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What Is God Doing In Human History?

Moses and the 10 commandmentsIn this week’s seminar the goal will be to finish the survey of the Bible and looking at what God has been doing in human history and to see how that all relates to evangelism. God’s labors over the last 6000 years all direct us to have a proper view of our role and responsibility in proclaiming the gospel, because history culminates in the person and work of Christ: the work that he has done, is doing, and will do in the future.

In the last post we left off with Abraham in Genesis 22. This week we want to look at the following major events and people in the rest of the Bible. We’ll be moving through this part quickly, so hang on!

The Passover (in the book of Exodus) – shows us the declared judgment against Egypt and the promised salvation of the Jews through the passover. Christ and his sacrificial work as the antitype Passover Lamb is seen in cleansing God’s people from their sin, thus enabling them to avoid the wrathful judgment of God.

Moses (also in Exodus and Deuteronomy) – shows a type of Christ as deliverer of, and intercessor for God’s people. Shows us Christ’s work for his people in both of these capacities.

Read More…

God’s Work In Human History

Continuing our look into evangelism, we need to finish investigating God’s work in human history. In the last post we had just started seeing God’s work and had to leave off right after His command to Adam to not eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What happened next in the narrative is crucial to our understanding of the need for evangelism.

Genesis 3:1-13 explains the temptation of man by Satan and man’s transgression of God’s law. You’re probably familiar with the story: Satan spoke to Eve, convinced her that the fruit on the forbidden tree was to be desired for many reasons, she chose to disobey God, and Adam followed along with her. Now they have sinned, and realize they have disobeyed God so they hide from him.

After this, it says that God walked in the garden and called to Adam, “Where are you?” We must acknowledge that what was happening here was not that God couldn’t find Adam. Rather, God sought out Adam to reveal himself to him; to confess what he had done. After Adam revealed his sin God pronounced the consequences on the man and woman and begins to make some revelations about what he will be doing in the future. While speaking to Satan, he mentions that there will be One coming whom Satan will wound. We don’t get any more information about this One in this scene, but we’ll begin to see more and more of Him as we progress through the Old Testament. Read More…

What On Earth Is God Doing?

spurgeon on evangelism

19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, said that evangelism ought to be the "chief business of the Christian: indeed, it should be the main pursuit of every believer." But why? Why should Christians evangelize? We're studying that question in a current seminar series on evangelism.

In beginning a study of evangelism, one may not think it’s relevant to start in Genesis, however, if we want to get a full view of evangelism, and especially the question of why we should evangelize, we must start with what God’s thoughts are about the subject, and what he has been doing in human history for the last 6000 years.

So, last Sunday, in our seminar series on evangelism at High Country Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Genesis 1:1 is where we started.

Of course, Gen. 1:1 is the definitive statement about the origins of everything. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” but we can also read in vs. 26 – 28, and v. 31

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

What do we see happening here? Read More…

Evangelism Seminar in Colorado Springs

Beginning April 1st, I’ll be teaching a 13-week long seminar on evangelism at High Country Baptist Church in Colorado Springs. My point in mentioning this is not to make anything of the fact that I’m teaching, but to lead into a series of blog posts here that will summarize each week’s seminar classes.

Anyone who would like to attend is more than welcome to come. I don’t claim to be an expert or have all the answers, but my hope is that everyone in the classes (including me) will learn and be challenged to have a heart more for evangelism.

Our seminar will include 12 classes over the next 13 weeks and we’ll be studying topics such as:

  • Why evangelism? Why should YOU be involved?
  • What is evangelism?
  • What is not evangelism?
  • What is the proper message?
  • What obstacles are there to evangelism in general and for you, personally?
  • How to overcome the obstacles?
  • How do you get started?

To help us in the How To part, we’ll be studying through the Two Ways To Live booklet, as well as looking at the Christianity Explored program.

As John MacArthur says, evangelism is the one reason the redeemed are still on earth, and Spurgeon comments that it is the “chief business of the Christian: indeed it should be the main pursuit of every believer.”

