BUILDING BRIDGES IN EVANGELISM
By Victor Beshir
Some of the castles were built to function as
community centers. The founders of the castles had a wonderful vision of
using the castles to unite people and create a sense of a loving and caring community.
So, they built the castles as homes for the owner and as town halls, equipped
with many facilities, such as big dining rooms, large swimming pools, and
places for celebrations. For centuries, the doors of the castles were
open to the community. This vision
However, new owners of the castles did not follow the same steps of their grand fathers; they lost vision of the pioneers. Gradually, castles’ doors were shut down. The few families inside the walls of the castles were isolated from the rest of the community. Life changed dramatically: LOVE WAS LOST; the Community lost its center and its sense of being a community. LIKEWISE, currently, some churches and many believers in these churches lost their vision and their love for humankind, while others, outside the churches, spiritually in a great need.
Some churches and individuals became like the old castles in many ways, such as:
+ Lost the vision of our Lord.
+ Became isolated behind big walls and closed doors.
+ Some lost Christian love for others.
How can we keep our vision and our love for humankind?
The lord Jesus Christ says: “You are the salt of the earth” (Matt, 5:13). The salt needs to get mixed with the food, and to interact with it. The salt’s molecules penetrate the food’ molecules and thus gives the food its flavor. Similarly, to be a Christian is to be the salt of the earth. This required not isolation, but rather each Christians should mix, join, blend, and mingle with the members of the society.
We lost the meaning of the commandment “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (Corinth. 11:26). The reason for connecting the Holy Communion with evangelism is clear. To proclaim the Good News, to evangelize, and to reach out be, you need the Holy Communion. But mainly, we forgot our mission and the vision of Christian love.
St. John Chrysostom said: “Do not say you are unable to influence others. For as long as you are a Christian, you are able to influence others, because this is the essence of Christianity.”
Now, you may ask:
What Should I do?
+ Build a Bridge between yourself and others
+ If your heart is not totally dedicated to God, you cannot ask others to follow God. If you are not wholly committed to live for God, then you must choose one master, either God or the world.
+ If you know your sins, repent. If not, please ask God: “Show me what things don't please you in my life?” Then, commit your life to God today.
+ Build a bridge to understand the meaning of the Gospel, the Good News:
What good news do we have in Christianity for others?
The Grace of Salvation:
There is a story about a soldier was in the army of Napoleon Bonaparte was about to be shot. The soldier’s mother pleaded for him saying to Napoleon: “Mercy”. But Napoleon answered: “He doesn't deserve mercy.” The mother said in tears: “If he deserves mercy, then this is not mercy…”
We were all under the judgment of death. We were dead in our sins, going to eternal fire, but He saved us.
+ Think of a person waiting for his capital punishment death. Then the governor issued a pardon to set him free.
How glad would this person be?
How happy? How great news would this be for him?
This is the good news we offer to
people: He died for me, so I will have eternal life.
Cleansing me from sin:
Once, I drove my car on a dirt road. It added layers of dirt on my car. Then it rained and my car was covered with mud and it became disgusting. I felt as if I myself was unclean. The feeling was dreadful. I could not take it home, so I hurried to a care wash. I sat on my cat and drove inside the cleaning room, where cycles of soaking water, soap, and air were applied. When I left the cleaning room, my car became as new, as if it had never touched the mud. I felt relieved, happy, as if I, myself, was cleansed.
Christianity offers purity, cleansing, washing of sins. Because most of us lived our lives in the church, we do not know the awful feelings of un-cleanliness, impurity, or the emptiness of life.
Ronald Conway, an Australian psychologist, said: “Australians have everything, and yet have nothing to live for”. Sophia Loren, famous Hollywood actress said, “In my life there is an emptiness, it is impossible to fill.”
Christianity has solutions, offers life, gives fulfillment, grants hope, renews purity, and fills life with meaning.
+ Build a bridge to understand and live all the treasures of Christianity, like spirituality, heavenly worship, and life of joy.
+ When you know all these wonderful happy news and treasures, you need to be excited about it, I am not talking about acting as excited, rather I am asking to be naturally excited about what you really discovered in Christian life.
+ Build a bridge of commitment to God:
In my college, we see students who stay for eight years or more, transferring from one major to another, never finishing their degree. We call them “Professional students”. They lost vision, and live without objectives. As a Christian, your objectives should be very clear. As a servant of Christ, the Lord already a vision for you, and you need to follow it faithfully.
+ In our churches there are professional listeners. This is why our spiritual life is weak. Change this habit, break the chain, and commit your life to God: Tell Him, “ From today, I am yours, O Lord. I commit my life to you. I will live not for the world or for myself but for you.”
+ Build a bridge to the work of God.
Every morning tell Him, “I am available for your work today”
+ Some people are afraid of evangelism, but let God take care of that. Let him guide you. Just be available for him.
+ Build a bridge of friendship, love, and care for others: Say good morning and how are you? Start a casual conversation, and when there is a chance to talk about God, does it nicely, politely, and naturally.
+ Evangelism is like sowing seeds: You don’t see results immediately. Even, sometimes you will not see it at all until you go to heaven. Eventually, you will work with many people, just now and then sow a seed here and there, and let God take care.
Finally, there is a legendary story that talks about a meeting between the Archangel Gabriel and the Lord after the Lord’s resurrection. A conversation went like this:
- Gabriel: God, Now, you were crucified, buried, and rose from the dead.
But still there very few people who believe.
What is the plan?
- Jesus: I will send the Holy Spirit and then human being will do the work.
- Gabriel: But Lord, you know human beings. They forget, get lazy; they love the world, etc.
- What is plan “B,” if plan “A” fails?
- Jesus: There is no plan “B”
+ God has only one plan for salvation, which depends on human beings, on you and me. Are you ready to hear God’s call and to work in His field?
you not say, there are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and
look at the fields, for they are already white for the harvest and he who reaps
receives wages and gathers fruit for the eternal life.” (John4:35-36).