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.

Tuesday, 10/12/21 – Pressing on… The Complaints Dept.

The Complaints Dept.

Big Box stores have a special department for them – the Complaints Department! What s horrible job that must be! Can you imagine waking up every morning to go off to work to listen to angry, dissatisfied, often unreasonable people hour after hour after hour… day after day after day! Well that pretty much describes the job experience of Moses! ”What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?” he complains to God, “…the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me” (Num. 11:11, 14-15). Wow!

Last Sunday our guest speaker James Harrison drew our attention to three ways a complaining spirit is destructive. 1. A complaining spirit denies God’s sovereignty. 2. A complaining spirit disrupts Christian unity. 3. A complaining spirit discredits Christian testimony.

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“The greatest need we have is not to do things, but to believe things,” wrote Oswald Chambers. And in relation to point #1 we must believe “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28). We must believe that God loves us and is working for our best interest. He can do this because He is sovereign, i.e. He possesses supreme and ultimate power. When we grumble and complain about what God has allowed into our lives we deny all of the above. Even God’s discipline is an indicator of His great Love (Heb. 12:5-11), and the natural consequences of our own willful disobedience for they teach us not to sin again.

Points #2 and #3 are a little more obvious. Within the church a complaining spirit disrupts brotherly and sisterly unity, and without, in our interactions with the unsaved, a complaining spirit discredits our testimony. Why should an unbeliever believe our testimony of transformation when our behaviour demonstrates otherwise?

These days are indeed the last days, and in these days Jesus warned us that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Jesus also said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35).”Paul pled to the Romans: “as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom. 12:18). To the believers in Ephesus he wrote, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3).

Yes sirree, – the Complaints Department: listening to angry, dissatisfied, often unreasonable people hour after hour after hour… day after day after day! Come to think of it, that also pretty much describes the experience of God!

Let’s not add to it. Let’s make every effort not to be among those in that line-up. Better yet, let’s start a new line-up, a “Compliments” line-up… a line-up of joy-filled, thankful recipients of the undeserved mercies and blessings of our Lord!

More tomorrow…

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Tuesday, 5/5/20 – Pressing on…

Proclaiming Christ’s Death

“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Cor. 11:26).

20200504_091523Following our service this past Sunday Pastor Andrew led us in commemoration of the Lord’s Supper. He was eager to share with us a deeper insight into the above verse.

Why do Christians do this thing anyway? To “commemorate” as Merriam Webster defines is “to call to remembrance, to mark by ceremony or observation, or serve as a memorial.” All of these definitions describe a looking back at something… a bringing back to remembrance.

But to the believer this “remembrance” ought also to spark a looking forward. The whole act is symbolic of something much deeper…. something most personal.

couple with a shopping cart buying groceries

Just as our physical bodies need food and drink for sustenance, Jesus here reminds us that our spiritual selves require fundamental nourishment. Spiritual survival depends upon our drawing from Christ as our most fundamental fuel. Just as physical food and drink becomes us as it repairs and builds our physical tissues and empowers us as calories burn and are transformed into energy, so also the Christian soul is healed and transformed to further Christlikeness — empowered by Holy Spirit unction, insight, compassion or giftedness. As nourishment by food and drink = physical life, so nourishment by Christ = spiritual life.

This spiritual transformation, healing and growth becomes a testimony to the world of the power of the resurrected Christ. Like Pharaoh’s baffled magicians the world cannot reproduce it.

happy man sitting with laptop and juice in park

Just as the person who eats healthily, shuns sweets, stays hydrated and exercises appropriately proclaims by his or her good health and countenance the efficacy of healthy eating, so the believer who makes Christ his or her spiritual sustenance proclaims by their character, grace, agapé love and endurance, etc the efficacy of Christ. S/he “proclaims the Lord’s death until He comes.”

Christians ought to remind themselves of this each time they take communion. Indeed it would be wise if believers were mindful of this dependency each time they took food or drink in any context. Paul cited, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28). Indeed, Christ Himself replied to His inquiring disciples, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” (John 4:32).

More tomorrow…

To view Elder Jim’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the page from the church website.