18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19, New International Version
You are saved by Christ through faith. But when you forget God’s grace, it is easy to replace it with some strange or made-up ideas about salvation and the Christian life that aren’t true. One such idea links church attendance to being real followers having a real relationship with Jesus.
Very often this is not the case.
Church attendance is not the same as having an authentic life in Christ. And when a church assumes a plan of getting more people to come to church, it ends up putting more energy and effort into entertaining the saved than actually reaching the lost. It is not more church events or more Bible studies that will bring people into the church. Rather, it is getting more Christians to boldly live out their faith so that their friends and loved ones become believers in the Lord. The basis for doing this comes from a sound gospel understanding of salvation.
Salvation is not just an invitation for you to get saved and go to heaven. Rather, salvation is the call to make Jesus’ last command your first concern. The Apostle Paul says once you are reconciled to God through Christ, you are given a ministry of reconciliation. It is a package deal where you can’t have one without the other. So when you reduce salvation to a one-dimensional idea of “just come to Jesus and He will fix all your problems”, you need to rethink and return to what salvation really means.
You are not responsible for how people respond to the gospel, but you are responsible to take the gospel to the lost. Almost without exception, every person whom God called in the Bible was always focused on saving lives. Some were called to their own people, others were called to people other than their own. In the same way, you are saved by Christ to fulfil His calling to save a people group who haven’t heard about Him.
If our Lord can send an uneducated fisherman like Peter to witness to a group of learned Jewish elders, or an Orthodox Jew like Paul to reach uncircumcised and non-Kosher Gentiles, what is your excuse that He can’t do the same with you?
Ask God for a people group to reach with His love and grace. And be amazed by how God works in and through you.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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