Thursday, 16 April 2015

One job only Christians can do!

Please don't get me wrong, I do believe in social action. I believe that God, in his mercy, sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, and the Bible says we are to be good to all. I believe that social action is a form of holiness. So the question 'should we do social action or evangelism?' is not a legitimate question, for we would never ask 'should we be holy or evangelise?' We should be compelled to do both!

However, I have a concern! I don't think we put enough emphasis on evangelism. You see when we talk about mission these days we often think in terms of social action and not of evangelism. We will cut your grass and paint your walls but we may not speak to you about the gospel. Yes, our actions may speak loudly but we still need to speak verbally. We are a people who have a message, good news to share. We are commanded to teach and preach, to speak and tell. I would hate to think that we would show people our love in many ways but forget to tell them the message of love. I would hate to think that we would tidy people's villages but fail to tell the community about what they need to do to be saved.

In a conversation with Helen Roseveare, in the 1980's, Richard Halverson explained, 'When there is an international disaster, all the isms (not just Christianity, but also the communists and the atheists, the secularists and the philanthropists) rush to help. But there is one job that only Christians can do, and that is point people to the Saviour they need. That is our unique privilege, to show people the way to Calvary, to repentance and forgiveness of sin, and the deep inner joy and peace of knowing salvation from the hands of a crucified Saviour.'


Nick said...

Thanks for the post Paul and you know that my heart is as yours on a lot of these things, but I was wondering do we deal with social issues on mission trips rather than evangelism because evangelism done from the outside usually is clumsy and can often be counter-productive to the local church.

I think that evangelism is a local church issue... where their is a local church of course. But I would also like to see our own local church... especailly the MCI more proactive in evangelism. Thankful that at conference i was able to see signs that it is becoming more so with some of the work in Dublin... not to meantion other places that don't get their opportunity in the spotlight.

Anonymous said...

alot to think about pablo.


To whom it may concern said...

Thanks Nick and Steve

Nick, mission trips is an interesting point. certainly short term evangelism can be clumsy.

Nick said...

Rereading "What's So Amazing about Grace" and came across this and reminded me again of your post:

"The world can do almost anything as well as or better than the church, " says Gordon MacDonald. "You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace." MacDonald has put his finger on the church's single most important cintribution. Where else can the church go to find grace"