As a church, we are focusing on the importance of Evangelism as we enter the New Year. I want to draw your attention to two quotes that I think say well what is often lacking in the lives of many believers (myself included) when it comes to evangelism. The first is from John Piper who said:
I know that the reason so few conversions are happening through my church is not because we lack a program or staff. It is because we do not love the lost and yearn for their salvation the way we should. And the reason we do not love them as we ought is because such love is a miracle that overcomes our selfish bent. It cannot be managed or maneuvered into existence. It is an astonishing miracle. Examine yourself: Does it lie within your power right now to weep over the spiritual destruction of the people on your street? Such tears come only through a profound work of God. If we want this work of God in our lives and in our churches, there will be agonizing prayer: ‘God, break my heart!’ With such prayer God may grant tears. And without those tears we may shuffle members from church to church, but few people will pass from darkness to light. (taken from: Brothers, We Are Not Professionals)
Let’s commit to entering into “agonizing prayer”, that God would absolutely break our hearts for our community and the world’s need for Christ. I want to see and be a part of the Gospel going forth and radically saving and changing people’s lives. Scripture affirms that the Gospel is the power of God; I want to see that power turned loose. I want to see people pass from death (darkness) into life (marvelous light)!
We must commit to “agonizing prayer”, but there is another hindrance to our sharing the Gospel. John Stott said, “The greatest single hindrance to evangelism today is the secret poverty of our own spiritual experience.” I agree, I’m convinced that a major barrier that keeps us from sharing the Gospel is spiritual anorexia. We starve ourselves and have nothing to share. This is a tremendous shame! The Gospel is infinite; we can continually feast on it and never deplete its richness. The Gospel is not something that you understand at conversion and then move on to deeper things. We can never exhaust the depths of the Gospel! Let’s be a people who abide daily in the Gospel and pray that it bears rich fruit in our lives for all to see and enjoy.
Think about it, if our hearts were broken for the lost and we were continually feasting on the Gospel, the result would look like something seen in the book of Acts. People passionately sharing the Good News of Christ with everyone they come into contact with. This is my prayer for our church! I pray we are a people who never get tired of the Gospel, but that it becomes sweeter to us with every passing day. As we feast on the Gospel, I pray that it bears rich fruit in our lives making us salt and light. I pray that as our hearts are turned toward those without Christ that we proclaim the Gospel to them; imploring them to be reconciled to God through Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20). And all of this to the Glory of God!