Where’s Joe the plumber in this?
We live in a celebrity-obsessed culture where we often exalt the superstar, at the expense of the regular guy. I am very concerned at how I see a lot of the celebrity culture infiltrating the church, especially in the realm of evangelism. I am standing for the regular guy. Regular is good. Joe the plumber needs to get a better rap in the Church, especially in the west.
Preach! – Just do it!
When we look at evangelism, we are often guilty of having too much of a success-oriented view of evangelism and not enough of a process view of evangelism. We place too much capital of achieving the results, and its corollary fear of failure, and not enough on just doing it! The biblical idea of preaching, of evangelism, is much closer to the concept of just communicating news than it is to the idea of convincing someone to make a decision or accept a message. In fact, it is God’s job to convince, our job is simply to communicate and explain the evangel, the Good News. When thinking about what it takes to evangelise, think more newsreader, or anchorman, than salesman.
The Gospel is all about a King and his Kingdom
OK so you are revved-up and ready to just do it! You want to preach the Gospel….. you think you know what the Gospel is…..but do you? If we are to give ourselves to this business of evangelism, wouldn’t it make sense to actually know what it is that we should be communicating?
You see, “the Gospel” is more than a system of theology, more than a system of salvation. “The Gospel” was the word that was used to explain that Caesar was Lord, and that at his name every knee hod to bow. The Gospel was therefore a Good-news proclamation that Jesus (not Caesar) was Lord – that there was a new king on the block, and as King over all, He demands our allegiance, our submission, our obedience. You see, this good news is that your Caesar, that which used to dominate you, is no longer “lord” – there is a new King on the block, and He is GOOD.
At its very core, and true to the biblical story, “The Gospel” is the proclamation of that message that God’s Kingdom, or empire, has arrived, that Jesus vanquished all the powers of evil at the Cross and that, beginning at the resurrection of Jesus, God is in the business of fixing all of the world’s wrongs, wiping every tear and consoling all those who are suffering. He has now invited you to be a part of this revolution, this “setting the world right” Revolution.
And what does He require of us?
If evangelism is all about the proclamation of a king and his kingdom, then the requirement is that we embrace Jesus as such and submit to Him. We do this be believing in Him, thus our very faith in Him becomes this submission and obedience. That is why scripture speaks of the obedience of faith:
And this is His order (His command, His injunction): that we should believe in (put our faith and trust in and adhere to and rely on) the name of His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and that we should love one another, just as He has commanded us – 1 John 3:23 (Amplified)
The early Christians believed that rather than you, it was this very proclamation that acted as the means, the vehicle, of grace through which God’s spirit brought conviction to the sinner. If this is so, then the mere process of evangelism, the process of proclaiming the lordship of Jesus, becomes the means of grace through which God’s Spirit can act.