So, we want to dig deep in this series to find out how we should be thinking about this urgent issue. There will be some real and serious challenges made in this series which may stretch, pull, or push us out of our comfort zones (as long as we’re not resistant!).

The purpose of this series will be to 1) give us a biblical way to think about evangelism so we can see what God’s thoughts are about the subject; 2) impress upon all of us the crucial nature of our involvement in evangelism, meaning that we ought to actually be doing it, not just supporting missionaries with our offering money; 3) to convince you that evangelism is not as scary as it seems; and, 4) to give you some tools to actually do it. If you feel like you have some sort of launching point or foundation, it will probably not seem so scary (we hope).

Some of you may object to using someone else’s method for evangelism, and I generally object to canned approaches, too, however, let’s try to remember that a canned approach is better than a clammed approach!

As we begin, let’s take a little quiz on evangelism. All the questions will be True or False. Read More…

Do you need a swift kick in the backside?

“Our young men are going into the professional fields because they don’t ‘feel called’ to the mission field. We don’t need a call; we need a kick in the pants.

We must begin thinking in terms of ‘going out,’ and stop our weeping because ‘they won’t come in.’”

-Jim Eliot

(Quote provided by Missions Mandate blog for August 11, 2009)

How NOT to preach to Muslims…

…or Mormons, or JW’s, or anyone else for that matter. Having said that, I do very much appreciate the knowledge demonstrated of the Koran by Mr. Nabeel Qureshi, and his ability to enter into the mind of the Muslim. Nevertheless, I think their approach is self-serving and gospel-defeating.

You can see all 5 videos over at Defending Contending.

-Tracy

Preach the gospel at all times – use actions when necessary

(St.) Francis was a preacher. And the type of preacher who would alarm us today. “Hell, fire, brimstone” would not be an inaccurate description of his style.

My studies recently have me in Romans 1 and that which has been most notable the last couple of days has been the preeminency and necessity of preaching the gospel, for this, the preaching of the cross of Christ, is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.

But, preaching has fallen on hard times. We’re far more enamored with dramas, entertainments, music… anything but preaching the cross of Christ. We somehow think that we can live our lives without speaking to others of Christ and that they will see our lifestyles and ask us what is different about us. Like Voddie Baucham says, “My neighbor is not going to see me mowing my grass and come up and ask me ‘Something’s different about you. What is it?'” No, we have to speak of the gospel, and back it up with our lives, not the other way around.

I suppose that there is a pervasive attitude among us that sincerely hopes that others will ask us about our spiritual lives, but the chance of that is very slim. This attitude is embodied in the famous quote, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, which says, “Preach the gospel at all times, use words when necessary.” As this article in Christianity Today points out, however, St. Francis probably never uttered these words, and in fact, Francis was anything but a quiet and subtle evangelist.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the article.

He apparently was a bit of a showman. He imitated the troubadours, employing poetry and word pictures to drive the message home. When he described the Nativity, listeners felt as if Mary was giving birth before their eyes; in rehearsing the crucifixion, the crowd (as did Francis) would shed tears.

Contrary to his current meek and mild image, Francis’s preaching was known for both his kindness and severity. One moment, he was friendly and cheerful—prancing about as if he were playing a fiddle on a stick, or breaking out in song in praise to God and his creation. Another moment, he would turn fierce: “He denounced evil whenever he found it,” wrote one early biographer, “and made no effort to palliate it; from him a life of sin met with outspoken rebuke, not support. He spoke with equal candor to great and small.”

Paul was not ashamed of the gospel and he desired to take it to Rome, the center of persecution against Christians. He also testified that he was not afraid to take it to Jerusalem, where he knew the result would be imprisonment and suffering. The point is that he would not have suffered these things for just “being” a Christian; just living out the Christian life. He suffered because Christianity has exclusive claims and it must be spoken.

May we each have the grace and boldness to evangelize in our circle of influences and in the world.

-Tracy