I wholly and unabashedly confess to being the guy at the computer above. It’s not like that is a secret or anything. My wife challenged me to find Sunday worship in the Bible about twelve years ago. After reading the Bible for the first time and not finding it, I had a deep desire to learn more. Internet forums and free electronic bible programs are the tools God used to reach me. Powerful debate where everyone is on a level playing field is what motivated me to do much in-depth research. By a level playing field, I mean without the aura of meeting a Pastor or a scholar in person where it is clear they are in a position of authority. Debate on the internet is absolutely no respecter of persons. Anyone can claim to be anything, so one has to judge the debate on the content of the arguments because the real identities of the participants is very seldom known for sure. So, for about ten years now, I have been the stick figure at the computer in the cartoon above.
Recent events in my life got me to thinking about my path and evangelism. Since the internet was the tool God used to put me where He wants me, I figured I would continue on that path and try to find others the same way. Hence, this website. But is persuasion and knowledge the chief way souls were won for Christ in the New Testament? The answer is: probably not.
Quantifying how many people were persuaded by Jesus’s teaching and the subsequent teaching of the Apostles is not easy to do. What is easy to do is to look at the events that piqued the curiosity of the masses of people who were converted in first century Christianity.Take a look at the story of how Jesus cast the demons called “Legion” played out. Here’s a link to the passage that will open in another window so you don’t lose your place. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%208:26-39&version=NASB
In short, Jesus crosses over to the land of the Gerasenes and encounters a man possessed with a horrible demon. The demon possessed man was very well known since nobody could even get close to him and he lived amongst the tombs. Yeshua casts out the demons and when the people learn about it, they are terrified! Not of the casted out demons but of the man who casted the demons out! That’s amazing. At the end of the story, Jesus tells the newly freed man in his right mind to go and tell everyone what happened to him.
What do we think happened when the Apostles went to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God and of His Son in this area? That’s right, Jesus’ reputation would have preceeded them, paving their way for mass evangelism. The mircaulous casting out of the demon coupled with the cleansed man testifying would have made it easy for the Apostles to start the conversation. “We’re here to teach about Yeshua (Jesus)” proclaims the first century evangelist. “Oh, you mean the guy who casted out the demons from so-and-so?” replies the Gerasene. And the conversation turns into another soul saved.
These miracles and testimonies are rife throughout the New Testament. Now, after the ice was broken with the miracles, knowledgable men had to capitalize on the situation and be ready to testify. However, doesn’t the Bible say we aren’t to worry about testifying, that God will give us our words when we need them? Why yes, yes it does.
Last Sabbath we had a testimony of a healing at our gathering. The member testifying was indeed miraculously healed of an ongoing ailment about a year ago specifically by praying and the laying on of hands. I will testify to this being true and there were quite a few present who will, also. She told the story to my children and she had my children’s complete attention. She was able to connect with the kids because of a real and tangible experience where God healed one of His children. This fifteen minute conversation will likely be with my small children for the rest of their lives. They know someone God healed. Knowing that will make them want to know that God all the more.