The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Friday, February 18, 2011

Invest In Souls Of Men, Not The Numbers Of Men.

I remember a Paul Washer sermon, where he was denouncing decisional evangelism like he so often, and so rightly, does. And in this sermon he began nearly crying and saying that people aren't numbers that you just add to your "people that you got saved" list. And that got me thinking...

It is the grace of God that leads men to repentance. Faith and repentance are gifts of God, yet we are commanded to preach the Word to all people, trying to persuade them with the truth of the gospel. What we need to realize, what I need to realize, is that instant conversions aren't the norm. Not even close. Further, the pursuing of the lost by God through His messengers brings Him glory; notice, the pursuit itself brings glory to God, let alone whether or not a person actually repents or believes, because it is God ultimately who is doing the pursuing. 

What I am saying is that, even when men resist God for a period of time, the relentless pursuing of God through His messengers brings Him glory, because it shows that, though men spurn His grace, His salvation, yet for those whom He has chosen to save, He saves! It may be months, years for some before they are brought to salvation, yet God brings them despite their hard-heartedness and years of resistance.

Now we must conclude that if God has elected all who will be saved, and the great majority of those who are saved, are saved after weeks, months, even years of having Christians proclaim the gospel to them and show the love of God to them, that this in and of itself brings God glory! And I think this is what Paul Washer is hitting on. How much do I really love someone when I am calling for decisions after a 20-30 minute "gospel" presentation? That is treating someone like a number, someone not worth more than a few minutes of my time, and just another notch in my "I got them to make a decision for Christ in only x amount of minutes" belt.

But when you passionately plead with unbelievers for hours, and days, and weeks, and years, and you do not compromise on the demands of the gospel and what it truly means, then you are doing true evangelism, then you are showing the true love of Christ- because Christ pleaded, Christ persuaded with many words, with well reasoned arguments, and so did Peter and Paul. And when an unbeliever is being relentlessly pursued by God, and finally realizes it, and sees how mean, how hostile, how hateful he has been to God his whole life, and yet God still extends His grace to Him- when such an unbeliever is finally given eyes to see this passionate pursuit of God... we cannot begin to even fathom how beautiful the grace of God appears to them!

Yet much of today's evangelism robs God of this glory, by trying to "sell" the gospel and alter it or water it down. It is not about numbers, it's about faithfully and passionately preaching the true gospel to those whom you come in contact with, preaching it repeatedly, and living life consistently in light of the gospel, so that those who you are preaching to may see your good works and in seeing your good works come to see their own sinfulness and the graciousness of the gospel.

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