Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Most Urgent Duty
From the Introduction of Evangelism, edited by John MacArthur
“…the cares of this world and the distractions of daily life vie for our time and attention. Eventually, as the disciple becomes more and more familiar with the gospel, that profound initial sense of wonder and amazement fades somewhat. The gospel is still good news, of course, but we begin to think of it as old news, and that sense of urgency is lost.
It is therefore necessary to remind ourselves constantly how utterly vital the task of evangelism is, and how desperately in need of the gospel this fallen world is. Evangelism is not merely one incidental activity in the life of the church; it is the most urgent duty we as Christians have been given to do. Virtually every other spiritual exercise we do together as members of Christ’s body we will still be able to do in heaven-praising God, enjoying fellowship with one another, savoring the richness of God’s Word, and celebrating the truth together. But now is the only time we have for proclaiming the gospel to the lost and winning people to Christ. We seriously need to be redeeming the time (Eph. 5:16).
A Christian does not need to be individually called or specially gifted to be a herald of the good news; we are commanded to be witnesses of Christ, commissioned to train others to be disciples. This is an individual obligation, not merely the collective responsibility of the church. No duty is more significant, and none bears more eternally rewarding fruit.
Furthermore, the field are white for harvest (John 4:35). The current generation is as ripe for the gospel message as any other generation in history. No matter what aspect of contemporary culture you examine, what you will discover are crying spiritual needs-and people whose souls are parched and famished for truth. The answer to such a spiritual famine in our land is not the artificial arousal of religious sentiment, not more political activism, not a better public relations campaign, and certainly not for Christians to adapt their message to the prevailing secular worldview.” (page 8)