to put a little notice somewhere in their home, discreetly, to remind them to pray for this person every day.
[00:56:15] And then cultivate them as the Spirit of God provides opportunity for involvement in this community of faith. You do that. You take this seriously. People say, Well, I don't know any people like that. You can't say that now because you hadn't prayed yet. You pray, the Spirit of God will reveal one or two persons in your sphere of influence every day between now and the last of August. I promise you the Spirit of God will reveal one or two persons in your sphere of influence that are presently not churched so that you can pray for them every day. You pray for them every day. You will not believe how the Spirit of God will bring them across your path. You will not have to go one step out of the way like Jesus never went out of his way to help anybody. Why? He didn't have time. He was tuned in. If you're tuned in, all you have to do is pay attention and minister to those right at your feet. This is not rocket science, folks. The Cambridge Dictionary article is a senior center. It just came out and in September I wrote the article on evangelism. I concluded that article with a sentence that I was sure would not make the cut. It made the cut. I just put it in there just so you can see it. You know what? You know what the last sentence is? 90% of evangelism showing up, paying attention. The Spirit of God has more invested in your ministry than you do. The Holy Spirit is already at work. It may not be 90%. I may be the majority of it. I can't remember exactly. But anyway, let's pray. Then we'll have a break. Lord, we're grateful.
[00:57:59] We rejoice in your goodness. We rejoice. As we take a moment to stop and to focus our full attention upon you and to say thank you. Thank you, Mark. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You are good God. We adore you. Absolutely adore you. I know I get mad at you, but you wink at ignorance when. When our hearts are right. And God, I think you winked. You winked at a lot of my ignorance, a lot of my stupidity. Sweeten me up. Sweeten all of us up. Buy your spirit, speak your own heart, and remind us in the very depths of our being in this moment that you love us. And that our lives are more important to you than they are to us. Our ministry is more important to you than it is to us. And that your spirit is already at work in our spheres of influence, preparing people for our ministry. All we have to show up and pay attention. Help us to give that vision to our people. So they become alive so they don't have to screw and never screw through. 34 and that be all there is to life. We're grateful for what you've done for us. And Jesus Christ. We believe he is your son with all of our hearts which take our lives on it. I know that doesn't make us right in the rest of the world wrong. But, you know, we believe that because you've spoken that word to our hearts and have written it in a book. Hallelujah. Thank you, Lord. Now we pray that you will continue to be with us the rest of this day. Give us that special anointing that we can learn something that will better prepare us for life and ministry and then give us travel mercies as we go home.
[01:00:05] And then linger with us in the weeks between now and our next meeting. In Jesus name, Amen. Rob, would you do me a favor? You know what I would love to do this evening before we leave around 2:00 is to have served the Eucharist. Are you open to that? I mean, there's nothing like the Eucharist. I am a high church, charismatic. I think. We ought to serve the Eucharist every service of worship. If you serve the Eucharist every service of worship, you'll never have to give an invitation. That is the quintessential invitation. All the necessary parts are there and contain. That's why I want you to divide your channel. Don't do it the first year, for crying out loud. But I hate the old center pulpit. Divide the chance you have. You have the lectern, which represents the written word. You have the pulpit, which represents the spoken word. There's a there's a pulpit. And in Brentwood, Tennessee. 15 feet high that 15 by 15. How many square feet is that? Can you imagine a pulpit that big? What's that saying to the congregation? Little old little old lectern has a little eagle on it. Like a choir stand music stand. Then it got that huge pulpit, and then you can't even see the table. Now what I want is I want a lectern, I want a pulpit. And I but I want the focus of worship to be the table and at the tables against the wall. Pull it away from the wall. It's not an altar. We don't have altars in the Christian church. They have sacrificed animals in the synagogues in 78. What are you thinking? Altar? Call my foot. That's been done once for all. It's a communion rail. We have an invitation to Christian discipleship.
[01:02:07] Now here my theology is shown. But get over it. It's important. Call people to give their hearts and lives to Jesus so they can be filled with a Holy Spirit and be launched into ministry and die and go to heaven. But the focus of the worship not on the pulpit, is not on the lectern, not on the written word, not on the spoken word, but on the Incarnate Word. Put a cross on that table and put it away from the wall so it looks like a table and walk around it every once in a while and serve the communion from behind the table. The Romans got that right. Now the Orthodox God bless the Point party has put it back behind the screen and only the priest in a high Orthodox church. Only the priest gets the sacrament. We don't get a nibble. What's up with that? I'm trying not to be critical of that, and I'm sure that does some people good. Like, here's the little icons, God bless them, known at the time or to myself, quite frankly. I have my favorite icons. Barbara, you go to Cyprus, you'll end up kissing in Cyprus icons. There's a lot of love and devotion in that kind of worship. But I want the sacrament. They don't let me sniff it. I want you to consecrate the elements, and then I want you to give it to the people. I don't care if the little children. I don't care if they're just up there. Mom and dad don't have a clue what's going on. Let them have let him have it. Get them used to the bread and the wine. I don't have the body and blood of Jesus. Grow up, folks. I'm not I'm not a transubstantiation issue.
[01:03:54] I'm not even a concept, Nancy. But you can well believe. I believe in the real presence of Jesus. And a miracle takes place in the bread and the wine. The best opportunity you ever had to repent of your sins and put your faith and trust in Jesus and be baptized afresh. The Eucharist is a slam dunk for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If you have any question in your mind about being baptized with the Holy Spirit, you show up this afternoon. I stake my life on it. It's a slam dunk. You take it seriously. You'll be baptized, served one or two of your right if you start talking in tongues. I'd sit and just laugh. And laugh and laugh. Hallelujah. Most of you shouldn't do that. We're going to end this weekend with a bang. Yes. What? Oh, I don't think it is. Have you read all the dog marks? I mean, he's only a few pages for. No, no, it's all over the place. It's not just. It's just. I'm not. It may not be under title, but it's a baptism of the Holy Spirits all over the place. He said the miracle of the incarnation begins of the empty womb and ends with the empty tomb. You need to read the footnotes. You haven't read the footnote. I just gave away my cable $100,000 of the books last year. To libraries in India. But I, uh. But I gave my part to my sister's petition on the Florida campus, signed by Jeb Romney, who translated part. I used to walk on the sand, hike in the sand and gave it together. Okay, let's have a little break. Have a cup of coffee. And come back. It's going to get good. Better get going. I'll get better. Okay.