Elder's Note: Evangelistic Fervor

Do you struggle with motivation?  Do you question your purpose sometimes?  Why should we have that difficult conversation with an unbeliever?  Why should we take great pains to send a few from our congregation to plant a church nearby?  Why should support the seemingly inefficient work that is done in overseas missions?  If you’ve been flickering in your fervor, then be reminded of God’s plan in all of history in Ephesians 3:10-11, “...through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And Jude 1:24-25, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

Our Book of Faith and Order states,

Grace Covenant Church commits itself to fulfilling the “Great Commission” by equipping its members for personal evangelism, supporting and praying for missions at home and abroad, and praying for spiritual awakening.

God the Father is preserving the world through his providential patience so that personal evangelism may occur.  More than that we gain motivation to endure whatever hardship may come our way.  As Paul states in 2 Timothy 2:10 “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”  God in his sovereign plan has chosen to use the means of his church to fulfill his purposes.  After our duty to worship God and love the saints our primary orientation to the world is one of gospel witness, calling the unbelieving world to repentance.  Every believer is to be speaking the truth of the gospel to everyone else they meet, for there is no other hope of salvation for all people.  Who do you know that needs the gospel?  Do you know anyone that does not?  The gospel changes how we think about everything and every conversation with an unbeliever is an opportunity to make that distinction between those who follow Jesus and those who do not.

Everything we do as believers is to exalt the name of Jesus Christ.  To this end we as a church seek to sacrificially support and pray for missions at home and abroad.  But from the previous point, we cannot expect others to do out there what we are not first zealous to do from the comfort of a common culture and language.  We are so convinced that the gospel is for all peoples that the difficult work of crossing cultures is both worth it and guaranteed to succeed.  Our aim is that the body of Christ might be seen as united across all time and all the world in One Spirit.  This work of missions will end one day when we gather together with a great multitude that no one can count from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches crying out, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!”

Lastly, evangelistic fervor cannot be separated from the work of the Holy Spirit.  God must regenerate the dead hearts of unbelievers for the seed of the gospel to come to life in them.  We may plant, but God provides the growth.  Thus, we are absolutely dependent on the power of God in the gospel.  Our zeal for the spread of the gospel is partially measured in our prayers for spiritual awakening.  We thus are confident and bold to speak as we ought because his strength is made perfect in our weakness.  God will not fail to do what only he can do.  Salvation belongs to our God!

Psalm 96:3 “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”

May the flame of evangelistic fervor ignite and expand in our hearts again today.  May we put away worthless things and work diligently with the time God has given us for his purposes and glory.