Sorry for the delay in writing part 2 of this article. My wife and I have had a serious case of new born baby interrupt-us. Please continue to pray for us – especially my wife who is experiencing some minor complications with her c-section incision.
Now for the post…
I believe one of the greatest challenges facing today’s church is not reaching people with the gospel, but convincing believers that people need to be reached with the gospel. In other words, we must help Christians see the lost.
It is difficult for some to think of their loved ones, friends and neighbors as being lost. Most of us tend to think the best about people. We see the good that they do and think, "how could God send such a good person to hell?"
Jesus, in John 3:18 said, "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." [Emphasis added]
The condemnation that the lost are under is not based upon their sins, but upon the fact that they are sinners. The Bible also describes the lost as being, dead in their trespasses and sins, under Gods wrath and controled by Satan (See Ephesians 2:1-5)
Even though most people are capable of doing great good, their nature is to gravitate toward sin. That is why we believe that people have a sin nature - because they tend to sin. Even my "innocent" little 4 year old son tells lies and disobeys his parents.
In Acts 17:16-34, Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens. The running joke in Athens during that day was that there were more Gods than men in Athens. As Paul looked around the city, the bible says that His spirit was "provoked" within him at the sight of so many idols. Literally, he was exasperated because he saw the desparate spiritual condition of the Athenians.
This led Paul to start preaching Jesus in the synagogues, among the gentile believers and in the marketplace. His understanding of the lostness of the people of Athens led him to take action.
I am convinced that once Christians truly understand the lostness of the people in their circle of influence, and the consequences of that lostness - eternal separation from God, they will take action and announce the good news.
If we never see a need, then we will never sow the seed!