x199........The "haphazard " Method of getting people saved.
We learn a and understand some very "advanced" Christian concepts in our churches today. We function under the guidance of the Holy Spirit--we utilize the gifts of the Spirit--we understand sowing and reaping--we comb the word of God in order to receive and understand what our blessings are--we study intensely the covenant and understand our convenant rights as believers. these are all great things---but they will make Christianity into a "self-help" organization!
However, when it comes to preaching the Gospel--when it comes to leading people to Jesus we utilize what I would call the "haphazard" method of getting people saved.
The way the most of us believe we will gain souls for God's kingdom, is by accidentally running into unsaved people. That the Lord will "lead someone" to us--and we will help them understand the Gospel and accept Jesus as Savior. This is the way that we (at least most of us) are attempting to build the kingdom of God. this is the way we are "equipped" by most of our churches to witness the Gospel--an accidental method.
Is this method biblical?--Yes it is slightly--that's why it does work--to the degree that it does work--! (It's sort of like turning a water nozzle on so that just a trickle comes out--when you could open it up all the way and release all the water)
26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:26-39, KJV).
Here we see the story of Philip the evangelist. He was an "evangelist" one who bears the Good News of salvation everywhere he goes. He taught groups of people--but he also was lead of the Spirit to lead an individual person to the Lord--the Ethiopian eunuch. Now, this clearly validates this concept of leading people to Jesus. It clearly relates that in the Bible church, individuals were lead of the Spirit to lead other individuals into the kingdom of God.
However, this is the one example of this type of salvation. Much more often, the Bible show apostles--groups of Chrstians--working together--being "numbered" together. Working together and staying together--to be familiar with one another--to be familiar with one another's anointing--to be authorized by leadership (Jesus the "pastor--shepherd") to go out in the world and preach the Good News---but very importantly --being given equal authority with one another--operating on a common level as brothers and sisters in the Lord--operatin in Jesus' name--in Jesus' purposes--to bring in the souls of the lost.
1 ¶ And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these..... (Matthew 10:1-2)
Jesus was not afraid to give His authority away to His followers. He gave them the authority over the spirits in the world--but definitely not authority one over another within their church--
25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28)
24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. (Luke 22:24-27)
Jesus--speaking to His followers--to His "church"--as a pastor--as a shepherd--was very interested in giving His authority--and in fact even greater power--to His followers--
Mr 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Joh 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Jesus' method of bringing in God s kingdom was through aposltes--through apostolic ministry--thorough people working together--knowing one another and one anothers anointings and gifts and using these gifts together to bring in the lost. This was the method of the early church well. The book which follws the Gospels is called Acts of Apostles--not "Acts of Pastors"---right??
Some have taught that the "apostolic age" ended where the Bible ends--(this idea comes to us from people who worshipped the apostles as "super-saints")--the problem witht his idea is then, what is correct church operation? For 1700 years we Christians have ignored and glossed over the apostolic operational plan that jesus worked by and the the church of the Bible examples to us. We've ignored it, for the traditional Roman plan, which puts the old covenant firmly into the new covenant church--the system of "pastoral authority". Our idea of "pastoral authority" is Biblically based upon the old covenant Levitcal priesthood (a delegated-designated "authority" who has the right to do ministry within the temple on the sabbath day--while all others [sheep] sit and watch in inactivity) which the new covenant Bible specifically does away with in the book of Hebrews (as well as by the example of Jesus Hiimself--He not born of the tribe of Levi--not choosing Levites [priests] to operate with Him--disagreeing with the pharisees--the rulers of Israel--as well as casting down the temple--etc.).
The main problem we have is that most of our time, effort and money goes to support this "invisible priesthood" (invisible since it is NOT in the Bible!!) and build a visible building which is really just our own clubhouse--and which operates by a one-day-a-week holy day of obligation--where we sit and try to just "get ourselves blessed". While people all around us in the world are dieing for the healing and deliverance and salvation that only we can give them in the name of Jesus.
Jesus operated by a freely released network.
We insist on building and re-building an empire for one man to rule.