Sunday, February 26, 2012

GO! (or, let me ask you a question)

I was talking with a friend earlier tonight about the church. We talked about many things ranging from complacency to 1st world/3rd world differences to "Country Club" church culture in the Western world. One big sticking point to which we kept returning was the idea of complacency and what we should be doing.

Regarding complacency, we talked, talked, and talked some more and we came to the point of realizing that we couldn't peg down what was the key cause of complacency. We tossed up Western culture, status as a Christian nation, wealth, comfort, and a multitude of other options. We also couldn't figure out why some individuals dedicate so much time to the church, learning, growing, and serving, yet they rarely talk of Christ or Christianity outside of church and then usually only in the context of their church.

Let me ask you a question. In a legal setting, if someone knows critical information about a case under investigation/trial, but refuses to divulge this, what happens to the person?

Now, let me ask you another question. If you knew a specific person was going to die today, would you tell them and try to avert their death? On whose head would the blame lie if you don't tell and the individual dies?

Let me bring to your attention the words of God:
"As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. If I say to the wicked, 'Wicked one, you will surely die,' but you do not speak out to warn him of his way, that person will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his blood." - Ezekiel 33:7-8
Now, let me ask you a third question. Readers who associate with the Christian faith (i.e. you who call yourselves Christians), when last did you convey God's warning to the people around you?

"What warning?"
Why, the warning that every man is born sinful and destined for eternal death and hell.  Yes. I just said hell. It's a real place and it's where anyone who hasn't accepted Christ as their lord and their saviour is destined to go.

Let me ask you yet another question, or rather, let me allow Penn Jillette, who, at the time of this clip, was not a Christian (I don't know if he currently is one) to ask the question.

"How much do you have to hate someone to not tell them about Jesus?"
"Okay, fine, but please tell me this, why should I go and tell some complete stranger?"
It's a direct command from Christ.

  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Mark 16:15
  • Luke 24:46-47
  • John 21:20
  • Acts 1:8
These are 5 different accounts of Christ's last words before His ascension. Nowhere in them is there the idea that this is an option. It is a direct command to preach the Gospel to the world. You don't have to go to some foreign country either. You can start right now at the 7-Eleven down the road.

"But evangelism isn't one of my spiritual gifts!"
Well, fortunately for you, evangelism isn't a spiritual gift. Romans 12 nor 1 Corinthians 12 speak of evangelism as a gift. It is an imperative action. It is something we must do.

"But I'm saved by grace, not by works."
Correct you are, but let's check out James 2:14-26. (verse 26 below)
". . . 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead"
Evangelism, being a work stemming from one's faith, is an integral part to Christianity. Evangelism is the vehicle by which word of God is spread. Were it not for evangelism, Christianity would not have spread all throughout the Roman Empire in a few hundred years.

Penny for your thoughts?

For more information about missions, evangelism, and unreached people groups worldwide, check out these sites: