Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Programs And The First Evangelists

I receive questions from and answer them from this great internet ministry. Today I am asking a question.

QUESTION ASKED TO MYSELF AND YOU: Is your church evangelizing or just having music programs this Christmas?


Often the gospel witness is drowned out at Christmas and Easter.
I can hear people saying now "No way, we had the big extravaganza performance, and we gave out fruit baskets!"

What happened after the birth-Advent of Christ? EVANGELISM
Who were the first evangelists in the New Testament? The Shepherds

Luke 2:8-13 NASB
"8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

The shepherds were not the top of the class system as they had the night shift in some nasty stinky work. It is often said the women at the empty tomb were the first to go and tell in the New Testament. No, it was the lowly shepherds. Read again the proof.

"17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds."

The message was awesome but simple so the shepherds could receive it and yet be changed. The sheperds where then able to share it.
Christ had a mission.
The great evangelist Paul made the gospel simple.
1 Timothy 1:15 English Standard Version (ESV)
"15The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost."

King Jesus made the gospel message even simpler.
Matthew 20:28 (ESV)
"28even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Yes I get jaded as of late at Christmas. People are hurting, lost and dying.
Music specials are great. But, are we spending all of our energy on a performance and neglecting personal outreach for evangelism?
this year on the two weeks before Easter I went to four services at four different churches. My work schedule kept me from regular church. I went to a Sunday morning service out of town, at another location I went to Sunday night services at another church, then a Wednesday night - No gospel preaching or witness, lots of snapshots and video recording though going on to capture the performances.
It reminded me of 1 Samuel 3:1
"And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent."

Preachers often joke about C&E only members (Christmas and Easter).
I have heard a pastor say at a service merry Christmas and Easter.
Church feed the sheep the gospel. The real sheep will then hunger for more and come back.

The after the Resurrection Jesus Christ had to strongly remind Peter to take care of business.

John 21:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
"17He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."

If the Apostle Peter needed to be reminded I think we do also.
What do you think?

In Christ Alone!

Fletcher Law

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