DRAWING NEAR – PART 10
HAVE WE BECOME NUMB TO SIN? – JAMES 3:9-13
What is evangelism? Evangelism is the announcement, proclamation, and preaching of the GOSPEL the good news about Jesus Christ. Therefore, the gospel is a communicated message of warning people about the consequences of carnality, rebellion, embracing the dark-side and includes the call to repent by turning away from sin and turning toward God. The English word, “evangelism,” comes from the Greek word euaggelion. Most literally translated in the noun form, euaggelion means: “gospel” or “good news.” In the verb form (euaggelizesthai), the meaning of the word changes slightly to “announce” or “bring good news.” The Greek word in its various forms appears fifty-five times in the New Testament. In addition to the before-mentioned translations, the Greek word is also translated as “preach.” In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 we see Paul reminding the listeners about what the gospel is by declaring in verse 3, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. And that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” So we understand that this explanation of the gospel is the MOST important message in the world because it has the power to rescue humanity from an eternal hell. “For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL of Christ: for it is the “power” of God unto salvation to EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVES: to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Brother, I think this is very elementary, every Christian learns about the gospel and evangelism at an early age. Well, it may be true that we have heard about this with our ears – but it is likely that many have never actually received the revelation of it in their heart.
When trying to figure out why many Christians do not tell others about Jesus, we could say that maybe since evangelism IS listed in the 5-fold ministry offices, that many believe this is a special calling and that “average” followers of Jesus are not required to do it. This goes back to the same old comfortable attitude that is present in the religious spectator when it comes to all of our other responsibilities. Let me ask you (and myself for that matter) a question. Do we realize that nice people all around us are lost and when they die they are going to spend an eternity in a burning eternal hell? Brother this sounds awful harsh and bold! I like to hear messages about peace and love. I understand – so do I! However, the sword of God’s Word has two edges and we must find the BALANCE of His truth or we will plod through life with a distorted view of His divine reality. This may also sound elementary, but if you and I are truly born again, we have been given the ONLY solution that can save the lost from this tragic ending – the gospel of Jesus Christ! His blood is the ONLY payment for sin in order to redeem a soul from being hopelessly lost and WE have been commissioned to tell this story like a farmer sows seed. We are to not only have an active prayer journal for all those we know but we are to be preparing and becoming aware of divine appointments that God is arranging for us. You see, prayer and evangelism work together! If we choose to NOT be spiritually sensitive, then He will not be able to count on us to help others. He will use us according how much we WANT to be used!
We have said this before, but if the world was dying from a terrible plague and you had the medicine that could cure them, would you give it out or keep it hidden? I would hope that we would help as many people as we could but this is exactly the way it is in the spiritual realm. The world is infected with the curse of the fall, and that means we are all born with a fallen spirit that needs to be transformed into rescued spirit. There is no such thing as naturally “good” people because unless we are born-again – we are lost and filled with darkness. I am in nursing homes nearly on a daily basis and the people seem nice and friendly but obviously they are not all saved. I asked a 93 year old man today if He was ready to meet God and if all was well with his soul. He shook his head up and down and continued to tell me his war stories. The gospel is the cure for mankind’s “fatal” disease and we have an unlimited supply of this gospel in God’s WORD! The problem remains that we all have a Bible but very few choose to use it! Matthew chapter 9 and verses 37-38 says, “Then saith Jesus to His disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into HIS harvest.” He is saying there is much work to do but very few who have the burden to do it. Are you prepared to go even deeper with this subject?
Most everyone sits around and watches television. This is not big news because we have been doing it since we were born (or since it was invented). The real problem has always been the same for the Christian and that is the question whether or not it is right to watch it. Now brother, here we go again with your religious laws and fanatical extremism! Maybe you should go and join the Amish. Well, to be honest maybe some of these groups have the right idea. I am not advising us to go off grid and join a commune but I want to explain about the conflict between television and prayer. The closer we become to God – the further away from the world we will pull away. Spiritual sensitivity has everything to do with being “aware” of His presence and how serious we are about our love for Him. It is not really rocket science – sin causes us to become numb and drawing near to God makes us on guard to anything that offends His holiness. When we see someone that we know is lost, we should be convicted that this person needs prayer and the gospel in order to be ransomed from dying and going to hell. But, is this how we feel about actors we watch on television? I have a serious question; how can we that have been given the responsibility to witness and pray for the lost, pay to laugh and be entertained by those whom we are called to be interceding for? How can we go to church and agree with a sermon about the darkness and sinful abominations of the world and then go home and spend the rest of the day being thrilled, laughing, loving and enjoying what we see on TV? Hmmmm…. do you see the conflict? This is not condemnation but rather an honest examination of what we are calling the “cross bearing” Christian life. Maybe the Holy Spirit is trying to expose our priorities and how calloused we have become. We wonder why the churches are cold and lifeless and then discover that hardly anyone has ever kept a prayer journal or witnessed to anyone. Souls all around us desperately need Jesus and we are either too numb to sense it – or we do not care. When sin causes us to weep, be heartbroken, offended and nauseated, we will certainly not pay to watch it.