Preachers of the Cross Blog
Written by Jerry Little
The Church and the Silence of Evangelism
First, I want to establish some ground work. Evangelism and its meaning and what it is to look like in the church today, which I will establish from history and its beginnings. Then I want to compare that with the modern churches today and how they desire to look at it and whether or not it is bible driven or man driven. It is shocking at the least!
Starting in the Old Testament God told Abraham to “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” (Gen 12:1). With Abraham’s exchange of obedience God said He will make him a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. The only way for Abraham to be a blessing was to be obedient. No obedience, no blessing (Gen 12:2-3)
Those of us who believe in the covenants of God and the line of Abraham must know that to make sense logically, God will bless the same line of faith, to believe God. Israel was a nation who was to make God known to the world and through that; God would draw people to Himself. Is 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.
Israel was called to be witnesses to the world a light to the nations a city set on a hill to give light to the world. “And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
(Ezekiel 38:23, NIV)
The Triune God of the bible has always had a desire to be lifted up and exulted. To be able to draw people [the world] after Himself, to make known His power in judgment and His Glory in Holiness, His righteousness through His work in the obedient servants, His faithfulness through their perseverance. Yet time and time again, Israel turned their backs on God and complained and turned their hearts to idols made by man. God leads the Jewish people out of Egypt and set them on a course to enter a promised land and not long after starting their journey to a land of Milk and Honey they begin to complain and grumble against God and His servant Moses.
But while being in the wilderness the people had fear and this fear of the giants lead to a failure to trust God. As a result they rebelled against God’s plan for them to enter the land He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Duet 1:7-8)
Just as it was through out the Old Testament; Israel rejected the plan of God and turned to other things such as idols and woman of other countries. When we come against the very plan of God, it does crazy things to our mind, we argue against the word of God, we argue against His plan and we turn to idols, things of this world, because we think we have understanding of His word all figured out. Another words we have stinking thinking. This stinking thinking infuriated God to the core and He swore they would not enter His rest.
God the Father offers His Son on the cross as a sacrificial lamb, dying for a people, paying for their sins and trespasses, justifying them unto salvation and reconciliation, unto the only true God. This very God wants to be glorified in His works ever since the creation of the world. He slained His Son and accounted Him as the suffering servant. At the rebellion of Adam and Eve God declares this suffering servant. (Gen 3:15) He declares to the devil “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”. In (Gen 3:7) Adam and Eve try and cover up their sin by sowing fig leaves and wearing them as garments. God never partook in this work along with Adam, in fact God killed the first animal and made animal skins for them to be covered with. Only God can cover up our sin because it was only God who could fix it since it was His law we broke. That means JW’s are wrong and all other cults that think God created an innocent person to take away sin, against someone we did not sin against.
God the Son is born into the world through a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit. All so God can demonstrate who He is becoming like a man offering himself up to ungodly, evil men His love, goodness, mercy and justice demonstrate Gods Character in Christ and through history. He knows He is good, and desires a people to worship Him. Jesus tells His 12 disciples to go into all the world and make disciples of every people groups, baptizing them and teaching them to obey “all” I have commanded you.
Jesus, God the Son wants to be lifted up! Through this He will draw people to Himself. He taught His disciples that they are the light and salt of the earth, and a lamp that “cannot be hidden”, a city on top of a hill. Jesus, likened the kingdom of heaven to this “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty fold and sixty fold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Jesus, likens the kingdom of heaven to a dragnet also like men who dragged a net and caught all kinds of fish then sat and sorted them out. He spoke of the foolish and wise virgins. Dead Christians don’t have the holy spirit. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The argument cannot be said that not all are called to witness the good news to lost people. In (Acts 1:8) but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you to be my witnesses. If you don’t have power to be a witness then you never received the Holy Spirit and cannot be a witness.
We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5:18-20) Does God not use all Christians to make His appeal through them to reconcile the world? No he don’t because they are taught by teachers they don’t need to evangelize it is only for the few. Of they don’t encourage it. Other verses that reflect on this ministry of witness for all believers include (Matthew 5:14-16, 1 Peter 3:15, Philippians 2:14-16, Colossians 4:5-6 and 1 Peter 2:9.)
We have been given no greater gift than the gospel, and we have no greater stewardship than to share that message of good news with others. But the church acts like this is not true as if they know some better way. According to Jesus and when one is living in the kingdom of heaven he will throw seed and that is likened to the dragnet and farmer is it not? Some seed landing on good ground and other seed landing on bad ground. One of the seeds the birds eat it. Devils are the birds and when they eat the seed when it is sown there is light mixing in the darkness, turmoil, battle for the soul. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Does he not use the foolishness of the preaching of the gospel to save people? (1 Cor 1:21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. Does God not use the sowing of seed to save and find and draw the elect? The apostles where commanded by Jesus to teach :”all things to others who will listen that he taught them” Is not (Mark 16:15) part of what he taught them? He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. It says to preach this can be done through handing someone a tract walking out of a store and you get into a conversation with them. Evangelism is done in many ways but it must and has to in compass proclaiming the good news as no one will ever be saved any other way.
