What happens when unfavorable laws toward the preaching of the gospel begin to be legislated? The fear and intimidation factor increases. It then becomes easier to keep silent or to compromise our message. Scripture commands us to obey the laws of the land, but not when they are contrary to the laws of God. The principle is that we always submit to the higher law. “Preaching the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15) is the higher law.
Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs, who suffered much for the gospel, once asked why, when the Supreme Court passed the law removing public prayer from our schools, American Christians complied. What would have happened if we just refused to comply and say like Peter and the other apostles, “We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29)?” That ungodly law might have been reversed immediately. Or at the least, the Church would’ve proven by her obedience to be a force to be reckoned with. By not taking action and being silent we emboldened the devil, and allowed darkness to move in and increase.
This is how the devil moved into North Africa. First, the Church became divided over doctrine and gradually grew spiritually cold. Then things began to decline from there…they stopped praying, they stopped evangelizing, they became ashamed of the gospel and kept it in a closet, public preaching decreased, and eventually became non-existent. And then Satan pounced on the opportunity, and increased his efforts to make the preaching of the gospel illegal.
In the process of time new laws were passed by anti-Christ governments that restricted the Christian witness. Principalities and powers began to rule the land. Today in that region you can feel the fear and oppression that Islam has produced. Now the only way to advance the gospel in much of that region is to work ‘underground’ or pay the ultimate price of martyrdom.
When the early Church and the apostles received persecution they kept on preaching. (Acts 4:18-20) (Acts 5:28-29, 40-42). It’s about time we do the same.
Evangelize or die! Every saint is called to be a witness. The honorable task of evangelizing our world does not fall on a chosen few. It is to be a lifestyle. It should not be relegated to a special department in the church. Otherwise, people get the impression that evangelistic work is only for a chosen and tireless few, and it compartmentalizes the purpose of evangelism instead of enlarging it.
Just imagine if every Christ-professing church, evangelical, charismatic/pentecostal, denominational, or otherwise really preached the gospel! What a difference we would see in our own nation and in the nations of the world!
Where is the problem? Why is there so little zeal for evangelism in many of our churches? Why is the harvest so great and the laborers still so few? It is because to most Christians evangelism is a law and a duty. But evangelism is only a law and a duty to those who still own their lives. Until you yield your life to the ownership of Jesus Christ, evangelism will continue to be drudgery to you. People will be a sort of ‘project’ for you to invite to church, and the love, boldness, and compassion of Jesus that breaks the enemy’s back and fuels evangelism will be lacking. Falling in love with Jesus will change all that. If you love Jesus with all your heart you will share Him with your life and with your mouth.
“A burning heart will find for itself a flaming tongue.” Charles Spurgeon
Much of our evangelistic activity can be done in vain if believers are not experiencing the fire of God’s presence that comes from living a submitted life to Jesus.
Here is what all Christians must do: Allow yourself to be broken before the Lord. Don’t just spend time in prayer, but also spend time in surrender. Submit to His Lordship daily (Lk 9:23). At first it will be a battle in your soul, but if you stay with it, every action of your life will soon start becoming an act of worship and every person a target of God’s love. You will be transformed!
The culmination of this transformation in you will be evidenced in your thoughts. You will begin to find yourself thinking about God and thinking about people in the light of His redemption. Your feelings will also change. You will begin to feel God’s heart for people and to pray His desires.
The living Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only hope for our world. As the Church goes, so goes the nation. But the Church is only as powerful as its commitment to pray and live a surrendered life, and be obedient to the great commission. When churches fail to obey the great commission and go public with the gospel you will find the Holy Spirit’s influence gradually being removed. “Evangelize or die” is an urgent word. I believe obedience to this word will revive churches and rescue the perishing multitudes.
This is the second part of an excerpt from our book, The Real Spirit Of Revival.
NOTE: Our books and articles are forerunners to the move of God and personal holiness. The fire of God and the fear of God is attached to them. If you feel like this article is valuable, please use the social media buttons below to share it. Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help?
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