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Saturday, September 5, 2009

XXXVII. Go out into All the World

One of the biggest commandments we are given in the NT is found in Matthew 28:19-20. Most people would know these verses as the Great Commission. Now Jesus said that the two Commandments that are most important are Love God and your neighbor, which are summaries of the Ten Commandments found in the OT. But how do we show love for our neighbor? Sure, don't lie about them, don't covet what they have, don't murder them or steal from them. But what is the greatest thing you can do for them? Show them Christ. How? The following is a result from the latest poll, "How Should We Witness?""
  • 71% said our lifestyles should be an example
  • 65% said in everything we do should be a witness
  • 60% said through charity
  • 40% said through sermons and church
  • 37% said something else besides the choices
  • 31% said by mail
  • 28% said through politics
  • 17% said through church activities only
  • 14% said door to door
  • 2% said we shouldn't try and leave them alone

This was actually quite sad to see these results. At least 4 of the choices should have been 100% with maybe even one more. If you are a Christian, you are called to live a life that is an example. Be holy for He is holy, 1 Peter 1:16. If your life is not an example of what Christ called you to be then you are NOT witnessing. You are destroying. This goes for choice #2 as well. In everything you are to be witnesses. This goes beyond just your reputation. This is about your character. The difference is this: Your reputation is about what people think about you when they are around you. Your character is what you do even when they are not around. Are you still the same person? In everything be a witness. If you can't witness to yourself how are you supposed to witness for Him? Of course we will all fall short. We will all sin and not be perfect but that doesn't mean we have the freedom to not care and not try. We are called to give to charity. We are supposed to be good stewards of our money and one of those ways is to care for others. This is different than being forced into charity. We are supposed to give with a cheerful heart out of our own discord. Only 40% said be witnesses through sermons. Yet, most of the church today is focused on seekers. How can you focus on those who are wanting to know more about Christ if you do not have a sermon that tells about Christ? Now church is more than just the sermon and the sermon should have something in it that makes even the mature Christian think and want more. But too many sermons and programs deal with "40 days of purpose" and "how to be a better person". If you teach about Christ these points will be hit anyway. Why have a six week program called "if you only had 30 days to live"? Last time this was checked, 30 days is shorter than six weeks. Teach Christ and the rest will follow. These are the ones that should have been 100%. Ashamed.

Mail, politics, and door to door. Three things that probably bug people to either see or talk about or have happen to them. But are they witnessing tools? Yes! However, if you get something in the mail that does not spark your interest or seems like it is just junk mail, do you actually read it or throw it away in the nearest recycle bin? Exactly. Are churches spending way too much money on mailing and advertisement through the mail? Perhaps not because a life is worth it, but maybe create something more readable and interesting to the public. People can't stand politics in discussion and many think it should not be used with religious ideas. But we are also called to a royal priesthood and a holy nation. Now this is not exactly what this verse means but it still can be used as an example. We are a "nation", a universal nation of believers. We need to take a stand against the ideologies that take a stand against Godly values. We need to be active and vote for those who lift up Christian morals as well as a sound policy, not just for those who give empty promises of change and economic prosperity. What is wrong with door to door evangelism? People are always going door to door trying to sell things such as window replacement, newspaper circulation, lawn care and stuff. They have a product they believe in and want to show people. What happened to this idea in witnessing? We are too complacent in our own homes and think all of that should happen in the church. If we can't get them into church then that idea will not work.

Who knows what the 37% of other would be so if you have an idea let all of us know. And the 2% who said leave them alone are probably my friends who do not believe in God yet still go to all of the Christian blogs and websites to argue their case. Which actually is a good thing because maybe we are all they have which is another reason why we have to be a good witness.

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