Evangelizing the World

Evangelizing the World

The Apostle John had a vision of our future. We will be part of a crowd so large that it is impossible to count! It is a crowd made up of all nations, tribes, and “peoples.” It is a crowd made up of all “languages.”

Revelation 7:9-10 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

John describes this crowd as wearing white robes, symbolic of purity or righteousness. They are also waving palm branches, a symbol of celebration. These people came out of the Great Tribulation. Regardless of what life brings upon us on earth, when we get to Heaven, we will be rejoicing! Try to remember that and look forward to it with anticipation!

Listen to what this crowd cries out: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” The redeemed will still be celebrating their salvation through Jesus Christ! But if you are redeemed, you don’t have to wait for this day to begin celebrating! The Gospel is the greatest message of all times and Jesus Christ is worthy to be praised. It should excite us and give us a desire to share this message with everyone in the world!

That is our responsibility. Listen again to what Jesus said. Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

If being a Christian is worthwhile, then this should prompt us to speak of Christ to everyone we meet. And this should not be difficult if we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

So, if today is the day of salvation, if tomorrow may never come, and if life is uncertain—why do we remain complacent, apathetic, or afraid of sharing the Truth when those who live with us, work with us, walk with us, and love us are unprepared for eternity? If Jesus called His disciples to be fishers of men, why are we satisfied with sitting on the bank and watching others fish? If Jesus Himself went seeking the lost, if Paul the Apostle was in agony because his kinsmen did not know Christ, why are we unconcerned while unbelievers perish around us? Could it be we lack the power of the Holy Spirit?

If we are to stand at the judgment seat of Christ to render an account for the deeds done in the body, what shall we say to Him if our children are missing, if our friends are not saved, or if our employer, or employee should miss Heaven because we have been faithless and silent?

If we wish to be received as a faithful servant, then let us remember that no eloquence in preaching, no absorption in business, or no spirit of timidity can be an excuse for us not making an honest, sincere, prayerful effort to bring others to Christ and teach them to obey Him.

Time is urgent. The Church is in a war. The enemy is attacking more than ever. The battles are being fought inside and outside the Church walls. People are dying and going to Hell. Yet, many in the church are asleep, or ignorant, or have compromised with the world and become captives of the enemy. Money and prosperity have put Christians at ease when they should be sacrificing income and time with the lost. Entertainment has become the focus.

Hypocrisy has caused Church attendance to decline. There are fewer people today willing to serve Jesus Christ in the Church or in evangelism. The Church is focused with buildings and programs while ignoring soul winning. It has grieved the Holy Spirit and become “Ichabod”.

In the meantime, the enemy is busy. He has diverted people’s attention away from our historic ethics of holiness, correct speech, hard work, honesty, etc. to the glorification of drugs, gambling, sexual permissiveness, filthy speech, underachievement, laziness, lying, and the rights of criminals instead of the victim’s rights. There is a deliberate effort to rewrite history to eliminate God, creation, and Christianity’s influence on holidays, the founding of this nation, and the development of civilization around the world. The media is no longer objective in reporting the news, but carries a bias of secularism, humanism, socialism, evolution, anti-church, anti-family, and pro-homosexuality. Laws are passed to eliminate Christian influence by zoning, reducing the freedom of speech, calling preaching hate-speech, breaking down the traditional family, and permitting easy divorce, abortion, and irresponsibility.

Islam is getting more powerful. Marxism is the philosophy taught in college. Both these movements have declared war on Christianity. As society throws a blanket over the light of Christianity, darkness is spreading in the form of hatred, atheism, witchcraft, new age, environmentalism, Earth worship, paganism, and Satanism.

However, we must not be pessimistic, but we need to wake up and get busy. We can be optimistic, because 1 John 4:4-6 says, You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”

Furthermore, we have all the host of Heaven on our side. When Elisha’s servant cried out in fear at the enemy’s multitude, Elisha prayed that God would show his servant the innumerable force on our side in the spiritual realm.

2 Kings 6:16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

Therefore, God wants us to trust Him and not be afraid. We will be persecuted. Jesus told us things would get very dark and evil before He returned. So look up, our Savior’s coming draws nearer every day. In the meantime, what should we do?

Luke 10:2-3 He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

Jesus understands what we are facing. That is why He wants us to receive His Spirit—so we will have power to be His witnesses in the midst of wolves.

God is not less powerful today, but Christianity in U.S. and the western world has lost its power. To be seen as tolerant and relevant to society, the Church has compromised with sin and grieved the Holy Spirit. As a result, it has lost the power to be Christ’s witness and ambassador. Therefore, people have turned away from the Church and look to the government for salvation.

