CALLED TO OUTREACH

Jesus said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Mt. 28:18,19).

God’s record in Biblical history reveals that he desired for His people to reach other people.  He said to Abraham, “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 18:18).  Paul states in Galatians, “…that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the gentiles in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:14).  In II Chron. 6:33 Solomon prays “…that all peoples of the earth may  know Your name and fear you.”

Though Jesus came to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” he encountered many gentiles and ministered the blessing of Abraham.  Paul, states in I Cor. 9:22 “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save (win) some.”  Thomas took the gospel to India.  The scriptural record is loaded with examples of people who passionately loved the Lord and as a result were on a mission to reach out to others.

When God’s people love the Lord fervently they desire to know Him and make Him known.  We at Calvary Church have known and walked in that passion to reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Some of you remember some saint who reached out to you, and here you are, part of the flock.

Outreach, however, seems to be in ebb and flow in the church, ours included.  It seems we easily lose the impetus, passion and yearning for the unsaved to be saved.  Our energies can easily turn inward, striving to find the latest, deepest delicacies of the kingdom.  In which case we need to be mindful to serve out, not just consume.  Or life is so busy, hectic, and w’re so hobbled by personal issues we cannot afford to reach out to others.  In which we need to repent of wacked out priorities and realign our priorities with the kingdom.  In our country, the church is not flourishing in growth through outreach.  Often, churches grow numerically because Christians are migrating from one church to the other.

So what are the answers to more concern, intensity, and development of outreach?  As someone well said “the heart of the problem is the heart.”  Are we hot, cold, or lukewarm for the Lord?  Cold or lukewarm will not reach people.  Are we communicating Christ as a self help, fix me messiah or are we communicating as Paul put it, “Christ crucified”?  When relating to an unsaved person, are we allowing godly sorrow to lead to repentance or are we comforting them in their sin?  The church needs the gift of evangelist.  Will a real evangelist please stand up!

Evangelists can inspire, teach (mostly by example), the rest of the flock to do outreach.  I don’t totally agree with the statement about being a witness in what you do and if necessary use words.  The apostles and early church won people to Christ by the verbal proclamation of the gospel.  Who can you share Jesus with?

Lord, send forth laborers into the harvest field.  Forgive/deliver us from every weakness and sin that impedes us.  Make us a light to those in darkness till your glory covers the whole earth.  Amen.

Mark