Present The Gospel Effectively To All

September 9, 2013

Friends,
In a conversation several of us were in yesterday, it was being discussed how small the harvest often is and that it is largely due to the fact that Christ’s representatives are not presenting the Gospel effectively. Often what Christians do, is they extend to people a barrage of words that don’t make sense to them. They use “Christianese” –phrases that people from other nationalities, cultures, or sub-groups are not familiar with.

An example would be of how I began this post when I mentioned the harvest. The harvest? What does that mean? Well, people who know God’s Word, or maybe some who know what we are referring to because it is spoken about in their church or evangelism class, know that when Christians talk about the harvest, we mean the masses of people making a decision to follow Christ. We are referring to souls coming into the Kingdom of God. We are reminding each other of Jesus’ command to pay attention to the need and readiness of multitudes to be harvested into salvation –harvested through our efforts to deliver them from the dark, evil realm into the realm of Righteousness and Light. (Mt. 9:35-38 // John 4:34-38 & 6:27)

But besides speaking “Christianese”, a foreign language to most people in the world, there are other mistakes Christians make. One of these is that they let themselves care more about their presentation than the person they are presenting the Gospel to. Often they go in twos or groups, and so witness or preach primarily in order to impress each other and themselves, not God or the person needing love and attention. Pride, insecurity, and selfish ambition –summed up as a great lack of love– is really the issue. For they care more about winning a debate than they do about the soul in front of them. And the non-Christians, immediately able to sense this, are simply turned off. –Even if they would have otherwise been willing to listen and consider the message brought to them by the evangelists.

If Christians are going to bring people to the knowledge of the Truth and to obedience to Christ Jesus, then we are going to need to instruct each other with patient love. Christians need to learn to be more loving, more Christ-like, more polite and respectful and considerate, and definitely more patient. We need to have patience in acquiring the knowledge and wisdom of God for ourselves, and patience to learn God’s Word and how best to put it into practice. We need to accept that coming to know the Infinitely Amazing God takes time. –That it takes time to learn His ways, learn of His attributes, and attune the ears of our spirit to recognize His voice so as to heed His commands immediately.

So, if we ourselves need patience, shouldn’t we understand that people who have grown up in other religions and cultures need it extended to them even more? Shouldn’t we recognize that demanding from them an immediate decision about Christ and His Gospel is not something they can legitimately do? Did Jesus not tell us all to weigh and count the cost concerning making the decision to follow Him? (Luke 14:25-33) Most reasonable people are not going to genuinely pledge allegiance to someone or something which they do not adequately understand. Moreover, how can people comprehend what is involved in the Gospel until they have seen it modeled consistently and faithfully –by us– over time, so that the Message can really be believed?

Christ’s servants need to get wiser. We need to get real knowledge and insight. We need to submit our own selves to God more completely so that we can walk, talk, love, and serve in the power, boldness, and graciousness of the Lord Himself. Away with the rigid formulas and methods. Knowing, caring, loving… time, patience, understanding… these are the things that will bring the world to Christ. Firmness yes, with those who should know better. But tenderness and patience with those who have had little or no acquaintance with Scripture, the Gospel, or even the phrases and terms that are used to promote them.

So, Christians, let’s pay attention to each person as if that one matters more to us than any earthly acclaim or treasure. Let’s care enough to be tenderly patient with their questions, their reproofs, and even their indifference. Let’s respect everyone’s right to choose, to have their own opinion, and to learn at the pace we would want an instructor to allow for us.

In other words, Christians, let’s learn to present the Gospel effectively. To every person of every culture.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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