Conveying Spiritual Truths
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19. Conveying Spiritual Truths

Evangelism Music

Chariot with four horsesA vision was similar to a parable in many ways. It spelled out what would happen to the people in a descriptive form. The Old Testament prophet Zechariah, whose name means "God remembered" in Zechariah 5.1 saw a flying scroll in a vision in BC 520-518 and wrote, "I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll." Behind the picture was a very clear and urgent message for the listener conveyed from 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 hymn, "O for a thousand tongues to sing, My dear Redeemer's praise" or 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 provide 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 masterly 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. Levites were stationed in the Temple with harps and cymbals, priests had trumpets and as the offering began so did the music with all the people singing praise unto God. Yes, music has a very important place in evangelism today!

Evangelist Prophetic Message

Elijah's Chariot of the LordHow the evangelist prophetic message can be transformed by music and worship. The prophetic message is another expected element in evangelism. The prophet Micah (BC 740-670) whose name is derived from the Hebrew for "Who is like God?" spoke out in classic prophetic style to Judah in Micah 1.2 and said, "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 who was the seventh king of Israel, the husband of the wicked Jezebel and 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 was suddenly confronted by 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 both the Christian and the Church. There are certain basic 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 important. 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 be based 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 up ourselves 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 difficult 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 difficult to make sense of it!

Fragrance of Jesus

FrankincenseThe sharing of the fragrance of Jesus' perfume is for the Christian like the waft of a pleasant 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 are 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 communicated 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. Like the apple tree in blossom, its flower petals and colors are enjoyed by those who pass closely by but it should also draw those who are 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 exactly right, but it will be of no avail unless it is put into action. One of the big problems in many denominations including the Anglican church is that we talk too much about evangelism instead of doing it! Jesus' sweet perfume and fragrant offering are too often kept bottled up in our churches instead of being wafted around!

"Conveying Spiritual Truths"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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