Friday, October 7, 2016

How to Reach Your Neighbors, 1 of 6

It is certainly a privilege to be the first writer on the Bethany Community Church blog.

They say that if you want a sure fire way to guilt your congregation, talk about prayer or evangelism. My hope is that my part of these blog posts on evangelism will not heap any guilt on you, but instead, what you read will motivate you to see the joy of reaching your neighbors for Christ. Additionally, I hope to give you some good ideas for how to reach your neighbors. The thoughts in my posts are from a recent men's breakfast and adapted from Pastor Mark Dever, and at times, I am not sure what is from Dever and what are my thoughts. Let's assume if you are reading good stuff, it was from Dever.

Consider the following statement: The more you meditate on the gospel, the easier evangelism will become to you. I certainly agree. The fault of many posts on evangelism is to motivate the church to evangelism through guilt with statements like “God has done so much for you; will you do much for Him?"

A better motivator is the gospel itself! Mark Dever says, “The gospel is the very heart of what we’ve been called to do. The more I study the gospel, the more I become excited about talking about it.”

We should ask ourselves, "Why do I at times struggle with sharing the gospel with the unsaved world?"
Possible answers are:We don’t remember the gospel. (Romans 6:23) We struggle with a fleshly desire to not think of others before ourselves. (Philippians 2:3-5) Remembering the gospel, here is one reason why all believers are called to joyfully share God’s plan of redemption with the lost world: a desire to be obedient.

God’s call to evangelize is clear: 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20)

Paul writes of the call and obligation to evangelize: 1I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (Romans 9:1-3)

Of this passage, Mark Dever says, “This passage is a clear call to us. Our silence is not a matter of neutrality. You need to tell yourself that. Our silence is a matter of guilt and sin. Obedience is…a biblical reason to evangelize.”

Do I wait until I feel like being obedient to evangelize? To evangelize is to be obedient. Don’t wait for your feelings. Work at them, but don’t wait for them.

More soon. Take care...
Pastor Ben

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