| Todd and Beth Graf read Matthew 22:36-40 | Kimberly Stephens sings Go Tell It On A Mountain | Ben shares a meditation on evangelism |
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” [Matthew 22:36-40]
I would like to take a moment to consider an important lesson from the mouth of one who is among those the church is desperately trying to reach.
Penn Gillette of Penn and Teller is not only a talented illusionist, he is also a devout atheist. In a home video titled “A Gift of a Bible”, Gillette tells of a man who approached him after one of his shows and offered him a Bible. The illusionist was impressed by the man’s attitude and had this to say:
“I’ve always said I don’t respect people who don't proselytize... if you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell, or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think ‘well it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward.’.. How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean if I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it and that truck was bearing down on you there’s a certain point where I tackle you, and this is more important than that.”
Heartbreakingly, we have no evidence that Penn has come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ yet. He is headed toward the full penalty of his sins, but there is hope for him. Just as there is hope for friends and family in your life that don’t know Jesus yet.
What do we do?
Get to know God.
The greater your knowledge and understanding of God then
The more naturally you will fulfill the command of Jesus to love God and love your neighbors
The more you will become excited about sharing your faith in a loving, genuine, effective way
The church won’t have to tell you to “go”, the enemy will have to try to hold you back.
Father, create in us a desperate need for more of You. Help us to love You more. Help us to love our neighbors. Help us to share that love, and don’t let the enemy hold us back.