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.”
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.
>“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
>”The workings of grace in the heart are utterly mysterious and unsearchable. We cannot explain why the word produces effects on one person in a congregation, and not upon another. We cannot explain why, in some cases–with every possible advantage, and in spite of every entreaty–people reject the word, and continue dead in trespasses and sins. We cannot explain why in other cases–with every possible difficulty, and with no encouragement–people are born again, and become decided Christians. We cannot define the manner in which the Spirit of God conveys life to a soul, and the exact process by which a believer receives a new nature. All these are hidden things to us. We see certain results, but we can go no further. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:8]”
~ J.C. Ryle
>Don’t remember where I first heard this, but it is so true in rhyme, and in Ryle’s words after:
You’re writing a gospel,
A chapter a day,
By things that you do,
By words that you say.
Men read what you write,
whether faithless or true,
Tell me, what is the gospel,
According to you?
“Let us often ask ourselves whether we are doing good or harm in the world. We cannot live to ourselves, if we are Christians. The eyes of many will always be upon us. Men will judge by what they see, far more than by what they hear. If they see the Christian contradicting by his practice what he professes to believe, they are justly stumbled and offended. For the world’s sake, as well as for our own, let us labor to be eminently holy. Let us endeavor to make our religion beautiful in the eyes of men, and to adorn the doctrine of Christ in all things.”
~ J.C. Ryle
>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.
>Who knows what Tim Tebow’s NFL career will look like? Hopefully he will continue one of his trademarks.
Tim, of course, is known for painting Bible references under his eyes…(you can get a complete listing of the verses he used this season HERE)
I am hoping that a lot of non-Christians googled the verses (google says that after a Florida game the reference Tim used that game is in the top-three searches…sometimes number 1) And I imagine a lot of people (Christains and churchers) didn’t know the cited verse, so looked it up that way rather than leafing through their Bible…
I have no problem at all, in fact I am happy Tim “wears” verses…
All I know is that before I was brought to Christ at the age of 26 I would have no idea what the citations meant (unless the commentator explained it).
Like too many, if I saw a guy at a game with a “John 3:16” sign I would probably assume someone was trying to get his friend John to meet him in section 3, row 16.
And that’s yet another reason why I am so enthusiastic about Bible Quizzing (learn more HERE) as for two decades I’ve been privileged to observe teenagers memorizing, book by book, verse by verse, great chunks of the written Word to the glory of the living Word.
>Newsweek’s technology columnist, Daniel Lyons, in a piece published February 8, discusses the iPad…and has several lines that provide many things for those who desire to “brag on Jesus” to contemplate:
“…What’s wrong, or at least interesting, is why some of us expected so much more from a new gadget. I suspect this is because for some people, myself included, technology has become a kind of religion. We may not believe in God anymore, but we still need mystery and wonder. Five centuries ago Spanish missionaries put shiny mirrors in churches to dazzle the Incas and draw them to Christianity. We, too, want to be dazzled by shiny new objects. Our iPhones not only play music and make phone calls, but they also have become totemic objects, imbued with techno-voodoo. Maybe that sounds nuts, but before the iPad was announced, people were calling it the “Jesus tablet.”
“We just have blind faith that technology ultimately will make our business better, not worse. In one example of that blind faith, David Carr of The New York Times wrote recently that Apple’s tablet would be nothing less than ‘the second coming of the iPhone, a so-called Jesus tablet that can do anything, including saving some embattled print providers from doom.'” (all emphasis added)
The gospel is explosive (Ro 1.16). It makes no “sense.” How dare we make it a formula, void of its incredible “mystery and wonder.”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0830834214&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
>I have been quoted as saying there is often better theology in Peanuts’ cartoons than most seminaries…and to that I plead “guilty.”
But I absolutely love the following…and, at least to me, it is a tremendous portrayal of what we pray happens as we “brag on Jesus” and His gospel:
>Of course most people think the gospel is a religious fairy tale. It is, as scripture points out, “moronic” to those who are perishing.
But, unlike the Great Pumpkin etc, when we share the Gospel, laced with Scripture, the Spirit of God uses the Word supernaturally. Never forget that every incident of “bragging on Jesus” is a victory, whether there is immediate “fruit” or not!