Evangelism; January 20, 2019

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Even with all the horrendous descriptions of plagues and disasters and judgment, the message of Revelation is still the same as that of the rest of the Bible: repent and believe for your salvation. (Mark 1:15) In this verse, the Spirit is of course the Holy Spirit of God. The bride, on the basis of this book, is of course the Church. We have no trouble with those. However, then it gets very personal, saying that everyone who hears the call is to pass it on. That’s where we have a severe breakdown. The vast majority of Christians have never invited anyone to come and drink of the water of life. I was talking recently with another pastor, saying that evangelism has been watered down to the point of simply inviting someone to come to church, and he countered with the opinion that the majority of believers haven’t even done that. I am of the conviction that in the Early Church, virtually all evangelism took place outside of meetings, with few exceptions. In other words, people were believers before they ever attended a church meeting. (Acts 5:13-14) That is to say, those who had heard the message and received it, passed it on. We need to get back to that today. We are so politically correct, so afraid of offending, that we don’t dare to tell someone that without Christ they are headed for hell. Part of the problem is that we aren’t sure if we believe it ourselves! We like to think that if someone is a “nice person” they are OK, when the Bible is very clear that’s not the case. We don’t like to admit that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We want a salvation without repentance, and that’s simply not going to happen. The devil does all he can to suppress the message of repentance, because he knows he can never stand against repentance and faith. However, to come back to the imagery in this verse, no one is going to drink of the water of life until they admit they are thirsty. The job of the evangelist is to help people realize they are thirsty, and then offer them living water.

I get worked up over how the average believer never shares Christ with anyone, yet I do it too little myself. I have had the privilege of leading several to go through the motions, but God is the judge of whether they were really born again. I cannot let that stop me, but must keep making the most of every opportunity the Lord gives me to share the Good News of salvation. (Ephesians 5:16, Colossians 4:5) My prayer must be to recognize those opportunities and not hesitate when they appear. I, too, fear offending people! I cannot save anyone by my own strength and wisdom, but I can be a tool in God’s hands to get the job done. I’m not to worry about whether I’m a good looking tool, or whether I’m a strong or even an appropriate tool. If God wants to use me to hammer in a nail, I’m to rejoice even if I think I’m a wrench! It is a statistical fact that people with Teacher gifting, like I have, seldom become evangelistic missionaries. I’m not to use that as an excuse! I have heard God’s call and I’m to transmit it, so that as many as will may indeed drink of the water of life.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I make too many excuses too much of the time. Help me be fully faithful and available, and leave the results up to You. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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