Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Insight Sometimes Comes From Unexpected Sources

Some of the ladies from our church took a get-away trip last weekend. Along for the ride was a woman who is not a member of our congregation. She is a member of another church. During their travels, it seems they got into a rather serious and deep discussion about predestination.

The details of that discussion are not important for this article. They did a pretty good job discussing the issue, and talking about why they believe what they believe. Let's just say, the lady who traveled along with them held a view that sees God predestining individuals to be saved or lost, regardless of a person's desire to be saved. In other words, she believes if God wants to save you, then he will, even if you live a wild life and don't believe. If he doesn't want to save you, then it doesn't matter how much you believe, or how badly you want to be saved, you'll still be lost.

The insight, however, happened about something very different. This friend said to our ladies, something like this: "If you don't believe that God predestines people to saved, then you ought to be out every day talking to everyone you know about Jesus."

Wow! She got it right on the money. We might not agree with her view on predestination, but she got the point about the great commission. Why else would Jesus have given the assignment to preach the gospel to every creature? And if we believe that God has given human beings freedom to choose and the responsibility to believe or not, then why are we not more serious about giving them the opportunity to do just that? Why are we not telling more people about Jesus?

In this case, insight came to at least a few of our ladies in an unexpected way. What I heard from a couple of them says that the question posed by their friend hit a nerve. It bothered them. Why? Well because our sweet, good-hearted ladies are very much like most Christians. The "great commission" is not a driving force or motivation. It's not that they are unconcerned. It's just that they haven't realized how important it is that we sow the seed of the gospel.

There is nothing we do as Christians that is as important as sharing the gospel with others. There are a lot of ways we might minister to people, and all of those ways might be very good. Nothing is as important as the saving of lost people. Period. Nothing.

That doesn't mean everyone ought to be conducting Bible studies, though somebody should. It means that all of us can, and should, be aware that our mission is to see that people are saved. Your part in that might be as simple as inviting a friend to church, or as involved as becoming a missionary in a far-away place. The point is that both people can be a viable part of putting people into contact with Jesus Christ so that they can be saved. They still must choose, but you will have helped them face a legitimate choice.

If we really believe that individuals must choose to believe in Jesus Christ, choose to put their faith in him as Savior and Lord, then we must also believe that we have a huge responsibility to them. Yes, we ought to be telling far more people about Jesus. Every day. Every where we go. To every person we can. We are to sow seed. God will then give the increase.