I am full of blog ideas and would love to spend the next 6-8 hours blogging, but living in a real world makes that impossible. So, I will do one that is on my heart at this moment.
I would ask my readers to please pray for me to be able to briefly communicate the things I am trying to say. No one wants to spend all afternoon trying to get through a blog, and I certainly need help in learning how to communicate better!
This thought I have now, I am still sorting through. I remember learning something important from Living Waters while watching the videos on 'The Way of The Master'. Kirk and Ray were good at pointing out the fact that a foundation of understanding needs to be laid out before the people can actually grasp the Gospel message. I have heard this from others as well. For example, to just tell people that 'Jesus saves' will have no meaning to most people. We have to keep in mind that the majority of the people around us have never heard the Gospel message before. Many do not know who Jesus is, and most do not fear God because they do not understand that God is bigger than they are and God is holy and we will all be accountable to Him one day.
I am surprised at the number of people who have never heard of the 10 Commandments. Our job is to educate them. It is not our job to judge them and assume that they are in total rebellion against God, while we have arrived. Yes, they are in rebellion against God. But, would they repent if they hear the Gospel and it actually made sense to them? I think some would. But they need to hear the whole story, not just phrases or instructions to repent.
Greg Koukl tells of a story when he was a young man trying to tell the Gospel to someone. Greg told the other man that 'Jesus died for you'. The other man responded by saying, 'I'm sorry.' The man obviously had no clue of what the Gospel meant or why Jesus died for him.
But we get out there, so many times, like John the Baptist, and order people to repent. Do these people even know what 'repent' means? Are they being convicted by God for their sins, and do they see their need for a Savior? Perhaps they do, but most probably, they have no idea what you are talking about.
Maybe the best way to educate people is to just preach the Gospel to them. Depending upon the amount of time I have, I like to start in the book of Genesis when sharing the Gospel. When we go through the Old Testament and start explaining about Jesus' life and death, as well as resurrection, the Gospel makes sense to people most of the time. But if I were to skip all that and just tell people to repent and trust in Jesus, they would probably either look at me like I was speaking Greek or they would get angry with me because they would assume I am beating them over the head with the Bible.
So, next time you are out there evangelizing, keep this in mind. There is a lot of undoing/unlearning that we will have to do when teaching or reteaching people the Gospel. Each person has their own baggage, filters, experiences, that he or she will relate when hearing key words of the Gospel, and we will have to help them to see the bigger picture. Of course, only the Holy Spirit can help them grasp the Gospel message, but we can speak the words of life to them and God will make those words alive in their hearts should they respond.