Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Twelve Days of Luther - Day 6

Indulgences spread through Germany. While many rejoice in being redeemed through a quick monetary exchange, Luther becomes frustrated and angered. His flock was being deceived. In an effort to uncover the heresy within the papacy and the use of indulgences, Luther writes his 95 Theses and nails them to the Wittenberg Castle door. Little did he know that this work of his would be mass produced and distributed throughout Europe.

As I watched this video, I couldn't help but notice a similarity between indulgences and modern day evangelism. Indulgences provided a quick fix and an easy assurance of redemption. Through successful advertising, many considered themselves free and no longer in need of confession. Does this sound familiar?

The popular evangelism of our day is to come up with catchy ways to share the gospel, or to create the most efficient gospel presentation so that the person on receiving end of that presentation has the best possible chance to be saved. We tell someone, "Say this prayer and you will be free!", or "Sign this card and your sins will be forgiven you!". Doesn't this sound like a quick fix? I am convinced that if someone genuinely repents and believes that they are redeemed, and that this comes by the Spirit of God as a gift given by Christ. I suppose that what I am trying to say is that no amount of advertising, marketing, or fancy techniques will save a person's soul. I'm not even sure that they can persuade a person to repent and believe. Only Christ can regenerate a heart, and only Christ calls and draws His elect. No man can ever improve or add to what Christ does in working out salvation, and yet it seems that we try so hard to have a perfect delivery or well thought out sales pitch.

As a concluding point: Use tracts, use the cross diagram, memorize specific verses, teach outreach in your church, but by all means do not think that any of these things in and of themselves save a person's soul. They can help us to give a 'clear' presentation, but all we can do is plant a seed, water it, and expect that if Christ is at work in that person the seed will grow. The most amazing testimony of Christ is your own joy in the grace and mercy that he has shown you. People are advertised to every day, they don't want to hear us sell Jesus. Herald the true gospel my friends and trust the unwavering faithfulness of Christ!

No comments:

Post a Comment