Monday, December 07, 2009
What does the full proclamation of the gospel look like? My friend Billy has really challenged me about this, I think in turn he had been challenged by a guy called Bill Johnson.
Paul talked about having fully proclaimed the gospel, with words, deeds, signs and miracles! Different strands of christendom emphasize various approaches to the proclamation of the gospel.
It's been refreshing over the last few years to see the church become more engaged in society and proclaim the gospel through deeds. Initiatives like street pastors in the Uk are a great example of the gospel being proclaimed through deeds. The church has rediscovered its social action arm, although the Salvation Army and the Catholic Church never lost it.
What about words? In many of these new initiatives including our own here in Ibiza the proclamation of the gospel through words would seem to be the hardest. We don't want to offend people, we don't want to talk about hell, we are nervous of saying there is only one way to God. Yet we need to find away to do this the proclamation of the gospel through deeds and words. Words articulate belief systems, deeds model the outworking of that belief system. At some point we have to be willing to use words. I'm not sure I totally agree with the over use of the quote attributed to St Francis of Assisi to some how steer us away from verbally preaching the gospel "Preach the gospel at all times and if you have to use words" I think we have to use words. Yes we have to be wise, we have to have intelligent answers, we have to be willing to give an answer for what we believe in season and out of season.
Signs and miracles, any follower of Jesus has to believe in miracles, to deny that they happen would be to deny the work of Christ whilst he was here on the earth. Of course you may be a dispensationalist, but I'm not. I want to believe for more miracles, signs, healings, divine intervention. I want to expect them more. There are many people out there who need a miracle, it messes with my head because we don't always get them. But that doesn't stop me from believing for them.
I want to "Fully Proclaim" the gospel. I'm excited about this, I'm not ashamed of the gospel just got to improve at proclaiming it.......