Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
TITLE: Beyond Saving Souls
By Sherry A. Jackman
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A few weeks later, while wearing sunglasses following an eye exam, I was again handing out tracts, when I came upon Johnny M., whom I had dated briefly during high school. Street team members warned me not to talk to Johnny, but I explained that I knew him, omitting the fact he had been my boyfriend two years earlier. I remember talking to Johnny on the phone, after I got back to the dorm, where I had the opportunity to lead him to the Lord. I did not get a chance to disciple Johnny, so I don’t know how strong his Christian faith became; or, if it even lasted. I do remember a male classmate asking, if I had indeed led Johnny M. to the Lord with my sunglasses on. This classmate seemed to think leading someone to the Lord while wearing sunglasses was hilarious.
Evangelism is serious business, but one which should be undertaken with a heart of love and compassion. We have to realize that, not everyone we share the Gospel with, will receive our message and become Christians. It may be that we are just supposed to plant the seed, and let someone else water the seed. Then another person will come along and reap the harvest of that lost soul, who repents of his sin and accepts salvation by the blood of Jesus. Too often we try to club people upside the head with the gospel, or poke them in the stomach with it. That was not the way our Saviour did things. It is true that Jesus told people to go and sin no more, but He did it with a heart of compassion and love. When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him, He did not condemn her, but told her to go and sin no more. When He met with the woman at the well in Samaria, He revealed exactly how many husbands she previously had, and treated her with dignity and kindness. Those revelations convinced her He was truly the Messiah.
How can we expect people to want a relationship with Jesus, if we treat our own relationship with him in a casual, off-hand, haphazard manner? We must live our lives as examples, so that our actions do not contradict the gospel we are trying to preach. If our lives are full of unholiness and immorality, we cannot expect others to want this precious gift we are offering them. Our lives have to be above reproach. We cannot go speeding down the road, even though there may not be a police officer behind us, and think that we are not committing a sin. When we get too much money back at the check-out line, we have to be bold enough to return it.
It is not enough to just have someone agree that they are a sinner, and then say the sinner’s prayer with them, wherein they openly acknowledge their sin, repent from it and pray for Jesus to come in and cleanse them from that sin. Matthew 28:19-20 says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” Too many newborn Christians are abandoned in the nursery. Just as human babies need food and water, as well as nurturing, so they can grow physically; so do baby Christians need proper food and water (from the Word of God), and nurturing, so that they can grow spiritually. They need to become active members of a Bible-based, fundamental, evangelical church where they can be baptized and discipled. They must be taught foundational truths, grow spiritually, and lead others to the Lord; in turn, discipling them as well. In summary, are we mature Christians accomplishing this goal of producing true disciples of Jesus, who join us in spreading the gospel to the lost?
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