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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Loving People into God's Kingdom

The evangelist D.L. Moody said that we love people into God's kingdom. I believe the lack of love for those that do not know Christ is the primary reason we are not seeing people come to know Christ.

We have tried to make our efforts to share Christ a program. We have printed materials, sent our church leaders to training seminars, promoted the latest greatest evangelism program (which will always be the last one we will need) and fed it to those who have either been shamed into sharing Christ or who have a heart for evangelism and want to do anything possible to see people come to know Christ. We taught them a slick sales-talk approach to telling the gospel. They have made cold calls to those who have visited the church. Many of the people have not been at home, many others are already Christians, some are not interested and few pray the "sinners prayer" with the church evangelists. Only about 7%-15% of those who have said this prayer will ever be baptized are become a part of the church.

What was the difference between the early church and what is happening today? They never saw it as a program. They shared their faith with the people they knew. They told the neighbors and those whom attended the synagogues about their faith in Christ. Their motivation was their love for the people they shared with. The Apostles used their preaching opportunities in each instance to share who Jesus was to people who had never heard the story. They confronted people in crowds but shared in deep love individually. They weren't sharing Christ out of shame. They were doing so because they loved Him and His love gave them love for others.

Everything you do is evangelism when you share out of love. You seek to bring others to Christ by how you treat them. You are kind, compassionate, humble and helpful because you have personally been changed by Christ. The change in you seek is to bring others to Christ. You invite them to your church out of love. You help them with a problem out of love. You are kind out of love. You are so characterized by love that you earn the right to speak further to them about Christ.

Evangelism is born out of love. God loved us first. We love because He loved.

I believe I know why people don't want to know about the Christ we have. Many of them don't want to be a part of a group that tells a story of a religion that doesn't care about those to whom the story is told.

D.L. Moody was right. We love people into the Kingdom.

John 3:16 (NIV)
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:19 (NIV)
19  We love because he first loved us. 

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