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Friday, May 2, 2014

(FREE Audiobook) If God's already planned it, what's the point of praying, preparing & sharing my faith?

There is an argument against evangelism goes like this: 
"If God knows all things, is in charge of all things, and has planned all things, my friend, neighbor or co-worker will trust Jesus no matter how much or how little I pray, prepare, or share with them."
In what is probably the New Testament's paramount passage on evangelism, the bottom-line, takeaway action verb is "persuade others" (II Corinthians 5:11). It is interesting, however: The Apostle Paul makes clear that neither the persuading nor the converting ought motivate us. Indeed, you can imagine how our persuasive performance (or lack thereof) might lead to disappointment about ourselves, bitterness toward God, and even frustration toward the slow of heart we are trying to persuade. Accordingly, Paul gives two motivations to open our mouths about Jesus: (1) The fear of God (II Corinthians 5:11); (2) The love of Christ (II Corinthians 5:14). 

He will ask us to one day give an account of how we have stewarded the good news and the tongue that GOD the Holy Spirit has entrusted to us (fear - see II Cor. 5:10) and Jesus has given his life for us (love). 

With such teaching, J.I. Packer reminds us in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God that it's not up to us and, yet, there are enormous and compelling reasons for us to share. Indeed, adopting a vision of a God who is both Large and in Charge can significantly aid us in the cause of evangelism. J.I. Packer is arguably the greatest theologian of the late 20th century. While I don't agree with a couple of his finer points in explaining the doctrine of God's sovereignty, I wholeheartedly recommend downloading and listening to this Free audiobook for the month of May.

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