The outreach, or evangelism, of the Church to those still in the kingdom of darkness is to be as natural as living itself.
We don't need costly "Madison Avenue style" campaigns in order to reach our world.
These type programs are extremely costly, time-consuming, and relatively non-productive when compared to the investment and the "drop-out" rate.
NOTE: This "drop out rate" simply refers to people who have responded to an emotional invitation to "accept" Jesus, but have never really repented of their life in the kingdom of darkness. This usually occurs when one has heard the "Man-centered gospel" that is so prevalent today.
Billy Graham, himself, admits that probably less than 10% of the conversions in his meetings are genuine and will last. This happens because many of the people who respond to the altar call invitations are responding to the simple emotional thrill of the meeting environment itself.
Charles Finney once said, "The quality of the conversion is determined by the content of the message shared." He stressed the importance of repentance and the Lordship of Jesus.
In the early church of the first century, evangelism was not a planned program or campaign, it came naturally as the result of the "life" that was in the Church.
Because disciples genuinely loved Jesus and each other it was visible to the public.
This demonstration of the life and love of God motivated the Christians to simply share their new found "life" with their own sphere of influence called an"oikos".
"Oikos" is a Greek Word which simply means "household", or those you spend time with on a regular weekly or daily basis.
Your "oikos" could be family members, relatives, friends, work mates, neighbors, or even people you attend religious meetings with.
These are the people we live our life before and share our life with.
These are the people who should begin to see the transformation taking place in you as the Holy Spirit and God's Word bring about the "new creation" realities in your life.
After all, you are no longer in the kingdom of darkness, but have been given new life in the kingdom of God.
LIFE REPRODUCES LIFE
We are not to participate in costly evangelism campaigns to reach those still in the kingdom of darkness.
We simply need to equip people to fulfill their God-given responsibility to share their life with each other and with those still in darkness.
Evangelism is a "relational outreach", not a program.
It is simply a natural response to the life that is within us.
It is simply a natural response for all humans that have life to want to reproduce themselves.
If there is no life, there probably is no outreach.
In Acts 1:8 the Scripture says that, "... but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses..."
Now, I don't want to take this Scripture out of context or try to make it say something that is that it doesn't.
Let me explain this.
At this specific time, these people did not have the Holy Spirit living within them, because none of them were born again. The Holy Spirit had not been sent yet. There was no "Church" yet.
They were simply followers of Jesus.
He was saying to them that in a short time the Holy Spirit would come upon them and empower them and this empowerment would enable them to become a witness for Jesus.
This raises two specific questions.
First, why would this empowerment cause them to become a witness.
Second, what is a witness.
The answer to the first question is an absolutely amazing truth.
The Scripture teaches us that when we yield to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and are born-again we enter into His kingdom , and at the time of this new birth the Holy Spirit of God actually comes to live within us.
John 14:16-17 -- "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that he may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you."
If the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us, He also brings with Him the same desires and abilities He brought to Jesus when He came to fill Jesus at His baptism. That should mean that the desires Jesus had to reach out and restore should also be within us if we would simply yield ourselves to His leading and obey His promptings.
This revolutionary truth of the Holy Spirit actually living within us is the essence of the New Covenant.
This New Covenant will be explained in much greater detail in the section of the Covenant Kingdom website that will be entitled "The New Covenant".
The answer to the second question is very simple.
Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes into our life that we will become a "witness" for Jesus.
So what does a witness actually do?
It is just like being called to be a witness in a court case.
The witness simply tells:
When we relate this to be a witness for Jesus it simply means that we tell others what we have seen, what we have heard, or what we have experienced.
Does that sound like it's difficult?
That is all there is to basic evangelism.
The word "evangel" means "a message".
An "evangelist" simply means a person who has a message, or something important to say.
When we apply these terms to Christians it simply means that we have something important to say or to tell.
What is so important for us to say or to tell?
The kingdom of God is at hand and that Jesus Christ is Lord.
So in order for us to be involved in evangelism, it simply means that we share what we have heard, what we have seen, or what we have experienced concerning the message of the kingdom and that Jesus Christ is Lord and how this has affected our life.
This is simply called sharing our "testimony". Just like a "witness" does in a court trial.
Who do we share this message with?
Which is simply those in our household or those that we spend time with on a regular basis.
We don't aggressively beat them over the head with the Bible or with Scriptures.
Remember, our new lifestyle as a covenant partner with Jesus Christ and a member of God's family will probably be very much different than the lifestyle that we lived when we were still in the kingdom of darkness.
I am sure that as you live this new lifestyle in front of your "oikos" it will cause them to see a difference in your life as a result of having an encounter with Jesus and rejecting the kingdom of darkness lifestyle and experiencing this new life in the kingdom of God.
Your responsibility is to share your testimony of your encounter with Jesus and His kingdom.
The Holy Spirit has the job of leading those people into an encounter with Jesus.
When that happens those people have a decision to make.
It is the same decision that you had to make when you had your encounter with Jesus Christ.
WE SHARE LIFE, NOT JUST BIBLE VERSES
This, my friends, is what evangelism is all about.
Now does this really sound difficult?
You see, what turns most people off about evangelism, or about Christianity, is when we try to share our experience with others and it comes across as very mechanical because we are trying to share a program such as "The Four Spiritual Laws", or "The Romans Road", or "Evangelism Explosion", or some other memorized program, instead of simply sharing "LIFE".
"LIFE" is the reality of the Holy Spirit actually living inside of us.
We have the life of God within us.
This is what we share with people -- " LIFE".
Years ago there was a chorus that we used to sing that said,"I have the life of God in me. I have the life of God in me. I have His love, His nature, and His ability. I have the life of God in me."
When we begin to believe the words of this little chorus, which are very Biblically true, it will empower us and radically change us to become very effective for advancing the kingdom of God.
When we understand the simplicity of what evangelism really is it takes away all fear.
Now there are some people God has actually put a call on their life to go into foreign missions work, but that work is only for those that God has specifically called to do it.
The vast majority of Christians have simply been commanded to be a witness to their "oikos". This is the great co-mission. Jesus living His life through you to reach those still living in the darkness. You are His ambassador.
If He genuinely lives in us, can we honestly tell the Lord of the universe that we do not have the desire or the ability to share Him with those who don't know Him?
Outreach, or evangelism, is more than simply asking someone to say a simple little prayer that is repeated as you lead them.
It means sharing your life with someone else and introducing them to the Master of the universe, Jesus Christ.
This introducing others to Jesus is the essence of the ministry of reconciliation that every Christian has been given by God.
Reconciliation is simply with one hand holding onto Jesus and the other hand is extended to those in the kingdom of darkness to introduce them to Jesus so they can be restored to friendship with the Father.
This is what evangelism is all about.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 -- "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
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"Declaring the New Covenant and that the kingdom of God is at hand"
Rob Board Ministries
Christiansburg, Virginia 24073