Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here…
As we go about sowing the Good News of the Gospel, what should we expect? As we evangelize in Canada, Poland, Japan, or Indonesia, what response should we expect?
Given a vision by God, Isaiah was so shocked that he pronounced a curse on himself, believing God would destroy him due to his own sin. God asked, “Who shall I send?”
Isaiah answered, “Send me!”
God said, “Go!”
God then told Isaiah that the people will not respond.
Isaiah asked, “Okay, so how long do I do that for… a week or two?”
God declared that Isaiah keep on mission no matter what because there was a remnant that would eventually be reached.
Faithfulness and perseverance are critical to effective evangelism, according to the Lord. Jesus underscores what our “expectations” should be that peoples’ response to the Gospel will be like that of the people in the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13). The disciples thought that everyone would want to listen and join in on the Kingdom after hearing about it. Jesus burst their bubble. “People will treat you like they treated me”, the Lord intimates in Matthew 13, 15, and 16 — and Jesus was treated with indifference and hostility in addition to being welcomed.
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus takes us from what we can see to what we must understand when it comes to our expectations concerning our evangelistic effort. The “seed” (Gospel) will fall on different “soils” (human hearts):
A Couple of Reflections
1. Only one soil bears fruit. The common theme of the receptivity of the first three soils (heart condition) is that they don’t bear fruit. But, in actuality, some growth does occur in all four soils. There is some response to the seed seeking to germinate. In three cases, the seed is ultimately rejected.If this is what we can expect from the Gospel, then we’re going to need to learn to be faithful and persevere as we present it in winsome ways.
2. The soil determines the fruit. Starting in vs. 9, Jesus tells us He wants us to understand this parable. One thing He wants us to understand is that it is the condition of the soil, not the skill of the sower or even the seed itself, which is critical to our effectiveness in evangelism. Once again, our faithfulness and perseverance is pivotal to the fruitful response of spiritual seekers.
JOIN ME at the Canadian Evangelism Congress
Canada’s response to the Gospel is quickly moving from quiet indifference to open hostility. Yet we must remain faithful to sow the seed so that the remnant might hear and respond. It’s not that Canadians are opposed to the Gospel — yet— it’s just that many have never heard the Gospel. They have heard a “caricature” of the Gospel message, but not the true, joyful message of grace and redemption.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada is hosting the Canadian Evangelism Congress (Sept. 26-27, 2016) at the Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel. For two days ($199 for registration) we will be exposed to Canadian speakers addressing evangelism in the Canadian context. Too many of us go State-side for this training; the States are different from Canada. Click HERE to see more details and to register for the event.
I’m attending because Canadian proponents are speaking and they are practicing successfully what they preach. I need to learn how to better reach my neighbours. I’m also going to gain tools to challenge our churches to better sow seed in winsome ways. Hope to see you there.
Have a blessed week,