LORD, I BELIEVE, BUT . . .
ďAs the Father has sent me, I am sending you.Ē
††††††††† I want you to think just a moment about the first men Jesus called to be his disciples.† Those men - first Peter and Andrew, then James and John, and finally Levi the tax collector - all did the same three things:†
1) They heard the call of Jesus.
2) They stopped doing what they were doing.
3) They followed Jesus.†
For them, the day-to-day business of life became irrelevant in the light of the presence and call of Jesus Christ.
††††††††† The first four disciples named above were fishermen by trade.† When Jesus called Peter and Andrew he said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."† Their purpose in life was changed from drawing fish from the sea into their boat with a net, to drawing men from the world into the kingdom of God with the gospel.† Listen, Jesus' call to discipleship hasnít changed.† Isn't it still the job of the believer to be a "fisher of men?"
††††††††† We know that the first century Christians took the task of evangelism to heart.† The church in its infancy was remarkable in the way it spread the gospel of Jesus.† It had no professional evangelists, no TV or radio, and no "big names" or popular music acts to attract people.† Instead of being honored for their faithful witness, believers were persecuted everywhere they went.† Still they went and they testified and they taught others about the love of Jesus.† They turned their world right side up for Christ!† Can the same be said of our generation?† Can such zeal be found in the present day?
††††††††† I recently read an article by the Rev. T.M. Moore, a Presbyterian pastor from Virginia, in which he attempted to deal with the fact that an alarmingly small number of modern Christians are personally involved in evangelism.†† Rev. Moore reduced the problem to five major issues.† It is his contention that the problem has its roots, not in unwillingness, but in unbelief.† Here are his ideas, see what you think:
1) Today's Christians don't believe that God can really convert the lost.† They believe that the lost are "too far gone" for God to do anything with them.†
2) Today's Christians don't believe that the gospel is what people really need.† The prevailing idea is that better education, counseling, more moral political leaders, or a better standard of living is what the world needs.†
3) Today's Christians don't believe that God can use them in the work of evangelism.† They don't see themselves a good enough or wise enough to be used by God.†
4) Today's Christians don't believe that it's their responsibility to share the gospel with the lost. †Many believe that evangelism is the job of the professional clergy.† The job of the ordinary Christian is to be friendly and nice--not to lead people to Christ!
5) Today's Christians don't believe in the mission of the church.† The church is our friendly and warm refuge from the world.† If others want to come, fine, but they will have to find their own way!
Just something to think about.
Pastor Keith Andrews