Recap of part 1
I ended part 1 with the tragic story of a religious (Hinduist) Indian man in who went on a pilgrimage to a holy mountain with his 2 sons to achieve forgiveness of his sins.
As he went on religiously, one of his sons was hit by a car and died.
But the father continued his pilgrimage to the holy mountain because the forgiveness of his sins was a greater priority for him then the life of his son.
But this was only the tip of the iceberg, because the moment the father arrived at this holy mountain, he sacrificed his other son for the forgiveness of his sins.
What’s even more tragic about the story, is the Indian missionary who observed the man passing by on his religious pilgrimage with his two boys.
The missionary knew that this pilgrimage wouldn’t achieve forgiveness but he didn’t interfere.
The moment he heard about what happened, it crushed his heart and he broke down, saying, “I could have stopped this madness with the Good News of Christ for the forgiveness of his sins!”.
What crushed the heart of this missionary is the same true story of those who could have shared the gospel with their friend but didn’t because of circumstances or fear and a few days or a month later, this friend died in an accident.
Hey, I heard this a lot and it is not a scare tactic propaganda of mine.
Now, let’s analyze this true and tragic story!
Please! As we go on along with this teaching, I would really like for you to think/analyze “To use your brain a little bit” with me put aside for a few moments the religious soap and turn of for the moment your philosophic filter.
I want you to think biblically or should I say “What would God think according to His Word, the Bible?”.
This is very important because we are about to analyze this tragic story, which will give a clear perspective of what should be in our mind all the time as priority number 1, according to the Great Commission of Christ “Deed, tract or mouth”. Remember, that I am not against anything that falls in second or third, knowing perfectly, that what is in second or third could be priority number 1 in some cases, if we think right and stay focused on the Great Commission.
Let’s take the evangelistic DEED!
Think about this for a minute: “Would doing a good deed to this religious Hindu changed his mind about going to the holy mountain for forgiveness of his sins?”.
Well, I really don’t think one bit that any deed would have worked or help this man because in his religious mind “The forgiveness of sins” was priority number 1 and not a physical or material need.
What about giving him an evangelistic TRACT?
Maybe this Hindu man would have accepted a Christian tract for the purpose of reading it later.
But think with me for a minute - his pilgrimage for forgiveness of sins was much more important, more a priority to this man at that moment then to read a tract from aChristian missionary.
Then, what about this last possibility - an evangelistic MOUTH?
Maybe this will not be the best example but please try to follow the logic - imagine a police officer, catching somebody stealing in a store.
What do you think this police officer will do in this state of emergency or what will really get the attention of this thief ?
a) Will the police officer give the thief a tract, hoping he will read it and then surrender?
b) Will the police officer show him kindness, mercy with a graceful gift which is to fulfill the need of this thief?
c) Will the police officer point a gun at the thief and open his mouth, shouting “Freeze!!! And drop the gun, slowly!” ?
Well, it’s obvious that (C) is what any police officer is trained to do and will do to get the total “attention!” in this emergency because life depends on his reaction.
Now, place yourself in the position of this missionary.
Imagine, you see this Hindu man with his two sons, doing his religious ritual, knowing exactly what is going on and will happen, when this man will reach the holy mountain.
Like the police officer, would you not use your mouth for the purpose of getting the total attention of this man and explain the gospel of Christ and how he can obtain forgiveness of sins?
Here comes a classic argument!
Of course some of you will say “But Denis, this is a total different situation! Of course I would say something!” .
Well, I used this real story for two reasons:
. To wake you up!
. To challenge your well expected reaction “But it`s a different situation” !
If I woke you up with this tragic story being one among many tragic stories all over the world, then my purpose is fulfilled and I hope you will consider that sharing the Gospel* is a serious call/task/commission for all of us, who are Christ’s disciples, where your words are vitally important and should always be in your heart, priority number 1, where tracts and deeds should be secondary in your priorities of options.
