Sunday, 16 June 2013

Evangelizing (telling others about Jesus)

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

Who was Jesus talking to here? Only the apostles? Does He speak to each of us individually even today to teach and preach? Or was that only for at that frozen moment in time?

This is an enormous topic and I'm only going to scratch a tiny bit of the surface here, because this involves the history of the church, parsing this (above Bible text) and other passages of scripture, as well as much personal testimony and that is something, although very valuable and I hope that everyone researches church history and scrutinizes Bible passages carefully to see how it should shape our lives today, it is too immense to put all into a single blog post.

A brief overview of church history (brief to the extreme, please don't think this enough information to now believe you "know" church history, lol). In the very beginnings of the church, there were many who had seen the flesh and blood Jesus here on earth. The Apostle Paul didn't see Jesus before the ascension but he did have a direct visitation from Him after His ascension on the road to Damascus. It was dangerous to be a Christian....but why? As the years went on there were persons and events that brought Christianity to the masses (Constantine, Charlemagne) and "Christianized" Europe, enforcing "Christianity" (this is a complex issue in itself, there may have been some who truly became Christians as a result of these events). Protestants separated from the Catholic Church, and then itself separated into several splinter groups --evangelicals (such as Wesleyans, Baptists) separated from their reformation brothers (such as Lutherans, Presbyterians --  nicknamed the "frozen chosen" because many did not have a heart to reach out to evangelize those outside of their groups and had very formal and often ritualized -- i.e."cold" and "dead" meetings). Revivals brought new life to congregations, however there were also many heresies that often slipped in with each successive wave of change ---as the devil would have it, yet God still is over all.

The Apostle Paul said:
Php 1:15  Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
Php 1:16  The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
Php 1:17  But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
Php 1:18  What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

That isn't to say that care shouldn't be given to how the message of the gospel is shared, in fact many go with much zeal sharing a "gospel" that isn't the gospel at all, and that isn't what Paul is saying here. We need to be mindful of our Lord and what He did for us, and share the truth about Him in our thanksgiving to Him, and pray that He will open opportunities for us to speak about Him, and trust that He will give us words that are pure and true to share with others who are lost and dying in their sins.

Col 4:2  Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Col 4:3  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Col 4:4  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Col 4:5  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Col 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

And this isn't to "lord it over" people so that they will idolize YOU (God forbid), nor is it to be out of fear because our God demands these things out of us, although perhaps that can be a beginning point. He is our friend when He has made peace with us, and that friendship does have some requirements, but this can come out of us "naturally" (supernaturally?), but we can quench His Spirit:

 Luk 11:33  No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. 


  Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Mat 25:16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
Mat 25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
Mat 25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Mat 25:20  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:22  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
Mat 25:23  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 

Mat 25:24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Mat 25:25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 

Mat 25:26  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 

Mat 25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

Acting out of fear to reach others with God's word isn't good, we are people of faith after all. Yet however,  we can go to the other extreme and not go out at all because we might "get it all wrong" or might get other people angry, or might drive others further away from the Lord or what have you, there are many reasons that we can become that unprofitable servant mentioned above. God tells us He will provide the words we need to say as He moves us with His Holy Spirit, and He will open the doors, as we pray for the opportunity to share the truth of the marvelous things God does and can do in lives, transforming others with the words He provides us....but not if we quench His Spirit and tell the Lord to do it some other way besides using the gifts we want to keep buried regarding telling the lost about Jesus.

Luk 8:4  And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
Luk 8:5  A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
Luk 8:6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
Luk 8:7  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
Luk 8:8  And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Luk 8:9  And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
Luk 8:10  And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
Luk 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Luk 8:12  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Luk 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Luk 8:14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Luk 8:16  No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
Luk 8:17  For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Luk 8:18  Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

Let the love that those who are His be the genuine love that loves to share the truth about Jesus, especially when it gets us hated or killed, that we "love not our lives unto death" and let that love abound the more as persecution grows, so that many may grow in grace and the true knowledge that comes through knowing Jesus as we lay down our lives and our flesh for Him.

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Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

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