Christian Evangelism: What Story Do You Tell Yourself…And The World?

yellin2Christian evangelism is fueled by two sources; the story we tell ourselves and the mission we believe we are on.

Story and Mission

The story we proclaim and the mission we engage in tells those around us a lot about the God we serve.  Is he a God of fear…or a God of Grace?

 

Evangelism Type “A”

The Story: The “world” is cursed and appointed for destruction.  It is beyond repair.  The only thing left of real value are the people whom Jesus loves and died for.  They are condemned through their sin to spend eternity separated from God in hell unless they “confess with their mouth and believe in their heart in Jesus” (Romans 10:9-10) When they do this their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27) and will spend eternity with God in heaven.

The Mission: The “world” is like a house on fire with precious men, women, and children trapped inside.  We are on a rescue mission!  Our mission is to get those people out of the burning house and certain destruction.  The challenge though is presently those burning flames are metaphorical so we have to convince those trapped inside that they are actually “trapped” and hell’s flames rage all around them.

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Because of this, we sometimes need to be rough and harsh.  If they were to be hit and killed by a bus tonight, “Where would they spend eternity?”.  Sometimes people being rescued panic and begin to flail.  It’s ok to knock someone on the head (metaphorically) and throw them over your shoulder to race them out of the burning building.  They may resent you at the moment…but they will thank you later!

 

Evangelism Type “B”

The Story: Creation is a beautiful thing and declared “good” by God.    (Genesis 1) Our original mission was to co-create with God and steward the world bringing order and life to it.  Disobeying God brought a virus (sin) into creation that has infected everything.  Rather than rejecting his people, God instead sends himself to Earth taking on the form of man.  That man, Jesus, showed us a way out of the metaphorical pit we had dug ourselves into.  Then through his sacrificial death he

cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Colossians 2:14-15

The Mission: This isn’t a rescue mission as much as it is a redemption mission.  We have Good News to share with people and all creation.  They don’t have to be afraid anymore.  God loves them, he is for them and he is extending the invitation for people to become citizens of a new kingdom; a new order for the world.  A way of love reenforced through mercy and grace rather than one centered on power plays and violence.

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We also get to return to our original Genesis 1 mandate to steward God’s creation; bringing order to areas of chaos, light to areas of darkness, and life to areas of death.

Redeeming Evangelism

In the recent film Monuments Men, George Clooney stars as a World War 2 officer assigned to lead a group of men to save precious works of art and culture as the allies advance through Europe.  I was struck as I watched the movie at the parallels between their mission and ours.  The Nazis, knowing they were losing the war, killed and destroyed anything they could still get their hands on as they retreated.

Likewise Satan knows the battle is lost.  Victory was a forgone conclusion the minute God himself entered the world.  Christ’s Kingdom is advancing and the enemy, like the Nazis, knows time is not on his side.  Because of this he is trying to destroy as many lives and as much of this planet while he still can.  Satan is engaged in a “scorched Earth” strategy while he is in retreat.

Our mission is to engage in areas where Satan still has people in systems of bondage and oppression to redeem and restore what is precious and valuable.     To be the Body of Christ and see:

* fear replaced with security

* violence replaced with peace

* despair replaced with hope,

* hatred replaced with love

What story are you telling?

What mission are you engaged in?

Type “A” or Type “B”

Your answer will shape the “Good News” you are sharing with the world!

 

 

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