Monday, March 26, 2007

Evangelism's Deeper Worship

For Christians to increase their evangelistic zeal, they need to get one thing straight - Evangelism is not an end in itself. Now don't get me wrong ... Evangelism needs to be part of the ultimate mission of the church, but it cannot stand by itself because it cannot sustain itself. As one of the functions of the church, personal evangelism as a wayof life cannot sustain itself apart from joyful woship of the God of all grace through Jesus Christ. Unless we actually treasure Christ above all things, we will find ourselves in idolatry trying in our own stength to do personal evangelism or lead an evangelistic ministry.

What is ultimate in ministry and in life is Chist and His glory. Without this as the center of life we will not witness as a way of life and will loose compassion for the lost. Only when people radicallly worship Christ as the supream treasure of their lives will the Holy Spirit sustain our Evangelism.

We can test the God-centeredness of our worship by the pleasure we have in worship - both corporate and private. You can also tell what you ultimatrly worship by noticing what brings you the most plesure in your life, for pleasure is the measure of your treasure. If we are not pursuing our own pleasure in God, then we will find our self doing evangelism or anything else in our lives while our we are really worshiping another god. It is the same thing that happened to the church at Ephesis when the lost their first love (Rev. 2:2-5). God's pursuit of his glory and our pursuit of happiness are the same pursuit.

If the church continues to see evangelism as the ultimate task of the church we will fall into a technique driven ministry. Instead of our theology being cold, intellectional, and academic, the doctrines of grace that are proclaimed in God-centered evangelism are warm, personal, inspiring, and satisfying.

Worshipping an autoniomous and graceful Creator-Redeemer as ultimate frees us to initiate personal evangelism and sustains evangelistic zeal. So while evangelism is important it is not ulyimate, worship is. These are major issues that need addresssing helping people witness. The Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) depends on it. We will not take the gospel to all the peoples of the world and see them rejoice in Christ if we don't rejoice in worship first.

Since many Christians don't realize their idolatry in their evangelistic efforts, much evangelistic training is me-centered focusing on me-centered techniques and a reshaped gospel emphasing ONLY "what's in it for me."

Without grace-full God-centeredness, evangelism will evolve into nice people being nice to other people in hopes that they will be nice to God, a compromised gospel with a mild God who exist only to benefit me. This results in nice "christians" who are unconverted, not knowing the joy of forgiving and empowering grace, and unready to meet God on that final day. These are the reasons that Grace initiated God-centered pleasurefull worship is ultimate in our lives if we want to see Biblical evangelism take place. Worship is the key to fulfill the Great Commission because worship is an end in itself. We don't worship God to accomplish anything else. Let us spread the display of God's glory in the Gospel of Christ to all the peoples of the world.

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