One of the most important biblical pillars, after the New Birth (Jn 3:5), is that of “Evangelism.” Jesus even reduced and summarized His entire purpose on the earth by saying, “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luk 19:10). If Jesus’s entire purpose was to seek and save the lost, shouldn’t we similarly value the redemption of our neighbors? In-fact, the second greatest command is to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 22:39). What greater expression of love is there, than to invite those around us to become joint partakers in eternal salvation? I could write hundreds of pages on the subject of evangelism, but let’s consider instead several brief quotations and scriptures on the subject.
I remember a self proclaimed “atheist” who visited a small church I was at. After the service, I shook his hand and will never forget his remark. He said, “you all have mastered the hypnotic effect and use of music to ‘make us’ feel something. Even I felt something and wanted to praise God.” My response was simple, “What you felt was God, not us. There’s not a person in here who has been educated in hypnosis. And this sort of praise is biblical, that’s why you feel led to do it, so feel free to jump in!” Certainly, the first exposure to an authentic Spirit-filled church service will be new, lively, and powerful. Rest assured though, that the ecstatic and heartfelt praise exhibited is indeed biblical.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Sometimes the simplest instructions are the hardest to obey. In this passage Jesus is delivering the “Sermon on the Mount” (Mat 5:1-2). By the end of which, his audience was “astonished at his doctrine” (Mat 7:28) and the authority commanded by his teachings (Mat 7:29). I can’t help but wonder if such astonishment was partially derived from a profound revelation of the Mat 6:33 and its implications. This passage requires a radical framework of prioritization for all Christians.
Speaking in tongues is an experience that is rapidly spreading throughout the world. Mention of the topic evokes heated debate, emotions, and critics from many liturgical groups. Yet, despite the criticism, the “Pentecostal” movement has been increasing exponentially. Several years ago, researchers found that there were over 500 million of these “Pentecostals” in the world, the movement is estimated to grow to over 1 billion by 2050. This beckons the question, “is speaking in tongues a ‘counterfeit’ to many, a ‘fake’ to the faint, or is it a ‘promise’ to all?”
Objectors of speaking in tongues rely predominately on a small selection of scripture. After reading over 30 published books/articles criticizing the subject, meeting with several denominations of theologians/pastors, and attending doctrinal university classes of a liturgical faith – the argument against tongues is consistently and solely based off of an interpretation of 1Cor 13:8.
1Cor 13:8 KJV Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.