Happy Valentine’s Day!
Let’s look at how all this teaching affects the way we share the gospel.
First, God is the one who makes the rules, not us. One day, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11) If God says heaven and hell are the deal, then who are we to question him? If he says faith in Jesus is the only way, why should we complain? If he elects people from before the beginning, who are we to judge his integrity? Rest comfortable that God knows way more about any of this than we do. He is good, just, and fair. His way is right. Trust him.
Second, those of us who are saved have been given a gift that is immense beyond our imagination. Our own behavior has sentenced us to eternal damnation. That’s what we deserve. Instead, God has given us eternal life. “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) Indeed, once we truly start comprehending this, we will focus more and more on him. Nothing else matters. This should overwhelm us so that it simply gushes forth from us.
Third, we must understand that we are on equal footing with every single person on this planet. Not one person earns their way into heaven. You are not better than anyone else. That means you are free to share the gospel with all people. Prejudice keeps us from loving others. Pride is a tool of Satan. We have no need for that. None. Just think of this for a minute. We have no need for any of this. We are free to love all people as God intended. We are free to openly share the gospel with all. Hate and fear are not enjoyable. You don’t have any reason to collect this garbage!
Fourth, the gospel is for three categories of people: those who will never believe, those who will believe, and those who do believe. You and I do not know to whom God will have mercy. Some “Calvinists” refuse to share the gospel with the “un-elect.” Hogwash. Isaiah was sent to harden the hearts of unbelievers (Isaiah 6:8-13). Part of our mission, therefore, is to intentionally share the gospel, and the effect, for some, will be an even harder heart. Yes, that is biblical. Another category is for those who will believe – the unregenerate elect. Remember, you are not the one who softens their hearts; that is God’s doing. You simply get to witness God in action! The last category is believers. We need to hear the gospel regularly. Why? Because we forget. We let the cares of this world cloud our vision. We need reality checks and pep talks daily.
Fifth, we have nothing to fear. Why? Because we are not of this world. Plain and simple. Nothing or nobody can harm us because some day God will take us home. Guaranteed. We are on this earth, in enemy territory, for a short-term mission. That mission? To do all that Jesus commanded. This may get rough. Indeed, it should. If we are telling people about Jesus, we will run into opposition. Some people will hate us. We may even experience severe persecution including physical harm. Should we cringe and hide? Hardly. “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) If our eyes are properly on Jesus, we will welcome this.
Sixth, neither you nor I convince people that the gospel is true. God does that. We may deliver a message, but God is the one who turns the heart. This is important for a couple of reasons. One, we cannot take any credit for someone’s salvation. We have no reason to boast in our abilities because we don’t save people. That should keep us humble. This makes us appealing to people. Nothing worse than a prideful preacher, right? On the flip side of the coin – you can’t chase people away from God. It can’t be done. We like to think that, but it’s not true. Nobody will fry in hell because of you. People already reject Jesus. People already hide from the light because they are wicked. Street preachers offend people, but they do not drive them from God. Their own hard hearts do, but the street preachers don’t. Furthermore, you may be afraid to share the gospel because you don’t understand it. You may be afraid you will say something wrong. Don’t worry. God is fully capable of working around any of that. Remember, he told the demon-possessed man to tell all his friends what God has done for him. That man had no training. He knew squat other than the man named Jesus changed everything. Deliberate ignorance is one thing; innocent ignorance is quite another. So, don’t worry. This takes the pressure off of evangelism.
It seems to me that with proper understanding of this election business, we have no reason NOT to share the gospel and every reason TO share it. Maybe part of the problem people have with evangelism is that they don’t quite trust God. I tell you what, without the doctrine of election, our questions simply cannot be answered without casting doubt on God’s integrity. Election teaches us that God is the one who has designed everything and is the only one who is in control of it. This is such good news that we almost don’t believe it, but it’s true.
In fact, it’s liberating beyond all imagination.
John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Father, we are free. Let us fully comprehend this. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers