If we are running a race, we wouldn’t normally stop until we crossed the line: that’s the aim of running a race. “I’ve started so I’ll finish” as St Paul and Magnus Magnusson on Mastermind said.
In recent years there has been an encouragingly increase in emphasis in churches on community events and social action. These are key to make God’s kingdom more of a reality in people’s lives (Mat 6 v 10), to show God’s love. But many people can – and do- many similar things. The thing that stands us apart the most is Christ. Our aim must always be to tell people about Christ as he is the only one who can make a permanent, eternal difference in people’s lives. Everything else is temporary.
As Romans 10 v 13, 14 says everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved – what a promise. Everyone. But they can only call if they believe, they can only believe if they hear and they can only hear if we tell.
Social action and evangelism are not either/or but both/and. They are two sides of the same coin, two blades of the same scissors. They are both needed for clarity and consistency. This does not mean we will always tell everyone about Jesus. Our actions might be a link in the chain, a seed sown in someone’s life without words. But we should always be ready to make the most of opportunities to give a reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3 v 15).
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