Tuesday, January 14, 2014

evangelism: a better way

i remember trying to figure out the proper ways of evangelism throughout my teenage years. if you grew up in an actively Christian home you know what im talking about: there was the constantly trying to bring up God in most every conversation, there was the plethora of christian tshirts you could would wear with abandon (in regular rotation of course), door-to-door evangelism was always an option, standing downtown holding signs warning of judgment seemed a very practical way to voluntarily be bold and really take a stand while at the same time earning a few extra crowns in the afterlife for suffering via persecution.

i think to some extent many of us tend to still have a negative taste in our mouths when it comes to evangelism because we think of the way it was done 20 years ago. through the years i have realized that we put a lot more on ourselves then we ever needed to when it comes to spreading the gospel.

the first thing we need to realize is that it is not our job to convict the world or judge the world. it is the Holy Spirit's job to convict the world of sin (john 16:7-9) and it's Jesus who will judge the world (2 timothy 4:1). so what's our job? to help bring Heaven to earth which we can now do because of the cross. we effectively help redeem God's creation when we partner with the Holy Spirit and learn to love others as God loves others. its easy to spout off a bunch of verses from the old testamant arguing where God destroyed the wicked, etc. but this is not the God of the new covenant portrayed through the love of Christ. there is now a better way to evangelize, love others.

the only way we can love well is by receiving that love from the Father and essentially allowing that love to spill over onto everyone we encounter. our job is not to scare people into salvation but to love them into right relationship with God, all the while aware of the fact that they are not some project to fix, but a person created in the image God and thus worthy of love.

"18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and [i]He has [j]committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." -2 Corinthians 5:18-21

we are called to actively be a part of the ministry of reconciliation. the Holy Spirit prepares the hearts. the Holy Spirit leads the conversations. we are to simply respond in obedience to what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do or say. He is called the counselor for a reason. its time we stopped stepping out in our own plans and agendas for the lost and instead, simply respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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