Monday, August 25, 2008

Four Mistakes Evangelists Make - Aug 25

If we have the greatest book ever written about the greatest man who ever lived why are we going backwards? A Christian who is eternally saved ought to bringing souls to Christ left, right and center. Yet strangely this is not occuring. Here are four mistakes that Christians make when giving their testimony to the world.

An Incomplete Faith

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
(Colossians 2:8)

Saved thought they might be, many a saint hasn't read God's word with care. Worse, they mix in their own unBiblical interpretations! A daily dose of God's word is the only cure. How can we argue for a book when we ourselves have an incomplete understanding? Granted, few of us have the money and time needed to attend a theological seminary. Yet so often we miss out on God's best because we bow to the world's foolish philosophies and human traditions.

Unfamiliarity With Demonic Spirits and Doctrines

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
(1 John 2:15-16,18)

In order to bring a person to Christ, we must first realize that we are soldiers in a spiritual war. Through this demonic deceptions people are kept in spiritual bondage. Think of it as a 'double learning curve'. The false must be disproven first before we can even touch on the truth. Many well-meaning Christians skip the first obstacle to learning and go straight to the second learning curve as would a Sunday School teacher instructing young children. Any 'cold turkey' approach to evangalizing adults fails if we do not take this into account. Adults come with baggage that children lack. Unlearning old habits is never an easy task. Patience and prayer are crucial to a fruitful adult ministry.

Pray For Adversity - And Mean It!

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.
(1 Corinthians 3:11-13)

Nothing wrong with praying for God's blessings and protection. Yet God is passionate about our personal growth. Praying for adversity serves two purposes. One, it purifies the believer. Would you rather have gold, silver and costly stones or wood, hay and stubble? The answer is obvious. The struggle that adversity produces causes complete dependence on God rather than relying on our own guile. Two, adversity is useful in undermining a false faith. We don't need better behaved Muslims. We need more Christians! We're not being cruel when we ask Him to send adversity to an unbeliever. Rather, it is an exercise in 'tough love'. Trusting in God's perfect ways and timing is always best.

The Failure to Anticipate An Emotional Knee-Jerk Response

"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 24:9-13)

Fear leads to anger and anger leads to hate. Once that happens, persecution to the point of death is not that uncommon. Don't get me wrong. Emotions are a vital part of the human condition. Without love and compassion it is doubtful the human race would ever survive! Yet our emotions more often then not tend to screw us up. We react 'according to the flesh' as it were, relying on human experience and a sensual understanding. We feel as if we are under attack and the need to lash out in order to defend ourselves. It is precisely this emotional response that Satan is counting on. Marketing and political campaigns have been built on less. Raw emotional manipulation designed for you to 'buy' whatever corrupt product or message being sold. Thus we end up seeing things as we would want them to be, rather than what they truly are. It is only when we clear our minds and rid ourselves of fear and anxiety do we see the larger picture at hand. A Christian ought to exude and export joy wherever they go. Only then do we become the salt and light that God commands us to be.

Johnny Cash

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