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Honest Evangelism

I think sometimes as Christians we present the gospel as if it is some magic solution to all of life’s problems.  Now I do believe the gospel solves all of life’s problems, but not in the simplistic, materialistic way it is often presented.  Obedience to the gospel does not mean we will live easy lives with nice houses and big cars. It does not insulate us from the troubles of this world.  Instead of presenting the gospel in this way, I think we need to add at least these three truths:

1. We have chosen to follow a suffering Savior.  This means that we also will suffer (John 15:18-20).   Jesus went about doing good, yet He still suffered because of it (Acts 10:38).  We should expect the same.

2. Repentance is a part of God’s plan (Acts 2:38).  Repentance is a radical worldview change with regards to our understanding of the person of Jesus and the nature of His rule in your life. It means changing one’s attitude and specific actions.  It means taking seriously Jesus message concerning radical discipleship. Discipleship requires us to love Jesus above all, die to ourselves, and give all to God (Luke 14:25-34).

3. We are offering forgiveness and the joy of eternal life (Acts 2:38; John 11:26).  God still saves. Therefore, when we present the good news to people we cannot forget He is still the gracious God who acted decisively on our behalf (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8).

The gospel means good news. Evangelism simply means sharing this good news with others. When we share this good news, let’s make sure we share it completely so that people who make the decision to follow Jesus understand the cost and the blessings.

What other areas do you think we fail to emphasize when we are presenting the gospel to those around us?

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8 Comments

  1. I posted your lesson so folks can hear it first hand. Great job yesterday Wes!

    http://tinyurl.com/2dbqbsr

  2. Wesley

    August 30, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Thanks Tim. The written theory might sound better than the actual product thought :).

  3. How true this rings in my ears. I believe that we Christians, when given a successful mooment in life, are thankful for what God has blessed us with. But then there always comes a moment of trials that brings with it suffering of some degree. I myself have questioned whether I had done something wrong to deserve this suffering. But I believe that it could possibly be a test of my faith and trust in the Lord. It is much easier to be thankful in times of blessing than in times of tribulation. But as followers of Christ, we must always be mindful to give thanks no matter our situation in life.

  4. You asked what other areas we fail to emphasize when spreading the gospel…I think discussing that you give up some of your personal rights for the good of the whole. Paul says “If your brother is distressed by what you eat, you are no longer acting in love” (Romans 14:15, whole idea Romans 14:1-21) This is hard for me, as well as many people, who have grown up in a society where it is deemed unamerican to not stand up for your rights. Brothers and sisters in Christ sometimes don’t feel like they owe their Church family any explanation for things they do and expect everyone to tolerate their ways. They miss the idea that says when we are baptized we die to one’s self and become a new creature. That new life (creature) is not only trying to become more Christ-like each day, but should be trying to get those around them to do the same. The devil keeps us from this goal by telling us we don’t need to “confess our sins to another” (how humilating!) and by telling us that our ideas count just as much or more then anyone elses. “Let the other person give in” the Devil tells us. When we keep our mind on the big picture, which Paul says is righteousness, peace and joy (vs. 17), then we can put our opinions aside for the greater good. Easier said then done, I know, and something I have to work on daily.

  5. Wesley

    September 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Ben,

    Thanks again for your insightful comment. I think you might want to look into preaching, you are thinking on a deeper level. You hit squarely on human nature. We are people who when things are going well, God is great! When things are not going so well, then God is not great! This is a simplistic view of things. We have no clue what God might be doing through our trials. All we can do is trust in Him. Keep the comments coming.

  6. Wesley

    September 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Tammy,

    I might have to give you your own post each week! Very insightful. I think you shared a great thought with our community here. We can at times bring cultural values into the kingdom of God. Sometimes these go completely unseen. One of those is the idea that keeping your “rights” is paramount. I’m very grateful for the “rights” we have as Americans, but Christianity demands giving up “rights” in order to help our brothers in their spiritual walk.

    When we give up our rights for others, we model the self-emptying nature of Jesus who gave up some of His “rights” as God for our salvation (Philippians 2:5-11).

  7. Mitchell Skelton

    March 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Wesley,

    Good thoughts! I’d add to your thoughts about repentance to emphasize the need to live a life of repentance. I think too often we view repentance as a “one shot deal” or something only done on occasion. Repentance is something that should be a normal occurrence in the life of a Christian.

  8. Wesley

    March 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Amen Mitchell. Sanctification requires us to constantly be looking out our loves and forcing us to make changes that make us more Christlike.

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