Saturday, August 14, 2010

Journey Women's Conference

Lisa asked me to speak at the conference rather last minute--a week ago today. Today was the conference. She requested that I share about my recent venture to East Asia. I feel as if I gave the short choppy version and the projector didn't want to work so no pictures. Not the best presentation I've ever give. :/

I ended my sharing with a recounting of my thoughts in an airport. As I looked around me, I had this desire to get up and proclaim the Gospel but I couldn't. First off, no one could have understood my English. Secondly, if they could have, I'd have been kicked out. Such a sad state.

For me East Asia seemed like and extension of America.(to an extent) It seemed like I took an excessively long plane ride to some area of the States I'd never seen before. In that airport I saw a bit differently all the faces that surrounded me. I saw souls in need of a Savior.

This is not to say that all of the other time I had spent in this land I had no compassion for the people around me. I did. I so wanted my girls to know Him. I wanted to share more and have them ask me questions. But the airport got me to thinking.

Back to the point. I ended with that and a charge. Why is it that we do not preach the Gospel here where we have been given the freedom? I will not be jailed. I will be shipped no where for any other reason than maybe disturbing the peace! Even then, if asked to move I should probably do so. Where should I go? The county jail? More likely I'd be asked to pay a fine. I am not even sure if they do that!

So as I thought about this in the context of home I began to think of what exactly the essentials of the Gospel are. If I am going to proclaim the truth I must know what it is. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 explains it precisely.
  1. In our witnessing we must preach the Gospel. That is to be our theme. It is of " first importance".
  2. Christ died for what reason? Our sin.
  3. He died, was buried and He rose again.
  4. All of this was done according to the Scriptures- the word of God.
I have found, and I am even guilty of this, that when we evangelize we do not include all these element. Yes, the cross is mentioned. Yes, sin is in there. Yes, Christ died but how often do we forget to tell them that He rose again? Or if we mention this glorious and essential part do we run past it? His sacrificial death is incredibly important but were He not to have risen we are to be the most pitied of men!

And what of Sin? We spend so much time telling the person how much God loves them that we throw in sin like it is an accent color in the picture. Do we explain what sin even is?!If one does not know that they are lost how can they be found? We must speak of sin not in some broad sense but bring it home to the individual. Do like Paul, use the law. It says in Romans that the law stops the mouth so that we are without excuse. Tell them what Jesus said about the heart- about hatred and lust. They may still deny the Truth but it should not be because we neglected to hold up the mirror. Maybe take the person you are talking to Romans 1. Build a case against them. Paul did. We know the verdict.

We may say that Jesus saves us from our sin, even remember to explain what sin is. But do we explain what the issue with sin is? Why do you even need to be 'saved' from sin? So we say "because God is holy and just and sin separates us from Him. We can not be God's friend". Why should they care to be God's friend? They've done without Him up to that point. Or they think great, I'll ask for forgiveness of sin so that I can be God's friend because God can do anything and He'll make my life better. Do we mention judgment? Christ taught Hell more than anyone else. We cannot forget to what our Savior did.

Repentance is another point that seems to be glossed over. In much of the evangelism that I have heard done with children we talk solely of them asking for forgiveness. Repentant faith is not just asking for forgiveness. It is seeing who you are and what the significance of that is, falling before a holy and just God and submitting yourself to His lordship. It is pleading for Him to be forgive you and for His blood to cover your sins. It is turning from your own ways and turning TO The Way. It isn't just asking for a clean slate on which you will do whatever you want so that you are now God's "friend".

Please understand that I believe that the Holy Spirit is the one who draws. He is the one who convicts. He is the one who quickens the heart. But, we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

This is most definitely longer than I meant for it to be. Tis what happens when I get to talking about EV and the Gospel.

Also, if a person is truly saved he will not view his salvation as fire insurance. Hell/judgment must be taught because Christ did. In this 'blah' I do not mean to block out other things that are communicated when sharing the Gospel.

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