Thursday, 12/9/21 – What is Evangelism?

What is Evangelism?

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Today’s Discipleship topic is Evangelism. Dictionaries vary in their definition of Evangelism, such as “the zealous advocacy of a cause,” “the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ,” “a militant or crusading zeal,” “spreading the gospel,” or “telling the gospel message.”

I suppose these definitions depend largely on whether or not the one making them is a believer. Things most usually look different from their inside than they do from without. But perhaps the more important question is “What did Jesus mean by evangelism?” Or, even without the word altogether, “What does He tell us to do?”

We know He had in His heart the desire that through Himself His disciples, indeed all believers “…be brought to complete unity” in order that “…the world will know that You [the Father] sent Me [the Son] and have loved them [the believers] even as You [the Father] have loved Me [the Son].” (John 17:23). We know His parting command to all believers was “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). We know that the need is great, “The harvest is plentiful,” and “the workers are few,” and we know His command to “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:37-38).

We know also that He blessed His Church with persons especially gifted in this: “Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers” (Eph. 4:11) and that these ought not shirk their duties. “Do the work of an evangelist,” Paul adjured Timothy (2 Tim. 4:5). Yet we know we are allChrist’s ambassadors” (2 Cor. 5:20), salt and light to a dark and tasteless world. And we know too that we must “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15).

Our job is to testify (tell), to witness (what we know and have experienced ourselves), along with the many other testimonies which enter the courtroom of each individuals heart, to add our bit to sway them to faith, away from the sentence of death which otherwise bears down upon them. We need not be lawyers for their defense. The Holy Spirit will do that.

What is the definition of evangelism? Perhaps the best I know is the one I learned in Bible College many years ago: “Evangelism is simply sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results with God.” It is “One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Thursday, 10/7/21 – Evangelism: ‘Ding dong,’ ‘Knock knock’…

Evangelism: ‘Ding dong,’ ‘Knock knock’…

She came regularly to our door, left her literature and departed. If we met her as she came and told her we wanted none of what she offered, still, no matter, in a few week’s time she would be back, leave her literature, then go. We grew amazed at the frequency of her visits, the glossy pages of her materials and the scope of her territory, for others too we learned were subjects of her persistence. Some, we found, had become great devotees to her cause, even though in time it had cost them greatly.

You might say she was a model evangelist! Her persistence was admirable; her zeal was undeniable. I thought… if only God’s people were as dedicated… as determined to spread the good news of the gospel as she was to spread the message she brought! Yes, she was a model ambassador… she… our area Avon representative.

In parable Jesus once said, “…the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” (Luke 16:8). Of the Prince of demons and tyrant of this earth He said, “… the devil… is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” (Rev. 12:12).

Now certainly there is nothing evil about Avon! I am merely contrasting the zeal with which the world pursues its temporal things against the seeming indifference with which the saints of God obey His command to love and to go into all the world as His ambassadors.

We too have but a short time left. Soon this curtain of life, this opportunity to serve, to trust, to live by Faith, to be brave for God, to even die for Him will pass. Death will be behind us… behind them… and all eternity will loom ahead of us… of them… fixed in bliss for some, in torments for others.

As a well-known refrain from a poem by British missionary C.T Stud expresses,

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.” – C.T. Studd, Only One Life

Christ is standing at your door and knocking now. He will not run off. He will stay there until you either invite Him in, or die. Invite Him in today. If you already have, then do something for Him… something that will last… today!

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Thursday, 9/9/21 – Priorities: Is it really that simple?

Priorities: Is it really that simple?

John’s gospel records Christ stating an amazing thing. He says, “And I, if I am lifted up…will draw all peoples to Myself.” (John 12:32). In the Greek here the phrase “lifted up” is the Word ὑψόω [hupsoō]. It means “to lift up on high, to exalt, to raise to dignity and honour.” This is what Christ asks the believer to do. The Word “draw” in the Greek has two forms, ἑλκύω or ἕλκω [helkuō or helkō]. It means “to draw, to draw by inward power, lead, or impel.” This is what Christ promises He will do.

When we meet with a person who is lost Jesus tells us that the cross is primary. The cross is the principal matter – the “crux” of all things — the priority of all evangelism . “If that person can get to God in any other way,” concludes Chalmers, “then the Cross of Christ is unnecessary.”

