May 1, 2010

Who's Going To Help?

A believer’s strength isn’t just the fact that their faith can be proclaimed by speaking words but the fact that it can be proclaimed by acting it out. We have the potential to convert as many people through our actions as we will through our words.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. ~Philippians 2:12-18

When we convert, Christ does with us the same as He did with the the Apostles and the people that came before us in the faith. He changes us so that we become beacons for the Kingdom of God. He makes us fishers of men. He changes our hearts. It is then that He can use us to go out and change the world into His image. He doesn't need us perfect, as a mtter of fact it probably is better that we are messy. People of the world want tangible evidences and it is often staring them straight in the eyes telling them that they need to have faith and to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and goes by the name Andy, Todd, James, Mike. The physical evidence of the Kingdom of God probably passes them on the street everyday or in the supermarket, at the Wawa, in school, at work and at the gym slowly working their way through their own process of sanctification. Those people born anew with many of their flaws still intact waiting to be wrenched free from their bodys of sin. One by one being disgarded as we work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12-13). Unfortunately, many are looking for a fish in in the sky when they should be looking for birds. They don't even know what someone homegrown for the Kingdom would look like so they look in all the wrong directs right past all the evidence they'll ever need telling them, "Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life".

Their retort is usually: "Get out of my way Biblethumper, I'm looking for the truth! A real god! Not your hateful demanding one!"

We, the beleivers in the body of Christ are to be the embodiment of the message now that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father waiting for His perfect timing for His return. We are also to take the message to the world (Matthew 28:19-20), not only as words but also as actions.

"...and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him." ~Luke 5:10-11

I am adlibbing here but...Jesus is essentially saying He is going to take back the world and turn very thing on its head while simultaneously reclaiming it for the Kingdom of God. He then goes on to redefine what the Jews of his day understood the Law to be, especially the Pharisees and Sadducee's. It was divisive and certainly didn't sit well with others of His day. Hence the need to silence Him and the eventual crucifixion. God knew He was going to change the world and He knew the effect He would have on certain men controlled by the world.

"They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." ~Luke 12:53

These are obviously not Jesus' exact words but He could've said something like, "I will turn everything you know upside-down while bringing the Kingdom here..and guess who's going to help me do it?" A statement like this would've just about said the same thing that Luke 5:10-11 & 12:53 does. He was and still does change our worlds and uses us as the vehicle to do it. The people we affect in a positive manner go out and affect others in a similar manner and this process continues on continually until God says enough is enough. At the same time some respond to the Gospel...and others hide from it even when they know it to be true.

Obviously change provokes resistance. In modern times we are asked to do nothing less than the Apostles did and we don't get nearly as much resistance or persecution as they did. Sometimes most of the resistance we get comes form internal stop lights. As we grow in the Lord the internal traffic lights begin to stay green longer and the externals tend to stay red. Regardless, it is not us they hate it is Christ, His message. It forces them to take responibility. It makes them realize that there is absolute measure of right and wrong. Along with this type of measure you also need justice...penalty for violation. The world can't have that because the world is the ultimate judge of its own destiny, or so it thinks. If they accept Christ it will force a do-over for them and they are too comfortable in their own sin.

Believers on the other hand need to live out our faith. Walk the walk so that in the event one of the world decides to turn from their ways, they at least will have a support system to help them out in their new journey. To be a steadying force for a world gone bad.


ArtWerx said...

my recent happening is that a Christian sister came to our door evangelizing. she said she had a Survey to fill out, which made me think she was from a cult, but i felt good vibes, so i asked her in for tea & we became friends for awhile. but in the end things went sour & i'm still waiting for her to forgive me for something that i'm not sure what it is i did...something i'm sure the Lord will be able to show me eventually...and out of it all comes my own thought that there was a Good Reason Jesus sent his preachers out 2 by 2! because the Kingdom we are preaching is demonstrated by The Love we have one for another. that is how all men will know we are His disciples. the best demo situation is two believers together, able to co-operate really well, like on Sesame St, lol! rather than a couple of 'toolmen', ie tim's creative & al's different (tim taylor voice, lol! :) what are your thoughts on Single Person Evangelizing?

Andy Pierson said...

There are inherent dangers going out in a single manner for men and women. Woman can easily become victims in this day and age. The danger for men isn't so much victimization physically as it is in terms of reputation. People like to talk. Even if things are done with the best intentions between two adults, there are those that will see and assume things that are not true...and will talk. Idle gossips (1 Tim 5:13, Matt 12:36) end up paying in the end anyway. Why give people fodder for chatter? The Bible is filled with "teams" of the faith. They exhort one another (Paul to Timothy), rebuke (Paul to Peter), Support (Mary to Mary) walking to the tomb with the understanding that Jesus was dead (mourning). I figure it this way. Wolves look for the single sheep that fall behind. They are easy prey even if they are strong sheep. There are many wolves in this sense taking chances.

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