From the teaching An Evangelistic Community Part 3
Over the past 3 weeks we've learned plenty of information about the establishment of the evangelistic community and its functions. This final teaching explains the scriptural examples of how to evangelize. The timing of this teaching is a bit comical to me because over the last few weeks, Jehovah's Witnesses have been coming by my house trying to evangelize me. I've never been evangelized by a person from that denomination (or maybe I should say that I've never gave them the time of day), but I actually let them speak last week just to see what they had to say. Nothing stood out in our conversation that would identify them as a Jehovah's Witness, but I know that if I keep talking with them, it will eventually come out. When I was asked what religion I was, I told them that I didn't identify with any religion and that I actually came out of religion to follow God in the path I believe He established in the Bible and that I was not interested in a religion. What I took away from the interaction was that these individuals were out there facing rejection for what they believe is their truth. Am I not doing what Father is calling me to do because I fear rejection? I have to admit that I am somewhat guilty of this. In some environments I feel more bold than others. In those difficult situations I often feel like I just don't know the best way to do it. Am I feeling like that because I know I'll face rejection in those tough environments so I make the excuse that I lack the direction? Yes and yes. I'm pretty sure in the Jehovah's Witness missionary training they are equipped to deal with rejection and so should we as YeHoVaH's Witnesses. People are going to call us crazy, cult followers, heretics, slam doors in our faces, isolate us, and so on. We have to learn to get over it. I just need to have my ears tuned to Him and not be afraid of rejection if He's leading me to witness. It may not be as dramatic as knocking on my neighbor's door and asking, "Do you know that Jesus' real name is Yehoshua, but we call him Yeshua for short? Can I come in and tell you about Him?" It could be as simple as gently correcting a biblical falsehood that someone is sharing, encouraging someone to seek Father and His Word instead of always relying on their Pastor, or reminding people that there are blessings in obedience to Father's Word. Father will reach people in a variety of different ways and the way He revealed truth to you may not be the way He reveals it to the next person. For example, learning about Church history is what got my attention to come out of religion, but that may not be a pivotal revelation for someone else. Eventually, Church history may become relevant in their understanding of things, but it may not be initially. So we must be open minded to speak for Him they way He wants to use us. The example Juliet gave of the equivalent of the word "evangelize" in the Hebrew Bible was found in the book of Jonah - Qara. The word has a long list of definitions, but they all boil down to calling out to someone. Jonah 3:2 shows us that we too are to go and speak what He bids us, what He tells us. That includes revelations He has given us through His Word and what He continues to reveal to us today.
So if we are part of this Commonwealth of Israel, this evangelistic community, that means that we inherit the promises and blessings of the covenant that is the binding agreement upon which it is built. Through faith in Yeshua as the mediator of the New Covenant (Hebrews 12:24), we have remission of our sins. Now that we know this, it's time to learn how to be a citizen of the Kingdom. He's shown us in His Word and it does take some understanding of how things relate post-Yeshua, but it's there in the Word. Now that we know what we are a part of and how we are to conduct ourselves in His Kingdom, it's time for us to get to work and guess what is number one on that list? You. To effectively evangelize, we must be yielding to His Spirit, allowing Him to live in us. However, we can't be self absorbed with our own wellbeing; using this life to only improve ourselves. We can become so caught up in our own development that we can forget that we are to be helping one another. That's when you know that you are not operating in Father's Spirit, but from the self help section at Barnes and Nobles. Those books want you to be "the best you" while Father wants you to be "the best you" by putting that "best you" to death. There may be parallels, but doing things that feel good and right, may not be from the right place.
Evangelizing doesn't always mean that you are witnessing to unbelievers, but as Juliet pointed out in James 5:16, we need to be confessing to and encouraging one another. Sometimes people want to share different books with you that address certain strongholds and these books may have good information, but what we really need is just to get back to His Word, be reminded of it, and then to DO IT. We have what we need! We know what the Word says, we read Yeshua's testimony, we feel the Almighty whispering to us to do this or that, but we just don't want to do it sometimes. That's something we have to address and the body can help us heal. Ask Father for discernment in who to confide in. So, being an evangelistic community really encompasses so much more than just going about telling people of the good news of Yeshua. It requires that we are always examining ourselves; making sure that we are walking out in love what we proclaim. Living with a heart and hands turned towards the Creator and His ways. Declaring Him to the body of believers and the world. Praying that hearts are receptive so that they bring forth fruit for His Kingdom.
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