No option to determine who should hear

Jesus does not give to Christians the option of determining who should hear the message of salvation. The gospel is to be preached to “all creation” or to “every creature” Mk 16.15. We have no way to judge accurately who will accept and who will not. To judge receptivity, or the lack of it, in a person’s heart, before the message is shared, is to put ourselves in God’s place.

Advertisements

The rescue mission of Proverbs

Very interesting perspective on Proverbs and 24.11-12 especially:

Suffice it to say that, in the dramatic context of Proverbs, this verse has a different immediate force. The ones “being taken away to death” and “staggering to slaughter” are the fools and simpletons of the early chapters of the book. Throughout those chapters, the simpleton is depicted as one who blissfully follows the adulteress to the grave (2:18-19; 6:33; 7:22-27; 9:18). Proverbs 7:22 says that the fool follows the woman Folly as “an ox goes to the slaughter.”

In context of the whole book, then, Proverbs 24:11-12 instruct us to rescue fools and simpletons from the folly and simplicity. The idea is close to that of James 5:20: “he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.” The rescue operation in view in Proverbs 24:11-12 is primarily the rescue of foolish sinners from the highway that leads to the grave.

via Biblical Horizons » No. 43: The Dramatic Structure of Proverbs.

Seeking wisdom

“In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching others.”

—Ibn Gabirol, quoted in R.L. Alden, Job, 318

If Jesus is the “Wisdom of God” Lk 11.49, the above quote can direct us well.

The effect of poverty and prosperity upon evangelism

Mike Brooks writes from Bangladesh today in his regular “Field Notes” column over on the Forthright Magazine site, about the effects of poverty and prosperity upon evangelism and missions.

Almost always, the more a country begins to rise out of poverty and desperation into economic prosperity, the more difficult it is to preach the gospel effectively. Within the space of only a decade or two many former third world nations in which congregations grew rapidly have now suddenly shown marked decreases in conversions. It is not coincidence that these same nations have climbed into a more prosperous standard of living.

Mike provides two points on how Christian should respond. His article should provoke some thoughtful consideration.

How to train men without a training school?

train-men-bibleOver on the GoSpeak ministry site, the latest report devotes a few paragraphs to training men to preach. Not much is said about how that was done. Below are a few thoughts on that process.

My title for this post may sound provocative. Or intriguing. Many of our folk think — and I’ve heard it said and read affirmations to the effect — that a successful mission work depends on having (1) a permanent church building, (2) a full-time preacher, and (3) a preacher-training school. Continue reading

Mission math: Twelve plus 72 equals great commission

go-flags

In chapters 9 and 10, Luke records the limited commission of the Twelve and of the 72 others (besides the Twelve). It appears he makes symbolic use of the numbers. The Twelve represent the Jews. Twelve apostles, twelve tribes of Israel. The 72 represent the number of the nations of the world (see Gen 10; cf. NLT Study Bible).

Luke 10 appears near the beginning of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (9.51-19.27), during which he has in view their mission of preaching after his death (W. Kummel, Introdução ao Novo Testamento). Various elements, though not all, seem to look toward fulfillment after the beginning of the church, such as their prayer for more laborers. Continue reading