Archive for the 'PREACHING THE GOSPEL (Making Christians)' Category

PREACHING THE GOSPEL (Making Christians)

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees, said “You travel over land and sea to make a proselyte of one man and then you make him twice the son of Gehenna that you are yourself.” I'm sure the church does not think that these words could possibly apply to them as they give altar calls and hand out pamphlets with the 'sinners prayer' calling on the weak willed and the damaged to give their lives to 'Christ'. But alas it does.

Go into the same churches that are abuzz with missionary zeal and speak to them about holiness and purity of heart toward God and they will declare themselves to be far too busy for such discussions and suggest that you go and start a church for yourselves some where else, preferably very far away.

Truth is that we, as ambassadors for Christ, can only present Him to others to the degree that we, ourselves, have come to know Him. The only way to truly know Him is to be like Him, drawing all of our life from Him, being drawn into unity with Him and the Father, so that we too, along with Paul can say that, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” This statement of Paul's is not a doctrinal utterance, but rather the statement of a man who knows the immensity of the transformation that has occurred within his very person. He knows that the Holy Spirit has done a mighty work within him, which has enabled him to live the life and do the work of an apostle. Paul knows that he has become a new man, that he no longer looks at Jesus from the outside but has come to know Him from the inside. Paul, like Jesus, knows that his food is to do the will of the Father. Paul can say, “I could wish that I was anathema,” for the sake of his brothers the Jews, for he has so absorbed Jesus, that he understands Jesus love for His people. He knows in his heart the love which filled Jesus and enabled Him to walk to the cross.

This then is the challenge for the church, that we too might so deeply know Jesus, draw all of our strength from Him, that we too present to the world the living evidence that Jesus has both risen from death, but also rules in us and that in this love which fills us, the world might be confronted with a reality that it cannot silence or deny. That others might be confounded just as we ourselves have been confounded, and prove that the hope of God is no pie in the sky dream for the hereafter but is a real and present hope.

When the churches seek to convert people they can only seek to make them into the image of themselves. You can only present people with where you yourself walk. The church does not present itself as that which is alive from the dead, but rather as one convinced of a hope. The church deludes itself into believing it has salvation from death while still walking in the deeds that cause death, namely sin. Salvation must consist of the power to resist and conquer sin, otherwise it is not Christ reaching out through you, but rather the 'father of lies', sweetly saying peace where there is no peace.

When a person is deceived into believing that he has peace with God when he hasn't truthfully arrived at peace, then it is a very difficult task for him to be otherwise persuaded. Look at Jesus and His inability to convince the Pharisees. If Jesus, in the full purity of His love, could not help the Pharisees, how can the church, in its sins, hope to be anything more than a stumbling block to those seeking life? Unless we too know the fullness of Christ in us, we present nothing but idle speculation and self glorying pomp, to those to whom we 'preach'.