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It Deserves to be Declared

20 September 2012 by Daniel

Q. 68. Are the elect only effectually called?
A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called; although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the Word, and have some common operations of the Spirit; who, for their willful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ.

I remember the look of irritation on the face of the lady who answered the door, and I remember how that same looked eroded into unbridled contempt as her glance took in our bibles. Without even engaging us, she closed the door to go back to whatever slumber we had drawn her out of, raising her voice as she did so (above the voice of my companion's knee-jerk and hasty, would-be sales pitch) to say, "I got my own religion, leave me alone." The fellow I was with turned on the stairs, and with mechanical indifference, we turned our attention to the house next door; but my heart was heavy within me.

I honestly would love to tell you dear reader, and have it be true,that my heart was burdened for this woman's soul, but my heart was not heavy for her soul, it was heavy for my own. Why was I doing this? I had read the scriptures, and I didn't see anything that looked like door to door sales in the scriptures. I wasn't there that morning acting upon some conviction to save the lost; I was there that morning responding to peer pressure and protecting the reputation I wanted to project: "Good and faithful servant."

Can I be straight with you, oh faceless reader of my words? Unlike Moody who quipped, "I like my way of doing evangelism better than your way of not doing evangelism", I actually prefer to not "do" evangelism (insert "shock value" here), if by "evangelism" one is talking about employing any scheme to harvest the lost that, at its heart, denies the sovereignty of God.

I am not suggesting however, that Christians I do not engage in evangelism, I do. Nor am I suggesting that we shouldn't evangelize the lost - we should. Rather my concern is with those who are dressing up as spiritual, what amounts to a numbers racket. Hand out a thousand tracts, and the odds are good that someone will be saved. Knock on a hundred doors, and the odds are good that someone will be polite enough to sit through your "gospel presentation". Learn how to control a conversation, and you will have more opportunity to bypass arguments. Look for "felt needs" in people lives so that you can offer Jesus as the balm. Sell Jesus with love, love, love. People want to be loved, and you can use that as an "in".

I tell you I despise this kind of "evangelism" - the kind that pays lip-service to the saving power of the message itself, and instead relies upon statistics, behavioral sciences, schemes, and human persuasiveness. Paul tossed all that out knowing only Christ and Him crucified in His evangelism. What passes for evangelism these days looks nothing like that. It is human invention dressed up as something spiritual, and the sooner it finds its grave, the better. If you share the news that what was promised in the scriptures by the prophets concerning the coming of God's anointed one has come to pass in Jesus.

If you share that God is reconciling people from all nations to Himself in and through His Christ, and if you share that every sinner who calls upon the name of God will be saved from God's coming wrath through placing your trust in God to provide this promised reconciliation, you are evangelizing. You don't have to cross the world to do it, you probably don't even have to cross the street to do it. All you need to do is surrender yourself in obedience to God, and when an opportunity arises to speak the truth in love, cast your reputation aside, and do it for God's glory.

What God has done deserves to be declared, in fact, is it not a cosmic crime to hold that truth in you hiding it from others when you can freely impart it? Do you make yourself the arbiter of who should receive this information? This one is polite and nice, so I will say something to him if I get the chance, but not that one, look at how she dresses. Listen: Do you really believe that what Christ did was worthy of being told? Then tell it! Not because some guy told you to, but because you have looked at the worth of Christ and understood what that worth demands of all who come into the knowledge of it. Don't evangelize because someone has pressured you, don't ride the coat-tails of someone else's dream - share the truth both because you know it, and especially because God's glory demands it.

If you are engaged in wonky forms of evangelism, may I suggest, Christian, that you get your Head on straight? (you saw what I did there, right?).