Leadership

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“The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

We have all been given the same mission that Jesus had.

The Bible says, “God…reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18 NASB).  Passing on to others the same Good News about God’s love that somebody told you is your mission in life.

But God doesn’t expect us to fulfill this mission on our own.  He gives us other Christians to support us.  In fact, we do evangelism as a partnership with the people in our faith family and other churches.  And you can even evangelize with your small group.

God has given us an excellent example of this in Luke 5:17-26.  It’s the story of friends who brought someone to Jesus.  Because they couldn’t find a way to get into the house where Jesus was, right in the middle of everyone and in front of Jesus, they lowered their paraplegic friend through a hole in the roof on a stretcher.  Jesus was impressed by their faith and told the paralyzed man to stand up and walk, and the man immediately did!  The people were amazed.

In this remarkable event, God gives us five principles for partnering with others to reach out to people who don’t know about Jesus and how you can fulfill your God-given mission in the world.

The Principle of Compassion: This small group of friends cared enough for their helpless friend to do something about his pain.  Compassion is not just something you feel; it is love with its working clothes on.

The Principle of Cooperation: Each one of us has been assigned a task in evangelism by the Lord. Paul says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it” (1 Corinthians 3:6 NIV).  It means you don’t have to do everything yourself.  But you must do your part, and the Lord will reward you when you do.

The Principle of Faith: Jesus said that the faith of the paraplegic’s friends had led to this man being healed.  Remember, no one is beyond the reach of God’s amazing love.  God specializes in doing the impossible.  So don’t give up on people for whom you care.  Trust the Lord for what He can do in their lives.

The Principle of Action: The friends put their plan into action.  Because the paralyzed man couldn’t get to Jesus on his own, he needed other people to bring him.  There will be times when you will need to step out in faith.

The Principle of Persistence: Discouragement could have kept his friends from going through the door because of the crowd.  Yet they would not give up.  It showed determination.  Their mindset was, “It doesn’t matter what it takes; we’re going to bring our friend to Jesus.”

One writer wrote, “are you willing to go through the roof for a friend?”  Everyone needs to know about Jesus Christ and trust Him to be their Savior!  Without Jesus, people have no hope in eternity.  The Christian who doesn’t care about unsaved people is saying to the world, “I don’t really care about you.  You can go to Hell.” But the Bible says, “The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  He wants everyone to change their minds from what they thought would get them to Heaven to just placing their faith in Jesus Christ alone to save them!

Don’t get discouraged, and don’t give up.  Keep praying, asking, inviting, and doing what you can to help that person come to faith in Christ.

Telling people that salvation is found through faith alone in Christ is the greatest act of compassion you can do for them.

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Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.