The Gospel Power

12 07 2016

When we think of the Gospel our minds typically go to several different definitions. One such definition may be news. We may see the Gospel as just the simple giving of information.

From this perspective the Gospel is simply me giving someone facts and them making an informed decision one way or another concerning what they have heard. This of course places no difference between the Gospel and any other news. I don’t think this is the definition I want to hold with too strongly.

When I think of the Gospel I can’t think of it simply as news because news is often neutral. It has no real power it simply informs. The Gospel is power in its very essence.

It does not inform it transforms and changes people from the inside out. It takes sinners and makes them righteous. It takes God haters and turns them into God followers.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

This understanding of the Gospel is empowering to the Christian who desires to share their faith. If the Gospel is just news then we can fail. What if people don’t listen? What if I get no results?

The very fact that the Gospel is powerful in and of itself gives me confidence that something is happening even if I don’t see it. The Gospel is doing its work and God is doing His work even if there are no visible results.

I don’t need emotional pleas or crafty language to convince people to believe. The Gospel itself, the message itself is a power so potent that the human mind can’t grasp it.

The Gospel is the power of God to salvation. There is our confidence. There is our hope.

The Every Creature Commission

3 11 2013

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

Most Christians agree that there is a definite command in the Scriptures to take the Gospel to every creature although very few actually take part in this assignment. This is done through various means such as sending missionaries but I want to focus here on the local responsibility to reach the lost in our own communities.

Personal evangelism is not only the duty of every believer but the privilege. Just thing God allows us to join with Him in His work of salvation for mankind. We cannot fulfill this duty by simply putting money in a missions fund and sending others we must be engaged ourselves. Let’s first put evangelism into proper perspective.

I know the term soul-winning is often used for personal evangelism but it’s not the person that evangelizes that is the soul-winner but rather the true soul-winner is the Holy Spirit. Those who go out and share the Gospel are either planting a seed, or watering a seed but when someone gets saved it’s not because of the person that shared it’s the Holy Spirit that gave the increase.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” Those who are faithful in sharing the news of redemption receive reward for their labor but it is not their work it is God’s. We are simply co-laborers with Him in His redemptive work, “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God…” (1 Corinthians 3:8-9a)

When we are out sharing the Gospel through personal evangelism we are representatives of Jesus Christ speaking on His behalf, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

If we speak on behalf of Christ and we are commanded to share the Gospel with every creature I think it would do us well to ask ourselves how this can best be accomplished. I like open air preaching and use that method myself as well as passing out tracts to people as they walk down the street. Using thee methods are good but will only get the Gospel to some people. They are too random to reach every creature.

Let me encourage you to try something I am trying in my city and that is to map out your city. What we are doing is mapping out the city and systematically either knocking on doors to witness or canvassing to leave tracts on each house. We highlight streets on the map as we complete them. This allows us to strive to get the Gospel to every household in our city in a certain number of years.

Map out your city, target your city and do your best to get the Gospel to every house. Keep open air preaching, keep tracting on the streets, keep holding crosses and signs those are great ways to get the Gospel to mass amounts of people but take up with me what Rees Howells called the “Every Creature Commission.”

Praying For Laborers:

29 09 2013

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

We have often heard this passage quoted at the beginning of a soul-winning drive or during a bus ministry rally but have we ever stopped for just a moment to meditate on the message in these verses. The Lord here makes a stunning and convicting statement both about prayer and about the work of evangelism.

In verse 35 the Bible tells us, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” He was not making this statement while sitting in the Temple not while sitting in someone’s house comfortably reclining at a meal.

He was out and about busy at the work that God wanted done. He was already occupied in the work of the ministry and then in verse 36 He sees the great need for more than just Himself to be about the work of the kingdom. The Bible spells it out by saying, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”

Our Lord is one burdened for people, He has a compassion for the lost for humanity. He sees us as dumb animals headed ignorantly to our own destruction. When He saw the great multitudes wandering lost in false religion, false security, and headed for peril unable to affect their own salvation the Bible says He was moved.

He then told his disciples that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. It’s as if there is a vast wheat field with millions of acres and yet a dozen working to bring in the harvest. There is a sea of nations in the world today. There is an estimated 7 BILLION people in the world every single one of them headed for eternal hell and yet we see churches of hundreds with evangelism teams in the dozens or half dozen.

The Lord enlightens us with the need before us. This need ought to move us and motivate us as much as it did Him if indeed we are becoming more and more like Him. He then gives us a command which is to pray for more laborers. This is not an option to be considered but a command to be obeyed.

He said “therefore” which always refers back to the last thing mentioned. He tells us that there is a need for laborers then says therefore or because of that we are to pray that the Lord of the harvest send more laborers. God is the one who moves and motivates people to join in the work of the ministry but if we don’t pray for those laborers then He will not send them. His giving is related to us praying.

The interesting point to consider is that not just anyone should pray this prayer but those who are themselves busy in the work of the ministry. Those who are not active in serving the Lord need themselves to get active and not concern themselves with others but for those who are laboring in the work of the ministry they are commanded for God to bring more workers into the work to labor with them.

We must also be wiling for God to answer our prayer through us. If we pray Lord send someone to South America then we must begin by saying Lord if you will send me. Reese Howells a Welsh Christian once said that he didn’t pray for anything unless he was willing for the Lord to fulfill it through him. We must be active ourselves, see the need, respond by asking the Lord to send others to join us in the work and be willing for the Lord to send us wherever He wills in His harvest field.

If we say “Lord send someone to evangelize my town” we must be willing ourselves to be out evangelizing our town. Being active is not enough, even recognizing the need for more workers is not enough. We are commanded to pray to the Lord of harvest to send more. As our church moves into a new soul-winning campaign and we have seen our number going out increase I am always praying for the Lord to increase our number, to burden more people for the lost.

We must and I can’t emphasis this enough we must be willing for the Lord to fulfill our prayer through us. Whether that is going to some distant country with the Gospel, moving to a new city, or increasing our efforts right where we are.

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