Tuesday, June 20, 2017

JUNE 20 "THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY SIDE OF EVANGELISM"

One thing you'll notice about the stories in The Bible, is the negative is often mixed in with the good. This is the reality of The Church and the Christian Faith.  It's not 100% victories. Some areas we lose in and other areas we win in. Some places we take a loss, other places we gain. Some are great victories to go home and rejoice over, some are serious defeats and we go home and lick our wounds. If you are going to be involved in evangelism, this will be par for the course, if you do not engage in evangelism, you don't have a clue of what I'm talking about. In Antioch they are evangelizing and many believe and convert, I can imagine they are rejoicing, until another group comes along, rejects their message AND stirs up a mob against them, this is not so pleasant. And so they leave. Then we read at the beginning of the next chapter, "The same thing happened at Iconium. "A great number believed....but another group rebelled and poisoned the minds of those listening.
I have had the minds of people I worked hard with, poisoned by some opposing friend, family member or co-worker. Everything was going fine, I was rejoicing, until such and such person got a hold of them and poisoned their mind, then everything fell apart. Then opposition came, attacks, and pulling more people away. I went from rejoicing, couldn't sleep with so much adrenaline to depression, not wanting to do nothing but sleep. How quickly the tables can turn, either way. What's interesting about the book of Acts, the Pioneering of the early 1st century church is how real it is. It is not candy coated to give us encouragement and warm fuzzies, it is written as it really happened, with all the ups and downs, thrills and disappointments. If all you've ever done is attach yourself to some mega church and join the circus, then you know nothing of this. But if you've ever attached yourself to a grass roots work, fighting and clawing for every soul, trying to get break through and dominion in your city, evangelizing and trying to win souls (He that wins souls is wise) then you pick up the book of Acts and feel yourself immersed in it and it does become a comfort, not because it's filled with false hopes, but because it's real. Jesus said himself, "The Kingdom of God suffers violence, but the violent take it by force". The reality is, the spiritual realm, hits back! For every punch we throw, you often get one thrown back at you. It's a fight, it's spiritual warfare. We have to be careful as evangelists and pioneers of basing our success by the numbers. The is what corporations do, they crunch numbers to measure whether or not, what they are doing is a success. In the Kingdom of God we don't measure quantitatively, we measure by obedience, if not then Jeremiah's ministry and Jesus' ministry Himself, was a failure. The reality of evangelism and pioneering is that it involves the good, the bad and the ugly side of evangelism. Some will convert, love us and make Heaven their home, other's will be poisoned, turn against us and slander. If we measure our success by numbers, then we may quit, if we measure our success by obedience, then we continue and find comfort and solace from the book of Acts.