Jarryd Alcorn, my Pastor at Calvary Chapel Wellington, asked me to head the Local Outreach Team.
Once a month, a team of us go down to Hillary Court in Naenae. While there, we engage in Gospel conversations, and hand out Gospel tracts.
This is an awesome time, and a great opportunity to hone our evangelism skills to use every day.
I have started a monthly flyer to go out with the emailed church notices. I thought these would make good reading, so will post these on the blog as I send them out. Below is the July Newsletter.
“…and such were some of you” (1 Cor 6:11)
I look forward to our next venture onto the streets around the Naenae shops this Saturday 21st July. This is really a sweet time, so do consider coming out with us!
We are meeting at my house, 10am for prayer before setting off.
We can take some inspiration from the words of the Apostle Paul (yes, he is a real Apostle, as we learnt a couple of Sundays' ago!).
In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul was calling out the Corinthians on their hypocrisy. They were judging their fellow brothers and sisters - dragging them through the court system. But they had forgotten that Christ had extended grace to them as well.
In verse 8, Paul says “No, you do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren. Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor coveteous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”.
Then, the final blow in the start of verse 11: “and such were some of you.”
They had forgotten what God had saved them from.
As Christians, this is something we should never forget. We do not deserve to inherit the kingdom of God, either. Nobody does. Christian or not, we still find new ways to break each and every commandment that God gave us. That part of us doesn’t change. We can’t help it - it comes naturally.
But, praise God, there is good news! Read further in verse 7:
“But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of God.”
And that is the difference between the believer and the unbeliever.
There’s an old bumper-sticker saying that goes “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven”.
That is true, but I would take it a step further and say “Christians aren’t perfect, but because of what Christ has done for them, God sees them that way”.
Remember this the next time you approach someone to witness to them. Yes, they may be fornicators, idolators, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, or extortionists.
But...remember the caveat: “and such were some of you.”
And apart from the grace of God, we would still be there. That should be enough to humble us, and to motivate us as we approach someone to share the Gospel with.
Let’s share with others how this perfect grace of God can be extended to them also!
Witnessing Tip: Ask people for their name.
When in a Gospel conversation with a stranger, I always extend my hand, and say something like “By the way, my name’s Craig, yours is…?”. More often than not, they will shake your hand and give you their name. This helps you personalise the conversation, and also helps to put them at ease.
And it also puts a name to the face, so that you can pray specifically for them afterwards. Try it!