This is a Discussion Board Reply Assignment, Replies to TWO different classmates are a minimum of 250 words each. Reply to Bartley then reply to Amy. Each reply must be at least 250 words. In each reply state what you agree with and what you disagree with. Bartley Nethery DB Forum 2 There is no doubt, evangelism is messy. People, in general, are messy. As someone who works for the public on a daily basis, I can attest to this fact. People see things differently, interpret certain actions or words differently, assume intentions and motives, and react based on unspoken expectations. All these tendencies, found in humans, create difficulty in communication, and evangelism is no exception. This truth makes evangelism messy at times, but it is also the reason that McRaney deals with what the evangelist’s role is. He suggests that believers are to be prepared both spiritually and mentally for evangelism. This process begins “with a willing spirit.” From here, McRaney suggests that believers should be seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit through prayer for the unsaved, as well as prayer for clarity in communication with the unsaved. In this way, spiritual preparation begins to take place. Additionally, McRaney suggests that “Before we can share a witness, we need to understand the message and person of Christ.” This truth speaks for itself. Christians need to understand the gospel in order to share it. Through these simple spiritual and mental steps, the Christian can prepare for the messiness that inevitably shows up in communicating the gospel. There is no greater weapon against it. Prayer and Gospel fluency covers a multitude of messes in sharing one’s faith. I am certain that spiritual warfare was going on leading up to the point of giving my life to Christ. While I am certain of this fact, I cannot specifically point to anything that might have been. You see, I came to know Jesus when I was seven years old. I have a hard time bringing to memory my life prior to that moment, in all honesty. Additionally, I do not believe I would say my salvation experience was a demonstration of messiness in evangelism. I came to know Christ while I sat on my couch watching a Christian puppet show on television. If it was messy prior to that day, I do not recall. I do know that prayer played an important part in my salvation. My parents are both believers, and they had raised us in the Church. On top of that, my parents and grandparents were faithful to pray for myself and my siblings. This took place from the time we were born until each of our salvation. I believe their prayers played a vital role in my salvation. According to McRaney, “…the Holy Spirit is also at work in the life of lost persons to draw them to Himself, reveal the truth, and convict the world regarding the message.” First, the Holy Spirit is drawing the lost person to Himself. After all, Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” (John 6:44 NIV). Furthermore, the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of the gospel to the lost person hearing it. McRaney suggests that the Holy Spirit is the one who reveals God’s existence to lost people first, not the evangelist. This means that the Holy Spirit is at work through natural revelation before the evangelist is ever brought to share the gospel. The Holy Spirit is also convicting of sin and need. Through all of these things, faith develops in the heart of the lost person. Through that faith, the Holy Spirit brings that lost soul from death to life (John 3:6-7), secures the new believer for all of eternity (Ephesians 4:30), and provides the believer with the spiritual resources necessary to live for God. (1 Corinthians 12-14) Recognizing that evangelism is not an attempt on the witness’s part to save anyone, is quite freeing. The witness is simply being faithful to share the gospel. The Holy Spirit is responsible for the result. In this truth, clearly understanding and sharing the gospel out of a humble, obedient heart brings biblical success. This clarity, coupled with humility, can be used by the Holy Spirit to wipe away a multitude of messiness in evangelism. This biblical truth includes issues of misconceptions and misperceptions. Will McRaney, Jr., The Art of Personal Evangelism (Wordsearch Corporation, 2003), 62. Ibid., 64. Ibid, 30.Amy Jeong Discussion Board 2 Many people may view evangelism as one event in someone’s life. One Christian talks to one non-Christians and the non-Christians hears about Jesus for the first time. The non-Christian accepts Jesus at that moment and lives a life following Jesus. Of course, this would be an amazing event, but this does not happen with each person. Evangelism is not a one-time event but a spiritual harvest, and the harvests are not events but a process. The spiritual harvest will require more attempts and elements than just one-time sharing and may need multiple people. Most importantly, God helps the seed to grow in the receivers’ hearts. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, there is no harvest. Will McRaney also refers to evangelism as a harvest and writes, “We plant seeds by loving people toward Jesus with small acts of kindness in the name of Jesus.” When sharing the gospel, it is important to understand that not everyone will accept the gospel every time, so it may get our hands dirty and sweaty. However, “regardless of frustrations, rejection, or spiritual warfare, we must continue to work the fields.” As for my personal conversion experience, I met Jesus at a middle school retreat. I was already attending church at the time, but I did not completely accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. No one personally shared the gospel with me, and I just attended all the youth group events. However, I do know that many people at the church were praying for me and my salvation. Preparation for the retreat also must not have been easy as I attended a very small church, but the adults helped run the retreat for young students like me to meet Jesus. Spiritual warfare is always a part of retreats and students always tend to fight after retreats, but prayer from our pastor and church adults was very helpful to keep us in line. There is still continuous spiritual warfare in my life today, but I have found that prayer always helps to diffuse a situation. With that, it is important to remember that “Persistent, faith-based intercession produces results.” Whether it is the enemy attacking me or the person I am sharing the gospel with, prayer is the best defense towards spiritual warfare and I must continuously pray for both of us. As stated earlier, without God’s involvement, there is no harvest. The Holy Spirit is present in evangelism as “God is involved in evangelism at every point and level. Regeneration/conversion is 100 percent, God. However, He chooses to use various instruments to draw people to Himself.” We are those instruments and “We are to seek to communicate clearly who Jesus is and what He expects, knowing that we are all flawed vessels but usable in God’s hands.” With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must be able to live out the gospel in our lives by obeying God, and we should be able to share the gospel accurately as well with His guidance and leadership. When we do this, we can answer any other questions or address misconceptions/misperceptions regarding the gospel by speaking from personal experience.
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