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O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
What happens when you put the "fishers of men" passage in it's rightful context?Well, you fill the nets to their limit. Jesus gets all of the fish...Listen here:Kingdom Family
Young's Literal Translation (YLT)
10 And it hath come to pass, fishers do stand by it, from En-Gedi even unto En-Eglaim; a spreading place of nets they are; according to their own kind is their fish, as the fish of the great sea, very many.
11 Its miry and its marshy places -- they are not healed; to salt they have been given up.
I have always seen this verse in Ezekiel as evangelism. The more I look at it I see the baptist that John the baptist spoke of in Matthew 1:11. Baptism of the HS and Fire. Some get the spirit and some get the fire.
The metaphor of "fishers om men" just took on a new meaning....
I didn't consider that passage until you brought it up. But it does, as you say, include both dimensions of the harvesting of fish, both good and bad.
Evangelism has a context. In that sense, the passage is dealing with evangelism (just as Jesus did) but it was evangelism for a covenant purpose and toward a covenant goal -- i.e. the full establishment of the eternal kingdom.
That's how I see it now. The kingdom is open for any to enter into it. But that is a different kind of situation. I think immigration is a better application than evangelism post-parousia. It's not a huge difference because some of the concepts overlap a bit when the kingdom draws people into its borders.
Pretty interesting. Thanks.
I just want to be clear on your position on this.
Are you saying that evangelism, as a practice, is not really the goal of the kingdom now, post-parousia? Instead, are you saying that since the kingdom is already in place, that (as you say) "immigration" is what is happening. As such, the kingdom "absorbs" all who wish to enter?
If so, then what is the function of members of the kingdom now, if not evangelism?
Or, maybe I am misunderstanding your position...?
Tim most likely has his thoughts on "member functions" and may be different than mine. my 2 cents-- today, in the kingdom there are members that function as Priests and Ambassadors(1 Cor 6). To me, Ambassadors are responsible for evangelism/immigration and priests work within the body taking care of the needs of its members. we all come in together as one in harmony worship to Him (Jesus) who gives eternal life. my 2 cents
Did you listen to the sermon audio? I think I made some application in this regard that gives the transition period its rightful context.
I'm pretty much where Todd is at the moment. I look at various local congregations (however they are organized or operate) as kingdom outposts. In fact, I would look at families and even individuals in the same way, so that whatever is put under our dominion falls under the kingdom reign of God. He rules through the extension of his people because his presence is manifested in them.
Hope that helps.
I don't disagree with you, and in fact I see Jesus' ministry as modeling this exact behavior. He did not go out of His way to find more people in need of healing. He simply ministered to those who were in His path that day.
What I do wonder about is whether a man or woman needs to actively seek out the lost, as in taking evangelistic trips to other continents amongst other peoples. Certainly I cannot judge the calling of the Holy Spirit in any individual and what He may tell them to do. My experience is my own experience between God and me.
Yet I question it because it so often seems that such trips are often "programs" or constructs that are hard and difficult to arrange and execute. First there is the fundraising. Then there is the often short-term nature of such trips. Finally, I wonder about it because I wonder if the fruit is truly there. It can't be argued that a typical mission trip benefits the people in physical ways. As such, it ought to be expected that if Jesus is carried to people who never heard of Him, there would be real, tangible, physical and even spiritual benefits. The soil is always rich wherever nothing has ever been planted before.
But should Christians expect that they are somehow less pleasing to God if they don't go on such trips? I have heard from the pulpit that God EXPECTS us to go out from our own church enclaves and actively evangelize. Your approach SEEMS as though it expects the world to come to the church. I can see that as happening only if the church is so attractive that the world covets what the church offers. Today, most churches are so dysfunctional that it is a rarity for the unconverted to seek it out. And that is why individuals are under the unction to go out and actively seek the lost.
But whether or not this is the main mandate of a healthy church is still my question...
i have friends who have gone on missions trips. they have served the needs of the local people. one friend goes and gets in the trenches and digs wells, other friends are doctors who treat and vaccinate. at night they may have a bible study. i also know many other "mission" trips are no more than a family vacation or youth groups may go to Hatti or some similar place. these tend to be more social in nature and really don't add up to serving the needs of the people.
If a person is digging wells in a small village who desperately needs a new source of clean water---then they may be more open to evangelism/immigration.
I also struggle with most modern mission trips today
Yes, and I have also contributed monetarily to such trips. So it isn't that I don't believe in doing good for others. But, is it really necessary to go to another place when people right next door are in dire need of hearing the gospel?
It used to be that in America, it was almost universally understood that we were supposed to go to the heathen nations and preach the good news to them. Yet, it is now commonplace for those "heathen" nations to come to the US and preach to our own people.
I find that shaming, and a squandering of the riches God bestowed on this nation. As Jesus said, if the people would not declare Jesus, then even the rocks would cry out. God is not without ways to get His message out. Being included in His ways is a privilege, not a burden.
I am still wanting to know, however, Tim's belief about modern-day evangelism and the responsibility of the church in it.
I am with you on this Doug. I sometimes wonder if the "end of the world" and getting ready for a "rapture" has possibly caused the church in America to look unattractive. The believers in America in many ways don't appear any different than anyone else. there are exceptions to this, but a question remains as to why we don't look attractive.
i can see missions out of the country to help with specific needs and projects but it almost seems to me that we have given the reigns of the kingdom to the government and are reaping the consequences....
just a thought,
Agreed. And you know what? As long as the church is occupied with end of the world stuff, we won't spend much time in repairing this world. Not that there is hope in the physical world. That's not the point.
The point is that we want an environment in which the gospel can flourish and people's basic needs are met. Unless their needs are met today, they want nothing to do with promises about what might be tomorrow.
That is escapism pure and simple, and the more we keep putting off the problems today into a far off tomorrow, the more problems we will have today. They don't go away by ignoring them.
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