Thursday, July 26, 2007

Evangelism: 7 Possibilities (#2)

The 7 possibilities were delivered to encourage the Jews for Jesus Summer Campaign volunteers last week. They speak into the 7 lies...

The 7 possibilities are built around the story of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8:36-40. The story is a description of then, not a prescription for now. but I seek to draw general things as they come up.

2. God has his own people and calls his own people.

We know that from John 10:14-16. But see it in V27-28:

So he [Philip] started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet.

He is an Ethiopian. And he is a eunuch. He is the most unlikely to accept Jesus as Messiah. And yet he is reading the Isaiah with some level of hunger (we find out later). And Philip has been called to speak to him (v26): Jesus calls his own.

So as you stand at the Subway or in Brooklyn, look at each person and think – Jesus may have this person in mind. As you see the Prophets or the Torah being read... this could be a person Jesus has in mind.

Who are the unlikely people today to accept Jesus as Messiah? Not Ethiopians eunuchs, but the Jewish people -- the very people for whom Isaiah was written!



Benjamin Ady said...

Do you by into the (perhaps) not so gently implied converse statement that god has a "not my people" who he does not call?

Brian McClaren answered a question along these lines from Megan at a conference earlier this year to the effect that actually Romans can be used to argue (to the opposite effect for which some people use it argue) that mabye everybody gets in. For instance this

19Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.

Justin said...

Yes, although I personally think that this is very sneaky of McLaren and others (who've been saying it for millennial, btw).

Re Romans 5: Jesus life and work has an affect way beyond himself, just as Adam's did. In this Second Adam is this global renewal that undoes the power of the sin of the First Adam. etc.

Re McLaren's reading -- of course, to make that case, you have to square it against other scriptures that say that not all are 'his own'. ("Away from me, I never knew you etc" says Jesus.)

So if other texts (even of Paul) suggest that not all are saved, then you have to go back to Romans Chapter 5 and ask:

In what sense is Christ's work 'universally' applied, if all don't get in?

And why does he say "many" and not "all" are "put right"?

Just off the top of my head...