Rolling a Large Stone Up a Steep Hill

Rev. Dr. Kevin G. Harney

August, 2018

The work of reaching out to our world is hard. Let’s be honest, although every biblical Christian in the world declares that sharing the message of God’s love is a priority, most of us have a hard time keeping this on the front burner. Keeping our focus off ourselves and on those outside of God’s family is like rolling a large store up a steep hill. This might sound a little fatalistic, but it is true. Few things we do as Jesus’ followers are harder than keeping our hearts revved up for evangelism.

It has been said that vision leaks. When it comes to evangelism, it would seem there is a bigger hole than in most areas. We can be fired up and committed to sharing God’s message of love with others, and a month later, our evangelist prayers and efforts have come to a screeching halt. 

Why is this? If sharing the Good News of Jesus is such a high value for Christians, why do we struggle to fulfill the Great Commission of our Savior? In His final words on this earth, Jesus told His followers, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

 

"Of all that Satan hates, evangelism is at the top of the list. Why is this? Because he desires to take as many people to hell with him as he can. He is more hate-filled and evil than we could ever dream. His desire is the destruction of all creation, and the top on his list is people. He is a roaring lion, prowling around seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)."

 

There are many reasons we struggle to make the shift from us to others. First and foremost is the spiritual reality that all of the forces of hell are thrown against the work of evangelism. There are lots of things the church does that Satan is not all that concerned about, but evangelism is not one of them. Of all that Satan hates, evangelism is at the top of the list. Why is this? Because he desires to take as many people to hell with him as he can. He is more hate-filled and evil than we could ever dream. His desire is the destruction of all creation, and the top on his list is people. He is a roaring lion, prowling around seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Every time a person becomes a follower of Christ, not only does Satan lose someone he had captured in sin but he also gains an enemy who begins to work against him. 

Making the shift from us to them is challenging. But this should not discourage us. We serve a Savior who has broken the power of sin, the threat of death, and the back of Satan. He who is in us really is greater than the Devil, who is at work in this world (1 John 4:4). The challenge of evangelism should drive us to our knees in prayer. It should move us to action. There are some specific shifts we can make to propel us into the world with the good news of salvation.

From Seismic Shifts “Part 6: Shifts That Will Help You Impact Your Community and the World” (Zondervan) by Kevin G. Harney.

Rev. Dr. Kevin Harney is the President and co-founder of Organic Outreach International. Along with founding Organic Outreach International together, Kevin and Sherry have co-authored Organic Disciples, Seven Ways to Grow Spiritually and Naturally Share Jesus, the Organic Outreach Trilogy, and the upcoming book, Organic Prayer. Kevin is the lead pastor of Shoreline Church in Monterey, California.

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