“Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”–John 12:30–33
Dr. Paul Chappell said,”I read a wonderful story about a missionary to Zimbabwe who was trying diligently to witness to a man who had no interest in the gospel. When the man continued to refuse to listen to the message, the missionary offered to give him a New Testament. The uninterested man replied that he would just use the pages to roll his cigarettes and smoke them. The missionary said, “Well at least promise to read the pages before you smoke them!” The man agreed.
Fifteen years passed before the two men met again, and this time it was at a preaching conference. The once lost man who had declared his intention to smoke the pages of the Bible was now an effective evangelist. In his message, he gave his testimony and told the story of being given a New Testament. “I smoked Matthew and I smoked Mark and I smoked Luke. But when I got to John 3:16, I couldn’t smoke anymore. My life was changed from that moment.”
The power of the message God has given us to take to the world is not found in our ability, our personality, or our charisma. It is found in the story of the crucifixion, for the cross is the measure of God’s amazing love for the world. When we substitute that message with anything else, we are weakening the power of our witness to the lost. Paul reminded the Corinthians of his ministry in their city this way: “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Far to often we act as though everything depends on our ability or personality, the manner in which we deliver God’s Word. The truth is that it is the Word itself that does the work. The gospel is the “power of God unto salvation“. We would do well to remember that what the Bible says is more important than what we say about it!–HDS