2002-11-08 - Not Just For Presbyterians
In 1910, the United Presbyterian Church in North America formulated a statement expressing the Biblically-based privileges and responsibilities of the church. But this is not just for Presbyterians. This is for all Christians who make up the church that is the Body of Christ. During the next six weeks, we will look at one of these "Ends" each week, and see how we might apply it in our own individual lives (and churches).
From the PCUSA Book of Order:
The great ends of the church are the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind; the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God; the maintenance of divine worship; the preservation of the truth; the promotion of social righteousness; and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.
1 Peter 3:15 (NASB) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
Not all of us have the "gift of evangelism" per se. But even though few of us can preach like one of the Billys (Sunday or Graham), every Christian has a part to play in spreading the "Good News" of the Gospel.
Perhaps you visit people in a nursing home. If someone praises you for that, you can give credit to your Lord. That's evangelism.
If a classmate or coworker is hurting, you can offer to pray for that person. That is spreading hope that God answers prayer; that is evangelism.
If you have the "gift of giving," you can provide financial support for missionaries. That is enabling evangelism.
Join your church's Evangelism or Missions Committee, and help behind the scenes.
If you have an issue burning on your heart which relates to a news story, you can write a "letter to the editor" which reflects your faith. I did this myself, when some local church members were supsending children from the ceiling and beating them in the name of Christ. I responded that I don't believe they represent the Christ of the Bible, who cherished children and had harsh words for those who would harm them. That is evangelism.
There are a myriad of ways you can do your part in spreading the Gospel, even if you are not comfortable going door to door (I wasn't.). I challenge you to ask God to show you how He wants to use you to share the Good News in your world.