Fanning the Flames of our Evangelism

“Knowing, then, the fear of the Lord, we persuade people.” (2 Corinthians 5:11)

Easter is a week that ought to fan the flames of our evangelism. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:11 give us two words to guide our tactics in sharing the Gospel.

The first word is Persuasive—Don’t be afraid to be persuasive. Before the Apostle Paul died he had opportunity to present the Gospel to governors and kings. Once, someone named King Agrippa asked Paul “Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?” Paul answered, “I wish before God that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am.” (Acts 26:28-29)

The second word is Partnerships—All throughout this passage is the plural pronoun “we.” This is the task as individuals, but this is the task of the Church. This is the task of Conventions of churches, like the Louisiana Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.

I gave our staff a God-sized task Monday morning. I challenged us to present the Gospel at least seven times this week (at least once-a-day). I challenged us that we would have to plan to do this. I challenged us that we would have to pray for the opportunity to do this.

Who else will join us?

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Approach Today with Radical Evangelism

The early church experienced explosive growth because of a conviction to evangelize. When confronted and threatened, they did not pray for their safety but for greater boldness.

The early church believed and took to heart the words of Jesus that their evangelism must start in their cities, but move to ends of the earth. So, in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Acts, we see the early church set apart missionaries to go to other regions to share the Good News of Christ.

With the salvation of one named Saul, whose name is changed to Paul, we see this commission to take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth expand and be the continuing story of the New Testament. This world-wide evangelistic effort culminates in the last book of the New Testament when we see this scene in Heaven with people of every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the Throne of God, and they are singing, “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne.” (Revelation 7:9-10)

In 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, we see four principles that ought to fuel our evangelism.

Our Theology compels us.

Here is, first of all, a theology of judgment. But, here also is a theology of love.

Some might think Paul out of his mind (v. 13), but the theological conviction that drives his passion is that those who believe in Christ will go to Heaven, and those who do not believe in Christ will go to Hell. That must be our conviction. When that is our conviction, we cannot be silent.

Our Transformation calls us.

Paul’s evangelism is further fueled by his own testimony. He recognized that he had been brought from death to life. He was once an enemy of God, but is now a friend of God. He was once destined for Hell, but now his true citizenship was in Heaven. He wanted others to be able to know the same transformation.

Our Title commissions us.

The title is Ambassador. We are ambassadors for Christ! We represent Him. We represent the Gospel.

Our Times challenge us.

Urgency must fuel our evangelism. We don’t know the days on this earth. We don’t know the days that people have left on this earth. Just as Paul did, we cannot know people purely or only in a human way (v. 16), we must see them as spiritual people—going to Hell or going to Heaven.

In light of this, approach today with radical evangelism!

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A Few Friday Thoughts on Revival

As we close out this month at First Baptist Church, Lafayette, where we have spent the month thinking about revival, I trust that we are closer to seeing revival. I am overwhelmed with gratitude at all of the responses that I have received regarding this month of preaching.

downloadOne church member shared with me a sermon by the late Adrian Rogers that has a couple of good statements on revival. I share them with you today as we approach this coming Sunday.

“Even during the darkest times in history, God has sent revival.” In referencing the story of Elijah calling out the gods of Baal on Mount Carmel, Rogers said, “The God that can’t burn wet wood is no good.”

Then, he offered this great summary of what our personal prayer for revival can be.

“If we can’t have revival in America, then let’s have revival in our states. If we can’t have revival in our states, then let’s have revival in our cities. If we can’t have revival in our cities, then let’s have revival in our churches. If we can’t have revival in our churches, then let’s have revival in our families. If we can’t have revival in our families, then let’s have revival in our own hearts.”

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