Have you ever noticed that most preaching these days is to other Christians?
In one sense, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We are going to spend all eternity with the Lord, so we might as well make a start getting to know how infinite He is in the space-time dimension.
However, the problem with preaching to the choir as it is known is that it doesn’t do much to advance the footprint of the Kingdom – and I am not just talking about evangelism. But let’s talk a little about evangelism.
Evangelism is seen these days as a specialist job in the Body of Christ these days. It is the role of the “outreach worker” or “street person” in the church.
There is a reason for this. And it is a sad one.
The reason is that believers in Christ simply do not have enough faith, confidence and trust in God’s Word to transform and change people.
Of course, I am not talking about every Christian but I am talking about a general malaise of unbelief that exists – yes, even in this Bill Johnson, Todd White and “It’s Supernatural” era. Many believers treat evangelising the “lost” as a voyeuristic exercise on YouTube rather than talk to real, live people.
Because deep down we are not sure if it will work. Even though it worked for us.
Now don’t start jumping out and grabbing some sinners just yet. Before you do, I have some important things I believe God wants you to be aware of here and by aware I mean soaking your consciousness with till your mind is renewed. So here it is.
God’s Word has the power.
The Bible you hold in your hand contains all the power you will ever need to change things on planet earth. Including – and as we hear all the time and rightly so – the miracle power to change unregenerate men and women into children of God!
All you have to do is release that Word on someone.
Remember in the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught that the Word of God is seed and that planting seeds and seeing them grow is how the Kingdom of God operates (see Mark 4:1-33).
Trekkies will love this: God’s Word is like Project Genesis in the Star Trek movies. It has the power to terraform dead planets and make them spring into life!
Actually, it has far more power than that. God’s Word has the power to bridge the dimensions and bring the Kingdom of God down here into the physical realm, to pattern earth after heaven. Prayer is designed to do just that and prayer is based on God’s will, which is His Word. When you release God’s Word back to Him in prayer, you literally pull heaven down to earth.
Think of the unlimited power in these words: THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL (WORD) BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
Now, of course, sharing the Word in evangelism is spreading this Life-transforming power. It is seeding the supernatural, Kingdom-building, faith-producing, regenerating substance of heaven into the dead soil of men’s hearts. That is a whole new way of looking at evangelism for many and it works much better than “Well, people just don’t want to hear the Gospel these days.”
However, this principle of seeding and planting is not just about getting individuals saved. It is about transforming society and culture into the Kingdom of God on earth.
There are two Great Commission passages in our Bibles. The one at the end of Mark’s Gospel is a charge to “Preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). This means get folks saved. That is evangelism.
We need to realise that this is not all we are commissioned to do. The other Great Commission passage is in Matthew 28:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. MATTHEW 28:18-20 NKJV
This is a different charge. It is a command to subdue and disciple the nations. It is a cultural mandate.
We have lost the revelation that God has given us His Word as a tool of dominion over the nations. We need to be fully immersed once again in this truth. The Reformers and Puritans understood this. In our day we have spiritualised things to the point they are of no earthly use. This is not actually spiritual at all. We wage “spiritual warfare” which is often nothing but Nintendo games in our heads. If you really want to see the reality of spiritual warfare, drop some Word bombs on your communities! Fighting principalities in your head is far less effective.
We plant and establish the Kingdom of heaven by the Word of God.
God’s Word is given us to rein in and control worldly rulers (see Psalm 149). Yes, they will rebel against this but we just remind them that Jesus is Lord (Psalm 2).
Declaring the Lordship of Christ is not just how we get individuals to become Christians; it is how we transform the nations. The Gospel IS the power of God and the Gospel is that Jesus is Lord.
The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed,
That he should not die in the pit,
And that his bread should not fail.
But I am the Lord your God,
Who divided the sea whose waves roared—
The LORD of hosts is His name.
And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” ISAIAH 51:14-16 NKJV
Note here that this prophetic word in Isaiah is in a time of economic oppression, when the people are worried that their bread may fail and they would “die in the pit.” That pretty much describes the economy and world we live in, you could say.
God’s answer to the pressures of this is His Word! “I have put MY words in your mouth,” He says.
The proclaimed Word of God is always His answer to the pressures of life on this planet.
That Word has power to lift man out of sin, sickness, poverty and misery. That is, man as individual men and women and man as society.
The Word of God plants the Kingdom and lays a new foundation on the earth, having removed the one that is presently not working very well. The word “plant” here means to establish.
You can establish a new world order that is the Kingdom of God on this planet. You are supposed to. And you are called to
Put the power of the Holy Spirit on top of the built-in power of the Word of God and you have an unbeatable weapon set to defeat the kingdom of darkness and usher in a new age upon this planet.
One more thought. The Word has the power – the dunamis– in it to get the job done. It also mandates us with the authority – the exousia – as our warrant.
With all this at our disposal, what is holding us back?
Nothing on God’s side of the equation is the answer.
So let us not be weary in planting and establishing God’s Kingdom by releasing His Word on His creation.