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And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

Conversation with a New Evangelical

On attending a New Evangelical church this Sunday evening, I have noticed a pattern of sorts, on conversing with fellow Christian men.

Most of the conversations I have with New Evangelicals, in regards to their church/soulwinning tend to go along the same lines.

For the sake of convenience, to demonstrate this typical conversation, I'd like to abreviate New Evangelical as NE and me as Me.
Me:  Which church do you go to?
NE:  I go to (insert church name)
Me:  Where is that church?
NE: (explains where there church is)
Me: Ah, I see.  Do you have a soulwinning program?
NE: What do you mean by a soulwinning program?
Me: A Soulwinning program would be like, for instance, a church has an itinerary, a program.  For example, on a Wednesday evening, the program is for a Bible study class.  So for instance, a soulwinning program would be on say, a Thursday.  The people of the church go and preach the Gospel in the streets, hand out Gospel tracts, knock on peoples doors to tell them about the Good News.
NE: Ah I see, no we don't have that.  I find the workplace is a good place to soul win.
Me: Ah, I see, I am curious, how does one do that at work?
NE: I do it by being Christlike.
Me: Ah, I see, so what you do is, for instance, someone you work with, you will speak to them for a few short sentences, then call out their sin? (For instance as Jesus did with the woman at the well who was unmarried. (John 4:16).
Me: Or perhaps you mean that, you meet a work colleague, and you say to them, as Jesus said straight off the bat to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." (John 3:7).
NE: Eh, no.
Me: So you're not being Christlike?  I am just wondering, as this is what Jesus did?
NE: I prefer to live a good life and people will notice me.
Me: Ah, I see.  I think most people are interested in themself, mostly, people notice other people only when it relates to themselves, or, they may notice another person if it gives them something to gossip about.
NE: Ehhhh.
Me:  Hmmm, perhaps I am wrong, but, for instance, if someone wishes to go out on a date with someone, should we just fix our hair each morning, but say nothing, and hope in the off chance that they will notice us and therefore come and ask us out on a date?  Or do we have to approach them.  Hoping someone will notice how you are living, and then somehow ask you about the Gospel, sounds somewhat similar.  Keep in mind also, there are many Catholics and other unsaved people who will brag about their works, which is self righteousness, and that doesn't save anyone.
Me: It seems like Jesus is always the one that does the approaching.
It is at this point that semantics tend to get involved.
NE:  Jesus didn't always approach people, for instance, the woman who touched his garment, she approached him.
Me:  This is true, but, Jesus was known for who He was because He approached people.  For instance, if you told say, a dozen people at work, how to get saved, rather than hoping people will notice you, then yes, one would expect others to approach you about the subject, as the matter spread.
Me:  But please, let us not argue about semantics
NE:  (Semantics) ... but ......
Then semantics can begin.

It is at this point that I try to put forward some points about how Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, are working round the clock, on the street, knocking on doors, spreading a false Gospel, and, perhaps living even better lives than us (as judged by other people), and that, even if we only go out for 30 minutes, to hand out some Gospel tracts, the truth, at least we have done something.  For the sin of inactivity is great, the sin of not caring is not being Christ like.  We are to look to the things of others, as Jesus did, and what can be more caring about others, than caring about their eternal soul?
Philippians 2:4, 'Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:'
I do not wish to argue, and I am speaking with a brother.  I typically ask them that, if they wished to do so, to search their heart, and perhaps come to the conclusion on their own to spread the Gospel somewhat more.  The Great Commision is a command to us all, but sadly, as the Lord said,
Matthew 9:37, “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;”

Secret Sin

Sadly, secret sin affects all the body of Christ, all of the Church.  In Joshua, we learn of the secret sin of Achan, who secretly took a spoil from the city of Jericho, that which was to be given to the treasury of the Lord, and took also that which was to be destroyed. 

Achan took for himself, silver and gold, which was meant for the treasury of the Lord, and took for himself a Babylonian garment.  Who would think that, in the midst of all the treasure of a great city, Jericho, that a small amount of silver and gold, and a garment, would be noticed, if it went amiss? The secret sin brought shame and reproach upon all the flock, all the people of God,
Joshua 7:20-21, "And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:  When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it."
When not caring, not obeying Christ to take the Gospel, to preach the Gospel to every creature, to not be Christ like by looking to the things of others (Philippians 2:4-5), we are robbing God.

It may seem like, the secret sin of excuses to not preach, to not spread the Gospel, is not hurting anyone, but, sin always hurts others.  In this case, it hurts because we are not obeying God, and it hurts because other people don't hear the Gospel, don't hear the truth.  If we don't have zeal for the Lord and to spread His Good News, then churches suffer, because attendance falls off, the church becomes insular, inward looking.

A Word on Witnessing to Others at Work

It may well be that you have a workplace where you can witness effectively, but, workplaces for the most part, are secular environments.  We are paid to do a job.  Discussing Salvation at work is a risky business, and often impractical.  Work places can and do discipline, even fire people who preach the Gospel, for a few reasons,

1. Work places pay you to work, not spend time doing things one is not paid for.
2. Work places expect a certain level of discretion.  One cannot for instance speak of their views on politics in depth, because of the conflict of differing political opinions.  One can speak out against sin, but then, offend a homosexual, offend a Mormon, a Muslim, perhaps some other faith etc, and one can have disciplinary action taken against them.
3. Other people are busy working (or are expected to be.)

I'm not saying one cannot witness at work, but, work is for the purpose of earning.  Better discussions, better witnessing can take place in our own time where we can devote our time to it, for instance, anywhere or any place outside work.

I am not saying that one can't or shouldn't witness at work, as I have witnessed at work myself, but I will say that, for 99.9% of people who claim they do their witnessing at work, it is a cop-out for at least some of the reasons mentioned above.  Truthfully, from my conversations, they don't witness at all, but just live as they would normally, at work, and outwith work, and receive no tribulation, or put in some effort to follow and serve the Lord as HE commanded us in the Great Commision.

Lord willing we can all witness more, myself very much included.  Even 30 minutes in a week is better than nothing.  It is something, and, at least we have tried.  I may be wrong, but, I think most of us can try a little harder.

Glory to God.  Amen.



13th May 2018

 

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