The proclaiming and sharing the gospel has declined over the years because they have come to believe that offending people with the gospel is wrong. The gospel is offensive to the darkened God hating, God suppressing mind that is at enmity with God. It is sad that the church has become this way. God has entrusted us with life saving words and we become cowards because we don’t want to offend people with the gospel as if you can push someone away further than they already are which is an enemy of God and hostile to His ways. When the church has come to this point of worrying about offending people they have become like the person who was given a talent but went and dug a whole to put the gift in to give back later lest they offend someone, this people are wicked cowards. Then we have people in the church who don’t want to witness because they don’t want people in the church to think they are offending those who are perishing.
I have not written to make people scared into being a witness. It is more written for those in the church who suppress the truth in their unrighteousness. Leaders in the church have become ashamed of the gospel and are murdering the brothers and sisters who are sharing the gospel. They seem to have better ways of doing it but they have no fruit in their lives of doing it better. Christians begin to trample on the seed of God that is sown, they do this through criticism, murdering their brothers in the heart.
I have heard leaders in the church say can you not preach using the law and talking about sin, when proclaiming the gospel? This is because they have created a man centered gospel in their heart because they themselves are ashamed of the proclamation of the gospel in the public square, they will reduce it and water it down giving the opportunity. Should we not pity the christian who is ashamed of the proclamation of the gospel in the public square? I say yes!
The church today has suppressed the gospel to a man centered gospel through the way it is proclaimed and how it is to be proclaimed. They have become like Israel who also rejected God and being a witness to the world by turning to idols, instead, the church has turned to a man centered gospel and a way of getting it into the hearts and minds of man.
God has set the church on a course to receive the blessings of God and that is to continue the work of Jesus, because God is active in reconciling the world to Himself. What if Abraham being told “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” did not go and believe? God will find someone else and will not be left with out a witness whether you are in or not.
The gospel seed that was sown by the apostles landed on such bad soil at times that it costed them their lives they where burned at the stake, crucified upside down, burned in oil, speared and stoned to death, dragged in the streets. In (Acts 17:13) it says: But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. [I see the crowds getting stirred up by God suppressors like it did in Paul’s day and people want to blame the Christian and the way the gospel is presented and proclaimed]”. (Acts 17:6) And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also”. What would the church do if their members of their church had this happen? They would probably murder their members in their heart and mind and disown and bring them up on charges, or shun them, or be ashamed of them?
Are we not teaching and equipping our church to proclaim the gospel? If not what are we saying, that our teaching is not good enough to equip you? Or we cannot send you because we are really ashamed of the biblical way of proclaiming the gospel or that is not the way of the church today only for the time when the church started, or you need a degree to tell people the good news that saved us. These are the hidden unspoken words in the church today that are suppressed, murdering our brothers and sisters in their hearts. Some will even deny this to be true with them but their works prove them to be a liar. When Christ returns will He find faith?
(Col 2:3-4) In Christ “ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine sounding arguments.”
If anyone is ashamed to confess Jesus before men, Jesus will be ashamed of them and to confess them before the Father and angels. Evangelism is love in action. You are not given a gift to love are you? You are commanded to love! Christ will not bring revival to the church until the church stops murdering in their heart and mind those who belong to Christ.
Did not God make the darkness so that His acceding abundant light can shine in it? (Romans 9:22-23) What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make know the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy,which he has prepared beforehand for glory.
Is not the world dying and going to hell? Why then are we so idle? Is it not because we have created other ways in our heart and mind and suppressed the truth?
Evangelism meaning: the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness. zealous advocacy of a cause.
Sharing the good news is confronting and penetrating the darkness. Hostile minds towards God will not like this and will argue against it, not because they don’t believe, but because they do believe they presuppose God in the first place to argue against Him. (James 4:6) But He gives a greater grace Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Elijah in (1Kings 18:20-40) was blunt in opposing darkness at times. In (Matt 23:13-39) Jesus had no problem confronting darkness and suppression. Evangelism, is engaging in souls going to hell standing in the gap and fitting for the soul. So, why do you judge me? When we neglect to reach the lost we neglect Christ Himself and the Father. Do you not have eyes and ears to hear what the spirit says to the churches through Jesus His word? If you would like to dialog about this blog send me an email through the contact us page.