Evangelism and Salvation; March 3, 2019

John 20:30-31 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

This was the motive of each of the Gospel writers, and not just John. It should be the motive of every Christian writer of any sort, with just a few adjustments. Writers today don’t record things Jesus did when He walked this earth, but they often reference them, and they should be writing about things He is doing today, even though we don’t see Him with our physical eyes. The most fundamental testimony is expressed clearly in a Gaither song, He Touched Me. We can say many things about God, but until it becomes personal, it is empty philosophy. When we have really been touched by God ourselves, we should desire that everyone be touched by God and brought from death to life. A major problem for many Christians today is that they have forgotten their first love, just as Jesus cautioned the believers in Ephesus. (Revelation 2:4) They have forgotten what it was like to go from being lost to knowing they are a child of God – if they ever really had that experience in the first place. As a result, they have nothing to say to anyone else to convince them that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) “Entitlement mentality” has taken over the Church, and not just society. We have been deceived into thinking we are going to heaven because we deserve it, when nothing could be further from the truth. The most pure person you can imagine is still totally dependent on the grace of God, because indeed, all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. (Romans 3:23) We don’t press in for more of God because we are self-satisfied, and that is tragic. We aren’t going to be effective in winning others to the Lord unless we realize what a miracle it is that we ourselves have been saved.

This is very close to home, because of how long I was trapped in stupid spiritual pride. I did have a huge advantage in growing up in a genuinely Christian home, steeped in the Bible and prayer, but I came to take that for granted, as though my parents’ dedication was enough for me, too. I did indeed benefit from their dedication, and still do, but that in itself does not save me and never could. It was a major shock when, hearing the testimony of another “preacher’s kid” who woke up from the deception of thinking he could ride into heaven hanging onto his father’s belt, I felt the Lord tap me on the shoulder and then show me a mirror to see the filth of my own soul. I dissolved in tears, but the real test has come in the years since then, as I have sought to live out the truth that has been placed in me. I now believe my first commitment, at age seven, was genuine, but that experience at age 24 was so earth-shaking for me that I asked for, and received, water baptism a second time. Interestingly, I remember very little about either of my water baptisms, but I clearly remember how God baptized me in His Spirit shortly before I turned 26, even though it wasn’t a particularly emotional experience. The thing is, I am to declare the works of God, and how I myself have benefited from them because I was hopeless without them, so that others too may believe, and by believing have life in Christ.

Father, thank You for this reminder of Your incredible grace. Help me proclaim that grace constantly, in word and deed, so that as many as will may accept it for themselves, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
This entry was posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s