We had a great time last night at church. Had a couple of old friends comes and speak to us at Grace Lutheran about evangelism. Not your typical evangelism workshop pressuring folks into uncomfortable situations but an honest presentation about courageously speaking the Gospel to others. I have long thought that most of what passes for evangelism work today is either misguided intellectual argumentation or emotional guilt trips.
But these two were a refreshing and encouraging change from the norm. Pastor Mark Jasa and Pastor Mark Pierson tag-teamed a presentation that recklessly held to the promises of Christ. Evangelism was not a scheme or a script but the honest application of Law and Gospel to individual lives. Evangelism moved from my own creativity to simply trusting that God would do with his Word what he has promised to do and there isn’t much else I can do about it. The whole time I couldn’t help but think of our Lord’s words in John 20, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” Funny that it comes down once again to proclamation, the speaking of forgiveness from one to another.
Oh, and they shared a great video of Pen Jillette of “Pen and Teller” fame. Pen is a staunch atheist but listen to his reaction after encountering a believer. It is a great reminder that we are called to do the tackling, that is we are free to proclaim the Word of forgiveness: