by Caleb Hancock
Guys, I was reading this on John Piper’s blog at DesiringGod.org, and was compelled to share it today with you.
John is speaking on the fact that the message of Christmas, that God, Jesus, became Man to take away our sin on the cross, isn’t meant to only be celebrated and known by Christians, but that this message is in fact to be proclaimed by us (like the old Carol quoted in this post’s title).
Here is what Mr. Piper said:
by Mike Plewniak
“Let me tell you about one of the guys in our church. Mike one of the most joy-filled missionaries I know. One day Mike was scheduled to lead an evangelistic Bible study at a local college campus. When he entered the room they had reserved, though, instead of being empty, the room was occupied by eight gamers. They were wearing black trench coats, black eye makeup, black fingernails, black everything. I know that sounds like a huge stereotype of gamers, but it’s just the way it was.
So Mike walked in, and said in a friendly tone, “Hey guys, it’s our turn. Can I have the room?”
In response, a tall man in a trench coat screamed, “No!” Then he ripped his shirt open and bared his chest and yelled “NOW” to which his girlfriend came over and stuck a pin in his chest.
Then he stood up, looked at Mike, and said, “I wanna eat your soul.” (I’m not exaggerating; this really happened.)
Here was Mike’s Spirit-led salty remark: “Well, don’t fill up on soul, because we’ve got plenty of free pizza.”
Immediately, the man’s buddies started falling over themselves with laughter. That salty remark defused a scary situation. And the gamers? They all stayed for the Bible study.
I’m fairly confident that this scenario isn’t going to happen for most of us. But the point is clear. Joy and wit diffuse even the most tense situations. God’s call on us is to be joyful when we communicate the incredible news of life with Christ. When we talk about eternal life, the call of God is to be full of life.”
It’s worth reading the whole article.
Filed under: Evangelism
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.” Psalm 14:1
The Fool defined:
“So a fool is one that hath lost his wisdom, and right notion of God and divine things which were communicated to man by creation; one dead in sin, yet one not so much void of rational faculties as of grace in those faculties, not one that wants reason, but abuses his reason.”
The fool says in his heart:
” … he thinks, or he doubts, or he wishes…he wishes there were not any [God].” The atheist has “tampered with his own heart to bring it to that persuasion, and smothered in himself those notices of a Deity; which is so plain against the light of nature, that such a man may well be called a fool for it.”
I point us to this writing not to mock the atheist but to reveal what’s really going on. It is helpful to be aware of this inward condition of the heart when we seek to reach the lost, especially the atheist. It’s a sad state. It is an indictment of their hearts. They have intentionally choked out any acknowledgment of God out of their minds and hearts and so they are without excuse. Let this understanding of sin inform our evangelism. Let it tear out any self righteous residue that would cling to our words. When we are aware of what’s going on below the surface we quickly see that we cannot rely on our own arguments, or own little phrases when engaging the lost. Instead we pray, we cry out to God for help. We pray for the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit to break forth in our conversation. It nudges out any room for pride and arrogance when were talking to folks that have blotted out the knowledge of God. Because that was us. Maybe not so antagonistically like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett or Sam Harris. But, nonetheless, we all lived a life that did not practically acknowledge God.
When we finish the verse we quickly find that we ourselves don’t escape such an indictment. “there is none who does good.”
“No man is exempted from some spice of atheism by the depravation of his nature, which the psalmist intimates, ‘there is none that doeth good;’ though there are indelible convictions of the being of a God, that they cannot absolutely deny it; yet there are some atheistical bubblings in the hearts of men, which evidence themselves in their actions.”
Filed under: Evangelism
by Mike Plewniak
From Between Two Worlds:
“Based on Romans 10-11, John Stott, in his commentary on Romans, delineates an eight-point evangelism manifesto, which is summarized as follows:
1. The need for evangelism: evangelism is necessary because until people hear and receive the gospel they are lost.
2. The scope of evangelism: the whole human race must be given teh chance to hear the gospel.
3. The incentive to evangelism: evangelism arises from the love and longing of the heart.
4. The nature of evangelism: evangelism is sharing with others the good news of Christ crucified and risen.
5. The logic of evangelism: evangelism demands the sending out of evangelists, so that people may call on Christ for salvation.
6. The result of evangelism: evangelism brings such blessings to those who believe, that it arouses the envy of others.
7. The hope for evangelism: evangelism has hope of success only if it rests on the election of God.
8. The goal of evangelism: evangelism introduces converts into the people of God, and so brings glory to God.”
Filed under: Evangelism
by Mike Plewniak
Here is a great post by Irish Calvinist called “Trying to Listen and Communicate Better in Evangelism”. I like it so much I decided to put it here in it’s entirety for your benefit. I think he is making a great point and believe this is something we need to keep our pulse on in our evangelism.
There are a lot of challenges facing believers as we labor to communicate the gospel to those around us. We are increasingly presented with a community that is less biblically informed then we saw in past years. Many people do not think and operate within a framework to process such things as sin, redemption, a sufficient savior, and dependence.
Furthermore, I have found that the fundamental questions that people are asking are coming from the wrong angle and aiming at the wrong goal. For instance, many people operate under the unbiblical notion that asserts something like, “How can God be just and not forgive me?” Whereas, the question the Bible asks and answers is “How can God be just and forgive me?”
The prevalent thought is that we are all of such a value and our good so eclipses our bad that we are deserving of a break from God rather than the wrath of God. Too many think of God’s forgiveness like a tax break that is given to folks just for showing up. This is not so. We are not deserving of anything from God, much less forgiveness and full pardon from an angry, offended Judge!
As faithful heralds of the truth we need to make sure that the wrong question is not the one that is being asked but instead the biblical question. The cross is foolishness in any other framework. Why would he die if you and I were good? Why would he endure such hostility and rejection if we are so docile and acceptable? Why would he die if we never would?
So we must follow our great evangelistic model in the Apostle Paul who labored to demonstrate the awful wickedness of the human heart. Paul beat the drum of radical human depravity through the first two and a half chapters of Romans. His point is to get everyone backed into the corner agreeing with our own utter sinfulness and God’s unflinching justice and resolve to promote his holiness. Until we are “silent” and “accountable to God” (Rom. 3.19) we are not able to even begin to process what it means to see the righteousness of God manifested (3.21-26) and ultimately vindicated (3.27) through the cross. Paul’s whole point here is that God has always been demonstrating his righteousness, previously through the law and now through the cross. It has always been accented by our radical depravity but now it has been punctuated with holy clarity through the cost of satisfying the infinite justice of God, namely the infinitely glorious and valuable Son of God.
We need to listen better and communicate better in our gospel proclamation. Many people are asking questions, but too often both the questions and the answers are the wrong ones. Show the depravity of the human heart in such a way that people are asking, “What must I do to be saved?!” rather than “Why would I need to be saved?” Portray Jesus’ crosswork as the glorious demonstration and vindication of righteousness.
“The most helpful website I know of for understanding and researching the unreached peoples of the world.”
Piper, missions and Matthew 10:16-31. He urges us to know the cost and know the blessings of being a Frontier Missionary.
- Being arrested
- Family betrayal
- Being hated by all
- Being persecuted and driven out of town
- Being maligned
- Being killed
- Being sent by Christ
- Being given words by the Spirit of God
- Experiencing God’s fatherly care
- Salvation at the end of it all
- Knowing that the Son of Man is coming in judgment and mercy
- Belonging to Jesus’ household
- Knowing that truth will triumph
- Having an immortal sou
- Having a heavenly Father who sovereignly rules the smallest details of life
- Being valued by God