In the many years I was in church world I looked into various forms of evangelism. My initial experience with Jesus was so life changing that I wanted to share it with the world. I have read countless books and attended many classes, workshops, and conferences to learn how to be a better evangelist. I kept finding pretty much the same methods everywhere I looked. While I have had hundreds of people recite the sinner’s prayer I sense that was all it was, a recitation. My experience with Christ was not like that so why was I pushing that method on others? I used books and pamphlets from
- Billy Graham
- Billy Sunday
- Jack Hyles
- Chick Tracts
and more, but none of them really resonated with what I had personally experienced.
Looking back now I can see what the difference was. My initial experience with Christ had nothing to do with a prayer or theological study. It had to do with the revelation of love. It was an awakening of him within, a personal resurrection. I can see now that trying to get people to submit themselves to a head knowledge of a perspective of Christ was not what true salvation is to me. For me, it was about a resurrection of his love within me and it had nothing to do with a theological pledge to follow the pastor’s interpretation of the bible and it certainly had nothing to do with condemning me to hell. Hell wasn’t even an issue. The revelation of Christ in my soul never spoke to me about hell, only about love. You see, love is what conquers everything.
- Love wins
- Condemnation loses
So then I read a book from Leonard Sweet called, ‘Nudge’. I love his philosophy on awakening the Christ within. How he describes it is how I experienced it many years ago. I also spoke with a Southern Baptist pastor once about evangelism and he was much on the same page with me. Jesus calls us to love others and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives through that love. Why is it that so many Christians don’t believe the manifestation of Christ’s love is greater than the words they say to people about how they view the bible? Perhaps because they haven’t really had a revelation of his indwelling and outpouring love.
“Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There” ~Leonard Sweet
If you haven’t heard of Darin Hufford of the Free Believer’s Network, then please get acquainted with him through his book, ‘The Misunderstood God‘. His take on ‘God is Love’ is an excellent source of soul opening knowledge. He takes the Love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, and shows how God is everything listed in that chapter. When you look at it that way it’s easier to understand that God doesn’t insist on his own way as much as many Christians think he does. And while some Christians think God detests mankind, the Love chapter indicates his love believes in us!
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”(1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV)
Traditional Christianity looks for an outward repentance beginning with a verbal public confession, whereas the love of God just lavishes us with grace. When a person experiences love that washes over them they will know that experience is spiritual. Their experience doesn’t mean God doesn’t love them yet, as some Christians assume. A lack of this experience does not mean the love is not true unless you believe in it. Believing in something doesn’t make it true, the truth is why we believe it. If belief made things true then why don’t we see the tooth fairy taking up residence in all homes of small children and Santa Claus coming down our chimneys? God’s love is true and that’s why we believe it.
Christians know the passage of God loved us first, but that doesn’t mean God loved them first, it means God loves all of us before we ever love him. Loves chose us before we chose love. When we know love it’s natural to respond with acceptance. Think about your newborn baby who has no ability to choose you. You love the child before the child knew of your existence. This is love!
Ephesians 1:3“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined usb for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” ESV
I do consider myself a missionary, evangelist, and ardent ‘soul-winner’. I have free reign to love everyone and no strings attached to try and manipulate them into pledging allegiance to my view of God. What better experience is there of proclaiming the love of God than actually living it out?!? It’s all about love! It’s not so much about winning their souls, as the term soul-winner indicates, it’s more about loving people into a reality of them receiving love.
So when you question my interaction with the GLBT and Pagan communities because you don’t see me condemning them to hell and pressuring them to recite a prayer and join a church, know that I am not called to do that to them. I get to love them, support them, and live out God’s love for them. I don’t need mankind’s stamp of approval on the ministry God calls me to. You can disagree with me all you want and it makes no difference to me. I know the message God has given me to preach to the world and it’s love. As Paul said so say I, I received it not from mankind, pastors, or seminaries, but by the revelation of Christ my Lord.
The Message of Reconciliation
God has already reconciled mankind to himself through the finished work of Christ. So there is no pressure on me to try and make them believe this. People have the choice of what to believe and what not to believe. If believing in something doesn’t benefit them, then they won’t believe it. It’s no wonder they reject the condemning version of ‘god’, it doesn’t benefit them. However, a God who loves them and accepts them no matter what is worth hearing about! And if they know love, they already know God! When they freely accept true love, they are already accepting God. It doesn’t mean they are accepting God in the way traditional fundamentalists think they should. It’s a paradox! And isn’t that the way of Christ? His message is perplexing to self righteous people who look to please God in the literal realm with their religious works and practices of abstinence. But to spiritual people it is a message of life!
When you present God and the message you think he gives you to tell people, do they light up with joy or bow their head in shame? Real love has no shame! Not even a little bit! Presenting God as a lover with some hostility of threats if they don’t submit is abuse, not love. When real love is spoken and shown, the people know it!
If I didn’t truly love people, I wouldn’t bother trying to convince them. That would be manipulation. Because of the love God has lavished me with, I can’t help but to love others with that same love. When there is real love there is no need to convince. The Spirit of LOVE does the convincing. I’m not out to get people to accept me, to come to a church, or to take
propaganda discipleship classes. I am free to love them as they are. If they desire to hear about the wisdom I believe to balance my life then I’ll gladly share that. If they want my personal counsel about something in their life, I will give it. But I am not out to get nosy into their lives and tell them how to live. If they want to know what I think about mentorship in Christ (by the way, I believe mentorship is not the same as discipleship), I will happily guide them through that. But again, I am not there to force, pressure, or insist on my own way.
Love is freedom and with wisdom we can navigate this life safer than trying to be free in foolishness, because that just leads to chaos. Love that does not insist on it’s own way is what will revolutionize the world. And isn’t that what Christ came to do anyway? I’d rather live my life in such a way that love nudges a spiritual revolution, than to exist in this world dying by every condemning word of tradition. Loving people can not be found in a cookie cutter type recipe with bullet points to adhere to. There is no religious tract to hand out and no script to follow. It comes naturally as you progress and mature in your spirituality.
Love’s evangelism ‘method’ is the best I’ve seen yet!
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