April 22, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
Brothers & Sisters,
I wanted to write and thank you for pouring into me as your pastor. You do that in several ways, but this past week you poured into me in a practical way by providing me with time and resources to attend the Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference, and a small pastor’s network meeting following T4G. I thought that it might be useful to share a few things with you that encouraged me from the time T4G and that pastor’s network. I’ll share some of these encouragements now and others in a future note, because there were just that many bits of encouragement.
For now, let me offer some thoughts on a few of the talks that I heard at T4G. I’m not going to give you a summary of the talks, but rather just pull out a few things that were most meaningful to me from them, and I hope will be somewhat meaningful and insightful for you as well. All of these talks were in some way or another related to the subject of evangelism.
Thabiti Anyabwile spent his time reminding us that the Lord rejoices when sinners repent. Drawing from Luke 15, Thabiti reminded us that the heart of heaven is moved by the far off signs of repentance and that we see this in the parable of the prodigal son, as the father sees his wayward son a long way off and begins to run toward him in joy. Thabiti also encouraged us to consider that in calling sinners to repentance we are calling them to their joy.
Matt Chandler offered a great comfort and a great challenge in reflecting on evangelism. Matt encouraged us to get over ourselves when it comes to evangelism. By that he meant that we need to get over our fears of being able to adequately express the gospel to those who don’t know the Lord. He said something like, “God doesn’t need us to be awesome, because he is awesome.” It is better that we try to evangelize some than not at all. God will help us in our weakness; indeed, he is awesome.
Mark Dever also made some useful insights when it comes to our fears and evangelism. Sometimes our fears will come true, but our fears will always lie to us with regard to how important they are. Our fears are always boasting of greater destruction than they can really reap. The worst that anyone can do to us is kill the body, and even then, “death is gain,” as Paul says in Philippians 1:21.
May the Lord use these few insights to encourage us in our evangelism in the days and weeks ahead. Consider inviting a friend or family member or neighbor or co-worker to the Good Friday service this Friday or to church on Sunday. Let’s pray that the Lord would be so gracious as to allow us to see sinners repent and heaven made happy.
Warmly in Christ,
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