Go and preach the gospel…

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… TO OTHER CHRISTIANS!

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Here’s my ill-considered overstatement of the issue:  Our problem is not that we aren’t telling the gospel to our pagan friends.  It’s that we don’t tell the gospel to our Christian friends!

When’s the last time you looked another Christian in the eye and said ‘Mate you’re a sinner.  I know you have struggles, I know you’re tired but, deep down you’re wicked!  That’s your real problem.  But Mate – you’re clothed in the righteousness of Christ, carried on His heart before the Father, rejoiced over in the presence of the angels.’

I don’t mean, When’s the last time you talked about the toughness of the Christian life, or the state of the nation’s morals or the soundness of certain bible teaching etc etc.  I’m talking about eye-balling your brother or sister and speaking God’s word direct to them – His blood was for you, you are clean!

We all struggle to muster up the courage to evangelise non-Christian friends and family.  But I wonder whether a significant part of our difficulty is that we’re not even used to speaking the gospel to people who should welcome it!

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Posted on by Glen in gospel, grace, pastoral theology

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

0 Responses to Go and preach the gospel…

  1. Missy

    Glen, I don’t get much right, but I do this regularly! And If you take out “mate” I use almost the same words. I think this is the very best kind of encouragement to give believers.

    So there’s hope that I’ll have courage to evangelize the lost?

  2. bobby grow

    Glen,

    I was just talking about this with my wife today. How often do we as Christians actually talk about the Lord,the Gospel? For as much as we supposedly love Him our “fellowship” times certainly don’t seem to reflect that, most times.

  3. Dev

    “out of the heart the mouth speaks”

    you will talk about what you love
    the more you love it, the more you speak it
    so what do you love? – ask your friends what you talk to them about…

  4. glenscriv

    Missy, I’m so pleased to hear it. I really do think two major hurdles in evangelising the lost (which really amounts to one big hurdle) is

    a) having the heart for Christ that does bubble over in words and

    b) being accustomed to putting words to that love.

    I think the only difference between that and evangelism is the audience. You might want to think about being more jargon-free in your language with non-Christians but really it’s the same.

    Matt 10:27: Jesus says: “What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”

    He’s just saying let your Jesus-talk loose – in private and in public.

    He goes on to talk about fear issues as the other big hurdle. I’ll blog on that soon.

    Hi Bobby,
    How’s blogspot working out for you? I only have experience of WordPress.

    And yes, it’s so easy to talk about everything *but* Jesus. Even to talk about Christian things. Even to preach Christian things. Yet our focus can be on our faithfulness not *His* etc… That’s why….

    Dev – spot on! It’s a heart issue. First things first we need to come to Jesus and say ‘Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ He needs to heal our hearts. Then the words will come like fruit from a tree, like treasure from a treasure house, like a swollen river bursting its banks (Matt 12:33-35)

  5. Paul Huxley

    I was about to ask whether the ‘mate’s were optional/Aussie cultural, but Missy kind of got there first, so I’ll have to write a serious comment instead.

    I’m failing on this one at the moment. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, and that’s certainly a mixed bag.

    This is something to take note of when church planting (as a few of us are – let’s build a culture where this is natural from the beginning).

  6. glenscriv

    Paul – Maaaayte (see the pastoral value of Australianisms? Aren’t your spirit’s lifted by such fraternal encouragement?)

    Don’t know how to build such a culture but you’re right, that’s the challenge. And a church plant gives you the chance to do that from the outset. I’ve taken to saying in conversation ‘Jesus is with us right now, you know that don’t you. He is at work in our conversation, lifting us to the Father, wanting to encourage us through each other.’ Or ‘The One on the throne ruling today is the same One who (and then mention some appropriate Gospel narrative).’

    Of course you risk sounding a bit spooky but flinching back from potential spookiness is precisely what keeps us from having such conversations. I say just bite the bullet and go fot it – it can be incredibly powerful.

  7. timothycairns

    I wondering is this really the sort of thing Luther was thinking when he originally wanted to maintain confession as part of the church.

    In confession we have the opportunity to remind each other that Christ died for us and he has paid the penalty by his blood.

    Perhaps bringing back confession will allow us to eye ball each other and declare the gospel once again to our fellow believers

  8. glenscriv

    Tim, Tim, Tim – Rome Sweet Home is it? What would Big Ian say?? All that Canadian air’s turning you soft!

    But seriously, I think confession would be a wonderful thing – done one to another (James 5:16) but yes I think I agree.

    On a similar note, now that I’m a presbyter, I often prefer using the second person form of the absolution ‘Almighty God… have mercy on *you*, pardon and deliver *you* from all *your* sins… etc’ The evangelical preference seems to be to use the first person plural – ‘Forgive *us* our sins’ but I like the direct personal address of the second person for just these kinds of reasons. I’m just praying I’ll continue those second-person gospel encouragements Monday to Saturday.

    Good to have you in the comments!

  9. Missy

    Where did confession go – is it out of style? Those who first preached the Gospel to me really encourage finding someone – or many someone’s – to confess to regularly. Now that I think on it, this is likely the very reason I have so many opportunities to share (and hear!) this gospel exchanged with my brothers and sisters.

  10. timothycairns

    Hey Glen

    Well having gone to Regent College the big man already sees me as a heretic – maybe I have just been Packerised!

  11. glenscriv

    Tim – :-)

    Missy – sounds like a blog post to me! Go to it!

  12. Hugh

    You did that when we met… thanks for that, was very encouraging!

  13. Pingback: Preach the Gospel to Christians | The Ramblings of Hughbo

  14. glenscriv

    Pleasure! Don’t know how best to do it but I’ll keep blundering on with encouragement like that.
    Glen

  15. Pingback: A thousand posts in a thousand words « Christ the Truth

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