Times Like These
With all of the Coronavirus separation and social distancing currently occurring, many of you may think that stressing evangelism in “times like these” is peculiar, if not perhaps even pointless. But… might I humbly suggest that it was exactly ‘times like these’ – times when the Lord’s church was scattered and life was even more difficult for His disciples than it is for us today – that God used to get His people to go spread the word like He’d told them to do?
The resurrected Christ had informed His Apostles that they would be His witnesses throughout all the known world (Lk. 24:46-48; Acts 1:1-8). However, they apparently had other ideas and remained in Jerusalem. It took a drasticlife and death situation – apersecution whichscattered the church, to finally get both the members,as well as the Apostles, to go everywhere preaching the words He’d told them to do(See Acts 8; and 11:19-26).
Some may additionally wonder how we can possibly effectively evangelize while practicing social distancing and/or observing shelter in place orders. But the fact is that the very same technology that allows so many of us to learn from home, work from home, and worship from home, can also be used to just as effectively evangelize from home, by utilizing social media, church websites, and online Bible studies and the like.
Today, let’s consider a few reasons why right now – exactly in ‘times like these’ – that we just might have the best chance we’ve ever had,of reaching people with the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!
1 – People are the most reachable when they feel the most vulnerable; when they feel the most fearful, hopeless, helpless and powerless; when they are forced to really stop and consider the incredible swiftness and fragility of their own human life.
2 – Most people have far more free time than they’ve had in a long time. With no school, sporting, or other such social events occurring; with movie theaters, shopping malls, and other recreational and dining facilities closed to the public; and with so many people seeking to escape their current isolation and boredom through internet learning and virtual reality activities, what better time to engage someone in an on-line discussion or Bible study about the life and hope that you have in Jesus?
3 – Thirdly and lastly, folks shouldn’t be so prone to turning down your invitation to have them study or worship with you because they might be intimidated at the idea of walking into a new church building full of total strangers; they can watch worship and attend Bible studies with you online – both of you at the same time, but only from the comfort of your own homes. Neither will they be able to turn down your invitation due to attending “their church” or because they are “too busy” at that time, because most of these services, once conducted and posted online, can be watched anytime, 24/7.
The fact is, that we currently have the personal capability to reach far beyond our homes, church building walls, and local communities with the gospel message. It has never been easier – nor might we have ever had a greater chance of success – to effectively evangelize our friends, and neighbors,and even complete and total strangers, than we do right now during our current crisis, “in times like these.”
We know that God causes all things (and that includes the worst of things … like the Coronavirus) – to work together for good, according to Romans 8:28. Perhaps the good to come out of this is the doors He has opened for the more effective spread of the gospel (1 Cor. 16:9; Col. 4:2-6). If so, then it is you and I who must get going(Ex. 14:15). For, “who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for [just] such a time as this?” (Est. 4:14).