SBTS Chapel live blog: Compelled to share – Tim Beougher

Communications Staff — February 24, 2009

Speaker: Tim Beougher, associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth

Text: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Beougher recounted a story of a negative experience with salesman. After the encounter, Beougher asked his wife at dinner if she had ever encountered such a rude person. She looked him and lovingly and respectively said, ‘I know of an excellent evangelism professor (Beougher) who once said: ‘Never expect a lost person to act saved.’’

Beougher recounted other instances of observing people, analyzing them and criticizing them internally, instead of seeing people and having compassion on them, as Jesus did on the lost multitudes he encountered (Matt 9:23).

Beougher told these stories that he is no expert on the topic of evangelism.

As those compelled by God, we must commit to share the Gospel

Paul notes that his sincerity is not marked by the fact that he shares the Gospel. He was compelled to do this, wanted to do this. Paul says his sincerity is marked by him not receiving financial support for his work in sharing the Gospel (1 Cor 9:16-18).

Paul said ‘Woe is me if I do not share the Gospel.’

When do we use the expression, ‘Woe is me.’ ‘Woe is me, I didn’t get my Starbucks coffee because of traffic.’ ‘Woe is me…’

As those compelled by God, we share the Gospel with all kinds of persons

Paul shared the Gospel with several different groups of people:

  • Jews
  • Gentiles
  • The weak in conscience (Those who are weak in conscience from 1 Corinthians 8)
  • All people
  • Beougher said it is that last group that God has been convicting him about. The text says Paul became all things to all people. Paul did not compromise his message to reach people with the Gospel, but he did adapt according to his context. Paul did not compromise his morals, but he was flexible in his methods.

    How do we become all things to all people? To a rude, condescending salesman who acts lost because he is lost, I will not get frustrated and walk away mad because he offends me.

    In America, we are taught that we have rights, that we have freedom. In chapter 8, Paul teaches that Christian freedom has limits. He teaches that our freedom is limited by love for those who are weak in conscience, love for other believers. In chapter 9, Paul teaches that our liberty is limited for the sake of the Gospel, limited by love for the lost.

    Christ is Lord of every single right that believers have. Our right to live a life of comfort. Our right to choose how we use our own resources. Our right to not be bothered, especially by bothersome people. Our right to use our time how we want to use it. And yes, our right to get mad at those who are rude.

    ’Instead of giving up our rights for the sake of the Gospel, we often give up sharing the Gospel for the sake of our rights.’

    As those compelled by God, we share the Gospel with a view toward response

    Paul said he became all things to all people that by all means he might save some. Paul realized that God usually works out His sovereignty through secondary means. We are God’s method of evangelism. He works through us to spread the message of the Gospel.

    As those compelled by God, we share the Gospel as the driving passion of our life

    Why did Paul write that he does all things for the sake of the Gospel instead of for the glory of God? We should do all things for the glory of God. But we have to ask, ‘How is God glorified?’

    Merely saying that we do everything for the glory of God is far easier than actually sharing the Gospel with someone for the glory of God. Saying that you live for the glory of God is far easier than giving up your rights for the sake of the Gospel for the glory of God.

    When Paul says he does all things for the sake of the Gospel, he is not contradicting living for the glory of God. He is explaining how he lives for the glory of God.

    Beougher eventually went back to the salesman who had been rude to him, was able to share the Gospel with him and prayed for him to repent and believe in Christ at the end of his message.

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