Thursday, February 17, 2005the conclusion of the matter...
The parting shot for this series on having "a heart for the lost" is this: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Now I don't know most of the Christians who come to my blog, but I'll bet most of you do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when it comes to mass evangelism. If you feel bad right now, that's a good thing. It's a good thing because that at least means that the Holy Ghost is convicting you of something you should be doing. If you have read these 4 last posts and don't feel at all bad about not taking part in mass evangelism, well, what can I say other than: that's pretty pathetic.
Let me echo the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13, and allow me to edit the verses to my particular situation:
"For I think that God hath set forth us the evangelists last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day."
Now I praise God that, unlike Paul, I have never gone without food, clothes or shelter, but there is no question we've been buffeted, reviled and persecuted. And what have you gone through for the sake of the Gospel?
You know, there are thousands of born-again believers in my city. THOUSANDS! There are 3-7 men who do open-air evangelism. By my estimation, that's about 0.1-0.3%.
Consider the Philadelphia 11. Now I have been told that there was actually 20 of them out there with Gospel signs at the homosexual parade. So let's go with 20. How many born-again believers are in Philadelphia? WHERE ARE THEY ALL??? Their Christian brothers are standing for the Truth against the vilest of sexual sins, and are being taken to the courts for it, and Christian Joe Average goes home from work at night, gets word of what is going on, shakes his head in disappointment, and then sits in front of a re-run of Seinfeld.
Christian brothers and sisters, I don't want to guilt trip you into action. I'm appealing to your sense of compassion, solidarity and duty. We need you with us. WE REALLY DO! Every Friday night, it's me and two other men on one side, and the WORLD on the other. Now don't get me wrong, my faith is strong, I know that with God, one man can do incredible things (just look at Jonah's preaching to the Ninevites), but friends, why not comfort your brothers and sisters who evangelize in spiritual dry times.
In closing, I beg you, don't hide behind passages like 1 Corinthians 12. Don't say you don't have the gift for evangelism. The Great Commission is an unqualified statement. Christ did not say: those of you who have the gift, preach the Gospel. We are ALL to take part in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Do I believe some have a spiritual gift from God that makes them especially proficient in evangelism? You bet I do! I go preaching with such a man every Friday. Does that mean that he should be the only one street preaching. NO WAY! I assure you, I have no "natural" talent for street preaching, but after 5 years, I've become better and better at it, and the Lord has blessed me.
So what will it be my friends? Will you continue neglecting your responsibilities to the lost? Or will you develop a heart for the lost?