If you are not alerted now, but instead challenged by me, then I also fulfilled my purpose, because I use this tragic, true story as challenge for the purpose of causing some honesty inside yourself.
If you would have been in this same situation in India, having lots of powerful tracts at hand and all kind of stuff in compound nearby to provide for the needy, but you neglect to use your mouth to share the gospel because tracts and deeds seems to work well, then my question for you is - would you really have interpreted this situation as an emergency and go share the gospel to this religious Hindu man?
Please be honest with yourself,
and before God who knows
you better then yourself!
Well, I believe you would not have shared the Gospel, not because you don`t care but because you have been programmed in your heart since a while that sharing the gospel with a tract or the deed is working better then to share the gospel with your mouth.
Hey, think about this - what you use the most is what you will use the most, and if you use tracts and deeds the most, then the most will always supersede which is used and trained least and this is your mouth (your words).
This doesn’t mean that you are a bad person but that you are programed accordingly and this means you are programmed wrong according to the Word of God and the Great Commission of Christ.
To use words (your mouth) to share the gospel,
is first to be considered
before the giving of tract and deeds!
* I must add to this being an important point that we should know/learn how to share the Gospel effectively and
properly. To share, to evangelize those who are not believers in Christ is an art to master for all those who are
saved by the blood of Christ. This is a well needed teaching/course I should add in the future.
Are you offended now or do you feel to win the argument at all cost?
I know that we are a generation where it does not take much to offend somebody.
I could bet that some of you are probably offended by what I wrote, because you still believe I touch your precious holy grail and that I am against giving gospel tracts or building friendship through deeds.
Please, get this right in your mind, that I am not trying to steal your holy grail but to put priorities in their proper perspective according to what Christ told (command) us, the believers, to do, which is, to go out of our churches and preach (proclaim) or use our mouth to propagate the gospel all over the world (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-20, Acts 1:8).
If the Bible is authoritative for you, meaning that it is God`s Word from Genesis to Revelation and if what Christ said in His last will for us all is Lord for you then please let it be so without being offended by me.
By the way, if you are offended by what I wrote previously, my goodness, you will be offended all your life and especially by the Word of God if you read it properly and divide it correctly (2 Timothy 2.15).
My friend, you will have to grow up and accept a good challenge, which is to renew your mind through the truth of the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2).
Change your offended attitude into
an attitude of challenge in our Christian life!
. To argue at all cost?
This too is strong a human behavior of our times, especially among leaders and ministers “Even if you are wrong then you must find a way to be right” or “To be prove wrong is to argue some more, until you are right, even if it is not right”.
Well, to argue is part of life and even biblical, but to argue to win in a no win situation is bad.
It is clear that some of you instead of not being offended, you will feel to argue until Jesus Christ’s second return because you don`t want to loose your face or loose the agreement “I will win at all cost”.
This kind of argument I call “A blind agreement”, because you blindly refuse to see the biblical truth, which by the way is a big problem today in our churches.
Not to open your mind or see objectively the biblical truth will lead you to compromise or twist what the Word says, guaranty.
Stop to blindly seek to win, instead
seek to let the Bible win over
you which is much better!
Let’s come back to our classic Argument!
Here`s another way somebody could challenge me in a more refined way then the previous argument “But Denis, not every situation is an emergency like your story, meaning that not every situation is a mouth thing!” .
You are absolutely right!
But the point which I try to get trough in this teaching is - in today`s generation too many believers, too many ministries and too many pulpit preaching's have their own agenda or priorities (for some reasons they feel it is the right thing) and they will be furiously promoted, even if the Bible says differently.
Some priorities might not be unbiblical but misplaced or even if theses priorities lead them away from the truth the Bible for some worldly point of views which seem right to them but which are not right for the God of the Bible.
Look at evangelization through deeds!
This took over and is more present and wanted then to evangelize with your mouth “Only when or if needed” .
The deeds issue has became a new way of evangelization to share the love of Christ to the culture of today, this supposed post modern culture.
