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Evangelism:  Is Heaven Your Aim

Somebody made a great observation when they said the two greatest days in a person's life are (1) the day they were born and (2) the day they find out why they were born. The same thing could be said about those who have been born again. Many who profess to be born again of the water and the Spirit (church members) seem to have never discovered why they were born again or have forgotten why. A number of purposes of the Christian life could be noted, but I want to focus on one in particular — evangelism, both world and "personal" evangelism (what we used to call "soul winning"). The New Testament makes clear we are saved to save others and told to tell others! Before He left earth, Jesus gave what we call "The Great Commission" (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). This mandate, given by the Son of God and irrevocable, puts the church in the telling and teaching and preaching business. In Matthew's account Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen." Christians are not all responsible to do exactly the same thing in spreading the gospel and seeking to win the lost for Christ. But the Great commission and other scriptures remind us that the church's primary mission is to get the gospel to a lost world. As someone summarized it, Jesus wants every sinner this side of Heaven involved in taking the gospel to every sinner this side of hell. These days many in the church seem to be concerned about making the gospel acceptable to people in the world.

That is not what. God charges the church to do. Our charge is the same as it was in the earliest days of Christianity: make the gospel available to others, whether they find it acceptable or not.  The Roman Seneca (4 B. C. — 65 A. D.) said, "Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind." Seneca's words remind us of the importance of having the right aim and goal. Without it, we are prone to be blown off course by any and every wind that comes along. Jesus came to earth with the specific aim to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). The early church suffered obstacles and opposition from the get-go, but they stayed on course and "went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:4). The apostle Paul makes clear his life as a Christian was guided by the high and holy aim of preaching Christ and winning lost souls to Him — "I have made it my aim to preach the gospel" (Romans 15:20a). I have always liked what Luis Palau said about the church — "The church is like manure. Pile it up, and it stinks up the neighborhood; spread it out, and it enriches the world." Heaven's holy aim for the church is not primarily about bigness, budgets, buildings or buses. It is not primarily about carpet, comfort, or convenience. It is not primarily about potlucks, programs, preachers, powerpoint, padded pews, faddish faith, or trendy worship styles. Heaven's high and holy aim is for the church to carry the gospel to the lost. Is Heaven's aim your aim? Think about it.

Dan Gulley,
Smithville church of Christ