A little less conversation, a little more action
One of the observations made about reformed people (from those on the other side of the aisle, so to speak) is that while they are busy about the task of getting out there with the Gospel, the reformed folk stay in their ivory towers teaching seminars on Divine election. Of course, there are wonderful exceptions to this, but I think in general, the criticism is valid - they have a point. Historically, of course, it was the truth of Divine election which propelled the entire missionary movement around the world because of the Scripture bourne conviction that Christ had "other sheep - not of this fold" in distant lands. Yet I believe in general, many modern day Reformed Christians and Churches could be quite accurately described as "guilty as charged." Thank God for accuracy, for hermeneutics and exegesis.. but what about Evangelism? There seems to be little passion or compassion for lost souls. Revive us oh Lord!
Where are the great Reformed Evangelists in our day, so prominent in former eras? Are we able to name even one? Where are choice servants of God - men like George Whitefield?
Sometimes it takes an Arminian Evangelist to wake us up to the task at hand, like the one I read this morning (unnamed):
"If we want New Testament revival we should study the New Testament pattern. If we take Acts as the true ideal, then Acts also reveals the formula. It is absolutely clear that it was by the preaching of the Gospel. That is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 1:21. â€˜It has pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believeâ€™. They prayed, but they asked God to bless their evangelism --- not for Him to do what He had told them to do. People pray â€˜do it again, Lordâ€™. But WE should â€˜do againâ€™ what the first Christians did... They preached, witnessed and worked as if it all depended on them, and prayed as if it all depended on God...
Look at Acts 5:42 â€˜Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christâ€™. Paulâ€™s witness in Ephesus caused the whole city to riot. No wonder! He said â€˜I taught you publicly and from house to house. For three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tearsâ€™. Even slaves found ways to preach Christ.
Timothy is seen as a bishop today, but Paul told him to do the work of an evangelist, not just pray for revival. The early church was alive and lively, always in action. That is what passing from death to life meant for them. They lived! Quickened! Revived! ... We are â€œco-workers together with Christâ€ â€“ what glorious partnership."
Without doubt, God is Sovereign in the matter of election, and yet He has ordained that we Christians preach the Gospel to every creature. God has His ends (His elect coming to Christ - Romans 8 and 9), but He uses means to achieve them (the preaching of the good news - Romans 10). How shall they hear without a preacher? ...and how about you and me? How long has it been since you shared the Gospel with someone? Did you need to hear this today?