Evangelism–not a long-distance relationship

I was thinking today about evangelism which is fundamentally “to bring good news to people.” Evangelism for the Christian is not a long-distance relationship or form of communication. Christian evangelism is in its greatest form when the distance between broken people and hope becomes bridged with truth. For this is the essence of the incarnation of the Son of God, which is nothing less than Christ traversing the distance between God and man and taking on the skin of our soiled existence in order to embody good news and truth up close and personal. Christian evangelism is most pure when the evangel’s good news is felt and seen–not just heard. It is no wonder that the apostle John said, “Whoever claims to live in Jesus must walk as Jesus walked” (1 John 2:6).

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About StriderMTB

Hi, I'm Matt. "Strider" from Lord of the Rings is my favorite literary character of all time and for various reasons I write under the pseudonym "StriderMTB. As my blog suggests I seek to live out both the excitement and tension of a Christian walk with Christ in the 3rd world context of Asia. I am unmarried yet blessed to oversee an orphanage of amazing children in South-East Asia. I hate lima beans and love to pour milk over my ice-cream. I try to stay active in both reading and writing and this blog is a smattering of my many thoughts. I see the Kingdom of God as Jesus preached it and lived to be the only hope for a broken world and an even more broken and apathetic church.
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2 Responses to Evangelism–not a long-distance relationship

  1. Sarah Capps says:

    Hi Matt,

    I am curious of your opinion on something. I have many loved ones who are not Christians, and most all of them live far away from me. I only see them on holidays and family vacations. How do I evangelize to them knowing that, like you said, seeing your life as a believer is the most pure evangelism. How do I evangelize when I significantly desire to, especially when thinking over eternity and the significance of it? I desire to ask loved ones to engage in a long distance bible study with me, and sometimes I consider just calling them to share Jesus because I feel the weight of disobedience. I desire to trust God more in the truth that He alone saves. But, I also feel very stagnant in the role of sharing Jesus with my loved ones, because the opportunities in person are few and far between. Thank you for your time and post,

    Sarah

    • StriderMTB says:

      Hi Sarah, I am sorry for the delay. I actually wrote out a lengthy reply a few weeks ago and hit the wrong button and lost it. Let me just encourage you by saying it is good and appropriate that you want to “lead off” with the “acts of the gospel” because that will provide a context later for the “words of the gospel.” Usually when we lead off with the “words” of the gospel and we never get around to demonstrating the “acts” of the gospel and the kingdom, we short-change people. That being said it sounds like the long-distance nature of your relationshiop makes it difficult to even be a tangible expression (physically speaking) of the love and nature of God to your family. But maybe God will reveal to you some ways you can witness of His grace and love even in a long-distance context–such an encouraging note in the mail.

      Everybody loves getting snail mail of a personal nature…since in our day the only snail mail that arrives is bills and advertisements. Your family’s reading of personal letters sent by you may open them up to reading God’s letters to them later on. People find it easy to shut off conversation when it is just audible but it is a lot harder to put down a well-written, personalized letter half-way through simply because you don’t agree with the spiritual nature of it. One suggestion is just being honest and asking one of your loved ones for permission to write some letters of a spiritual nature to them–especiallly if you know the nature of some their skepticism concerning the claims of the gospel.

      I would highly encourage you to pick up the book “Letters from a Skeptic” by Greg Boyd. They are a record of correspondance between an athiest father and his theologian son. The father ended up giving his life to the Lord but only after some huge areas of disbelief were adequately answered by his son. Lastly I would greatly encourage you to let your love for your family be love for the sake of love. That is to say let your love be an end in and of itself. If your love is a means to a greater end–like getting them into a church–they will sniff out that agenda and it will make your love appear conditional. Have it within your own heart and mind you will love them regardless. Ask for God’s love to fill your heart for them–because you may well be hurt by them and suffer rejection. But with God’s help your love will persevere through that rejection and therefore be even a greater testimony of Christ’s love within you. Cheers

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