Posts tagged # evangelism
I confess that I have not been interested in evangelism for some time. I’ve told and preached the good news when opportunities came, I just haven’t gone looking for them.
There was a time when I ran all over the place and effusively told others what Jesus had done for me. An old friend who knew me both then and now has reminded me to check my love. The words he used from Revelation 2 are now echoing in my thoughts and prayers, “I know your good works… but… you’ve left the love you had at first.”
I remember from where I’ve fallen, as Revelation 2 goes on to say. I remember what it was to hear the good news while I was doubled up in my dark heart. I remember as a trembling sinner opening up to Jesus and finding him precious. I had become suddenly unburdened and bright. I wept and leapt for joy. My favorite song was Martin Smith’s “The Happy Song”:
My heart is bursting Lord
To tell of all you’ve done
Of how you changed my life
And wiped away the past
I want to shout it out
From every rooftop sing
For now I know that
God is for me not against me!
He saved me like he said he would. I devoured his words and dished them out to others. I was gushing about him without thought of how to get the word out. That season of ministry altered the course of my life.
There’s a short sermon by Spurgeon on 1 Peter 2:7, “For you who believe, he is precious.” The preacher argued that those who think highly of Jesus speak highly of Jesus. This sermon also came to me this week, and graciously. I didn’t wince in guilt at my current lack of zeal but remembered how precious Jesus was. He had overwhelmed my natural reservations and awkwardness in the past. He had made a bumbler into a bubbling evangelist.
I love him for it. And for his gracious invitation to those who’ve forgotten their first love. “Remember,” he says, “repent, and do the works you did at first” (Rev. 2:5). Evangelism is a basic work of the Christian. But we don’t need to make evangelism interesting when we remember how precious Jesus is.
Spurgeon’s conclusion is below (I think “evangelist” is a better word here than his “missionary”). It’s provoking. If you’re lacking in evangelistic zeal, let it be an invitation, not to guilt, but to remember your precious Savior and recount to others what he’s done for you, however you can.
If Jesus is precious to you, you will not be able to keep your good news to yourself; you will be whispering it into your child’s ear; you will be telling it to your husband; you will be earnestly imparting it to your friend; without the charms of eloquence you will be more than eloquent; your heart will speak, and your eyes will flash as you talk of his sweet love.
Every Christian here is either a missionary or an impostor. Recollect that. You either try to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus and a totally silent tongue about him. Of course I do not mean by that, that those who use the pen are silent: they are not. And those who help others to use the tongue, or spread that which others have written, are doing their part well. But that man who says, “I believe in Jesus,” but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him, by mouth, or pen, or tract, is an impostor.
If thou knowest Christ, thou art as one that has found honey; thou wilt call others to taste of it; thou art like the lepers who found the food which the Syrians had cast away: thou wilt go to Samaria and tell the hungry crowd that thou hast found Jesus, and art anxious that they should find him too.
Be wise in your generation, and speak of him in fitting ways and at fitting times, and so in every place proclaim the fact that Jesus is most precious to your soul.
Spurgeon wrote a short sermon on 1 Peter 2:7: “For you who believe, he is precious.” Here is his conclusion:
Every Christian here is either a missionary or an impostor. Recollect that. You either try to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus and a totally silent tongue about him. Of course I do not mean by that, that those who use the pen are silent: they are not. And those who help others to use the tongue, or spread that which others have written, are doing their part well. But that man who says, “I believe in Jesus,” but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him, by mouth, or pen, or tract, is an impostor. … Be wise in your generation, and speak of him in fitting ways and at fitting times, and so in every place proclaim the fact that Jesus is most precious to your soul.
—C.H. Spurgeon, “A Sermon and a Reminiscence,” from the Sword and Trowel, March 1873, www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/srmn1873.php.
The Creator King, a gospel tract as “single Scriptural story” instead of “selective systematic statements.”
One story in six stages:
- One Family Under Heaven
- Losing Face and Seeking Face
- King of All Nations
- Setting the World Right
- Honored through Shame
- Avenging Shame and Restoring God’s Kingdom
Gospel presentations have a disproportionate influence on the way people afterwards read the Bible. Therefore, it substantially shapes their biblical and theological framework. …
I’ve been angry when some provision here fails. Then I spend more time over what’s lost. Lost stuff over lost people. Where is my concern for what matters more? Here is a prophetic word I heard today:
God said to Jonah, “Are you really so very angry about the little plant?” And he said, “I am as angry as I could possibly be!” The LORD said, “You were upset about this little plant, something for which you have not worked nor did you do anything to make it grow. It grew up overnight and died the next day. Should I not be even more concerned about Nineveh, this enormous city? There are more than one hundred twenty thousand people in it who do not know right from wrong, as well as many animals!”
—Jonah 4:9–11 (NET)
Hey Crossroads family…
We are going to be a part of Thunder Over Louisville this Saturday, one of the most exciting events in the area all year. Our church meeting will be moved to where the people are: at Waterfront Park. This is a great step for us! We will be available to talk to international students and we’ll have a time of prayer and worship like we usually do. D—— will be setting up in the wee early morning hours, so we can have a place to meet.
I’ll try to organize everyone: send me your cellphone numbers please if you have one! We need to call you to tell where we found a place to meet. And check your email early Saturday; we’ll give you directions in an email after we set-up.
We will get together around 3pm, so we have some time before, but come as early as you can… you won’t regret it! Our church meeting will be at 5pm. Also, bring a meal (if you want to eat) or buy expensive food there (but you can try the funnel cakes with M——). Everything else is free (the fun, the music, the fireworks, the people to minister to)!
Write back with any questions. See you soon!