By Blog Roodo
on June 17, 2017 06:06 AM
If the effect of evangelism is measured by the number of converts, who achieved the greatest result from evangelism in the Old Testament? The answer is -- Jonah!
Attention, please! It was not a major prophet like Isaiah or Jeremiah, but the minor prophet Jonah! He reached the whole city, who believed in the Lord and numbered at least a hundred and twenty thousand people according to Jonah 4:11 ("there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left").
Suppose those people who could not tell their right hand from their left refered to infants, Nineveh might have had a population of hundreds of thousand of people, including children and their parents. If those who could not tell their right hand from their left meant "adults who were ignorant as infants", the city had a minimum of one hundred and twenty thousand people. In other words, the converts totalled 120,000 at least, and the number reaches more than a hundred thousand no matter how we measure.
In fact, his "amazing" evangelization ability was even better than that of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus performed a miracle that fed people with five loaves and two fish and said all kinds of things, but his preaching reached only five thousand. The number might total ten or twenty thousand if women and children were included. Moreover, the statistics was based on people who heard his sermon, not converts.
However, Jonah didn't do any sign but proclaimed only one sentence, "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown." (Jonah 3:4) As a result, hundreds of thousands of people believed.
In modern churches where prosperity theology prevails, isn't it the model everyone should follow? 1. One word results in many converts. The number of converted people is super high. Who was greater than Jonah in this aspect in the Bible? The fact is that Jonah was a prophet who disobeyed the command of God and ran away. He was a prophet who refused to preach the Gospel when God ordered him to proclaim the Gospel. He would rather be thrown and drowned in the sea than evangelize in that city.
He was a prophet who only said a word -- who was too lazy to talk more but preached with a word, "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown." Furthermore, whether the content concerning evangelism was still questionable.
However, this kind of prophet attained the biggest evangelistic effect! Greater than the Lord Jesus!
On the contrary, who achieved the least effect? The one next to last was -- Noah. His achievement was a family of eight who believed in the Lord even though he preached for a lifetime (the time may be one hundred and twenty years).
Do you know who was in the last place? Unfortunately, many people ranked last with a score of zero.
Even major prophets brought nobody to believe in God, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. More miserably, those prophets who scored zero were told by God that they would accomplish nothing even though they should proclaim hard.
What kind world is it? Imagine a boss who commands his employees to exert their utmost strength to work hard, but tells them that their outstanding achievements will be zero since nobody will buy their product.
What kind of the boss is he? Should the staff work like a horse in this company? Should they do what is done for nothing?
It would be miserable if we equate the gospel ministry of God with the wrong worldly perspective because we will fail to answer the above questions and be thrown into a state of serious confusion.
We will gain a proper understanding of many phenomena in the Bible when our view is changed from the angle of "numbers determining the result" to God's eyes, which see faithfulness as the result. What is the standard of God, the boss, for his employees? Is it the "number" or "faithfulness"?
If the number is the standard, Jonah will get the highest score for his greatest achievements, while the prophets, including Noah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, will be unpaid for their terrible performance. Nevertheless, Jonah will earn a bad reward if faithfulness is the standard, while the prophets will get high marks and big rewards.Therefore, don't be bewitched by the wrong idea of prosperity theology any more. Prosperity theology contains lots of ideas polluted by secular concepts rather than correct biblical ideas. Coated by the Bible, it is actually a secular idea.
Take the example of evangelism. Guided by prosperity theology, we will try all we can to achieve the largest "number." In that case, various technologies and concepts that disobey the Bible will be tolerated and used as long as they can promote achievements. On the contrary, despite the eagerness to see a rise in the number of converts, we won't use technology and concepts that violate the Bible to pursue numbers growth under the guidance of the faithful concept.
Because we know that God rewards us according to faithfulness, not achievements on the "number," we be really free rather than walk in a wrong way under the bondage of achievement pressure.
May God help us.
Translated by Karen Luo
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