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Monday, November 24, 2014

The Final Movement of Evangelism

A rare historical note attributes the hymn "I Have A Friend So Precious, So Very Dear to Me" to one sung by the Waldenses in their Provencal language in the Dark Ages. The last stanza says, "He bids me tell His wondrous love, And why He came to die." Jesus tells us that if we can "lift [Him] up from the earth" on His cross, He "will draw all [people] to Himself" (John 12:32, 33).
What Jesus meant was that common people can win souls if they can simply tell "why He came to die." But of course they can't do that unless they themselves understand "why He came to die." Which means that we should let the Holy Spirit do what He wants--that is, teach us what happened on the cross. Which of course we won't agree to if we feel "rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing" (Rev. 3:17; He says He understands our root problem!).
This raises the question: is the final movement of evangelism prophesied in Revelation 18 to be what experts say on electronic communication via satellite TV? That's the easy way, we just sit and listen and push the right buttons. Or is it to be humble flesh-and-blood human beings like you and me opening their hearts to tell the message personally?
Of course, electronics and TV will have their part. Well, give science its rightful due, yes; but ordinary people like us must wake up and learn to understand what happened at Calvary so we personally can tell it. If we don't, He'll have to raise up children who will.
We can't really "tell His wondrous love" unless we understand "why He came to die." May the dear Lord grant us to see something: why Paul could only "glory in the cross," why he could tell others only of "Christ and Him crucified" (Gal. 6:14; 1 Cor. 2:1-3).

--Robert J. Wieland

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