Monday, August 07, 2006

A real treasure map (originally posted August 29, 2005)

Who doesn’t daydream of finding a treasure map that leads you to a buried treasure more valuable than anything you could ever imagine? I know I do. Well, let me introduce you to a “A MAP” that leads to the most valuable treasure of all…the souls of men, women, boys and girls. The Apostle Paul had “A MAP” for evangelism. It is very evident what it was as you read First Corinthians 9:19-23. Paul’s map was to win:

A = As
M = Many
A = As
P = Possible

Notice the repeated phrases:

That I may win more” (v19)
That I may win Jews” (v20)
That I might win those who are under the Law” (v20)
That I might win those who are without the Law” (v21)
That I might win the weak” (v22)

And then in verse 22, he gives us the code to the map. It’s plain and it’s simple…“I have become all things to all men so that I may by all means save some.”

Folks, you’ve heard me say it before but let me say it again. Evangelism must be the engine that drives the church! It just must! Look at it like an airport. If you were to go to a major airport during the busiest time of the day, what would you expect to see? You would expect to see planes landing and planes taking off. What if you arrived and no plane was moving? You would think that something was terribly wrong. It’s the same with the church. What should we expect to see when we spend time in a local church? We should expect to see people who are being brought to faith in Christ coming into the church and fully devoted followers of Christ being sent out of the church. If we don’t see this what does that mean? It means that something is terribly wrong in that church.

I think one of the main reasons why more Christians are not involved is that we have a distorted view of what evangelism is all about. For most loyal church attenders, it is the dreaded “E-Word.” On one side we associate evangelism with the spiritual superstar like Billy Graham. On the other extreme we see evangelism as something that is done by the obnoxious zealot who turns more people off to Christ than he helps to find the Lord. We then conclude, “Hey, I’m no Billy Graham and I certainly don’t want to be an obnoxious zealot so I guess evangelism is not for me.” The truth of the matter is that God knew what He was doing when He made you and you can be effective without trying to fit into someone else’s mold. Listen, God doesn’t call us all to spread His truth in the same way. The great thing about this treasure hunt is that you can be yourself! Just read the map!

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