EVANGELISM JESUS STYLE: How Did Jesus Really Do It? [2]

Jesus Never Pursued People

"So what if they don't come back?" It won't be hard for me to imagine Jesus saying this about the multitudes that followed him. He cannot make anyone follow him unless the Father does it. "The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does," [John 5.19]. Thus, he never pursued people--he pursued the Father. The Father is the one who appoints or "draws" people to your church. He appoints those who would be your disciples and who would be part of your crowd. You can never add people to His list. Doing so will drift the church you're managing away from His glorious church, which is without spot or wrinkle or any blemish. If you want your church to be a Jesus church, never pursue people.

Just share the pure Word, the Good News of salvation. Don't "inspire" or influence people to receive Jesus Christ. Don't put icing on the Gospel--it isn't cake. In fact, I even advise you to tell them the whole story, not just salvation, heaven and eternal life. Tell them also about persecution, the Jesus cross we have to carry after getting saved by grace through faith, what they need to give up and surrender, how everyone will hate them because of Jesus, what things they would suffer, how they should live a life of holiness and obedience, especially when sharing the Gospel with others. I always do this, and people say it's not a good marketing strategy. I'm glad it isn't.

Jesus shared the Gospel with the rich young ruler and the young man didn't like it because Jesus told him everything he needed to know, not just heaven and eternal life, God's love and how we will all live happily ever after. Don't fool people into telling them only the appetizing truths and then only later telling them the rest after they received Jesus. That's deception. They need to know the Jesus cross we all have to carry after salvation, most especially, and tell them before they make any decision for Christ.

With the Samaritan woman, Jesus didn't just talk about the attraction of the water of life. He also talked about the man the woman was living with who wasn't her husband. He didn't say, "Okay, drink the water of life first and we'll talk about the man you're with later." The cost of discipleship should be made known to the prospect during evangelism. Jesus did this with the rich young ruler, the Samaritan woman, Nicodemus, and Zacchaeus.

Why did Jesus tell them everything, including the bitter truth? It was because he never pursued people. "So what if they reject truth or if they don't come back?" I can easily imagine him saying. The problem with most modern evangelism is it's tendency to cloth the Gospel with fancy clothes, watering down it's power to change people radically. My Jesus shared the Gospel to obey the Father's will concerning the Kingdom, not inviting folks to a party. And we should share the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation, filling up God's Kingdom on earth, not to gather membership for our own little empires. That's how we should do evangelism today.

Here's Part 1

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