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Posts Tagged ‘Evangalism’

In my 22 years of being a Born Again Christ Follower, I have struggled with the fact that there have not been a whole lot of people that I have led to Christ.  This was something I worked out years ago thankfully but then I lost sight of what I had learned.  In reading David Platt’s book “Radical” with a couple guys from my church, the book has helped me to see that again in clarity and I wanted to share with you some of the insights I have gleaned in this area of life.  I will use Romans 1:16,17 as a template of sorts.

I am not Ashamed

There is a war going on within our reality between spiritual forces.  Satan knows his time is coming to a close so he is doing everything in his power to a) keep those who are dead in sin from seeing the light of the gospel, and b) turn those who are children of God away from the light of the gospel.  As such, to those who are in the former category, the gospel is offensive and debilitating.  It is painful and it is blinding.  It is one of the big three that one is not to discuss in polite conversation (the three being politics, religion, and money).  But this can not be the case.  The gospel is meant to be spoken aloud, to those dead in sin, and those walking away from God.  Christ is said to be offensive and a stumbling block.  Therefore, we who live in such a world that demands comfort and instant gratification must understand that we cannot be ashamed of the gospel.  Yes, it will cause trouble.  But this is the norm, not the exception.  Do not be ashamed.

The Gospel

What is the gospel?  This is a tricky issue in today’s American culture.  There are different variations that different people say you must present differently. This is grounds for another blog post to look at in more depth the gospel.  But in short, the gospel is that I, as a human being, am born in sin, dead to sin, and destined for hell apart from God.  I am so dead in my sin that I am not even able to come to God on my own and I reject God to the detriment of my life, physical and spiritual.  But behold! Christ has come to earth to live, die, and be resurrected so that there is a hope that we may be made alive in Him.  We who once were dead in sin now have a way to come to God and be made new, to be born again and to escape the wrath of God.  This is, in short, the Gospel.

The Power of God

This gospel is not an initiative of man.  This is done through the power of God.  This is who we rely on in the gospel.  The salvation God offers us is a free gift, not just something earned.  This is something me must keep at the forefront of our lives, in witnessing and living.  The gospel needs the power of God.

For Salvation to the Jew and Greek

The gospel is not a respecter of nationality, blood, heritage, or culture.  It transcends all of this and is applicable for all.

Revelation

Without the revealed gospel, we would have no way to understand who God is beyond His eternal power and divine nature.  This understanding cannot save.  This can only point us in the right direction.  Unfortunately, we suppress this in our sin dead ways.  We take what God has created and in turn worshiped that.  One of my favorite verses is in Isaiah 44:18-20 where God describes a man who takes a piece of wood, used part of it to make fire, used more of it to make bread, and used the rest to make an idol.  We cannot know God apart from what God has revealed to us.

This is important in my struggle because I used to take the responsibility for persuasion completely on my shoulders in witnessing.  I used to study evolution, Catholicism, carbon 14 dating, biology, history, literary theory, textual criticism, hermeneutics, theology, apologetics, philosophy, and anything else that I thought would help persuade people that God is calling for us to cry out to Him.  And when a finely crafted argument (or so I thought) would fail to bring those to whom I witnessed to Christ, I would become so discouraged that I finally stopped telling people about Christ for a good amount of time.

It is not my job to bring people to Christ.  Christ brings people to Christ.  It is my job to tell the people about the gospel.  Paul did not persuade Agrippa.  But Paul preached to him.  That was his job, not to persuade, but to preach.  And honestly, this is such a blessing, to have Paul’s testimony, for if he couldn’t persuade someone, with all of his learning and skills and authority, then I am comforted.

Take heart.  Keep on preaching the gospel in love and humility, praising God when He allows you to see someone call on the name of His Son Jesus, but not growing discouraged if something visible does not occur.  I Corinthians 3:7 “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”

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Praying HandsEvery Tuesday night for around 28 weeks out of the year, my church does evangelism-in the form of door to door, predetermined visits to those who ask, and visits to church members for purposes of ministry and outreach.  Last night, me and two other members from my church, IBC Howell NJ, visited someone (nameless for the purpose of privacy) who had been attending our church recently.  We sat down with her and the gentleman leading the team started to ask her where she was in relation to God.  She said she was searching and had seen some change in her behavior as she started attending our church.  Then our team leader started to share the gospel with her.  He showed her the verses that laid out what salvation was, why we need it, and how we can accept it.  Me and the other member listened and prayed for both of them, his words and her response.

She accepted Christ that night!

I was ecstatic.  I had heard the gospel preached many times, given it myself, and had to date seen only two people come to Christ outside of large gatherings.  I am not an experiential person.  People who feel Jesus in the room have probably had too much sugar.  But last night, I really did feel as if Christ was in that room.  I confess I teared up, though I was only listening and praying in the background.  But it was so amazing.  I have a new sister in Christ now!!

Peace.

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     One.  There is a free concert tomorrow put on by Tenth Avenue North, one of the few good christian bands out there in Ocean Grove.  free concert.  To someone with a newly acquired car payment, this is amazing.  how many times will this happen when a good christian band plays for free?  Never really.  This is New Jersey, land of a bar on every corner and a club on every boardwalk.  Why am I not jumping up and down for joy?  Because, several weeks back, I signed a paper for an evangelistic group at church saying that every Tuesday I would be faithful and committed to being there for a couple of hours.  Thus, I get to watch people go to the concert and not go myself.  In all honesty, I’ll get over it.  There are more important things in life and really, I’m sure there might be someone God will put in my path tomorrow that needs to hear the Gospel that would never get to hear it if I was moshing to Tenth Avenue North.

     Two.  I have just finished a book b Josh Harris called Dug Down Deep.  I believe I’ve mentioned it before.  It has been such an encouragement because I have felt that for too long faith in america has been shifting towards an experiential element per say than a truth based one.  “But it feels right”.  Yes.  But one also has to have firm doctrine to back up one’s beliefs.  And Josh does this simply but eloquently, with several experiences to help him along, persuading me that experience is definitly part of life.  Sometimes I’m in my head too much to realize this.

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