Preachers of this new form of gospel will go so far (in extremes) to discourage believers about sharing the gospel with words because:
. You could offend somebody especially other religious believers!
. It`s not cool anymore but old fashioned!
. It`s not working in our new or post modern generation!
. Our culture demands a new approach with the gospel which is not necessarily biblical!
Actually if you examine this more properly, the deed revolution has not become a priority but a replacement to what God told us to do as a priority in our heart, to share the Gospel with our mouth.
Frankly, this is crazy thinking and I will not apologize for it.
This is wrong because we are not to adapt the Bible to the style and feelings of our culture today, instead we are to adapt the culture of today to the Bible, end of story.
"But Denis, too much damage has been done with sharing the Gospel with the mouth”
I know this to well because we are having a lack of understanding, how to properly use words for sharing the gospel.
Of course we are not to behave like a bullhorn (mouth) with some religious method or dooms day preaching on a Coca Cola box (Well, it depends where and how to do) but to use an ambassador’s knowledge and wisdom for the purpose of reaching the heart of the lost with the gospel of Christ and the love of God, the father, through the Holy Spirit to a lost generation.
Our Words are not the problem but to use words religiously or improperly for the gospel is the problem.
We need to be educated how to use our mouth correctly and effectively for the gospel and not finding new ways by disregarding evangelization with our mouth and words.
Then should we give up deeds and tracts?
No, not at all!!!
Look, we should use tracts and deeds wisely and not as the ultimate priority which downgrades the mouth to second, third place or as an oldfashioned tool which does not work anymore today in our culture. Then let me encourage you and give you some particle tips about sharing the gospel with deeds and tracts which accompany our words.
I will give you only 2 examples, each of the deeds and the tracts.
Of course there are more examples I could give, where deeds and tracts can be priorities first, but must stay closely related with our words, meaning, what must come after deeds or tract, is the gospel by using our mouth, without any comprises but pure love for the lost and great boldness for the truth of the gospel.
Deeds should be a priority when you want to reach...
… the Jews in your country and in Israel when you are a Christian gentile (a none Jew).
If you come with the gospel of the mouth (preach, share) you will surely hit a wall or offend those precious Jews, because they have an elephant memory, meaning Jews will remember long ago what Christian and Christianity has done against them.
I guaranty, that most Jews, even if they are open and nice, will rub on your face “What Christians have viciously done to the Jews” , like for example the holocaust or the crusades and other things you probably don`t know about, but they will be used against you, the Christian.
For some of the Jews if extreme, you are still a crusader, a Jew hater and killer with this gentile God, Jesus.
When this comes up, don`t try to defend yourself, the church
and say that Jesus has nothing to do with this stuff Christians
have done towards the Jews in the past.
Trying to convince the
Jews that you are innocent and Christ has nothing to do with
this, immediately is about same thing trying to convince a shocked
and traumatized parent that all is OK after they lost their child
in a tragic accident.
Meaning it takes time to win their trust for the purpose of sharing
the truth of the gospel to the Jews. This is why deeds have to be a
priority, showing love to your Jewish friend and love is leading them,
slowly, to the truth of the Gospel
… when somebody is desperately in need of food or medical attention (healing and care).
I don’t know about you but when I am hungry I have great difficulties to listen or to concentrate.
I also remember when I was hit by a painful sickness where I could not think anymore or be interested in anything but to get healed.
This is another example where you need to fix things (fulfilled a need) before a person is able to listen to you and the gospel. Believe me, that to try to sharing the gospel to an empty stomach is not wise and trying to push the good news on a sick person who is on medication is futile or rarely effective.
First, bring the mind in order by taking care of the immediate need of the person and then share the gospel with them, clearly with your mouth and words.
Do not wait for the person to ask why you took care of his or her great
need or why you helped them, because you will fall in the trap of prioritizing
need over clearly spoken words.
The moment you see a person is well, share the gospel with them and
they will say “Ah, this is why you shown me great compassion and fulfilled
my need.” and you could respond like this “Well, I needed you to have a
clear mind for the clear message of the gospel which is another love gift for you”.
