Evangelism, Converts, and Bearing Fruit

Apple Orchard

Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together” (John 4:35-36).

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:1-2).

In many different passages, the Bible talks about the importance of bearing fruit. While there are many ways in which we bear fruit as Christians, it is common to connect this to the work of evangelism. This idea can be represented by the following statement:

Evangelism + Conversions = Bearing Fruit

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Hindrances to Evangelism

Invitation

Generally speaking, Christians recognize the importance of evangelism – the practice of taking the gospel to those who are outside of the body of Christ so they have the opportunity to hear it and obey it. Yet what often happens is that there are certain obstacles (real or perceived) that hinder our efforts in this vital work.

In describing the work of evangelism, Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6). His point was that he and Apollos were simply to be engaged in the work and leave the “increase” (KJV) in the hands of God. The reality is that there are certain things that are out of our control – especially when it comes to the interest of those whom we are trying to reach. But Paul was not focused on final results, he was focused on his work – what he could control.

It is tempting to focus so much on results that we are either tempted to compromise the gospel in order to win more “converts” or we get discouraged when we do not see the fruit produced that we hope to see. Like Paul, we simply need to focus on our work. One of the ways we can do this is by trying to see what is hindering our work in evangelism. In this article, I want us to consider five of these potential hindrances and see what we may be able to do to overcome them.Continue Reading

The Blessing of Autonomy

Church building in the trees

One characteristic of the Lord’s church that makes it different from most churches of men is autonomy. Autonomous local churches are not linked together in or through some larger organizational structure.

Why did the Lord design the church to be this way? Obviously, we cannot always know every reason behind instructions that have been given in the Scriptures. Our responsibility is simply to follow the Lord’s instructions whether we understand the reason behind them or not. However, we can look to the Bible to see what has been revealed that would indicate certain blessings of autonomy.Continue Reading

The Real Pharisees (Part 16): The Pharisees Overemphasized Making Converts

The Real Pharisees

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).

One might wonder how it could be possible to overemphasize making converts. After all, one of the principal works that we have been given – both individually and collectively – is to try to turn people to the Lord. The New Testament places a good deal of emphasis on making converts.
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The Fields Are White for Harvest (Season 6, Episode 1)

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The Fields Are White for Harvest (Season 6, Episode 1)

Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” (John 4:35).

Jesus said these words to His disciples as they were in Samaria. He had just spoken to a Samaritan woman at the well outside the city. She returned and told the men of the city about Jesus and they were now coming out to see Him. He said the fields were white for harvest, meaning there was success to be had in preaching the gospel in that place.

In this episode, we are going to consider Jesus’ statement and the circumstances surrounding it. We will do so by asking four questions:

  1. What did Jesus see?
  2. What did the people need?
  3. Are the fields white for harvest today?
  4. What do people need today?

Article: The Fields Are White for Harvest

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How Could the Whole World Have Been Taught?

Globes

In his letter to the church in Colossae, Paul said, “The gospel…was proclaimed in all creation under heaven” (Colossians 1:23). When Jesus gave His apostles the Great Commission, He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Paul indicated that by the time he wrote to the Colossians, this had been done. How is that possible? Let us consider the record in the book of Acts.
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Looking for a New Church

Church Building

The Pew Research Center has recently come out with some new information about how Americans search for a new congregation with which they can worship. The findings were interesting and I believe this information can be helpful as we seek to reach those in the community around us.
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