John 8:31-36 (NKJV): Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
There is an interesting thing happening in The Body of Christ. It seems this is not a new thing but it does seem like it is growing. There seems to be more and more of a push for evangelism than for discipleship. We need to be willing to be Disciples of Jesus and then we need to be willing to go out and make Disciples.
This is the time of year when many churches/fellowships jump on the opportunity to reach the lost. There is nothing wrong with this concept as many return to “church” during Easter or otherwise known as “Resurrection Sunday” Why? Because it is the time of year when we spend time to reflect on Jesus dying on the cross and then being resurrected. This may be that time when people think, “If only I go to ‘church’ this Sunday, then not only will I make mom/grandma happy, but then maybe God will see me and I will have a pass or have my sins forgiven.”
Why is this a problem? Because for forgiveness is only the beginning. It is not the end all. It is like going up to someone and stepping on their foot, saying, “Sorry.” and then doing it again. Or asking for forgiveness, without any remorse, with the intent to go back and doing what one was already doing.
Evangelism in of itself is not really a bad thing. In fact, the Bible talks about that there should be evangelists. Take a look at what Paul talks about in Romans 10:
Romans 10:14-18 (NKJV): How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”
Evangelism is important as it can be used to reach those who are not followers of Christ because they:
A. never had a relationship with Him
B. Or have fallen into their old ways.
It can be something that is used to remind those who are followers of things they need to let go of to become closer to The Lord. It can be used to share God’s love to others that would have never had heard it before. However, it is not the end all.
There seems to be an upswing of churches/fellowships/ministries that use trendy sayings, clothes or other things to draw others into The Body of Christ. They are using some sort of “gimmick” like what would be used to draw someone to a car lot or store to make a purchase. There are problems that occur with this:
A. If someone is “sold” to fallow Christ, what is to keep them from being “sold” to follow their old ways again?
B. If a “show” is the main focus and not The Word of God, then you have to keep “performing” and doing bigger and better shows to draw more.
C. If the focus is on filling seats in the “church” and not on filling the hearts of those who have come, then they will never grow nor change and may reject Christ and return to the “folly of their ways” (Proverbs 26:11)
D. If we are not living a life that shows change and shows hope, then others will look and wonder why they should change because there is no hope.
It comes down to this, we need to start being focused on Christ, start acting and becoming more like one of His Disciples and then go and make other Disciples by being an example and teaching, not by using “flare” to attract more. If you only reach one and show them how to be a disciple, then it’s a good thing. I’m not saying to only stop at reaching others and teaching them, I am saying let your discipleship be that of what brings Glory to God. Let your mentorship be so that others will want to learn how to be closer to Him.
2 Timothy 2:1-7 (NKJV): You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
After all, we want others who we reach to be successful in continuing to grow in their walks with Jesus right?
It starts with Our Relationship with Jesus. If you don’t have a Relationship with Him or you need to rekindle that Relationship, do it now. Call out to Him and seek his Love and Forgiveness. It really is as hard or easy as you make it.
We should look to Him daily to seek a relationship with Him. I want to encourage you to seek Him today, if you haven’t already. If you need help, have questions or need direction in this regard, please, feel free to let me know.
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Any scripture referenced here is taken from New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted