I have always known we should spread the gospel. Sadly for me that brought bad recollections and fear. Years ago we used to go on weekly visitation with our church. We would present the gospel, ask them if they wanted to be saved, then lead them in a prayer of repentance. For me, it's like if they didn't pray THAT prayer I couldn't be sure if their salvation "took." I hated going and would often pray that no one would be home so I wouldn't have to do it. I'm sure those "good works" went up in flames as they meant little.
I'm afraid because of those experiences I have taken the opposite side of the fence. I didn't do anything. Oh, I would mention God's name every so often, but that was about the extent of my missionary work.
Last night in Life Group we talked about 2 Corinthians 5 again. Now I have been a Christian a long time. However God revealed something totally new and exciting to me through Pastor Paul. He was talking about Christ reconciling the world to himself in Christ. Okay; check, I thought I knew that. Giving us the ministry of reconciliation; check. God doesn't count men's sins against them; right, if you are a believer I thought, sorta check this one. We are Christ's ambassadors; definitely. These next words floored me........
as though God were making his appeal through us.
Christ has already shed His blood for EVERYONE. He has ALREADY reconciled them to Himself. All they need is to realize that and accept it. I'm not sure why I've never exactly seen that. It's like I knew that Christ had died for us all, but I never thought about everyone already being reconciled to Christ. How sad that people can miss salvation, something that's already been done for them, simply because they haven't been told.
I'm still mulling all this over in my mind. I'm not even sure that I'm making sense here with my words. It's so huge. It's so incredible. Salvation is really all about God and I don't have to do anything to get anyone saved. I don't have to say the right words, carry the right pamphlet, come at the right time. All I need to do is let people know that God has already done it all! All they need to do is accept that.
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
I love the way The Message says it:
Say the welcoming word to God - "Jesus is my Master" - embracing, body and soul, God's work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That's it. You're not "doing" anything; you're simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That's salvation.
Once again it has EVERYTHING to do with God and NOTHING to do with me~!