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Personal Evangelism

September 18, 2020, 2:36 PM

Moving across the country is an enlightening endeavor. Although Ronda and I had been in North Carolina for 17 years, we have been in Oklahoma for the past 9 years. Things have changed here in the Tar Heel state. To be sure we have had the opportunity to reconnect with many of our old friends and are making lots of new ones, but we do so during a bit of self-induced chaos. Take my office as an example! At FBC Enid the church offices were designed in a different time with different needs. The offices at Cedar Falls BC are much newer and more efficient. There is not as much wall space and not as many bookshelves. The result is a seemingly unending supply of books and decorations that I just do not have use or space.

The point of this bit of trivia is simply this. I have been faced with the clutter which has accumulated during 33 years in full time ministry. There are books that will never be read or read again, papers written that will never be implemented, gifts and trinkets that I simply do not have the space for etc. Then I asked myself, “Is this a bit like our Christian lives?” You many have been a Christian for many years and over the course of your Christian walk you have accumulated a few things that once were a necessity but now you find are a burden. Take for instance your church posture. When you first got saved someone may have told you that you need to be quiet around other Christians or maybe you got that idea because you said something and felt really stupid for saying it. Most people would have thought, “No big deal, at least I spoke up” but not you. You held on to that fear and determined never to speak up or speak out again. You have had plenty of opportunities, but you hold onto your fears. You will not even ask your Sunday School teacher for clarification on something they said. It is true that many people think of you as a wise and sagacious saint, but you feel differently.

How about prejudices. Maybe years ago, all the Christians felt a certain way about a specific sin or worldly topic and you simply adopted that because everyone felt the same way. However, now you have people in your family and friends who disagree wholeheartedly with your prejudice and you have never taken the time to seek council from God’s word. That prejudice has remained a prejudice, it has not grown into a conviction Bible study and prayer. You are no more versed in defending the thought, you don’t know why you believe it. Your parents felt this way and that is good enough for you. This kind of shallow thinking and feeling is turning away an entire generation and yet it does not give us impetus to dig more deeply. Although there are many examples of Christian posture that we could examine there is one more that is on my mind to discuss, Personal evangelism.

Personal evangelism is a topic that many your Christians struggle with for a while but most never do more than struggle. In other words, the personal struggle never leads to an encounter where the Gospel is presented or if it has been presented the result never led to the other person receiving eternal life or entering a living growing relationship with Christ. Here is where I might slip into the area of politics. The intent is not to be political but to draw a comparison to the spread of communism in the past century. I don’t usually write articles that reflect any sort of political view. Lifting the name and purpose of Jesus Christ and His cross is always the best way to focus our thoughts and energies. However, As I unpacked my books, I noticed a diminutive, hardcover book, more the size of a bible study called, “Challenge to the Cross”. Most of us have been concerned by the events in our nation since March. As I was pondering those events I decided to open this little book on my desk, (actually, the papers and books that had been laid upon it were finally put away and the little book was revealed.)

The book had been put on the desk with the express purpose of reading it. It has been in my possession for more years than I care to count and was given to me by Barron H. Harris pastor at FBC Jewett TX, whom I served with during my days at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The tome starts off with a quote from Nikita Khrushchev upon his first visit to the USA. In his first televised speech in America he pointed his stubby finger at the camera and arrogantly shouted, “I prophesy that your grandchildren will live under communism. We will bury you! With our scientific powers we will make the rivers of the United States run backwards. We will defy natural law. As I turned the page, I read the communist strategy for the conquest of America. It was to be done without war, instead they proposed a strategy of infiltration, of dividing loyalties, of pitting class against class of creating economic and political chaos, of propaganda, of the big lie. Then, at the right moment, a hard corps of trained communists would take over!
I realized that this generation is seeing the communist strategy realized before our very eyes. Dr. Wayne Dehoney the author, continues to describe the commitment that the communist has to his cause, the personal deprivation that man or woman will go to further the objective of domination. Dr. Dehoney was then the pastor of FBC in Jackson TN. He commented on his own church members addiction to their comforts and lifestyle. They had neither the passion nor the will to share the gospel which is the only real way to cure the evils and ills of the world. The Communists had the passion to conquer, and if they do what will they have? An evil and sick world will be their gain. An evil world with no cure.

A Christian has in the Word of God and in their hearts the only thing that can bring healing the the world and cure all its problems yet we would rather not be bothered in training ourselves to share or getting off our blessed assurance to go. The posture we may have adopted early in our Christian walk of letting someone else actively share the gospel simply does not work in today’s climate. Real authentic Christians who are passionate about Jesus and passionate to see their family, friends’, co-workers and neighbors come to Christ is still God’s plan to save the world. Have you retired from this part of His service? Tell God, right now, that you would like to re-enlist. Let’s reach our city for Christ while we still can.