Sympathy, social aid, even love is not enough. The cross: Christ’s substitutionary death on our behalf. The cross: Each believer’s unashamed identification with Christ, His Lordship in one’s life and the demonstrated fruits of the Spirit. The cross: the challenge to likewise die to self and self-efforts, to turn from evils and live for God. This is all the cross, the principal thing which “lifts up” Christ.

This is all we can do, and a this is what we must do.

Paul affirmed,

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Rom. 1:16).

If a believer is ashamed – embarassed to be identified with the cross of Christ and the gospel that goes with it — it suggests he values the praise of men more than the praise of God.

“What the world needs is not ‘a little bit of love,’ but major surgery,” says Chambers. The cross is that surgery.

Of the written Word of God we read,

For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12).

And Christ is that Word made flesh. As we exalt Him, He will do the necessary surgery.

By you words, life and purity “lift up” Christ on high, “exalt” Him in your worship, “raise His Name to dignity and honour” in your speech and conversation.

Do this and Christ will do all that remains. He will “draw by inward power,” by conviction of the Holy Spirit, He will “lead” by the truth of His Word, and “impel” by the need of the soul.

Yes! It is really that simple.

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Thursday, 8/5/21 – Evangelism: Lifting Jesus Higher

Evangelism: Lifting Jesus Higher

Weve actually been looking at this all week — this idea of glory! Glorifying Christ in our lives and at all times is really the core of biblical evangelism.

At the Passover feast in Jerusalem Jesus, recognizing his crucifixion drew near, said, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified” (John 12:23). He prayed “Father, glorify thy name.” and God spoke! He said, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” (v. 28).

Then Jesus said “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (v. 31-32).

Glorifying Jesus… Lifting Him up… Have we got evangelism wrong? Evangelism is not about convincing… its about glorifying Christ… lifting Him up. He said “if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” We are working with The Holy Spirit – do not forget this. He, the Holy Spirit, will do, not the “convincing,” but the “convicting.” He works not according to our evangelistic strategy, intellectual argument, technological spectacle, oratory charisma, musical artistry or alluring giveaways. The Holy Spirit works unpredictably, as Jesus described:

“…the Spirit gives birth to spirit… The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6, 8).

Our task is simply to lift up Jesus:

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (v. 14-15).

We lift Jesus up, point to His Glory, demonstrate Him at work within us, and Jesus will draw lost souls to Himself as The Holy Spirit convicts and woos them.

Many years ago Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ founder and author of The Four Spiritual Laws, gave this simple definition of evangelism: “Evangelism is simply sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results with God.” Jesus likened evangelism to casting out seed upon the earth. The seed is good and comes from God; we dare not add anything to it. The soil is what it is; we cannot alter it. Our only job is to cast the seed. We do this whenever we bring glory to Christ.

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Thursday, 5/21/20 – Discipleship – Evangelism (& COVID-19)

Evangelism (& COVID-19)

man handing a beer from the cooler

There is a difference between what it means to “pass it on” (see yesterday’s blog) and “pay it forward” ( a phrase popularized since the 2000 romantic drama film by the same name.) To “pass it on” is to have been given something from someone else and then to give that thing to another. The item was never yours, you received it freely, and it cost you nothing to give it to someone else.

photo of person handing card

To “pay it forward” means to have received some benefit, assimilated it fully, and then when an opportunity arises you give from your own consolidated resources a benefit of some kind to someone else. In short, someone does a gracious act to you and so you in turn do a gracious act to another. When you “pay it forward” you receive a thing or a service and make it your own, then later from your own resources sacrifice a thing or a service to someone else.

two boys sitting on bench wearing hats and long sleeved shirts

Passing it on” honors the original giver; “paying it forward” honors yourself. “Passing it on” is sharing; “paying it forward” is transaction.

It is really only possible to give grace out of your own experience of having received grace. The “beggar” who finds bread and shares it with another can accept no praise for having created the bread. No… He knows that in his own self he is still merely a beggar. It is like this with all God’s graces.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life…” (1 John 1:1…)

“…I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you…” (1 Cor. 11:23)

“…I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” (1 Cor. 15:3-4…)

Praise… the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God…” (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

photo of mountain under cloudy sky

Have you fretted during Covid-19 and found solace in Christ? Have you rested calmly through this crisis because your confidence is in Christ? Have you been thrust into financial need and found hope, strength, resources through Christ, His people, His Church? Have you lost loved ones or suffered personally because of the virus yet found comfort and encouragement in the Lord? “Pass it On.” When it comes to grace, we can only truly give what God has given to us.

Pass it On

and…

Press on…

20190522_065320Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or, perhaps you would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.