Thursday, 9 February 2017

Communicating the Relevance of the Gospel in a Changing Culture (VIII)

Finally:
We proclaim Christ, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)

 As I said previously, it’s a process… Becoming mature in Christ takes a lifetime. Be patient. Who of us solved all our issues the moment we came to faith? None of us. Sanctification, becoming more Christ-like, is a life-long process. The time has passed when we as Christians could enforce our way of living on those who don’t share our faith. We shouldn’t be surprised if people who have no Christian background don’t see the point in living the way we do, or the way we think they should. We introduce them to Jesus – let Jesus change the heart. 

Finally, a word of encouragement to us: In the very next verse following the above, Paul says:
“To this end I labour, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.” (Colossians 1:29) 
We labour, but it is His energy, powerfully working in us. Christ’s great commission is both a joy and a challenge. It can be hard work. We can sometimes think it a burden, but it can be a joyous burden. We can’t do any of this on our own…but by God’s grace, He invites us to partner with Him. 

I want to close with two things Jesus said:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:19)

That’s a command. Go! Make disciples! Jesus did not say to go and make converts, but conversion obviously has to come before discipleship. Alpha is a fantastic and proven way to guide people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It’s also somewhat helpful as a discipleship tool as well, but for the most part, discipleship is a continuing process that will take place within the context of the local church and again, is part of an ongoing relationship.

So, “GO!” Follow Jesus' command. Make relationships, and out of them, make disciples.

But he also said,
“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
 That’s not a command but a statement of fact. Jesus is not telling us to be his witnesses; he’s saying we will be. We will be his witnesses. The question is will we be good witnesses or bad.

Will we be effective or ineffective? Will we draw people toward him or push them away? 

If we do nothing we are still witnesses – we are saying our message is not that important. 

The world out there is watching.  

There is a world out there waiting to hear. 

So how do we reach them?



Thanks & Blessings,

John

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