Wednesday, July 8, 2015
I congratulated one of our church members recently because she succeeded in having some of her close family members join her in our Sunday morning worship service. She, however, said she felt a little bit guilty that she had to employ guilt-trip tactics to get them to come. I said I could understand her feelings but reminded her that the bottom line is that she brought them to church. I quickly remembered Jesus’ parable of the Great Banquet in the 14th Chapter of Luke. The host sent out his servants to invite many guests but most of them made excuses and did not come. When the exasperated servant came to report that these “elite” guests declined, the host became angry and sent out his servants again to bring in as many as would come. It did not matter to him if the poor, crippled, blind, and lame were included; he wanted to fill his house with guests. When the servant returned and announced that there was still plenty of room, the host said: “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.” (Luke 14:23) (The KJV says: “Compel them to come in.”)
The gospel is like that; the invitation is for “whosoever” will come. I also remarked to our dear sister in Christ that “whatever works” is just fine. I’ve never been the enthusiastic sounding, rah rah type, and often feel slightly envious of those with effusive personalities who can strike up a conversation with anybody they meet. Nevertheless, we must do what we can when we want to draw others to Christ. I suppose we all have our ways and methods. Speaking of methods, I remember many years ago a fellow worker, who was also a professing Christian, criticizing me because my “witnessing” method was all wrong. When I asked him which method he employed, he couldn’t give me a clear answer. In fact, I don’t recall my friend ever using any kind of method or ever sharing the gospel with anybody.
Many pastors and churches have “witnessing” classes where one can learn how to share the gospel with others and very possibly these may have good results. Nevertheless, I’ve come to know that not everyone is the same and not everyone responds to the same method. I believe that the key words are “whatever works” which could on some occasions even include extreme or unconventional thinking. I once followed a man to his car after a Sunday morning worship service and brought him back to the altar to accept Christ as his savior. Today, he is a pastor and faithful servant of God. If you love the Lord and want to share Him with others, you’ll find a way. Keep this in mind, however: whichever method you use, and in order to be effective, it almost always has to include you yourself living a Christ-centered and oriented life.
Memory verse for the week: (2 Peter 3:14 KJV) “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”