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Archive for March 27th, 2013

Evangelism

My view of evangelism is rooted in the sovereignty of God.  I believe that the Lord is in control of man’s destiny.  He has chosen His people before the foundation of the world.  In other words, His decision of His elect in salvation is not depended upon man’s existence or decision.  This concept was a bit difficult in my early Christian walk when trying to reconcile the sovereignty of God when dealing with Evangelism because they are pair of truths that forms an apparent antinomy in biblical thinking (pg. 93).  Based on my understanding of Scripture concerning this topic of God’s sovereignty, Apostle Paul illustrates this apparent antinomy when Paul writes to the church of Ephesus (pg. 94).  For example, when writing to the church of Ephesus, Paul says in the first chapter that God has chosen him and other fellow believers before the foundation of the world (pg. 94).  This is a bit hard to grapple with for some people because what they see is that God reveals His plan for sinners in regards to His election, but He also tells us to evangelize the lost.  I agree with Packer.  Both aspects of God’s will in election and for evangelism are facts; and how they are related in the mind of God is incomprehensible to us (pg. 94).

Although God has decreed before the foundation of the world who are saved along with his desire for His people to evangelize the lost, does not in anyway, affect my duty to evangelize.  There are a couple of reasons why I say this.  As a believer, I order my life by the law of God.  Even though this topic is a bit incomprehensible at times, I am still responsible to obey God’s law concerning evangelism.  Whatever one believes concerning the sovereignty of God in salvation, does not in any way, affect the necessity of evangelism.  Evangelism is vital to God’s plan because He made it clear that humans cannot be saved outside of the Gospel (pg. 97).  Paul echoes the importance of the Gospel in the book of Romans, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”  In other words, salvation depends on faith, and faith comes by knowing the Gospel (pg. 97).  His election should not stop us from evangelizing because just as he ordained the “end,” He also ordained the “means” to the “end.”

It is clear that the sovereignty of God does not stop me from evangelizing—that is clear, but the sovereignty of God does affect me in a positive way.  There are a couple of reasons for that statement.  For example, the sovereignty of God in evangelism gives me hope of excellence in evangelism; makes me bold, makes me patient, and prayerful, because I know that God is in control.  Since He is in control, I will not fret when it comes to excellence in evangelism.  I know that the Lord has chosen His elect before the foundation of the world.  As a result, that should give me a reason to search for His elect.  They are out there in the world.  The harvest is full, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37).  Moreover, His sovereignty makes me bold because God is powerful.  He kills and makes alive.

The Bible points to Christ as the captain of our salvation.  As a result, His sovereignty makes one patient.  Since He knows who will be born-again, it is sinful and fruitless to try to manipulate people into the kingdom of God.  Having patience will keep us biblical in evangelism too.  Another reason that I have learned about the sovereignty of God is that it pushes me to pray fervently.  Prayer keeps me in total dependence on God rather than in my self.

For a deeper discussion on God’s sovereignty and evangelism, please see this video that SLIMJIM posted earlier:

 

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