Monday, July 14, 2008

Go to hell? Over my dead body!

Should I feel guilty for not evangelizing?

Absolutely! How dare we, as people, call ourselves Christians and not evangelists. How dare we, say that we believe people will go to hell, yet do nothing about it.

"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that." [Charles Spurgeon]

James has this to say about faith and works:

"14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." [James 2:14-17]

If you believe something, you have to act on it. There is no other way. If sinners are to go to hell, I cannot imagine just sitting there not warning them. Why does God not magically suck us into heaven upon salvation? Because we are left as His ambassedors:

"...19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."[2 Corinthians 5:19-21]

We are not primarily here to have families and good jobs. We are here as representatives of Christ. We are not loving God by refusing to evangelise! If we love Him, we would obey! Those who do not evangelize are not Christian. Obedience is so vital to Christendom, it is how we worship God.

But how do we evangelize? You begin by throwing the world away. Stop reading rubbish books, wasting your time watching television, and put all your heart and soul into the gospel. What is the gospel: Sinners need a saviour. Now there is nothing wrong with reading some fiction, having a family, or watching some television. The issue is if it is getting in the way of ministry. We must entertain ourselves with things that are beneficial.

Now let me get to those who say "I evangelise through my actions." Firstly, you are a hypocrite! You are not perfect, and to say that all you need is action, is false. How dare you assume people will grab hold of Christ by watching you! If people saw me, they might say: "He's a nice guy," but without using WORDS I am denying them the very thing that God has gifted to me!

Your actions are in no way a substitute for the gospel. Your actions will never be good enough, to think so is wrongful pride. Plus the biggest argument against Christianity is the actions of Christians. The bible does not agree with St. Francis, and Francis himself will not intercede for you on the day of Judgement. We need to give people the law! Why?

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul" [Pslam 19:7(a)]

Not your actions! To think that your actions could convert someone is blasphemy of the highest order! How dare you!

"Some of my brethren do not care to preach eternal wrath and its terrors. This is a cruel mercy, for they ruin souls by hiding from them their ruin. If they must needs try to sew without a needle, I cannot help it; but I do not mean to be so foolish myself; my needle may be old-fashioned, but it is sharp, and when it carries with it the silken thread of the gospel, I am sure good work is done by it." [Charles Spurgeon]

If you wish to disagree with Spurgeon, go ahead. But to think that just by 'acting' Christian is a witness, think on this:

"For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." [Romans 3:20]

Not you, nor those who see. You acting right alone is not evangelical service. God commands people to repent, not to watch.

" the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil." [Proverbs 16:6(b)]

How are people to realize their sin apart from the law? How are they to know if they have not heard? How are they to hear if people are not sent? I am alluding to Romans, but read this:

" Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin." [Romans 7:7]

If you don't know sin, you do not know salvation! How can you know the saviour if you are not saved?

Now, I realise I have Arminian friends who read this blog, and please note that although I believe God is sovereign in salvation (that salvation is His work alone), but also that God uses means to save. He uses the words and actions of those who love and trust Him truly. He will use a very bent stick to strike a very straight blow. I sleep better knowing that even though I may say something incorrect, God is big enough to use my mistake, and I will be corrected, since I am a Christian, I like correction. I evangelise with the faith that God could use a sinner like me.

" 13For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."[Romans 10:13-17]

HEARING!!! Any man who claims that it is God's job to inform or warn others is seriously in error. There is nothing but banishment for those who won't work for their King:

"14 "For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' 21 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' 23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' 26 But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'" [Matthew 25:14-30]

Calvinist, Arminian, put away your swords for a minute! While some internal battles must be fought, we have lost sight of the goal. We are cursed in our blessings because we have 'free time' to argue amongst ourselves. Turn your swords on the enemy! I have an Arminian friend whom I see every day and is nothing but a blessing to speak to. While we have our differences, he is a great example of patience to me because I understand that I can be quite tiresome sometimes. God uses our different interpretations to test each other and so we grow in to understanding with each other, rather than dividing. I would say that Duncan and I share the same view of the sovereignty of God. Does that make me Arminian or him Calvinist? No! Labels can be useful, but taken too far, we lose our purpose.

If you are a Christian and you think I am being harsh, you are absolutely right. Only Pharisees would not tell of how glorious God is! Only they for whom the deepest corners of hell are reserved would not reveal the light passed down! Jesus was hard on those that thought themselves religious, and I feel that He was quite right. You sit in Church for yourself, and because you refuse to tell others - you are self-righteous, and there is no mercy for you. How dare we not obey the command of the great 'I am.' How dare we not trust Him to use us for His glory!

The greatest shame, Christian, is to have an evangelist come to you and try give you the gospel. Make sure that you are never in a place or doing something where someone would actually mistake you for an unbeliever. Consider this in all your dealings and outings. In everything you say and do. Always be looking over your shoulder, because I will be coming around.


Trev said...

Great post QJ! I have recently been convicted about evangelism. Your post has strengthened that conviction. Certainly you speak truth when you say that words are important. I thank God that through His grace there have been people in my life willing to speak to me about Godly things, you being one of those people. Thank you for your dedication to the Gospel. May God bless you! To Him be the glory. Amen.

Tyrell said...

I loved this QJB, "We are not primarily here to have families and good jobs. We are here as representatives of Christ." It is so vital that we get kicked out of the suburban family dream and into the sacrifice for Christ passion. Just not sure how a baby Christian will take all the "how dare you's" blessings

Quintin said...

Thanks for the comments!

It's not the baby 'Christian's' that this post is directed at. Christians need to be taught evangelism, but for us to be 'free' agents, thinking and defining our theology (be it reforming or rejecting reform), to neglect evangelism is neither right nor safe. In other words, this post is directed at anyone who wishes to bear the name of Christian without any of the marks of Christianity.