Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050313.htm
CHRIST'S PROPHETIC MESSAGE TO CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALS
Part II: Christ's All-Sufficiency For Evangelicalism Presented
C. Christ's All-Sufficiency For Reaching The Unsaved
Lesson: Evangelicals have DEEPLY erred in seeking to reach the lost in their OWN methods and means. As only CHRIST is the Preeminent Entity in ALL effective evangelism efforts and at all levels, we must yield to HIS Biblical methods, means and theology for ALL EFFECTIVE outreach efforts.
- In prophetically addressing us believers in our current Evangelical era of Church History, our Lord implies a great lack exists among Evangelicals on effective ministry to the unsaved.
- Revelation 3:14b(c) shows us Christ's All-Sufficiency for meeting this need of today as follows:
- Christ's All-Sufficiency For Reaching The Unsaved, Revelation 3:14b(c).
- In preparing to comment on today's Evangelical era, Jesus laid out a threefold description of Himself in Rev. 3:14b(NIV): He is "The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, The Ruler of the creation of God."
- His third title, "the Ruler of the creation of God" (NIV) shows Christ's All-Sufficiency for evangelism:
- In the Greek N.T., only in Rev. 3:14 and Col. 1:15-18 are archay ("Ruler" NIV) & ktiseos ("creation") used to show Christ's relation to creation, Moulton & Geden, A Conc. to the Grk. T., p. 110-111, 564.
- The Col. 1:15-18 context [with Rev. 3:14b(c)] reveals Christ as the Preeminent Source of evangelism:
- Col. 1:15-18 is couched between verses describing the salvation of the Colossians, cf. 1:13f, 19-23.
- Then, Col. 1:15-18 with Rev. 3:14b(c) shows Christ is the Preeminent Source of their conversion by the term, "Firstborn": (a) In Col. 1:15, Jesus is the "Firstborn of all creation" (ktiseos). (b) Then, in Col. 1:18, He is the same "Firstborn" put in apposition to the "Beginning," or archay rendered "Ruler" in Rev. 3:14b(c)(NIV). (c) Well, the Col. 1:15, 18 title, "Firstborn" expresses Christ's Preeminency, Col. 1:18. (d) So, as Col. 1:15-18 pictures Christ as the Preeminent Source of all things in the context of the salvation of Paul's Colossian readers, Rev. 3:14b(c) [in light of Col. 1:15-18] highlights Christ's role as the Preeminent Source of evangelism in discipling the unsaved!
- So, using Col. 1:15-18, we discern the needs and Christ's solutions for evangelism among Evangelicals:
- We note the errors in the efforts of Evangelicals to evangelize as Christ evaluates us (as follows):
- Some Evangelicals relinquish belief in pure creation to favor evolution or theistic evolution so as to win the lost, but Christ counters, claiming to be the Cause and Sustainer of all creation, 1:16a, 17b.
- Some Evangelicals themselves try to defeat demons in outreach using "strategic-level spiritual warfare," etc., but Christ counters He is the Cause and Sovereign over all spirits, Colossians 1:16b.
- Some [Arminian] Evangelicals in reaction to Calvinism modify their theism to hold to an impotent God in order to evangelize (Armstrong, The Coming Evangelical Crisis, p. 33-36), but Christ counters He as God existed before creation, and made all things through & for Himself, 1:16c-17a.
- Some Evangelicals [seeker friendly] try human efforts for outreach results, but Christ counters, claiming He is the Head of His Body, the Church, Col. 1:18a, a title explained in the sister Ephesian epistle (Guthrie, N.T. Intr., p. 492f) at Eph. 1:22-23; 4:15f: there, ((1)) Christ rules and ((2)) gifts ((3)) each believer ((4)) so the Body can comprehensively and ((5)) effectively minister, cf. 4:7-16.
- Thus, the solutions to these outreach needs by Evangelicals are: (a) we must hold to belief in Christ's Preeminence as Sole Creator and Cause and Sustainer of the universe [pure creationism] and thus His All-Sufficiency in evangelism; (b) we must align with His Word for outreach (1) in personally in local churches sticking with those efforts that use God's spiritual gifts to us (Rom. 12:1-6a), (2) in staying at God's geographical assignments (Acts 16:6-10; Jas. 4:13-15), (3) in trusting God's power to live a winsome life before the lost (Gal. 5:16ff; Col. 4:5-6), (b) in praying for opportunities to witness (Col. 4:3), (5) in praying for God's enabling to voice the Gospel, the power of God (Col. 4:4; Rom. 1:17), (6) in trusting God to convict the lost (Jn. 16:8-11) and (7) in trusting God to save the lost without our trying humanly to manipulate other believers, the lost or evil spirits to that end, Colossians 1:18.
Application: We evangelicals must REPENT from self-help evangelistic efforts and heed Christ's lead!