Evangelism (1)   Leave a comment

Evangelism

Evangelism

Last week we had a team from the US who came to help some churches in my country to share the gospel. They have been there for 1 week and on the closing day, the project coordinator announced that 410 people made a decision to follow Jesus. To be honest I don’t know if these 410 people understood well what the gospel was. I also don’t think everyone who heard the gospel for the first time understood everything in just half an hour.

As Jesus said “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Christians from the States came to help harvesting and it was the church’s responsibility to give them Christ’s teachings as follow up.

Even if we shared the gospel with more than 410 people, not everyone accepted it. Some of those who accepted the gospel probably heard it before and finally took a decision. As Paul said:

“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. ” 1 Cor 3:5

Some of us had the privilege to reap what others have been working hard on. Others sow and never see the fruits and still others water where a seed was sown. But God Almighty is the One who makes that seed grow. There’s no need to feel bad if you don’t see the fruits of your evangelism, you’re perhaps a sower. You’re successful in evangelism if you have presented Christ’s gospel in its simplicity. Whether people believe or not is not your responsibility, it’s theirs. Your responsibility is to witness to others.  There’s no need to be prideful if someone repents the very day you share the gospel. You can perhaps be a harvester in this case. You probably don’t know how many prayers of the saints were behind for this soul to repent.

Paul sowed many times but not every heart were good soils as Jesus taught. Some people’s heart are tough, rocky, others like thorns  and others are well prepared.

Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it.” Mat 13:18

Jesus said these words because He knows the heart of man.There’re 4 categories Jesus said. In this post, I would like to talk about those hearts who did not understand.

1. Those who categorically refuse the gospel because they don’t want to turn away from their sins, have some preconceived ideas of Christianity or simply don’t want to hear about it.

This is what we read in John 3, people don’t want to repent because they fear that their sins are exposed by the Light. Still there’re some people who have set some barriers in their mind and closed their ears. They have some arguments against Christianity and this causes them to close their ears to the gospel. For example, I have some friends who think that I worship 3 Gods. But this is false. They also wonder how can Jesus be a “son of God”.  But this is just a title given to Jesus. Jesus is “God’s very Word made flesh” – John 1.  They think that it’s blasphemy to say that God had a relationship with Mary and conceived Jesus. But we Christians don’t believe that. Jesus is not a biological son of God. Just like I have a soul, a body and a spirit, I am one being. There’re not 3 Cedrics. As the bible says, man was created in the image of God. This is why I believe in God the Father, Jesus and the Spirit. We are also a kind of trinity. This is what differentiates us from animals. So it’s important to identify barriers which hinder a good presentation of the gospel.

The first category of soil makes allusion to those who heard the gospel but do not understand it and it’s easy for the devil to dissuade them. They are like the pharisees. They might be religious people,  intellectuals, living in debauchery or simply respectable citizens. Their religious background or intellect cause them to resist and argue. These people might be very zealous, respectable citizens but there’re things blinding them. Christians need to identify these barriers and not just ignore these people. We need to remove these barriers to be more effective in evangelism. The man writing this would have been lost today without God’s grace. Yeah, I had many questions regarding Christianity but never received clear answers from Christians. By God’s grace I received a fantastic study book on the Epistle to the Hebrews and it’s then I understood that Jesus is God. My life radically  changed since that day.

No one can be forced to become a Christian. If someone has been forced to become a Christian, he is simply not a Christian because a Christian is one who voluntarily decides to follow Jesus. Many professes to be Christians but they are not. We cannot force someone to love someone else, this is not genuine love. The same applies to being a follower of Jesus. A Christian is someone who has understood, he uses his mind to decide to follow Jesus. In religion one is born a hindu, muslim, catholic etc if he’s born in such a family. E.g. I was born a catholic. But not so with Christianity. Christianity is not a religion. One is not born a Christian if he/her parents were Christians. Jesus said  “You have to be born again” i.e. when you choose to follow Him, your old life is gone and you become someone new – A Christian. You get a new life.

To be continued…

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Posted June 10, 2012 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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