Monday, January 7, 2008

When Less Is More

What are the three best things anyone can do in order to aid evangelism?

1) Love (John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:7-8; Hebrews 10:24; 1 John 3:16-20; Galatians 6:10);

2) Demonstrate the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:4-5; Hebrews 2:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5; Luke 24:46-49)

3) Be ready with your answer (1 Peter 3:15-16; John 9:24-38; Acts 26:1-29; 2 Timothy 1:8a; Luke 9:26).

We don't need to drink liquor with the world in order to win them, or to gyrate and grind with them at dance clubs, or to use vulgar language, or to entertain them, or to be entertained with them in order to have something to talk with them about around the water cooler. Evangelism is not offering the world more of what it already has, but that which is divinely different! Not different just for difference sake (i.e saffron robes and shaved heads, or their analogs), nor different by artifice (religiosity that makes us feel more spiritual but was never part of the practice of Jesus or the Apostles), but the difference that arises naturally, really supernaturally, when God is in the place.

If people will not heed the invitation to put their trust in Christ and walk with him now, when that invitation is accompanied by the demonstration of love, Holy Spirit power and personal testimony, then they don't need to be in God's company in eternity. Not because they are anymore wicked than any of us, but because they will not surrender to the will of God and the leadership of his Spirit. If one can't agree with God, he or she needs to burn in hell! A church that accommodates human willfulness, instead of confronting it, provides no service to anyone except Satan. Silencing the call for repentance, or expanding the tent of salvation to enclose sinful human willfulness is not evangelism. If that is what it takes to grow in post-modern society, perhaps less really is more.