Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Meditation on Evangelism in Acts 4

In the fourth chapter of Acts we see that the Jewish leaders had charged Peter and John not speak about our Lord (verse 18). However, Peter and John responded with such steadfastness, sturdiness and strength by setting the leaders straight that they in fact served the Lord. The question I want to pose is this: How can we who are believers in Christ have such boldness in our witness to unbelievers. This is a particularly important question for several reasons. First, the church has a mandate to spread the Gospel and second, secularism both in the modernistic and postmodern form has become so effective in distracting our culture away from the Lord of the universe, Jesus.
Now, there are alot of areas that I think Christians could improve on. I think that Christians need to take up the task of serving God with their minds by thinking theologically through many current intellectual issues and by thinking more clearly and systematically about the faith. However in this post I want to focus on prayer. I believe that if Christians spent more time in prayer then we would see a growth in the health of the church and we would see the church more victorious in her mission to convert those who rebel against our Lord.
Notice what Acts 4:29 says "And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness.
Now I want you to notice several things about this passage. First, notice that they had to pray for boldness. It did not come naturally. They prayed because they had threats with persecution against them. We who are a part of the body of Christ and live in America now do not have to undergo such persecution, yet many of us still do not willingly go out and share the gospel. We need boldness. Second, I want you to notice that it is the Lord who grants that we have boldness. Thus our boldness comes from the Lord. It is the Lord who deserves the glory in his saints passion to spread the gospel. Next, I want you to pay attention to the fact that they prayed for the boldness to continue to speak about the Gospel. They could have thought in their heads that they did a good job in the past and that that was enough. I have had experiences in the past where I will do a good deed and then I will think in my shallow heart that I do not need to spend my efforts doing it again. It is kinda like the kid who cleans his room and pats himself on the shoulder and thinks, "Well I cleaned my room two weeks ago I don't need to do that now." But this kinda thinking is wrong headed, moreover it serves as kind of an excuse from our duty. Peter and John knew that just because that had evangelized in the past did not excuse them from evangelizing in the future.Thus, they prayed for boldness to continue. Now you dear reader have an option. You can either delude yourself from thinking that you have an obligation to witness to the world (in that case read James 1:22) or you can pray for boldness to evangelize as Peter and John did. May God grant you the grace to be bold to spread the name and fame of our Lord.

Written by Stephen Stanford

1 comment:

Bob Stanford said...

You have hit it on the head. Right on! prayer is where we begin and end in this business of missions and evangelism.

Now, will you make a commitment to pray more and blog less?