Our Posture in Evangelism

There is no doubt that as a follower of Jesus, we all are called to participate in His Kingdom work. To reach out to the lost with the good news of the Kingdom and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit is the ultimate goal of all our lives.

This call is not just for the pastors, leaders and full-time workers; the call is for every single believer.

We have to remind ourselves daily that this world belongs to God and every organism around us is created by him to bring glory to his name. We are not at the centre of the universe, and everything doesn’t revolve around us. The world belongs to God, and He does what pleases Him.

Even as we look back at world history, we see generations after generations, men and women tried exalting and placing themselves above God, but none were successful. All their lives were numbered by God who created them, and ultimately, God used even their foolish endeavours to Glorify His name on the earth.

A great career, higher education, marriage, parenting, accumulating money, buying properties, travelling the world, etc. are not the real goals. Instead, they are the means & pleasures given to us so that we can pursue the real goal which is to be the light and salt of this earth and to preach the good news of Christ to the lost and called ones in this world.

Now, regarding Evangelism & the preaching of the gospel, I’ve learned that there isn’t one way to do it. It depends on the culture, the context, our personal calling, our giftings, and many other factors that are unknown to us.

And therefore, I wouldn’t propagate one particular approach or method of preaching the good news.

Even trying to mimic Evangelism as done in the Acts of Apostles may not work in our culture and context because people in that culture had a framework and a reference point to which the Apostles would direct their hearts as they presented the gospel, and it made sense to them.

Our culture – the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of our particular people or society are so very different in so many ways, we have to consider all these factors even as we sense the direction in which the Holy Spirit is leading us in life.

I believe wherever we are in life, the people group, the workplace, the society, etc, God placed us on purpose. And I don’t think he expects us to drop all our current connections and influences in which we have been sent for his glory. Of course, there are exceptions.

Instead, he is expecting that wherever we are, we become the light and salt and take a posture of humility, dependence & courage, as His ambassadors.

As Christians, when we think about our current culture, there are two directions in which we can go. One is towards legalism and the other towards Licentiousness.

A person with a bent towards legalism will look at the culture and point out all the wrong things, condemning them in their hearts, thereby adopting a withdrawal mentality and fail to reach out to them.

On the other hand, a person with a bent towards Licentiousness will look at the culture and accept everything as it is and eventually live an immoral and disobedient life, taking the grace of God for granted.

The gospel should guard our hearts against both these approaches and drive our thoughts, actions, beliefs, pursuits to give us the right posture for Evangelism.

Here are 3 ways in which the gospel helps us engage with our culture.

1. Gospel helps us appreciate the culture

As we grow and mature in the gospel, it should give our heart the humility to appreciate the contribution of everyone out there, whether they are Christians or Non-Christians, rich or poor, high standard or low standard, the neighbour next door or the cab & rickshaw drivers on the street.

God ultimately uses everyone in the world to accomplish a higher purpose that may often go unseen like the milkman that delivers milk at your doorstep, your unbelieving relative, your manager who gets on your nerves, your colleague who works in your team, the vegetable vendor in the market, the traffic police etc.

They all exist, and God in his sovereignty showers his common grace on all and uses them to glorify his name ultimately.

It is because of our fallen state that the culture and people love and live in darkness more than light, and God is not unaware of it. He fully knows and understands.

When Jesus came to this earth more than two thousand years ago and started interacting with people, I don’t think he had any kind of culture shock when he saw the winebibbers, prostitutes, gamblers, etc.

The way he interacted with the culture and people group should teach us what real cultural engagement looks like. He sat among the drunkards and the prostitutes and pointing them to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Likewise, we also see Paul interacting with the Gentiles.

The gospel should open our eyes to see human depravity and lostness, cultivating a heart of compassion and love towards them.

2. Gospel helps us provoke the culture

As we become part of the culture, the gospel helps us to see the heart idols that are at play in people’s heart, leading them to death and destruction; broken marriages, sickness, depression, loneliness, sinful tendencies, hatred, etc.

And as these idols show up, we address them and provoke their thoughts to think and point their hearts to the one and only permanent solution, the cross of Calvary where our Saviour Jesus died to redeem and break the chains of Sin forever, hence giving us a life of abundant blessing, joy and peace.

3. The Gospel helps us shape the culture

Of course, as we put ourselves out there, we also have to guard our hearts. If our hearts aren’t guarded with prayer and intimacy with Christ, it is easy to fall on the other side.

Here are a couple of questions we have to ask ourselves as we indulge in the culture continually.

i. What are things in the culture we should accept without being disobedient to God?
ii. What are things in the culture we should reject, the ones that are a direct violation of God’s word?
iii. What are things in the culture we can revive, without letting it influence our hearts?

Jesus’s interactions with an ungodly culture didn’t rob him of his Holiness. Paul’s interaction with gentiles never distracted him of his purpose and lose his identity in Christ.

And even as we put ourselves out there in the culture, we need to stay guarded all the time by making ‘Intimacy with Jesus’ the goal of our lives. Before we are called to do things for Jesus, we are called to be with Jesus.

Finally, as children of the light, let us be the light. Let’s keep moving by breaking all cultural barriers and making a difference in the lives of people around us, one at a time.

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