Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 6, 2020 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

A few weeks ago, my church simulcasted the XO Marriage Conference hosted by Jimmy Evans at Gateway Church in the Dallas area. During the conference he revealed a very interested, well researched statistic. In studying a multitude of marriages, for marriages that reported to be unhappy or very unhappy, the ones who chose to stick it out and not divorce reported just 5 years later to have a very happy marriage.

While not an intended main point of his message, the word “reconciliation” stuck out to me, sparking this blog post. The entire point and purpose of the Gospel message is to reconcile God and mankind. Christianity is living out the restored relationship between God and mankind. It’s not a religion indistinguishable from any other religion; it is God stepping into this world to make peace with a rebellious, treacherous, and sinful people.

When Paul describes us as ambassadors, he had the Roman ambassadors in mind. Because Rome dominated the known world, there were only loose tribes scattered around the borders of the empire. The ambassadors did not have to negotiate with other nations of power. Instead their job was to negotiate terms of peace because the Roman army was coming. If negotiations were successful, the tribe would become subjects of Rome, but they enjoyed freedom within Rome’s reaches.

This is the job of the Christian when it comes to evangelism. We are to reach out to people to make peace between them and God because they are totally unaware that God’s judgment is on its way. If peace has not been made when that day comes, it will be too late. Every person has broken God’s laws, crimes punishable by death, and God is a just and good God who will see that every crime is paid for. The only reason He holds back His judgment is because He knows how final and complete His wrath is. It will destroy us. It is His mercy and incredible patience that holds that judgment back. But that mercy and patience has limits. That limit is because He must execute judgment. The difference between making peace with Rome and peace with God is that Rome allowed their subjects to practice their own culture within Rome’s boundaries, and God requires a change of lifestyle in following Him, forsaking the old life for the new.

We have a limited time to present God’s terms of peace. We cannot take it lightly, and I sadly have been. Another thing God has been talking to me about is to love my enemies. I deal with apologetics and defending the faith and I get all kinds of rude, arrogant, mocking trolls who have no interest in truth and no interest in finding out that God will crush them if they don’t repent. As a result of this, I feel like Elijah did after his epic win at Mount Carmel, frustrated that no one wants to listen to the truth anymore. With this is a tendency of not bothering getting to the most important part of the message: that God came to save sinners.

Dealing with false teachers is worse. I’m not merely talking about those who believe false teachings, but actively promote them, after having been told the truth. I have no patience for a false teaching in my presence. I totally understand how Paul felt when he saw the idols of Athens and his spirit was provoked. But unlike Paul, I don’t often feel the pity he had for the lost and the desire to see them saved. God is stirring in me that pity, but my zeal for truth to be preached no matter who hears it, and no matter whether it chases someone away, has often stood in the way. Voddie Baucham describes “Bad Voddie” as the old-self’s attempt to defend Christ and the Biblical accounts. I can well related to that. Baucham says when he hears these arguments like I face, he has to grip “Bad Voddie” with all he has before he goes off and often he fails. I am the same way.

But God is stirring in me a need to love these lost people, knowing who they could be if they encounter Christ. A friend of mine, Charles Jackson, preached at my church nearly four years ago and he made a statement about praying for Richard Dawkins, an evil man who truly hates God and any of His followers. If he were to be saved, it would be like Paul and the world would have no response to it. It would be even worse than when Trump won the presidential election in 2016 and for months the media and the politicians were just stunned. If Richard Dawkins became a believer, he’d be the greatest evangelist we’ve ever seen.

Ray Comfort is an encouragement to me in this area because he is the most genuine person I have seen who truly loves the lost. When a heckler from his street preaching hounded him for days, including making sexual remarks about his wife, he thought Comfort hated him. Instead Comfort bought this guy lunch, then a new pair of shoes. I know I don’t have within me the ability to do that. Only Christ has that skill and it showed through Comfort in that moment.

When we reach the lost, one thing we must never do is change the message so that they might hear it. Sound doctrine is a primary issue because if we are not preaching God’s message the way He gave it, we are not being His messengers but playing our own game. The message of God is the most precious thing we have and yet it is the very thing we either hide, distort, or use as a hammer to bash those who reject it. James and John wanted to call fire down from heaven for rejecting the message and Jesus said, “I came to save them, not to destroy them.” But at the same time, whenever people walked away from Jesus, He never chased after them. He never backed from the truth, and often He presented the truth so hard that only those who really wanted the life Jesus offered stuck around to hear it. Peter said only Jesus had the words of life. Where else would he go?

I’ll never forget David Wilkerson’s statement that cut me to the heart: “There are some preachers who’d rather see people dead than saved.” Because I am so strong and convinced about the truth where I truly am unmovable, I can easily fall into the trap of if someone wants to reject the truth, I’ll let them have it or move on. Paul pled with people that they might repent. This is true of the majority of the well-known preachers like Wesley, Finney, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards, and others. They plead and wept that people would repent, but they never made that decision to be the end goal. Their end goal was that God’s Word be preached and that it was God’s terms upheld. They never changed the terms so they might be accepted.

We must go to call for peace between God and man, because the day of Judgment is coming. The only way we can convince anyone of the judgment is to get them to see the weight of their sin. And we can only preach on the weight of sin if we know and grasp the weight of God in His full character. Let us get to know God and who He truly is. Then we will feel His heart and His burden for saving the lost before the day of their doom arrives. Let us be ambassadors to make peace between God and men that there may be reconciliation and that relationship lost by Adam be restored.

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