Use your brain when it comes toprioritizing deeds
over your words (the mouth) and never settle for
“Do the deeds, it works much better
then sharing the gospel with the mouth!”
Tracts are a priority or could be very practical when you want to reach…
… the lost as tactical move in a hostile nation like Islamic countries.
… lots of people in countries where tracts are very welcomed, knowing the people will read them.
For example, many countries on the continent of Africa are very open for tracts.
But this is only the bait, because you need to lead them to a church event, where the gospel will be clearly proclaimed.
… people for the gospel but you are at your first stage as believer, which causes you to be insecure when it comes to sharing the gospel with your mouth. Meaning you need time to shake off the fear and giving tracts will help you progress toward sharing the Gospel without any insecurities.
… unbelievers with your mouth, no problem there, but at the end you want to give them a tract or booklet about the gospel to remind them, what you shared with them.
This I call “A prefered move for the gospel” .
I want to stress out, that in some countries like Germany, USA, Canada, France for example, to give tracts to people without sharing first the gospel is almost futile and if you believe that people can be saved with a tract alone then I would love to believe you but I cannot, because we are not living in Disney Gospel Tracts, where everybody is happy to get a tract.
Or it will take time to read the message of the gospel in a tract with interest/positive curiosity.
Don’t go for this hope/maybe/think they will read the tract and I done my bit to evangelize, because precious lives depend on receiving the full gospel where our words (the mouth) should be a 90 % priority and the tract a must give, to reinforce what you shared about the gospel.
When I write those precious lives depend on receiving the full gospel, then I mean that the eternal life of an unbeliever, according to the Word of God, is eternal hell or eternal heaven, which is radical but truth.
To share the gospel is not a joke but a very serious matter and we cannot play gospel casino game with unbelievers, hoping to hit the jackpot that the lost person will read the tract and then receive Christ “Halleluia”.
Please consider this as a serious matter and not another teaching or lesson from a minister, sitting at home at his computer. Here are famous good and bad news, Jesus told to a religious leader of the Jews in John 3:16 to 18 .
Read these verses carefully, especially the last part in verse 18 about the present condition of a lost person, which should trigger your concern button for the lost to share the gospel with them with words (the mouth) and then reinforce this with the
“16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 He who believes in Him is not condemned;
but he who does not believe is condemned already,
because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ”
Tracts are good,
but they are not replacing your
precious words (mouth) which God gave you
for the purpose of sharing the gospel of Christ to the lost.
If you want it or not, if you realize it or not, God gave all of us a very powerful tool, our mouth.
How powerful is our mouth? Well, read the following verses carefully:
. “And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.“ Genesis 1:3 .
God created this whole universe, including us, with His mouth.
How powerful is that!?!
. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.“
Wow! Think about this “Death and life” are in the hands of the tongue, of words which are
said through our mouth, meaning there is extreme power in our own mouth and sharing the
gospel with your tongue/mouth is a very powerful tool to use and life and death depends on it.
. “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever
says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart,
but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore
I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you
will have them“ in Mark 11:22-24.
Whatever we say, must be according to the Word of God at all time.
But never the less, if we say, whatever is according to the Word of God, then the mouth is power
indeed and the gospel is not another religious saying and sharing, but sharing the truth with a
. “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter
judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a
perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that
they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so
large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot
desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.” James 3:1-5 .
All what this is saying to you and me is, that the tongue is a very a powerful tool we must use/
handle properly especially when it comes to sharing the gospel of Christ.
Consider your mouth, this wonderful creation of God to be the master of the gospel where the tract and deed are the fellow and loyal friends of the master.
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in Be Light & Salt
In Part 1 my wife Cordula will give you an overview from other kinds of faiths/beliefs, preparing you for part 2 - which will
show you that Christianity is totally set apart and
different from other faiths and beliefs system.
The title will be “Does it matter what