“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.” – Paul, the Apostle
This is the Enoshima Observation Tower a.k.a the Enoshima Sea Candle. It is located on the island of Enoshima in Fujisawa, Japan and measures 130 ft. in height. What first caught my attention about this steel lighthouse was its inverted conical shape, which is the opposite of how typical cone-shaped light towers are built. But what inspired me to write this devotion was the fact that it is also used as a telecom tower holding many antennas for mobile phone reception.
Back in 2002 Paul Marcarelli was better known as the “Test Man” for Verizon Wireless. His famous line “Can you hear me now? Good.” was synonymous with having clear and uninterrupted wireless coverage anytime, anywhere.
Nothing can be more frustrating when telecommunicating than having poor reception. Not to mention constant dropped calls in the middle of conversations. Trying to maintain a good communication without a reliable connection and clear reception is not only impossible but to some degree dangerous. It’s like driving on a dark road at night during a heavy blizzard.
As lighthouses for God, we are to shine His light through selfless deeds, but we must also convey the message of the Gospel in a clear and concise manner. In other words, we need to be able not only to connect with people but to communicate the Good News, whether verbally or in writing, in a way that those who have little to no theological background can easily understand. Far too many preachers are either corrupting the message of the cross with personal interpretations (bad reception), diluting it with inspirational speeches (distorting static), or making it difficult to understand by using too many theological terms (overloading data). Consequently, they lose the attention of non-Christian listeners as well as new converts within the first 10 minutes of their sermons (sort of like a dropped call). But not only the clergy, spiritually mature lay people as well tend to speak Christianese when witnessing to their family members and friends. Some use what I call Biblical Morse codes while others just mumble Scriptures out of context. These reception-less messages are detrimental to the spiritual health and growth of the listener. In fact, they can actually make a difference between heaven and hell.
Using theologically infused speeches and literary works may be a practical approach to discipleship and when ministering to other seasoned Christians. Likewise, Christian terminology is only beneficial when fellowshipping with other Christians. However, neither one is recommended when the goal is to reach lost souls for the Christ. I personally feel that biblically hyperarticulated messages confuse rather than clarify the Gospel for the unchurched. For example, most unbelievers will think of “conversion,” “justification,” and “sanctification” very differently than those who have experienced spiritual new birth and have been discipled. As a matter of fact, telling someone that in order to enter heaven they must be “born-again” may produce the same perplexing response as that of Nicodemus. Or, they will most likely interpret it as what most non-religious people already do which is, “becoming a religious nut.”
Many Christians today have no problem mingling with unbelieving friends, family members, or even strangers. What they find quite challenging is establishing a good spiritual conversation, or “reception,” with them. Hence, the many books, videos, and courses on Personal Evangelism. However, even the newly converted soul can effectively communicate the message of salvation by simply sharing what God has done in his/her life personally. There is no need to enhance the Gospel with eloquent words or religious jargons in order to declare its truth and power. The message of the cross is quite simple. Along with our personal testimony, all we need to convey are 4 basic things.
- That we are all born morally and spiritually imperfect (Sin). This sin is what separates us from a holy and perfect God.
- That Jesus came to pay for our sin by dying on the cross (Ransom) so that we could be free from its consequence (eternal death/hell) and enter into a personal relationship with God. (Reconciliation/Atonement)
- That If we repent of our sin and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior we are made right with God. (Justification)
- And that as a result, God promises us eternal life with Him in His kingdom (Salvation) and helps us to live an earthly life separated to love, please, and serve Him (Sanctification).
This can be communicated without using the theological terms in parentheses. But before we even attempt to do so it would behoove us to first pray to God and ask Him for the right words and attitude to witness. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to effectively share the Gospel with others when you use a clear and simple message that is backed up by the only network that supersedes all others. In fact, it is the most reliable communication network in the entire universe. It’s called HSP (Holy Spirit and Prayer). With God’s help, we can achieve excellent Communication with clear Reception.
Prayer: Holy Father in heaven, let your light shine brightly in and through me. That it may be reflected not only in my actions but also in my speech (and writings). Holy Spirit fill me with a greater passion for lost souls and grant me boldness and grace to declare the Good News with the right attitude, motive, and words. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.” -1 Corinthians 2:1
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 1 Timothey 4:3
“For The Spirit of Holiness shall teach you in that hour what it is necessary for you to say.” – Luke 12:12 (ABPE)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Act 1:8 (NLT)
-ALL SCRIPTURE IS QUOTED FROM THE NIV EXCEPT WHERE SPECIFIED.