Recently I have been thinking a lot about the state ofChristianity in the U.S. Actually, thestate of evangelism in the U.S. I am often amazed at what we considerevangelism to be. There has in recent years been this push to call things likecommunity service, random act of kindness, and social action evangelism. But arethese things really evangelism?
I had avery close friend (I say “had” because he passed away recently) who was at a McDonaldsdrive thru. When he pulled up to the window to pay for his coffee, the employeeat the window told him that the man in the car in front of him had already paidfor his coffee. While this was a very thoughtful act, and it blessed my friend,but was it evangelism or just a kind act? I ask this because the person whopaid for the coffee had a sticker of a local church in his back window, whichat the time was promoting random acts of kindness as a means of evangelism.
No wordswere exchanged between the person and my friend except what was said throughthe McDonalds employee. So I ask again, was it evangelism or just a verythoughtful act? I think the answer lies in the word of God, and how faith comesto an individual. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ!”Rom 10:17 so, is it evangelism when the gospel is not communicated by words? Isthere a difference between an atheist who buys a cup of coffee for a stranger,and a Christian who does so? The atheist does it to be kind to a stranger, andthe Christian does it to be kind and call attention to his church. Both arekind acts. One does it to feel better about himself, and the other to feelbetter about himself and promote the church. When used alone random acts ofkindness are not an effective means of evangelism.
Listen, I know I may ruffle somefeathers here and that is fine. There is a place for you to comment. I have noproblem with random acts of kindness, or promoting your church. If you have agreat church, then tell everyone you see about it.
However,if we believe what Paul told us in Romans 10:17, then evangelism must usewords. Either from our mouths or in print, this is the pattern of the firstcentury Church. Christians would tell others of Jesus Christ and add to theirnumbers.
We mustbe willing to admit a very simple fact. The Church is failing when it comes towinning the lost in the U.S. We have been so caught up in getting our needs metin Jesus Christ, that we have forgotten that at the heart of Christianity isnot our claims upon Christ, but rather His claims upon us!
One of whichis to share our faith and see sinful man reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5:17-21
“17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come! 18 And all these things are from God whoreconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry ofreconciliation. 19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world tohimself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message ofreconciliation. 20 Therefore we areambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We pleadwith you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” 21 God madethe one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would becomethe righteousness of God.” We are the mouth piece of the gospel here on earth.So we need to be living our faith, and sharing the good news.
So arewe living it? Jesus died to save sinners; do we live to see them saved? We areto be about our Savior’s business, which means living and sharing our faith. Weneed to remember that if we seek to fulfill the claims of Christ upon us, Hewill meet our needs.
Like thehymn writer of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” has said: “As He died to makemen holy, let us live to make men free” Let’s live to tell others about thegood news of Jesus Christ. That is worth living for!
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and he who wins soulsis wise.