Conveying Spiritual Truths
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19. Conveying Spiritual Truths

Evangelism Music

Chariot with four horsesA vision is similar to a parable in many ways. It spells out what will happen to the people in a narrative form. The Old Testament prophet Zechariah, whose name means "God remembered" in Zechariah 5.1, sees a flying scroll in a vision in BC 520-518 and writes, "I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll." Behind the picture is an unambiguous and urgent message for the listener brought by the Word of God.

Harps Cymbals and Trumpets

Irish HarpOne of the most effective mediums for the Christian message is music. Two hymns illustrate this for me. Charles Wesley (1707-1788) the great Methodist leader's anthem, "O for a thousand tongues to sing, My dear Redeemer's praise," and the favorite hymn written by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton (1725–1807), "Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me." The words alone evoked thoughts of God and provided moments of splendor in worship. The prophets used music to convey spiritual truth. King David, whose name derives from the Hebrew "Dawid" from the word "dod" means "beloved" or "uncle." David was the most popular name in the United States in the 1950s at 19,137 per million babies named. Apart from overseeing the excellent book of Psalms, David sat down with two other prophets, Nathan and Gad, to arrange the Temple worship. Years later, King Hezekiah followed these same written instructions for the ordering of worship. He stationed Levites in the temple with harps and cymbals. As the offering began, the priests with trumpets started the music with all the people singing praise unto God. Yes, music has an essential place in evangelism today!

Evangelist Prophetic Message

Elijah's Chariot of the LordMusic and worship transform the evangelist's prophetic message. The prophetic word is another characteristic element in evangelism. The prophet Micah (BC 740-670,) whose name derived from the Hebrew, "Who is like God?" spoke out in Judah's classic prophetic style. In Micah 1.2, he says, "Hear, you peoples, all of you, listen, earth and all who live in it, that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple." Many prophets displayed this extraordinary or outside the ordinary character. They were not consistent, and this further heightened and sometimes frustrated the hearers' expectations. King Ahab, the seventh king of Israel, the wicked Jezebel's husband, died in BC c853. He called his servant Obadiah and told him to find the elusive prophet "Elijah" in Hebrew, meaning "Jehovah is God." After searching diligently for some time, he suddenly confronts the great man of God. Obadiah was not quite sure what would happen next and asked in 1 Kings 18.12, "I don't know where the Spirit of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn't find you, he will kill me. Yet I am your servant have worshiped the Lord since my youth." The element of nonconformity remained in the prophets as it should in the evangelist today!

Personal Faith Sharing

Personal faith sharing is the most important and significant element in Christ-centered evangelism for Christian and the Church. There are certain fundamental principles of Christ-centered evangelism that will help us perform our faith sharing well if we stick to them and do not get sidetracked. The way we go about our tasks is essential. First, we must realize that all we do and all we say should stem from our relationship to Christ. Saint Paul wrote in Philippians 3.10, "I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." Our ministries also must be primarily "Christ-centered," for we need to know Christ.

Bible Based

Youth TrioSecond, what we say, the words we string into sentences, our thoughts and ideas about God and Jesus should hinge upon what we know about Jesus and God from the Bible. The Indian born evangelical apologist, Ravi Zacharias (1946-present), writes, "The Bible is the Word of God, and God cannot err. So, to deny inerrancy, rightly understood, is to attack the very character of God. Those who deny inerrancy soon enter the dangerous terrain of denying all Scriptural authority for both doctrine and practice." In other words, we need to be "Bible-Based" otherwise, we can end up setting ourselves up as authorities in opposition to the Scriptures as the ultimate truth, the Word of God. Third, our message should be "person-related." To be "person-related" means that we need to come alongside people in some meaningful way and communicate with them in terms that we both understand. It needs to be at the level that our hearers can understand and in their language, which may be more complicated than we might imagine at first, even for some English speaking people! Have you ever tried talking to a heavily accented Liverpudlian or even a Scottish doctor? It can be challenging to make sense of it!

Fragrance of Jesus

FrankincenseSharing the fragrance of Jesus' perfume is for the Christian like a pleasant waft of scent on the breeze. Saint Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2.14-15, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God, the aroma of Christ among those who being saved and those who are perishing." As Christians, we should go about sharing the "fragrance of Jesus" in such a manner that will be understood and appreciated by others. Jesus' love should be made known in word and picture forms our listeners will comprehend. Our vocabulary must not take wings and fly over their heads. Our presentation should be at a level our hearers will understand. The apple tree in blossom produces flower petals and colors, enjoyed by those who pass by, but it should also draw those a long way off, with its enticing fragrance. As Saint Paul writes in Ephesians 5.2, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." We may get our plan of action precisely right, but it will be of no avail unless we act. One of the big problems in many denominations, including the Anglican church, is that we talk too much about evangelism instead of doing it! We bottle up Jesus' sweet perfume and fragrant offering in our churches instead of wafting it around!

"Conveying Spiritual Truths"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2021

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