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God Oriented Evangelism

A few of us we're talking tonight, and the subject of how we share our faith came up, in a fashion.

One friend mentioned how she had an atheist friend whom she had argued with to some extent; at some point she realized that 1) he knew more about a lot of things (for example, evolutionary theory) than she did, and 2) she was not going to be able to convince him that God is real.

It's surely a common example that many, if not most, Christians can identify with. At a past point in my life, I know I approached things in a very similar manner; I believed that I could convince people to turn to Christianity. The way Christian evangelism is (often) portrayed follows a similar thought: it is our actions, whether through debate or lifestyle or something we do or say or don't do or don't say, it is those things that convinces people: "Hey, yeah, I want to be a Christian!"

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I really don't think this is true.

As my friend Dalton Lifsey one said, "When you walk into a bar with friends, and they all order a beer, and you order a Coke (because you're a Christian!) everyone else in the bar isn't going to look at you and say 'Man, he's different! I want what he's got!' " (my very loose paraphrase)

It just doesn't work like that. Yet, isn't that exactly what we are expecting to happen? We think that people will come to Jesus because we point out that we are celibate before marriage, or that we don't drink alcohol, or that we go to Church on Sunday instead of watching football, or that the majority of scientists in the world who promote evolution are wrong, or that abortion is murder, or that homosexuals shouldn't be married. On and on.

Biblically, it is not the man who chooses God, resulting in God then saving the person. Rather, it is God who must first reveal Himself (remove the spiritual veil from) to the person whom will be saved. God is always, always the first cause in Salvation.

We could explain to someone the gospel until we are blue in the face and exhausted, and it won't penetrate a single millimetre into their understanding, unless God allows it.

This should drastically change how we look at evangelism.

It's not our job to convince people of the truth of God. It is our job to testify about Jesus, and to seek God.

I've already established that we can't corner people into believing in God. What we can and should do, though, is seek God, and testify about Him.

  1. Seek God I believe this is by far the most important part of evangelism. If you aren't praying, what the heck is the point? I realize that this doesn't bear on style of evangelism it's broad, and applies anyways. Still worth mentioning, though.
  2. Testify About Him Your job is to tell the truth about God. Tell of what he's done. Tell about Jesus, the King of the world. Tell of who He is. Whether and unbeliever becomes a believer does not depend on how good your story is; but what you don't know is whether God has opened that person's heart to the message, or not. It is important that you say it, though. God uses our words to reach people it's not our words that do the trick, but God using them.

The major difference, if you picked it up, is who we think is doing the work. Is it us convincing people to Christ, or is it merely us being a channel for Christ to move? The former is self-centered the latter is God-centered. People will question whether God is real in many situations you testify about: that's not your problem. Don't worry about it! YOU CAN'T CONVINCE THEM IT WAS GOD. Only God can do that. All you can do is pray.

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Notes

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Posted in Recreation and leisure Post Date 08/06/2018


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