Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Today, I would like to summarize the first six "installments" of this series, and make a couple of observations. First, Jesus commanded His disciples to preach the Gospel to a lost and dying world. Today, it is extremely rare to hear believers actually presenting the Good News to folks who have yet to accept the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The subjects of most conversations involving Christians are: the weather, the economy, politics, social events, sports, health issues, and unfortunately, the flaws in other Christians. Believers have come to expect the preacher to present soul-winning messages, week after week, and apparently think they have done their part by supporting him financially. Unfortunately, many pastors fall into the trap of preaching soul-winning messages every service. As a result, their congregations are fed only "milk" and they remain babes in Christ, instead of growing into productive, mature believers (Heb. 5:12-14). Church services should be focused upon worshiping God, and "growing His kids" (Eph. 4:12-16).

Second, believers are to baptize those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Today, it is not uncommon for a new convert to go for years without being baptized. There are probably many reasons for this, but ultimately, it boils down to a hesitation on the part of those leading people to Christ to assert themselves as spiritual mentors. Most pastors are also guilty of worrying about "offending a convert" by telling them what they need to do. I would ask you one question: When you accepted Jesus as Lord of your life, didn't you want to know what He wanted you to do? The first thing a new believer wants to know is, "Now what am I to do?" Tell them! Be baptized!

Third, expect the newly baptized believer to show up in church to feed on God's Word. If he or she is reluctant to attend church services, ask them why? Commitment to Christ is a life-time of submission and learning. If they do not particularly like the church you attend, go with them every Sunday to different churches until they find one they feel they can commit themselves to as members. As soon as they are established in a Bible-centered church, return to your church and continue to pray for those who responded to your witness.

All Christians are to preach the Gospel. The word for "preach" is κηρύσσω (kēryssō), which means "to be a herald, to proclaim openly." Somehow, we have come to believe pastors preach, and we witness. Pastors are to shepherd a flock of believers; soul-winners are to preach Christ.

And that brings me to the point of this series. Preach the whole truth; do not take bits and pieces of God's Word. Proclaim it in context, and make sure you present all that the Bible has to say on a subject. Do not tell others things that God addressed to individuals, to Israel, etc. as though those things apply to you. Rightly divide the Word of God, and apply only those things God desires of you. God bless.

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