In a culture of fastfood, texting and headline-only reading, we want little information about a lot of things that is fast and easy to read- nothing that takes too much effort to process or takes us away from our normal day.
And so, the body of Christ has tried to communicate the Gospel within this cultural context. ‘4 steps to Knowing God,’ ’30 seconds to Know For Sure You’ll Go to Heaven,’ etc. We expect very little change. Is this what Jesus commissioned us to do? Is our measure of successful evangelism just a show of hands at the end of a church service or how many tracts we hand out? Or could it be more about transformed lives of individuals who’ve turned away from their sins (and this world) and are living a new life in Christ?
We are instructed to develop Christ-followers, not just converts. Truly, we cannot convict (that’s the Holy Spirit’s job) or ‘save’ anyone (that’s the Father’s job), yet we are to be messengers and ambassadors of Christ. We are to bring the news of salvation to everyone, but let’s not omit teaching the full counsel of God! Jesus certainly preached Good News to those who were all around him, but he invested deeply in only a few disciples who were closest to him. He discipled them!
We may have the opportunity to preach to the ‘multitudes,’ but building relationships and discipleship we need to equally invest in. We can’t all be Billy Grahams. He definitely has had a special assignment to spread the Good News to people all over the world for over 50 years. But Billy Graham can’t develop discipleship relationships with the 2 billion people he preaches to. We all have very important assignments in people’s lives. Who has God put in your life right now? It’s no mistake. Perhaps it’s lovely people, difficult people, or those who are eager to learn. They may be experiencing a great place in life, or possibly going through a horrible experience. Open your spiritual eyes. Look all around you. Submit to the Father and be about His business. Seek the Lord and then walk in it by the power of the Holy Spirit! Be of great courage and do not be afraid. For our Helper is here!
And most importantly, share the truth that ‘Jesus loves all and forgives sins’ with love and forgiveness in your own heart.
I Corinthians 13:1-3 (The Message translation)
‘If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.’
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Special note: Pieces of this lesson were first shared with me years ago by a very wise bible teacher. I will not take credit for the message, but I do feel compelled to pass the principles on to you! If you’d like more information about my source, or related material, please go to http://ffoz.org/messiahonline/articles/ for some insightful teachings.