For His Glory

Monday, December 05, 2005

Results of Preaching the Gospel.

"When you preach, people should either get angry or be converted." -John Wesley

When Wesley said that, I dont think he had the "Jesus loves you" Gospel in mind. Too many Christians today are afraid of offending someone with the Gospel, so they soften it up a bit and even put a little sugar on top. My pastor made the statements, true Christian love is finding your joy in the joy of others. Love is being able to cause temporary pain or discomfort for a short time in ones life, in order that future, unspeakable joy can be obtained. (That was my paraphrase, correct me if I'm wrong). The Gospel is offensive. Preaching the Gospel is the result of love for Christ and the person to whom it is being preached. It is not a sales pitch to talk someone into "getting saved." The Gospel is beneficial to both the preacher(anyone who declares the Gospel) and to the person it is being presented. Those who share the Gospel are being obedient. When we get to heaven, not only will we be rewarded for obedience to God, but we will get to see (I am assuming) those that God has saved by using us, experience joy, thus giving us joy. That's love! Getting our joy from their joy.

When we share the Gospel, it is worth the unkind words or actions here on earth when it produces eternal joy. The thing is, in America, unkind words or actions is about all we will get (so far). So personally, I think it is worth the brief discomfort not only for the recepient, but us also.

So why do we not see the Gospel being preached as it should? Well, among other things, I think it is the fear of man. I publicly confess that when sharing the Gospel, the fear of man arises in me and I am praying that God would help me overcome that. I'm praying that God would raise up people locally who proclaim the Gospel boldy! I'm praying that I would be one of them. I'm praying that God would open the eyes of people in the churches around here to the fact that people are on their way to hell, with no hope, all around us, everyday. We have a mission field, the people we see everyday in our small community.

Recently our town had a Christmas parade. The theme was "Lighting the way to Christmas." Catchy theme for a parade with floats that had Chistmas lights all over them. Some of the churches had things like, "Lighting the way to God" or similar phrases. I got to thinking, is that really happening? Are our local churches (including mine) and people (including me) really being a light to show a small town that have hundreds, possibly thousands of depraved people, the way to Christ? My answer? Not alot from what I can see. This is a small town and word gets around, yet I do not hear of any church that has people constantly being genuinely redeemed. I'm quite sure that their are people being saved in Live Oak, and that churches are proclaiming the gospel to a certain extent. The thing is, according to Wesley's quote at the top, I'm not seeing a whole lot of either people getting angry or converted. Because of that, I came to the conclusion that our churches are either not giving the true Gospel (which is both offensive and able to save), or have people who do not care, have the fear of man, or aren't true believers themselves to proclaim it.

With all that being said, the only thing I believe I can do is pray. I am praying that our church would be a city on the hill, the light and salt for Live Oak.


Father,
I thank you for the work you are doing in me. I pray that you would raise up people in our town to proclaim the good news of our Lord Jesus, the Christ. May the fear of man be overpowered by the potential joy we have when people come to know you. Lord help us to have the mindset of missionaries in a foreign field even though we live here, because we are foreigners in this world. Let us not waste our lifes with the pursuit of the vain. Help us to boldy follow You.

7 Comments:

  • Josh,
    This is awesome! It is so good to see people so on fire for the Gospel. I can relate to the fear Satan puts in us when we start preaching the Gospel. We must keep remembering we can overcome that fear because we have the One who overcame the world, in us. I will be praying right along with you!
    In Christ,
    Beth

    By Blogger Beth, at 12/05/2005 11:49 PM  

  • Quoting from post:
    [I've come] “to the conclusion that our churches are either not giving the true Gospel (which is both offensive and able to save), or have people who do not care, have the fear of man, or aren't true believers themselves to proclaim it.
    With all that being said, the only thing I believe I can do is pray.”

    Praying is a great start - but you (and I) have to be the ones to catalyze a reaction in our communities! What bold, real-world things can we do right now to promote the Gospel to the lost of Suwannee county?

    By Blogger Jay Harrison, at 12/06/2005 12:15 AM  

  • What I meant to say there is, "as of right now" the only thing I know to do is pray. That being said, I totally agree with you. Do you have any practical ideas?

    By Blogger Josh, at 12/06/2005 12:44 PM  

  • Jay's comment was similar to what I had planned to say. Let's hold eachother into account, and start making some practical plans. I am with you all the way. I am ready to start. I guess we could begin with a prayer/planning gathering. Just an idea. Let's descuss this further.

    By Blogger Jeremy, at 12/06/2005 9:16 PM  

  • Josh,
    I have found that when I have just been in the word and speak to someone that is lost I have boldness. I find myself excited about what God has been teaching me in His word and can't wait to tell them what I have learned. I believe if we saturate ourselves in the word and in prayer our focus will be to be obedient to our father instead of fearing man. It is our lack of meditation on God's word and passionate prayer that robs us of our boldness. I too will be praying that God uses us to start a catalyst reaction to reach our lost and dying community. We have a responsibility as God's children to be spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ even if they regect it. May we pray and ask God to reveal to us some ways in which we can reach the lost in our community.

    By Blogger Michelle Harrison, at 12/07/2005 9:12 AM  

  • Thank you for this post. I too have struggled (A BUNCH) with the fear of man when the opportunity arises to witness to someone. But God has really been showing me lately that I need to be witnessing. I will be praying about some practical ways that we can reach our community with the Gospel.

    By Blogger Mrs. Nathan Goddard, at 12/08/2005 1:18 AM  

  • UPDATE:
    My Gospel link above was changed (on the source site). Here is the new link:
    http://www.southsidebc.net/page17/page17.html

    Best,
    -J

    By Blogger Jay Harrison, at 12/14/2005 7:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home