Fulfilling Christ’s mission – Part 2
The Pharisees were very zealous; they “compass sea and land” to bring in people to their fold. But they did not talk about repentance, confessing, and forsaking of sins because they did not know or believe it. Their converts learned their ways and became “twofold more the child[ren] of hell”. They made the people change outwardly, “but within they [were] full of extortion and excess [and] …all uncleanness… hypocrisy and iniquity”.
We cannot bribe anyone into the Kingdom of God. We cannot broaden the narrow way for any sinner, so we can offer them cheap salvation. A mischievous preacher may water down the local church entrance requirement, but the deceived self-satisfied members will miss heaven. Local church growth is not necessarily Kingdom growth. Only those who have repented and believed in the Lord Jesus and have gracious transformation in their lives have their names written in the Book. Having a healing or deliverance ministry is not a substitute for repentance either.
Christ-like preaching produces real transformation of life. The message, when received and believed, leads to conviction, prayer, confession, and forsaking of sin. If our message is Christ-like and calls people to repentance, it will lead to a new life by the grace of God and willingness to continue to live with Christ. The Lord calls us to evangelise with truth and not with lies. When there is truthful and Christ-centred evangelism, people will turn from darkness to light, sin to the Saviour, evil to goodness, and unrighteousness to righteousness. The new believers or Christian converts will normally show the real transformation of life.
Our evangelism will be biblical, New Testament, and Christ-centred evangelism, if it points sinners to the Lord like it was with the Thessalonian converts. “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10). After their conversion, the new Christians should be led to desire and pray for further and deeper Christian experiences. These would make their lives pure, holy, righteous, and acceptable to God.
Just as Christ did, we too can today, receive the grace to do what the apostles and true evangelists of the New Testament were able to accomplish. That way, we would be fulfilling the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 4:17; 9:13; 1:21; Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 2:10; Acts 15:14,28,29. Mark 1:14,15; Luke 13:2,3,5,23-29; 24:47; John 8:11,12,30-44; 2 Peter 3:9. Matthew 23:15,25-28,33; Acts 8:13,18-21; Titus 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:5,7; Revelation 3:1-3; Matthew 7:21-23. Luke 19:5-10; John 17:6,14-16; Acts 2:37-42; 19:18,19; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10.
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