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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Control

If you have ever shared the gospel with someone, you may have felt like I felt.  Knot in my stomach, elevated pulse, sweaty palms.  Why is that?  For me there are several reasons.  First, I feel a responsibility to get it right.  Especially if it is someone I know well.  I want to make sure that I say all of the right things and make it really clear.  That is what Paul asked the Colossian church to pray for him is it not?  In 4:3 – 4 he asked them to pray that he should make it clear.  I feel pressure to do that.
My fear in evangelism is from thinking I have anything to do with someone coming to Christ.
Second, I really do not like rejection or, at some level, conflict.  I am always fearful that those with whom I would share Christ will be offended or get angry with me.  I realize that is selfish, but there it is.  I am more concerned about what they think of me than their eternal state.  Sick.

But neither of those reasons holds any water.  In John 16:8 – 11, Christ tells me that it is not my responsibility to convince people, that is the Holy Spirit’s job.  Mine is simply to beg them to be reconciled to God, 2 Corinthians 5:20.  Further if they do not respond, it is not because I have not been clear.  The Spirit can take my fumbling and turn it into clarity in the ears of the one with whom I am sharing.  If you need some proof, today is Pentecost, check out what the Spirit did in Jerusalem in Acts 2.  If they do not respond Paul tells me that it is because there are other forces at work, 2 Corinthians 4:3 – 4.  I have no control over whether anyone I share with comes to Christ.  It does not depend on what I say.  It does not depend on how well I say it.  It depends on God.

The only control I have is to speak.

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