Blog Posts Tagged As: Evangelism and Mission
In Acts 13 through 20, the Apostle Paul visits 48 cities, and in every city, people come to faith in Christ. Lives and families are changed. Communities are transformed by the gospel of grace. You say, “Well, sure. But Paul’s situation was different. He lived during a different time. He was trying to reach completely different people. And he was doing all of this in a completely different area.” That’s true. But none of those factors change the essential message of the gospel. Your city is not exactly like any city that Paul visited. But it’s a little bit like all of them.
What come to your mind when you hear the word church? I’m not sure what images come to mind, but I’m sure it’s much different than how they understood that word in the first century. When it began, the church was essentially a movement. It was a movement built around one conviction: that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of the entire world, the only way that sinners can be reconciled to their Creator, and the rightful King of every last inch of the universe. By definition, movements should be moving. And healthy churches will be moving with the message they have been entrusted with.
The gospel is good news! As Christians, we cannot afford to forget this. It’s true that the gospel starts with bad news. We are all sinners, separated from God and deserving of judgment. But we only start with the bad news because it sets the stage for the good news. We cannot afford to be confused about why the gospel is good news.
There is a lot that we can learn from Paul’s life and ministry, but sometimes, it’s a little difficult for us to relate to Paul. Most of us are not traveling hundreds of miles on missionary journeys. Most of us are not spending the majority of our week starting church and telling people about Christ. We live in one place. We have jobs. We have families. We have bills to pay, cars to maintain, and yards to mow. We have family and work obligations. So what does Paul have to teach us about everyday evangelism? What does he have to teach about living normal life on mission? That’s a great question. And Acts 18 gives us the answer.
God has given us the mission of reaching the world with the gospel. But this mission is not without its disappointments. At times, you will get discouraged. Maybe because you poured your heart out to someone who refused to listen. Or maybe because you were so caught up with yourself that you didn’t even see them. If you’ve ever felt this discouragement in the task of evangelism, you are not alone. Even the Apostle Paul went through low points like this. So what happens when Paul reaches his low point? God meets him there. This is what God does. For all of us. He meets us at our lowest points and gives us exactly what we need. Listen closely to God’s encouragement to Paul. It may just be the encouragement you need to hear.