I’m sorry, but Joe Biden is not going to revive this country. Donald Trump is not going to make America great. We need a Holy Spirit revival! I’m not referring to a week of meetings where we have guest preachers and entertainers singing gospel songs. A Holy Spirit revival is an individual revival that brings conviction of sin, leading to brokenness, repentance, dying to self, and God’s power to be His witnesses. However, it won’t happen until we humble ourselves and quit thinking we are alright and quit looking to someone in politics to heal our land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

The holiness, unity, and church growth produced by the Holy Spirit in Acts was genuine and rapid in spite of severe persecution. Although they were tortured and killed for their faith, those Christians turned the world upside down. Persecution will not stop the Church. It will purify it. Only those committed to love and follow Jesus, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, will be in the Church and ultimately rejoicing in Heaven, as we read in Revelation.

So, what happened to change the dynamics of the early Church that we see in Acts?

While Church membership continued to increase, true faith declined after Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Being a “Christian” became easy and popular and politically correct. The Church rested in its success, acceptance, and newfound political power. It forgot its commission to make disciples of Christ.

Sin and carnality were overlooked and the Church began a campaign to raise money to support all the priests, staff, programs, and ornate cathedrals.

This problem is still evident. When a church starts to grow, there is a temptation to shift focus to acquiring property instead of Christ and reaching the lost. Lots of money is raised or borrowed to erect larger buildings. Sin is tolerated because it is not profitable to offend the wealthy supporters. The ministry shifts to a social group who can give large sums of money, rather than to the lost who have nothing or little to give.

To ease our conscience from not seeking the poor, we give money to programs that feed the needy, but we fail to make disciples of Christ!

Just paying a needy person’s bills changes nothing. We must get back to associating with the lost and needy for the purpose of bringing them to Christ. Jesus is who everyone needs and He will supply all their needs as they learn to walk with Him. Become a friend and invite that friend into your home and church. Demonstrate how you let God be in control of your life.

Only the power of God in a life will change a behavior and change a situation. The mind must be renewed. That is why sharing the truth of God’s Word is important. That is why Jesus said “making disciples” includes teaching them to obey everything Jesus taught.

We must not teach civil laws as the standard. To keep from offending anyone and to attract members, some denominations have rejected God’s laws and adopted civil laws that approve of abortion, homosexual marriage, and other behaviors contrary to God’s Word. As a result, the church members act and look just like the non-believers in society.

Consequently, congregations that approve of sin lose the Holy Spirit’s power. Then when you don’t have any power, you have to have a program. So the Church becomes focused with providing programs to attract people. You see, non-believers or carnal “Christians” want benefits, entertainment, and programs rather than Jesus and His Word. If you don’t provide it, they will go somewhere else to get it.

To satisfy someone’s carnality is dangerous. It creates false conversions, making people twice as fit for Hell because they are deceived into thinking they are saved.

As a result of compromising with sin, the Spirit of Jesus is lacking in the Church (love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, meekness, faithfulness, and self-control).

This is crucial, because Jesus said in John 12:32, “and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples unto myself.”

Therefore, a church’s success should NOT be measured by the number attending services, but by the number of people living out Christ’s teachings and talking about Jesus every day! That is what the Church did every day in the Book of Acts. If we will do that, God will give the increase. He will add daily to the Church those who are being saved. That is what will evangelize the world.

Consequently, it is possible to stop church decline and reach the innumerable population by staying focused on Jesus and our mission, which is loving God, loving each other, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and making disciples, who then go out and make more disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit. Genuine Church growth comes from God’s plan and God’ power.

Therefore, do not become like the world. Do not give up or give in to the temptation to quit or fit in. Do not rely on your own strength. Focus on Jesus Christ and His Word. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and rely on Him to lead you and give you the words to say and the deeds to do.

However, you cannot talk to other people about Someone you don’t know. You may be able to repeat what others have said about Jesus, but if you have no relationship with Him or experience walking with Him, then you have no power to evangelize anyone.

If that is the case, you can begin that relationship and experience with Jesus today. If you believe Jesus is the Son of God who atoned for your sin on the cross and rose again from the grave, then profess it publicly by being baptized and receive God’s forgiveness and grace from the Holy Spirit to repent of all sin. The Holy Spirit will teach you to obey everything Jesus taught. Then you will have power to be Jesus’s witness to everyone you meet.