Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A More Effective Method of "Evangelism" (part 1)

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
We apologize for the "blackout" period the past few days in being able to send you "Dial Daily Bread." Living in a wooded area sometimes presents challenges, in this case our antenna at the top of a tall pine tree can no longer be "seen" by our Internet provider. Between storms, a tree climber will be coming to hopefully correct the problem. For now we're sending you two devotionals that hopefully will enhance your study of the new quarter of Sabbath School lessons on evangelism and witnessing.
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Blessings to you all,
Carol Kawamoto
For "Dial Daily Bread"
Everybody who believes the Bible teaching of the second coming of Jesus must also believe that something great must happen before He CAN come again: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and [only] then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). It is commonly understood that this means huge expenditures of money in public meetings and TV presentations using state-of-the-art electronic facilities. Wonderful work; deserves our offerings. Huge public meetings have been held for nearly 200 years and yet world population grows faster than the combined efforts of all Protestant churches to reach them with "the gospel."
Could it be that the Bible teaches a more effective method of "evangelism," one that we have "in a great degree" overlooked?
It could be summed up in one statement Jesus made near the end of His ministry: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said [Song of Solomon 4:12-15], out of his inmost soul shall flow rivers of living water. ... This spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive" (John 7:37-39).
It means that the humblest person who "believes in Jesus," even the uneducated, will become "a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams of Lebanon." Unconsciously, in an unstudied way, he will pour forth the ultimately powerful message. It will be that "the love of Christ constraineth us," compels, motivates, empowers, makes effective the agent who cannot help but communicate the message--all with one proviso, that he "believe in Jesus." That's what Jesus said in John 7.
It sounds deceptively simple. For two millennia people have "believed in Jesus," haven't they? And yet in spite of all our best efforts, the task gets bigger all the time. There must be something about what it means to "believe in Jesus" that we haven't yet grasped. If that "well of living water" is not flowing out from within our soul as the ultimate evangelism, it's obvious: we haven't yet learned to "believe" in the sense that Jesus meant when He spoke on "that last day ... of the feast." More next time.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 12, 2004.
Copyright © 2012 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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