Evangelism was the focus of our Statewide Retreat that I made mention of in the last post. Evangelism is something most Christians have heard is important but it really does seem like few Christians practice it. I have heard many sermons on evangelism and not counting this past retreat only one of them was not a guilt-trip trying to make me feel bad for past failures. Do Christians have a negative feeling toward evangelism even though cognitively we know it should be a positive thing? We beat ourselves up over it. Others beat us up over it. I also wonder if there isn’t some fear of the unknown involved. The only way to beat fear of the unknown is to get to know it – try it. How are we going to try what we have negative/guilt feelings about?
I really think the answer starts in three places – public/private prayer, the pulpit and in the classroom where a positive image of evangelism can be more regularly cast. Testimony can be powerful in giving evangelism a positive image where we listen to real stories about how others became Christians. We need positive role-models and that starts with our leaders. We need elders, ministers, and deacons who are actively evangelizing. Saying something is important doesn’t speak as loud as practicing something we say is important. We need outlets where evangelism is a central focus of what we do – LIFE groups can be one way to accomplish that. We need to put on our spiritual glasses to see the world in a spiritual way. When we do we can’t help but understand that there is a need all around us.
I really don’t know that the answer is we need to be better informed. While some people do need that, many of us have heard the “plan of salvation” all of our lives and know it forwards and backwards. Yet many people who know it so well say that the reason they don’t do it is because they don’t know how or are afraid of not having the right answers.
We need to change the focus. We have fear, anxiety, and guilt when we are the focus. The focus of evangelism is God and others, not self. While we are involved in the process we are not the focus. Understanding that can really help someone alleviate their fears because as they say, it is not about you/me.
What do you think are some reasons people don’t evangelize and what could we do to do a better job of reaching the lost and having the same passion for the lost as Christ did?
I can think of 4 reasons.
Some folks don’t evangelize because they haven’t been an authentic witness, and so they would feel ashamed to talk to someone about Christ, or church, when that person has clearly seen a/an example(s) of un-Christlikeness.
Also, folks would rather remain friends with folks than sour a relationship — not being confrontational and not stirring up harsh feelings.
Third, I think some folks are ashamed of their churches. Whether they’re ashamed of the worship, or there being loud/crying/obnoxious children (I’ve actually heard this one recently), or cleanliness, or the preacher’s ability, or whatever it may be.
Finally, I think sometimes we are indifferent & really just don’t care. Honestly.
I think part of our problem might be that we don’t want to believe that anyone is really lost anymore.
That’s the thing about our conservative ancestors in churches of Christ. Everyone likes to complain about how they were legalistic/sectarian/etc., but at least they felt a genuine need to convert and save lost people.
We basically want to acknowledge as many positive points about people as we can without being so rigid and judgmental. This is acceptable in our culture, but it may not be so good for our churches. I don’t want to see us return to an “all fire and brimstone all the time” style, but there’s something to be said for really believing that people who are not obedient to Christ are actually going to burn in a very real Hell. There’s my two cents.
1 – We’re uncomfotable. We don’t know what to say and how to say it.
2 – We’re afraid we’ll be rejected.
3 – It’s not our job, that’s what the preach and the elders are for.
4 – I really just don’t have the time.
5 – People aren’t that interested anyway.
Just a few lousy reasons we’re not reaching out.
Matt, Did you get my response or did it just get lost in cyberspace?
I think part of the reason is that, though we say all day long that we believe everyone needs to be reached, we’re still a little too scared to touch these people. I think once we get started it would get easier & easier. Maybe we don’t start because we’re lazy or any other number of reasons that have already been mentioned. But if we truly believe we need to be reaching the lost, we truly need to be doing it. (this is really me trying to motivate myself to do what I said we should do 😉 )
I think Mark made a really good point too (well, everyone did) about our culture today. No one wants to tell anyone else that they’re flat-out wrong. It’s not politically correct. We need to get over that.
By the way, I am really really very honored that you’ve added me to your blogroll. When did you do that? I didn’t notice it until tonight. Thank you for that compliment!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
The Last Apostle based on the Bible
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
3For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
4For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
This is the question: Are there still apostles in the church today? Nathan then gave foolish statements. Why did I say so? Let me just highlight what he said from “The Pulpit” under the post Peter, Paul, and Murray? (Part 1)
1. There are at least five reasons why I believe there are no longer any apostles in the church today
2. (and in fact have not been since the death of the apostle John).
3. We’ll unpack these reasons over the next several days.
All of Nathan’s statement are erroneous, biblical speaking or based on the bible!
I wonder what the outcome will be of this discussion? The author should have said that Jesus Christ is the Apostle and the High Priest that Christians profess! Then the readers, even the author, have been saved from all errors that will result from these pre-conceived ideas they discussed. But do not worry, let me justify my statements biblically speaking. Let us therefore discuss the biblical truth!
Let us read from the bible.
Titus 3:9-11 9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
Definitely, Paul is an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God and Jesus Christ:
1 Timothy 1:1-7 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2To Timothy my true son in the faith:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
And this is his warning against false teachers of the Law in the same verse:
3As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith. 5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.
7They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
One thing more, do you know that Paul has heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell? But he never boasted about this as he even said that he is even the least of the Apostles:
1 Corinthians 15:7-18
7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them— yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. 12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
Also, Peter has introduced Paul:
II Peter 3:15-17
And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures. Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability.
Now, who is the Apostle of this times? Has the apostleship ended nowadays? Let us not listen to any writer or to anyone in this forum or post but rather let us seek the bible:
Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 1:18-20 18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Ecclesiastes 10:1 — “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.”
Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
My point is, the author has no knowledge of what he is talking about and his statements stink! Let us not stick from our own understanding but rather seek the book of the Lord for answers. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
1Tim 1:7 And those who wanting to be teachers of the law, but without understanding either what they are saying or what they assert with such assurance.
But, it is correct to say that those man calling themselves apostles nowadays are the anti christs. They keep on tagging themselves as an apostle because they have established their own church. These anti christs have not reached the understanding about the composition of the church and to where a person should be affiliated with to become a christian. It is the Church of God as mentioned by Paul where we should be affiliated. The church has been existing even before. It is the church where Paul belongs to. You can find there already the apostles, prophets, etc and they are our Apostles including Paul, they were ahead of us on this times. Now, Jesus is the last Apostle. I dare anybody to say otherwise.
1 Cor 12:28-30
28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[a]? Do all interpret?
The author of the debate creat
ed a discussion that no one will benefit from. Since, like other discussions outside the church, it shall be left hanging and turned out to be a meaningless talk. But now, thanks be to God, you learned who is the Apostle of this times and the future world. It is Jesus Christ. Paul stated this according to the wisdom givem to him by the command of God and Jesus Christ. Search in the bible and you’ll find this answer. You need to be a member of the Church of God as well, as the foundation has been laid down already. For more information go visit http://www.theoldpath.tv
Should I be wrong on what I said, I ask for forgiveness and may I refer you to our website where there are clips about our doctrine, found in the bible, as discussed by our Presiding Minister, Brother Eliseo Soriano.