Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:1-18
During the preparations for an evangelistic crusade in Latin America, a very poor, unshaven man came to one of the week-long biblical counseling courses. It was unusual to see a man of this condition attending an in-depth training session. Most often, those with a better education and social standing are the ones who take an active role in this type of intensive preparation. The illiterate man attended every class, but those in leadership didn’t expect him to do much counseling. Several weeks later, all of the available counselors were busy when a physician walked in. This shabbily dressed man immediately greeted the doctor and took him into a room for counseling. Once the director discovered what had happened, he became deeply concerned. When the doctor came out, the director asked if he needed any help. The physician replied, “No, thank you. This fellow has helped me very much.” The next day that same doctor showed up with two other colleagues and asked to see the shoeless man. By the end of the week, that illiterate man had led four doctors and their wives to Christ. God needs nothing more than available servants.
Christians should be compelled to evangelize (1 Cor. 9:16–18). Mark Dever and Paul Alexander asked “So what are the essentials of evangelism? We can sum them up in four words: God, man, Christ, and response. God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. He created us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever (Gen. 2:7, 16-17; 18:25; Matt. 25:31-33). But mankind has rebelled against God by sinning against His holy character and law (Gen. 3:1-7). We’ve all participated in this sinful rebellion, both in Adam as our representative head and in our own individual actions (1 Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:23; 5:12,19; Eph. 2:1-3). As a result, we have alienated ourselves from God and have exposed ourselves to His righteous wrath, which will banish us eternally to hell if we are not forgiven (Eph. 2:12; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Matt. 13:50). But God sent Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to die the death that we deserved for our sins – the righteous for the unrighteous – so that God might both punish our sin in Christ and forgive it in us (John 1:14; Rom. 3:21-26; 5;6-8; Eph. 2:4-6). The only saving response to this Good News is repentance and belief (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 3:7-9; John 20:31). We must repent of our sins (turn from them and to God) and believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation to God.”
We do not fail in our evangelism if we faithfully tell the gospel to someone who is not subsequently converted; we fail only if we do not faithfully tell the gospel at all.