I remember a time when I would be in tears because there were people I knew who were searching, struggling and spiritually lost. These were people whom I’ve invested in and built close personal relationships with so I could share with them the overflowing abundance of fruit in my life.
Sadly, those days are now gone. Today, I don’t care. Or, maybe I still do. Only I don’t have any proof.
Recently, I thought of why this is. And I realized that one of the biggest reasons I was able to develop feelings that strong towards the lost, in the past, is because I was not alone. I was in the company of BROKEN disciples who were driven to spurring each other on, at all times; to leave our old characters behind and to renew our way of thinking. We had a single purpose and were united in mind and thought. And most importantly, our love for each other shined like a blinding light which made our evangelism utterly effective.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. BY THIS ALL MEN WILL KNOW that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:34-35
Group love. Obvious, embarrassing, inconvenient, silly, cheesy, awkward group love. Nothing less.
To this day, I still have the conviction that men will not care about our Christianity until we have something to show for it. And what that is – is love that is impossible to ignore. They may either appreciate it or loath it, but they can’t ignore it. You know why people sometimes persecute? Because they’re envious… whether or not they’re aware of it.
For a lot of us, one thing that we probably don’t think much of, in our little circle, is the fact that we are Christians today because that is how we grew up to be. We weren’t really converted, in a sense. Neither was there much struggling nor searching for our faith. Church was familiar ground. It was home. Jesus was and is a part of our household. We didn’t really eat much with “sinners” either. I mean, when was the last time we’ve changed the life of a Satan worshiper? Or someone who simply hates God with a passion, for whatever reason? Would we even give these people the time of day? Wouldn’t we be somewhat indignant if they were a part of our community? As opposed to having and showing compassion towards them instead? Let’s be real.
Anyhow, we know we can’t just talk about love. We need to show it and prove it. And the world will be the judge of that. Not us! If the world does not take notice… we can’t blame them. We can only humble ourselves to desire to find other means to meet them, where they’re at. The ball is always on our court.
Our church needs to act as ONE body, not as individual parts laboring individually. That is how strength and individual courage is built. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. The culture that is born of modern society subtly encourages lukewarmness towards God. This culture MUST change and conform to that of the first century Christians. And not the other way around. Unless that happens, I seriously doubt that spiritual growth, be it personal or that of the church, can be expected anytime soon.
So, what is Evangelism 101? To love the lost? I believe, before we can develop our love for the lost, we first have to develop our love for one another. A kind of love that the world can attest to. One that they cannot ignore, even if they tried.
Alas! We have work to do, don’t we?