Bar-Code Gun or Magnum? [Thawed out Thursday]

In this post I’ve been thinking about how we tend to pray before evangelistic efforts.

Often the prayers we say will sound something like:

‘Lord, open hearts in advance of your gospel. Prepare people now so that later we will come across those upon whom your Spirit has worked.’

If this is how we think then we’re basically conceiving of the gospel as a necessary instrument to salvation but it’s not really at the heart of the action.  The action happens in some prior (wordless) event.  The gospel word merely comes as confirmation of a previous display of divine power – it’s not the power itself.

On this view, the gospel is like a barcode gun.

We zap a hundred people and – glory! – we discover that five had been slipped the right barcode in advance.

The gospel here is confirmatory of a change that has happened elsewhere.  As I’ve said, it reveals a prior power.  It’s not the power itself.

But there’s another way to see the gospel.

The gospel is like a magnum!

The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16).  Proclaiming the good news is unleashing divine power.  We fire off a hundred rounds of the gospel and a hundred people have felt the power of God – whether for their salvation or their greater condemnation.

The gospel does not merely confirm a prior mark placed on a person. The gospel makes the mark!

So as you go out into the world with the gospel, let this affect your confidence, your reverence and your prayerfulness: It’s not a barcode gun you carry – it’s a magnum.

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Posted on by Glen in evangelism

About Glen

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

0 Responses to Bar-Code Gun or Magnum? [Thawed out Thursday]

  1. Dave K

    Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

  2. John B

    Thanks for this post! It made my day!

    “Go ahead, make my day” ~Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan in Sudden Impact

  3. Bror Erickson

    Listen, if we are going to trade out the Biblical Metaphor of God’s word being a double-edged sword, and I tend to think one edge law and the other gospel. Then the gun to replace it is the Browning Side by Side 12 gauge I tote in my avatar. At least that way you have the option of peppering them with law before the gospel riddles them with buck shot.

  4. Glen

    This is just me playing out my preacher fantasy – not a supermarket employee – Dirty Harry. I can dream right?
    And thanks Bror, I just hadn’t thought through my theology of firearms at all! Trust a Utah Lutheran eh? :)

  5. Hiram

    “The gospel is like a magnum!”

    LOL

    That sentence is like a gunshot!

    -h.

  6. Bror Erickson

    Glen,
    Sorry been out of town toting the browning at 11,000 feet the last couple days in search of the illusive white tailed Ptarmigan. Too elusive for me it seems.
    But I am always happy to have one think out his theology of firearms. And who else would you trust on a theology of firearms, but a Utah Lutheran.

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