Subtitle: “I’M NOT SUPERMAN”
Subtitlesub: “The Thousand Word Articles”
Why are some people extremely attracted to the good news of the Gospel, and others extremely repelled? And two more questions that in an odd way relate to this. Do we try too hard, and in the wrong way? Have we created too many bells and whistles in our effort of trying too hard in the wrong way?
I hope you all feel sorry for me, because I am a cowboy trying to obey the Holy Spirit in embracing my sheephood. Most of you probably know that cowboys and sheep never really got along too well. I told one reader that the joke is on me! However, let me be quick to say that I am seeing such a new world between God and I that it has become my “delight” and “adventure” to pursue this trail! In other words, I’m loving it!
So…as I am seeing new things…I couldn’t help but notice a certain modus of operandi that Paul practiced!
“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.” (I Cor. 2:1-5 NLT)
Now he goes on to explain that with more mature believers he goes into deeper things, but I’m relating this to our efforts to evangelize. In our own personal efforts to be a witness, do we try too hard in the wrong ways? We can never try too hard in the right ways, such as prayer, worship, study, and walking in God’s anointing, but how about other things we do because we are just so sure that if we answer every question and explain every option, surely, this one will be saved! If we can just be eloquent enough in our speaking! If we can sound smart enough, and come across “cool” enough, then surely some will be saved? Or does it have anything to do with any of that?
It seems plain to me that the Gospel itself is a test. First of all, Jesus revealed in John 6: 43-44, that no matter how hard you try to be Super Witness, (2nd cousin to Superman), no one comes to Jesus unless the Father draws them!
“But Jesus replied, Stop complaining about what I said. For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me…”
So here we are trying to be so impresive, and jumping through every hoop, when Paul said he deliberately tried to avoid impressing them, came to them in weakness, simply presented the Gospel story, and then waited to see who would be “attracted” to it, or not! We can tell the story standing on our head if we think it will help, but if the Father does not draw them, it is for nothing! So how does he do this? How is it decided who is drawn and who is not? The answer seems to lie in the Gospel message itself!
Jesus specifically commanded us to go into the whole world and preach the “Good News” (Gospel) to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved! (Mark 16:15-16) No fancy bells and whistles, simply tell the story of the Christ child who came to pay our price for sin on an old rugged cross, he died, and rose again! While you’re at it you might heal a few folks, cast out demons, and raise the dead! Like I said, we can never try too hard in the “right ways”, but folks, we need to relax and let the Gospel do what it is meant to do, because part of its’ function is to reveal the lovers of darkness!
If you are a born-again Christian today, can you explain why, when you heard the Gospel story, you were drawn to it and believed, but your best friend was not?
I think Paul gives us some answers in the very previous chapter of where we started.
“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” (I Cor. 1:18)
“We who are being saved”?
“So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1: 23-24)
“Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.” (1:21 NLT)
Paul, himself, calls his preaching foolish! And yet! Some of us when we hear it are strongly attracted to it, as silver and gold! Precious in our sight! While the world looks at it and mocks, ridicules, scoffs, and persecutes those who would believe such a stupid thing!
How do they fail to see the beauty of it? How do they fail to see the utter “LOGIC” that no man can save himself, and it only makes sense that a salvation by GRACE would be the only CORRECT answer? How do they not see it? How can they look at a scenic painting on a wall and laugh at you if you suggest it was the accidental result of an explosion in a paint factory, and yet swallow hook, line, and sinker that this whole universal cosmos is a complete freak accident?
CONCLUSION: I have written all this under the subject of embracing our sheephood, because…Paul understood that he did not have to be a Superman to get people saved. There is much more at work in the Gospel message than any mere man can manage. We need to be faithful to pray and “just tell the story”, say it in love, but then let go, and let God.