For too many, “successful” evangelism/witnessing/rescuing occurs when someone makes the decision to follow Jesus…and another notch gets cut into our “get-’em-saved” six-shooter…
But the following reminds us that “salvation is of the Lord,” and that “no one comes to the Son except the Father draws him”:
“What is success in evangelism? Is it when the person you witness to comes to Christ?
“Certainly that’s what we want to happen. But if this is success, are we failures whenever we share the gospel and people refuse to believe?
“Was Jesus an “evangelistic failure” when people like the rich young ruler turned away from Him and His message? Obviously not. Then neither are we when we present Christ and His message and they turn away in unbelief.
“We need to learn that sharing the gospel is successful evangelism. We ought to have an obsession for souls, and tearfully plead with God to see more people converted, but conversions are fruit that God alone can give.
“In this regard we are like the postal service. Success is measured by the careful and accurate delivery of the message, not by the response of the recipient. Whenever we share the gospel (which includes the summons to repent and believe), we have
succeeded. In the truest sense, all biblical evangelism is successful evangelism, regardless of the results.”
“Why won’t they listen???”
“Why doesn’t he/she get it???”
“What’s the matter with them???”
I’ve heard (and voiced) those questions often; asked by people young and old who have tried to share Jesus and the gospel.
One teenager said, “It’s like they sit their with their fingers stuck in their ears!”
“If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” (2 Corinthians 4.3,4)
“But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” (1 Corinthians 2.14)
This is liberating truth!
We can’t prove/argue/convince anyone of the gospel.
Only God can open their eyes; open their minds.
Our job (every Christian, by the way, not “just” those gifted with evangelism or the “pros”) is to brag on Jesus. Our job is to ask God’s Spirit to enable us to walk our talk. And our job is to “talk.”
His “job” is to open.
Just read of another attempt to provide a “Christian facebook.”
I suppose there may be some valid reasons for so doing; but, to me, it is just another Christian motorcycle club, Christian gym, Christian blah blah blah.
Kind of hard to obey the Great Commission from within a Christian fort, is it not?
More comfortable? Yeah. Easier? Sure.
But does it allow for the light of the world to shine; for the salt of the earth to irritate/preserve?
I’m not suggesting believers who like motorcycles join Hell’s Angels or Satan’s Slaves; but isn’t there another social group we could join that would allow us to seize opportunities to minister and share our faith?
Am I so weak I can’t go to the YMCA or another “secular’ gym to work out…inviting my unsaved neighbor to join me? Is the “secular” music and the other “stuff” going to adversely affect me? Really?
I just don’t get it.
It’s from 1989. It shows some people a tad bit younger than they are now (especially Mark Lowry?)
And it’s a necessary reminder to most.
As followers of Christ, we are ambassadors!
We represent the Lord Jesus Christ! The King! The God of the Universe! The Spirit!
May it never be…crank the speakers (and thanks to my high school journalism teacher and partner in ministry Ed Murdock for reminding me of this song):
>“Prepackaged approaches to the gospel, though helpful to get us started being comfortable in sharing our faith, should not become our only means of sharing. The Bible is full of rich metaphors for the faith. We should appreciate the variety of such terms as we share the gospel. As long as we call a person to embrace the grace of God in faith and not to trust in his or her own deeds for salvation, we are preaching the gospel. We can speak of repenting when considering where we start from at conversion. We can speak of turning to describe the change of direction that comes from embracing God. We can speak of faith in Christ to highlight the object of our hope. We can speak of receiving him to emphasize the personal appropriation of faith that is more than mental assent. We can speak of coming to him to describe the act from Jesus’ perspective. We can talk of confessing him as an expression of how faith verbalizes its presence. All these terms highlight the saving act of faith where people embrace Jesus with a trust that he will forgive them by his grace and bring them into a relationship with him.”
– Darrell Bock
>Watch this brief video of a physical rescue…then parallel it with the Christian’s mandate to share the gospel…the people on the platform are concerned, even frantic…but only one jumps into harms way to effect the rescue. Rather symbolic, huh?
>But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. –2 Corinthians 4:3-4
“The uncomprehending mind is unaffected by truth. The intellect of the hearer may grasp saving knowledge while yet the heart makes no moral response to it. A classic example of this is seen in the story of Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. In his autobiography Franklin recounts in some detail how he listened to the mighty preaching of the great evangelist. He even walked around the square where Whitefield stood to learn for himself how far that golden voice carried. Whitefield talked with Franklin personally about his need of Christ and promised to pray for him. Years later Franklin wrote rather sadly that the evangelist’s prayers must not have done any good, for he was still unconverted….
The inward operation of the Holy Spirit is necessary to saving faith. The gospel is light but only the Spirit can give sight. When seeking to bring the lost to Christ we must pray continually that they may receive the gift of seeing. And we must pit our prayer against that dark spirit who blinds the hearts of men.” ( A W Tozer, Born After Midnight, pp. 62-63
“Lord, I’ll do my part today to share the Gospel with anyone You’ll bring my way. But Holy Spirit, I’ll wait for You to open eyes and give sight. I’ll leave the results with You. Amen.
>The final (re)action of Lucy mirrors that which you may receive…perhaps literally, more than likely figuratively, from many to whom you brag on Jesus and His gospel…Guess what, do it anyway!
>Oh, how sad and true this is…the mission statement of the Gospel of John is evangelism! (John 20)
>http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0802454550&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrHere are some very significant (and timely, since I’m in the midst of a summer full of teen camp ministry) insights from J. C. Ryle:
“Would you know the reason why so many hear the Gospel year after year, and yet remain unmoved by it? Their minds seem like Bunyan’s “slough of despond.” Cartloads of good instruction are poured into them without producing any good effect. Their reason is convinced. Their head assents to the truth. Their conscience is sometimes pricked. Their feelings are sometimes roused. Why then do they stick fast? Why do they tarry? It is their hearts which are in fault! Some secret idol chains them down to the earth, and keeps them tied hand and foot, so that they cannot move. They need a new heart. Their picture is drawn faithfully by Ezekiel, “They sit before you as my people, and they hear your words—but they will not do them—for with their mouth they show much love—but their heart goes after their covetousness.” (Ezek. 33:31.)”