I have been sharing about the need for an awakening in the United States, based on the tremendous influence “awakenings” have had on our nation. I do not want to have a narrow focus, as it is important to note that the nations of the world need an awakening too. The prophet Isaiah declared, “…darkness shall cover the earth and deep (gross) darkness the people…” During these tumultuous times, I have been hearing about an alarming trend away from the authority of the scriptures. Surprisingly, this move is spearheaded by “evangelical” Christians. The people who should be defending the wholeness of the scriptures are trying to find ways to take away the uncomfortable portions. Their response to the darkness of the world is to try and bring more people into the light of the Gospel. The problem with this strategy is…it is dimming the light!
It is imperative that believers understand there is no separating the Word from the light. Psalms 105:101 declares, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The Christian Post recently quoted megachurch pastor Andy Stanley as stating we need to “unhitch” Christianity from the Old Testament. Maybe this is how we can release ourselves from the cumbersome ideas in the Word of God? In another place, he went on to emphasize the need to discount doctrine because it can be so divisive. In promoting Christian unity, Andy Stanley seems to have an idea that you can have a relationship with God without an understanding or commitment to the Word of God. I am convinced that this tendency has invaded Evangelical thinking because we have decided that we need to approach scripture from the human point of view, rather than approach the human point of view from the scriptures. We can trace this to what seemed a harmless catch phrase I’ve heard over the years; the statement where someone refers to themselves as a “soul winner?” The idea is, we are God’s marketing department and we need to figure out ways to get people saved. Jesus did not call His disciples to be soul winners, but “fishers of men.” Our bait is the true Gospel and those chosen of God will certainly respond.
The only scripture to support being a soul winner is in Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.” In the original text, this reference of the word “win” means to snatch something. Taken in the context of the scripture, the key is the “fruit of the righteous.” When we become a living testimony of the Word, our life will attract the called, and the needy, who will be snapped up by the power of the Word. A good visual is the Venus flyfrap. It is a plant that will close shut when a fly lands upon it, making the fly into dinner! This is God’s plan to reach the world. Jesus said, “…let your light so shine before men that they will glorify your Father in heaven.” He goes on to say, “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” I want to reposition our thinking as the Body of Christ, as a Word-centered people who will have a saving impact on people and the world.
Although it is important to reach the lost, we must be careful not to invent our own methods as God has given us a clear plan. When we follow God’s plan, we will get His result. When we follow carnal (or human) plans, we will get human results. Human results can look impressive for a time, but in the end, there will be nothing left. 1 Corinthians 3 tells us that every mans work “will be revealed by fire” to see “of what sort it is.” Many people are praying for the fire of God to fall. I hope they understand that it will not always produce our desired results. We might see some things go up in flames. But do not worry, what God is building will last an eternity!