Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Evangelism and God's Choice

Re-Posted from "Meditations of a Charismatic Calvinist Who Does Not Speak in Tongues"

 What effect does a belief in God's election (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 9:19-24; Acts 13:48) have on evangelism? The effect it should not have is discouraging us from doing it. God has called us to be the instruments He will use to spread His truth (Romans 10:14,15; Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:10). God uses means to produce His ends, and I am one of the means He uses. If  I refuse, God will still find a way to accomplish His purposes, but I am guilty of disobedience to His commands. What God's election does is help me avoid trusting in my abilities or even engaging in manipulation when it comes to evangelism (1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 2:3,4; 2 Timothy 4:3,4). If I believe that only the work of God can bring someone to Christ (John 6:44,45; 1:12,13; Romans 8:29,30), then while I should work to do things well, I should not trust in my ability or methods. Also, if I believe that only God can bring someone to Himself, I am less likely to be discouraged or even angry when I am rebuffed or my overtures are rejected. It therefore makes it easier to approach the situation with the gentleness required by Scripture (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Colossians 4:6). It also helps to prevent discouragement if there is a lack of immediate results. If it is God who produces the results, I can persevere, trusting that God is in control of the situation (1 Corinthians 3:6,7; Matthew 16:18; 2 Corinthians 3:5,6). I would therefore conclude that God's election, properly understood, is an aid to evangelism rather then a hindrance.

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