"But I don't see the point..."
The final article in our three-part series, "But I'm not an evangelist...", thinking about common hesitations towards evangelism.
My dad was so impressed by the results of his cataract operation that he wanted to drive home from the hospital an hour after surgery. He could see as if for the first time, the vividness of colours and detail of textures. He hadn’t realised how much the cataract had obscured his vision by its gradual growth.
I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone whose eyes have been opened to see and love and trust the Lord Jesus, whose prevailing thought was, ‘this is thrilling, but I don’t see the point in telling others about what Jesus has done.’ Yet, over time, that cataract can grow and diminish our vision of reality.
It could be a theological problem. We may misunderstand the wonderful reality of God’s sovereignty to the extent that we think that there is no human role at all either to set forth or respond to the gospel. If so, there’s hope. A Biblical balance can be struck that upholds God’s sovereignty and insists on God-ordained human responsibility.
It could be an experiential problem. We might become so disillusioned by apparently fruitless attempts to share the gospel that we conclude evangelism doesn’t achieve anything. Or we feel so personally inept that it seems not worth trying. Again, if so, there’s hope. Paul tells us that our labour in the Lord is not in vain. It is not as fruitless as it may appear.
But it could be a spiritual problem. We may actually be showing disregard for the glory of God, for the command of the Lord Jesus, for the witnessing power of the Holy Spirit, and for the plight of lost men and women.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers about a blindness, that was prevalent among them, to the glories of real physical resurrection to come through the risen Lord Jesus. He asked them what was the point of all the dangers and suffering he experienced for the sake of the gospel – if the dead are not raised. He concluded that if this were the case, he would be as well joining them in living only for the moment, the lifestyle to which their blindness led.
But Christ is risen from the dead. And everyone who has ever lived will one day stand before Him. That is reality. Evangelism isn’t pointless. Paul then diagnosed the cause of their blindness. It wasn’t a gradual cataract. They were blind drunk!
Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning.
For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
1 Corinthians 15: 34
So, living only for the moment and for ourselves is a kind of blind drunkenness. It can make sharing the best news anyone could ever hear look idiotic. And here’s the ultimate wake-up call: the reality of the resurrection – Christ’s and ours. It restores true perspective, reveals and rescues us from sinful stupor, and revives us again with joyful knowledge of the true and living God. And then others too may know Him as we to love, live and tell the good news.
Written by Craig Dyer, Training Director