Featuring Michael Ramsden
Fantastic message on evangelism/apologetics based on 1 Peter 3:15-16. It was very encouraging and provides great insights in helping Christians more clearly communicate God's truth and good news to those in our personal mission fields. Definitely worth your time.
Read Psalm 2 and Romans 1:18-21.
The nations are depicted here as raging against God's rule. Such rebellion still exists in our day as well. Certainly on the individual and personal level, the constitutional nature of each person has not changed since Psalm 2 was written. People are still, in their fallen condition, at enmity with and rebellion against God and his rule in their lives. This human condition presents itself in many, many different ways... perhaps as may different ways as there are people. But it all stems from their sinful, fallen, and broken condition.
It shows up corporately as well. Such "raging" against God's rule and reign is revealed in groups, systems, and even the culture at large, much of which appears to be desiring and pursuing the opposite of what God desires and has commanded.
Wag the Dog
Yet none of this is in ignorance. The nations (and individuals) know what they are doing. This is where Romans 1:18-21 comes in. God has made himself plain (evident) to all so that no one has an excuse. Yet people in their fallen human condition suppress the truth they know about God in unrighteousness.
They neither glorify nor thank God, but instead, their thinking becomes futile and their foolish hearts are darkened. They do not want a belief system that stifles their desires and pursuits. They don't want a worldview and faith that leads to repentance and new life. Thus, their desires and lifestyles wag the dog. They adjust their worldview to fit their desires and how they want to live their lives.
Salt and Light
As a follower of Jesus Christ I am called to be his ambassador, his witness, to precisely these individuals, these systems, this culture. Christ tells me I am salt and light for this very dark and decaying world, for these are people who have been created in the image of God. Ours is a message of reconciliation and reclamation. It's the good news that even in our rebellion against the King of the universe, he makes a way to re-create that image through our redemption in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Our task is to learn how to faithfully bear witness to those in our spheres of influence. Instead of a cookie-cutter approach to evangelism, we need to really listen to, learn about, and get to know our neighbors to discover how their sin, rebellion, and brokenness presents itself. We know what their ultimate need is. We know what (Who) the ultimate answer to their need is. Yet, we want to be able to communicate that good news to them in a way they will understand. We want to win people and not just arguments, without compromising the truth of the Gospel.
The Fellowship of Ailbe
Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
C.S. Lewis Institute
The Gospel Coalition
The Institute on Religion and Democracy
Every Square Inch Ministries
Gene Edward Veith
Center for Cultural Leadership
Church and Culture