Sunday, August 23, 2015

Psalm 48 Reveals The Secret Keys To Evangelism!

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised In the city of our God, In His holy mountain. 2 Beautiful in elevation, The joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, The city of the great King. 3 God is in her palaces; He is known as her refuge. 4 For behold, the kings assembled, They passed by together. 5 They saw it, and so they marveled; They were troubled, they hastened away. 6 Fear took hold of them there, And pain, as of a woman in birth pangs, 7 As when You break the ships of Tarshish With an east wind. 8 As we have heard, So we have seen In the city of the Lord of hosts, In the city of our God: God will establish it forever. Selah 9 We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness, In the midst of Your temple. 10 According to Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness. 11 Let Mount Zion rejoice, Let the daughters of Judah be glad, Because of Your judgments. 12 Walk about Zion, And go all around her. Count her towers; 13 Mark well her bulwarks; Consider her palaces; That you may tell it to the generation following. 14 For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide Even to death.”

The author and date of of this Psalm are unknown. But the purpose of this Psalm is to praise Jehovah, to praise Mt. Zion (Jerusalem), and to praise the holy temple where worship takes place in the presence of the living God.

In the Old Testament Israel was seen as the wife of Jehovah. Israel has been an unfaithful wife an has broken her covenant with God. As a result of Israel’s disobedience God has turned Himself away from her. Forsaking Israel God is now working among the gentiles as was prophesied in Hosea, “…And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; then I will say to those who were not my people, ’you are my people.’ and they shall say, ‘You are my God.’”  Hosea 2:23.

Psalm 48 gives us the real reason why so many people today have not considered Christianity as a possible choice for their worldview. This Psalm is about the church and the glory of the church. This Psalm was written about Jerusalem. But Jerusalem is a type or picture of the gospel church and the kingdom of God. John Gill, Spurgeon’s predecessor, said about this Psalm, “The Ancient Jewish church considered this a Messianic Psalm that referred to the Messiah and to the glory of His church.”

When people understand the beauty of Christ and the glory of His gospel as it is displayed in His church they will be drawn to Christ. This Psalm reveals the glory and the wonders of Christ and His church. Christ and His church serve as a powerful motivation to stir our hearts to evangelism. We know that evangelism is very important. The last command Christ gave to His church was to evangelize the world. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15.

C. S. Lewis said:

The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christ’s. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons…are simply a waste of time.”

C. H. Spurgeon said:

“I remember, when I have preached at different times…that my whole soul has agonized over men, every nerve of my body has been strained and I could have wept my very being out of my eyes…in a flood of tears, if I could but win souls.”

I have often wondered why everyone does not become a follower of Christ. When I consider the  glorious nature of our Savior, the wonders of His redeeming love, the beauty of the doctrines of salvation, and the glory of God that resides in the Church I am completely baffled as to why people do not come to the church in droves and why so many all over the earth embrace false religions. I am also surprised by the fact that so many professing Christians rarely if ever witness for Christ.

The questions I am struggling with are:

  1. “Why do people convert to false religions?” or “Why don’t people take Christianity seriously?” 
  2. “Why do so many professing Christians fail to witness?”

We know that the Bible itself teaches us that there are reasons why people reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are spiritual reasons and there are human reasons:

Spiritual Reasons that men reject Christ and do not consider Christianity as a worldview:

  1. Men are spiritually dead and cannot come to Christ apart from the sovereign work of God’s grace. Eph. 2:1, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
  2. Men are spiritually ignorant and cannot understand the things of God apart from God’s grace in revealing Himself to them. I Cor. 2:14, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
  3. Men are spiritually blind. The god of this world—Satan, is active in deceiving and blinding the eyes of those who do not believe. II Corinthians 4:6, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
  4. But there is another reason. Many people have never heard of the beauty of Christ, the glory of His church, or of His great salvation. 
Human Reasons that men reject Christ and do not consider Christianity as a worldview:

  1. We have dumbed down the church so much that we have removed the mystery and the beauty out of our faith.
  2. We have made our worship so shallow, silly and trite that the world takes little note of it any more.
  3. We have lost the power of God and have tried to build the church with clever innovations that have not had any impact on the culture.
  4. We have not been faithful to tell to the generations coming behind us of the great things that God has done.
Why is Mormonism the fastest growing religion in North America?

Why are so many movie stars, athletes, and famous people converting to Islam?

Why are so many people today fascinated by the Eastern religions?

Why are so many people today not even giving the Christian faith any consideration at all?

As I said at the beginning of this that there are spiritual reasons and human reasons. Let me suggest a few other reasons:

We have not taken people by the hand and walked them about Zion.

We have not pointed out the glories of the Church.

We have not preached the precious doctrines of the gospel which is God’s gift to the church

We have not exalted the Lord Jesus Christ who is the husband to the church.

We have not shown people the glory of the church in her relationship to Christ.

We have dumbed down the teachings and the worship of the church so as to make her silly, and irrelevant to serious thinking people.

We have not nourished the souls of those who sit under our ministries.

There are many who are not living a life that draws attention to the Christian faith.

There are so many in the church who do not witness and share their faith with others. Have they ever had someone to walk them around the church and point out it's beauty and it's glory?

“Walk about Zion, And go all around her. Count her towers; 13 Mark well her bulwarks; Consider her palaces; That you may tell it to the generation following.”

What religion compares to Christianity? Hinduism? They have no proof of reincarnation and besides it is a terrible and horrible message (an endless cycle of death and rebirth)  Buddhism? It is an empty shell that has no  hope for the sinner. Islam? They have no  gospel. Mormonism? Judaism? They have no temple and no sacrifice. But oh the glory of the church of Jesus Christ! It is in the church that we find the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are we a witnessing church? Do we have a clear vision of the glory and the wonders of Jesus Christ and His gospel? Where  do we find these things? In His church!

May the Lord enable all of us to focus on the things that matter most in our lives. May we exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and proclaim the greatness of the Lord to all we meet.