Follow-Up New Believers? WWJD?

What would Jesus do about “follow up” of new converts?  Do you remember WWJD and the wristband phase of the 1990’s?  I didn’t wear the wristband, but like many, I was challenged to ask, “What would Jesus do?” when I needed to make a decision.

Fortunately, we can learn what Jesus did about follow up of new converts by looking in the Bible.

The whole question about what to do with new converts became real to me after I led a new acquaintance to Christ.  The very next day I drove to his home to give him a Bible.  While in his back yard I met his wife and asked her, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life like your husband?” She replied simply, “No.”  But I could tell she was interested, so I led her also to accept Christ as Savior.

Soon—I think it was while I was driving away—I felt a strange impression, “Don’t follow up on this couple.”  Since I’ve always been big on not leaving new converts out in the cold to die, I was shocked and perturbed.   I’ve led the follow-up committee for several crusades.   My teaching at evangelism seminars has been,” You wouldn’t neglect a new-born baby to die of starvation.  Don’t let that happen to a spiritual baby either.”

Was this “no follow-up” impression from God or from my own mind?  I did a Scriptural search to find out.  Reading through the New Testament, I found two instances where Jesus actually met again with a new believer. The first instance is the story in John 5:14 of the man who had been lame for 38 years.  The second is found in John 9:35, where Jesus went to the blind man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  The second instance seems to me to be an intentional attempt to locate and follow up.

Perhaps Jesus did follow-up other new believers, but these are the only two recorded instances that I have identified.  This truth set me free.  Numbers of times I have chosen not to witness knowing I could not follow up with someone because of distance or some other reason.  Now I can freely witness and let the Spirit lead:  With some I will follow up, with others I will do what Jesus did—trust God for the seeds to grow.

What Is the Gospel?

What is the Gospel?

Can you define “gospel” in a sentence or two?

Amazingly, many Christians are unclear about the gospel.  Oh, I knew the Greek word for gospel which is “euangelion” (εὐαγγέλιον) and could translate it accurately into English.  But I was unable to say the gospel clearly in such a way that people understood and experienced its power.   I was a seminary graduate, yet  I was fuzzy about the “good news” until I read a little pamphlet by an unknown author.  The writer pointed me to I Corinthians 15:1-4 where St Paul defines the gospel clearly and succinctly.

“Now I make know to you, brethren, the gospel. . .”

What follows is a clear definition:  Christ died for our sins—Christ was raised from the dead.

Since the definition of the gospel is of high importance verification is added:

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.  Christ was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures.

Still further verification is added:

Christ died for our sins and He was buried.  The burial gives evidence of His death—we don’t generally bury live people!

Christ was raised from the dead and He appeared to Cephas (Peter), the twelve disciples, and more than 500 at one time.

Why is the gospel definition so important?  Because it is the power of God to save (rescue and deliver) people.  I was once expressing my faith to a clerk at a grocery store.  My words were just that—words—until I mentioned, “Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins.  He was raised from the dead” and gave us the free gift of salvation.  The gospel words struck the clerk’s heart.  She responded to the further invitation to receive Jesus Christ then and there.

Let there be no confusion about the gospel–it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.  The gospel strikes hearts and needs to be a part of any clear witness of Jesus Christ.

Evangelism –Who Fights, Who Wins the War?

Evangelism

Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.
–C. T. Studd

The battle rages, but in the context of conflict, the greatest warrior of the New Testament era remarks that it’s not the God of war, but “the God of peace who will soon crush satan beneath your feet.” Romans 16;20

When it comes to evangelism, the battle for souls has been won.  Christ on the cross paid sin’s penalty in full and opened the door to heaven. He defeated the devil and nullified his claims against us. The battle has been won.  Now remember, the God of peace will crush satan under your feet.

I have written some poetry to memorialize this truth.

Jael drove the tent-peg thru ‘ol Sisera’s head;
Samson pushed the pillars—he killed the Baal-worshipers dead;
Jonathon fought the Philistines ‘til they all just fled—
But the God of Peace will soon crush satan ‘neath your feet.

Moses killed the ‘Gyptian, hid him in the sands;
David slew the lion, used his own bare hands.
Ehud freed the people from the evil king’s demands—
But the God of Peace will soon crush satan ‘neath your feet.

God cast the demon-power to the ground–
That Ancient coward who  refused the church to abound;
The day has come—let your invite now resound!
The God of Peace will soon crush satan ‘neath your feet.

Christ crucified with the victorious army at His side
Leads captivity captive—We will not be denied!
Those old demons, guilty as tried–
The God of Peace will soon crush satan ‘neath our feet!

Evangelism –I See a Breakthrough

I experienced a breakthrough in the Spirit regarding evangelism on February 13, 2010, the 27th day of a fast. A demonic power that has been keeping people from the Kingdom of God and His church is removed. He has been a strong, effective power to prevent people from entering the kingdom and the church. Now his slot is empty. He is no longer at the door.

In the place where the demonic power stood, I saw an angel of God urgently ushering people in. People were coming into the Kingdom in one’s, two’s and three’s—a steady flow. The Angel of the Lord is continually urging them in.

Now is the time to invite friends, neighbors, co-workers, relatives—anyone, everyone—to come to Christ the Savior. The door is open for effective outreach.

Confirmation of spiritual revelation is always helpful. I spoke to the Aglow Prayer coordinator for the State of Iowa, Deb Iliff. I asked, “I am seeing a demonic power has been removed. He was formerly keeping people from the Kingdom and the church. Now his slot is empty and an angel of the Lord is urging people in. Do you have any thoughts about this?” She answered, “Just last night I was at a prayer meeting and a nearly identical message was given. Further, some national prayer leaders are saying, ‘This is the year for evangelism!’ There are people you thought would never change, but the light will go on in their heads and they too will come to Christ.”

I have written a poem to capture the time and energize our evangelistic focus.

I see an angel-usher standing at the door;
That demon power-blocker is no more;
Every person you invite, God will speak to him—
So pray, my people; Pray! and invite them in.

Evangelism —The Door is Now Open

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