If there is anything that that the majority of Churches in America tend to misunderstand and even abuse, it is God’s evangelistic plan. What is God’s plan to evangelize the World? Speaking very generally, I have found two prominent groups of opinions in most Southern Baptist Churches: The first group falls into the idea that if you are going to be mission minded then all you have to do is give money. They set goals and talk about giving, and then they give and hope other people go. Growing up and speaking with many fellow Southern Baptists, this is how many viewed missions. We seldom knew any missionaries by name or knew where our missionaries were located. The second group understands the necessity of explaining missions as something more than money we give, but it is also what we do. Obviously, we should give of our resources to carry forth the gospel, but we should also GO, as the Scriptures make crystal clear.
So, what does it look like to be about the business of evangelism while also supporting evangelism with our resources? Well, a couple of weeks ago we had a children’s choir from Uganda come in an bless us…as a result, we have some members that are trying to set up a trip to go minister to this school that Bro. Ted Moody serves in such a wonderful way. We have spent MONTHS studying the Doctrine of the Church defining the TRUE Gospel message….making sure that we, as a body understand who we are in Christ, our role and the message we carry forth. Why are we doing this? Because that is the only way evangelism can be done! That’s right…let me be very clear—GOD’S PLAN FOR EVANGELISM IS THE CHURCH! If the church can’t explain the message of the Gospel, they really can’t be considered a church. Furthermore, if they don’t understand how God uses the body to carry forth the Gospel, they will never be able to do evangelism properly. Too often today there is an overwhelming zeal, and an underwhelming knowledge of doctrine.
While many churches head down the wrong path due to doctrinal ignorance, there are several churches that are doing a phenomenal job in all of these arenas! The hottest church right now leading the way is The Church At Brook Hills whose Pastor is David Platt. Bro. Brad Walker will be taking our students through his new book in the coming days. However, while we watch these churches come forth and dedicate themselves to a biblical evangelism (as we at Trinity are striving to do), it is important to not forget that men like Dr. John MacArthur were leading their church in radical missions long before David Platt (or even Chad Everson) were born - I thank God for their stand through the years and their faithfulness to the Gospel message. I am thankful for these men who have a crystal clear understanding of the Gospel as well as what the Church should be leading the way for us to come behind! We must hold firm to a correct Gospel…Everything begins and ends with the Gospel. Then, it is the Church that is called to carry forth the Gospel - it stands to reason that if either of these two is weak, then true missions, in light of Scripture, falls dreadfully short. This is why there is such an emphasis on doctrine at Trinity - because it is consistent with the Word of God. One only needs to look at Ephesians to see the way Paul dealt with this church: he spend the first half of the book explaining their doctrine and the last half explaining their duty in light of the doctrine. The same must be true for us at Trinity, if we are going to correctly carry out the Great Commission we must make sure our message is right, and then we must make sure we understand God’s plan for evangelism…that plan is THE BODY. If the message is being rightly proclaimed through a healthy body that is glorifying Christ, then missions isn’t something we DO but it is something that is produced by health! I thank the Lord for God’s grace in teaching us these great truths, through His Word.