Month: November 2016

Evangelism

Good

Matthew 28:19a “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,…

A key responsibility for Christians is to evangelize the world. Unfortunately, our willingness to evangelize is limited primarily to group outreach or church programs instead of individual or relational contact. It seems probable that many Christians are somewhat fearful of expressing their faith. Either the opposition to Christianity comes across very aggressively or Christians are unprepared to present that which we say has changed our life.

In reading Matthew 28:19, the responsibility of sharing our faith is a command for believers. In fact, the goal is to not just to make converts, but “disciples of all the nations”. To be a disciple means to not only be converted, but to also attach oneself to a teacher and follow his/her conduct and way of life—this requires much more than telling your testimony to someone and dropping off a church track to someone. This process must become a continuing growth expression that helps one become a contributing member of the body of Christ and the local church.

At best, people are converted and then left alone to fend for themselves. This creates a challenge of retention for the local church and a lack of growth for the convert. When we make a person a disciple, we are teaching them to be disciplined to patterns of Christian faith.

The other problem many Christians have is the inability to present the “good news” of Jesus Christ. The responsibility to evangelize means to present the good news of Jesus Christ, or to present the core message of the Christian faith. The goal is to lead them to a growing and life changing relationship with Jesus Christ; tracks and testimonies do not effectively share the person of Jesus Christ. When I want to introduce you to a good friend, I will not hand you their biographical sketch. I will tell you about them personally highlighting their strengths and the advantages a friendship with them offers.

When we offer our testimony as a form of evangelism, we are putting the emphasis on us and not Jesus Christ. When you present your experience to people it tends to give the listener a sense of responsibility of recreating the same experience to find the same result.

Early on in my Christian walk, evangelism was telling people about hell. When someone is being recruited to a college or organization, the last thing you would expect to hear is the bad side of an organization or college. We would expect their strengths to be presented, the good news of the company or organization.


Today it’s time for the Church to re-energize its primary mission and get back to the heart of evangelism. At a time when the world is in confusion and discord, Jesus is the answer!

Acts 8:12
But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. (NASB)


Unity

Romans 15:5-6
5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind
with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB)



It is concerning to note that today as we watch confusion and disorientation rise in our cities, nation and world, that the church presents itself in a manner just as disoriented and confused. In many cases the church has taken on the confusion that the world has impressed upon it. The present elections are a clear example of the divisiveness that has infected the church. Political candidate, political party, and the different views on issues that magnify themselves in this culture are dividing Christians. We are taking sides against ourselves within the world’s system.


In addition, the Church is further divided by its own subcultures. Within the community of the Church we are divided by race (Black Church and White Church) — Sunday morning is still the most segregated time of the week. The commitment to social organizations (Masonic and Fraternal affiliations), outshines our fellowship as Christians. We wear our colors and symbols to distinguish ourselves from other believers. Many Christians flaunt their associations with these organizations more than they do the church. I have sat in seminary and watched preachers debate the merits of their organization more than they do the Kingdom of God. We shout out our Denominations and churches (Southern Baptist and Methodist). People demonstrate their affiliation with their church more than their affiliation to the Lord. We also find much separation from our doctrinal/theological positions (Reformist and Charismatic). We argue more our differences than we do our unity and strengths together. In the midst of the world’s disorientation, the community of God has a great opportunity to stand up and let our light shine before men, but we must first remove our lampshades.


The disorientation and discord in the community of the church only presents a church of dysfunction to the world. At a time when we should be presenting our Lord in all his glory amidst a lost and dying world, we instead reflect the world and its ever-changing culture. If Jesus is the only answer, then it is the responsibility of the church and the church alone to fulfill this task. Although we live in a Democracy, we function under a Theocracy. We must present our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as the most prominent value in our lives. …more to come!



Galatians 3:27-28
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (NASB)