After some time off, we return to close out the Revelation series. After reading so many things we should look out for, today we look at something (or someone) we should be looking for. What and who is it and how can this help full the Coming of the Lord? To Preach The Gospel
A Harvest Is Waiting
Approximately 3.15 billion people have little or no regular access to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Along with that, more than a third of the subcultures of the world have never even heard the gospel. Most of this exists within the area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia known as the 10/40 window.* These people need the gospel reached to them and we should support them through missions giving at our local church.
However, there are people in our community that don't really know who Jesus is. They've heard about him. They've entered into a church building. They may have even prayed to Him. However, they don't have a true relationship with Him. It's up to us to bring the true message of Christ to them. It's a commandment from Christ (Matthew 28:19) and a part of the promise of His second coming (Matthew 24:13).
The Harvest Before Us
I was convicted about this one Sunday that I had to stay home sick from church. I looked out the window at our cul-de-sac and noticed something strange. Everyone's cars were still in their carports. Nobody had gone to church. I didn't get mad at them or feel high and mighty about myself. I felt sadness that my neighbors had no connection to God through regular worship. I felt shame that I had not made a strong enough connection with them to understand that (to be fair, my wife had figured it out with one of our neighbors with casual conversation. She's really great at that). I had a harvest in front of me that I didn't see.
Since then, we've reached out and gotten better connected with our neighbors. In the process of connecting, we've invited neighbors to church, Bible Study and other events to create a closer bond. We've had 4 of our five neighbors come over during Bible Study and one come to church with us. Even better, our neighbors see us as a source of prayer and encouragement when they go through dark and trying times. This all started with a convicting moment, a moment not unlike what the disciples experienced in John 4:35:
Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Part of the Promise
We're called to serve, but in Matthew 24 its revealed that it's more than just a calling. It is a part of the promise of God. He is going to return, but before that the gospel will be preached. If you have a relationship with God already, you have an opportunity to be a part of the promise. You can go out and reach your community. Start with your neighbors and let the Spirit lead you from there. Don't despair when someone says no or is unresponsive. God didn't call us to win people. He does the winning. He just calls us to witness and to proclaim. When you do that with an earnest heart and a loving spirit, you succeed in Christ.
What to Preach
Matthew 24:13 says, "the gospel will be preached." That means the good news of Christ will be spread throughout the world. That good news is the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the promise of His return. It means all the good and wonderful things he said in His earthly ministry. It means all the blessings and promises He provides through His own words and the words of His followers. Moreover, the gospel is the message that Christ can help, redeem and save you. Relating that through your own story is paramount. Having scripture to back you up is key to, though, so we have provided some scriptures about the message of salvation and how it is enacted below. Remember, you don't have to be a preacher or have a platform to stand on to preach the gospel. You just need your passion for God and a willingness to start a conversation with another individual.
Scriptures to Help
I don't want to leave you out in the cold, so here are some scriptures to assist you when you are communicating with someone about Christ. Remember, though, people respond to your story and what God has done for and through you. Relate the scriptures to them through your own experiences with them? Don't have an experience with these scriptures yet? Work on that and then God will release you when the time is right. God bless and Keep Searching.
Old Testament Scriptures about Salvation
Isaiah 32:15, Isaiah 44:3-4, Isaiah 59:21, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Ezekiel 39:29,
Joel 2:28-29 & 32, Zechariah 12:10
Gospel Scriptures about Salvation
Matthew 3:2, 8-9, Matt 4:17, Matt 21:28-32, Matt 28:19, Luke 15:1-32, Luke 24:47
Book of Acts Scriptures about Salvation
Acts 2:16-18, 21, 38; Acts 3:19; Acts 8:12, 15-17, 36-38, Acts 10:48; Acts 16:15, 31-34, Acts 17:30,
Acts 19:4-5; Acts 20:21, Acts 22:16, Acts 26:20
Epistle Scriptures about Salvation
Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:21, Romans 6:3, Romans 10:3, 1 Corinthians 1:13-17
Note: This is not an exhaustive list, but it does provide a full perspective on salvation across multiple generations, several writers and two covenants.
*Statistics provided by Global Frontier Missions
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.