Greetings everyone. Due to a bout with shingles and the accompanying effects of the medication, I was unable to blog last Monday. But with the prayer that has gone up for me, I am beginning to see some relief. It was only by the grace of God that I was able to deliver a message at all yesterday. Our Easter service brought us about sixteen visitors. It’s always good to see new faces in the church, not that I don’t appreciate the faithful ones that attend every Sunday. A few of the visitors my wife and I have known for a number of years and some were there for their first time.
Today I would like to share some things that have been on my heart for many years, and that is how can we as a church effectively reach the lost in our community. When I was in my early thirties, I was involved in the Teen Challenge ministry at 1108 McGee in downtown Kansas City, Mo. We had a coffee house there and witnessed to people we met on the streets. As I look back on that time, I see it as probably one of the most meaningful times in my ministry as I was endeavoring to obey the Great Commission. But the frustration in all of this is that I did not see much fruit, though we planted a lot of seeds. That was the main problem with my efforts. I was result oriented, instead of trying to see the big picture. The big picture is that we are to simply plant seed, and leave the harvesting to God. We will see the results when we get to heaven. And this is the mindset that we as the church need to have when we reach out to the lost. The Great Commission is to GO and preach to all peoples. If the motive for reaching out to people is to build our church’s, we are missing the point. Let our motive be to warn the lost of the impending judgment that awaits them in their sinful condition. Let Jude 23….”and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,” be that which emblazons our hearts to diligently be about the Father’s business. Our significance as a church does not depend on its size, but rather whether we are exercising obedience from a heart of love for God. We need to be faithful in planting and watering, and leave the harvesting to God. If we are not concerned for the lost, then we need ask God to give us a passion for them. Then we need to deny ourselves, and take our cross, and follow Jesus. And if we follow Jesus, we will be in the world as He was preaching a message of repentance.
We have a young couple (Doug and Amanda with their two children) that has started attending the church. Doug, just a few weeks ago was talking about a man named Ray Comfort, and how he uses the 10 commandments in witnessing to people. In the weeks following that, I got on the web and found his site. As I have been studying this method it has become quite clear that there was something missing in my approach to witnessing. People need to know that they are under the wrath of God, and that He is angry with the sinner every day, before they can fully comprehend their need for Christ as their savior. They need to know that if they die in their sin, that they will be judged by God, found guilty, and cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. Only when they see how sinful they are when exposed to God’s righteousness, (and what the penalty is for their sin) will they be brought under conviction and turn to God. This is what we as a body of believers, and we as individual Christians, should be focusing on. If we don’t, the bible tells us that their blood will be on our hands. Thanks Doug for the heads up.
Pastor Gary L Protenic