Life or No life?
When Lazarus was raised from the dead, how did the people at the grave know he was alive? (I know, I know, tough question!) They saw he had life! The resurrection of Lazarus pictures salvation, as well. It pictures what God does when he gives “spiritual/eternal” life to someone who was dead in trespasses and sins.
Have you ever noticed in some churches, where the church proclaims they have seen 7500 saved, or some other amazing number, that their attendance has not changed one bit? Where are the 7500!? If the resurrection of Lazarus pictures salvation, which it does, what would the people have thought of Jesus if he was like many “soul winners” today? Suppose, after Jesus said, “Lazarus come forth!”, nothing happened. Then Jesus turned to the crowd and proclaimed that Lazarus was alive! They would have said, “I don’t see him!” or, “No one is moving, as far as I can tell, in that grave.” What would Mary and Martha have thought?
The FACT is when Jesus gives life, when God saves a soul, there is LIFE!!!!!! I remember taking a soul winning course as a young Christian. I became very confused during one of the sessions. The session was about how to get your “convert”, (that is all many of these people were: “MY” converts), to church. They stressed going back to the person’s house every week until they finally come. This made no sense to me at all. I did not know much Bible at that time, but I did know when God saved me, no one ever had to beg me to go to church. I had a desire to go. I had a desire to hear preaching. I had a desire to read God’s Word. I truly did not understand why a newly saved person would have to be begged to come to church. Well, the fact is, they don’t. Jesus did not stand outside the grave, begging Lazarus to come out. Nor did Lazarus tell the people, “No, No, please leave my grave clothes on! I like them!”
When a person is saved, God moves in. (Romans 8:9) When a person is saved, God gives life. (Ephesians 2:1) When a person is saved, he is a new creature. (II Cor 5:17) When a person is saved, he desires the Word of God. (I Peter 2:1,2) You can not tell me, based on these scriptures, after a person is saved, his life simply remains the same. I am not saying he will jump out of bed the next day running for the church house. What I am saying, is the scripture clearly teaches us a saved man will begin to desire God. Yes, he might need encouraged, but not begged. Yes, he still has a sin nature, but praise God, he now has a divine nature too.
We do not need to not stop soul winning, but we need to proclaim the gospel in truth. Not allowing numbers to be the emphasis, but truth. Oh, how we need the wisdom and power of God in proclaiming the gospel. Oh, how we need to preach with power (I Cor 2:4,5). How we need to preach “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”