“…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19.10
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival X
The Rev. Charles J. Brown, Minister of New North Kirk Parish, Edinburgh
“The next fruit of revival which I mention – namely, zeal for the conversion of others, and especially of relatives and domestics…Ah! In dead churches it is deemed the business of ministers to ‘pluck men as brands from the burning.’ Private members will rather leave them there to perish than put their hands to the work. It is not their business, forsooth!...of nothing, my friends, am I more firmly convinced than this, that that silence about God and divine things, which in dead churches is deemed the result of prudent and sober discretion, is in the vast majority of cases, the result of nothing but an unworthy shame, a mean worldly policy, a base fear of man bringing a snare; and, worst of all, a cold and heartless indifference and apathy and unbelief.”
Ouch! And this was written almost 200 years ago? Many have remarked that our generation of evangelicals has left off the work of evangelism. We are not seeking the lost to save them, but we set up our churches to make them appealing to any who may be seeking so that they can seek their way into our midst and perhaps hear something of interest – if not saving interest, at least enough interest to keep them coming back for more. My friend Bob Lynn reminds us that this “come/see” model does not in the least resemble the “go/tell” model which we find in the New Testament. Revived people overflow with the life of the Spirit, which flows from them to everyone around them, bearing witness to the joy and hope we have in Jesus. When our churches begin to be revived, the people in them will clamor for help in learning to lead their neighbors to the Lord. But they will not be revived if we will not pray.
Do you cast a vision for evangelism in your church? Do you provide training in evangelism?
Pray for Revival
Pastoral Hope Initiative
All quotations in this series are taken from Ministers of Scotland,Lectures on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts, ed. (Wheaton: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1980). Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.