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Miracle with an ex mormon in the Warehouse!

10 October 2011 2 Comments

Yesterday, I went to the Warehouse to looking for something, and as I entered the door, a man got my attention excitedly.

Hey, you’re the religious guy! he said, eyes aflame with life, and beaming smile.

How are you, I said.

Great. Hey, you spoke to me two weeks ago outside when I was on my break. Do you remember?

Yes, I said. I remember well.(I’d shared the gospel through and my iphone and given him the follow up booklet called “How To Be Sure Of Going To Heaven When You Die”)

Well, he said,  I went home that night, read your little booklet from cover to cover, got down on my knees and said the prayer in the book.

Wow! I said.

And that’s not all, he continued. That little booklet is going around the warehouse and everyone is doing the test in the front of it.

We chatted some more, and to cut a long story short, I am picking him up to take him to church on Sunday. He is a solo father with a nine year old son, and they are both coming.

When we plant the seed with love and grace, the Holy Spirit does the convicting and converting work. The is the New Testament pattern.

Yes, there maybe times when we can sow and harvest in one encounter, and we look for these opportunities (i.e. lead someone to the Lord on the spot immediately after we have given the gospel) but it’s not the norm.  Most people want to go away and think about the gospel message they have just heard.

I am VERY  comfortable about not having to convert everyone I give the gospel to. Why? Because I now know what Jesus taught about how He wins people to Himself.

Yes, there are times when it IS appropriate to harvest on the spot, and we ought to be looking for, praying for, and watching for these opportunities. They are spiritually discerned, case by case.

But the fact remains – most people are not ready to convert on the spot.  By giving them time and space to process the gospel message they have heard, we deliver them straight into the hands of the ever loving Holy Spirit.

We shouldn’t view this ‘non-instant conversion’ as a disappointment. On the contrary, it is a necessary part of the way God saves.  It allows the seed to sink deeply into the soil of the hearer’s heart, and once there, for the Holy Spirit to work His miracles -spark germination and grow the plant.

Just as the miracle of new life takes time in the natural, so likewise in the supernatural. That’s the genius and joy of New Testament evangelism. The parallels between how God grows a seed in the natural and how he grows the seed of the gospel in the supernatural are both striking and numerous.

The central point is this – it’s the Holy Spirit who does the convicting and converting work, working privately and secretly with the person who is processing the message, just as He germinates seed under the ground, out of the view of human eyes.

Central to this process is AUTOMATOS, the Greek word found in Mark 4:26-29. And if you don’t know what that’s all about, come to a DNA change seminar and find out!  The truth about automatos is one of the most liberating in the entire New Testament.

Please pray that this man’s first experience of church this Sunday is positive, the message is relevant, and he gets off to a good start.

Oh, and by the way. He is an ex-Mormon.

P.S If leaders of churches could catch a vision making a priority of mobilising themselves and ALL their people for evangelism (instead of relying only on the ‘stars’ behind the pulpit on Sundays), relentlessly sowing the seed of the gospel into their communities, schools, and work places, their churches would be revolutionised.

How so? Well, if everyone in their church was daily sharing the gospel, and only one seed of the 365 gospel seeds sown by each person each year, their churches would annually double in size.

Going out into the world and proclaiming the gospel, letting the Holy Spirit grow the seed, and then giving us the opportunity to harvest,  is God’s way to grow His Church.

Sadly,  many church leaders are like Peter and the other disciples, wearing themselves and their people out, casting their nets on the wrong side of the boat and catching little or nothing (John 21:6).

Think of all the “wrong side of the boat strategies” most churches are trying to fill their churches?  And how much time and money is being wasted in the process? And how many good hearted, generous, hard working saints are becoming burt out and/or disillusioned on the way?

And all the while the lost are pouring into hell, not having heard the gospel once.

Then there are  a few churches which are not concerned about the left or right side of the boat. That’s because they don’t own one. They gave up fishing long ago. Instead of existing for the non-members, then now only exist for their members. They are therefore no longer a church. They’ve become a club.

Really, it’s tragic.

For churches with boats in the water, as long as our focus is on ‘my church and its growth’ and not on faithfully sowing the seed of the gospel into our communities, we’ll always be disappointed with the size of the catch in our nets.

Paradoxically, when we focus on God’s way – faithfulness to the command to ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel’ (Mark 16:15)  - and not on the filling ‘our’ church, the Lord will fill our nets, just as He filled the net of Peter and His rag tag crew with fish.

More tragic still, when we are unfaithful to Mark 16:15, we grieve Jesus because we are in effect saying ‘Don’t worry about what Jesus says. Our way is better.’

If we grow the Church His way,  the quality of fish (i.e. quality of conversion) will be better (i.e. the soundness of the conversion) than what we are getting now using man’s way, because God’s way always delivers the best when He does the catching!

In the final analysis, it’s  simply as case of man’s way versus God’s way.

Now there’s something to think about….

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  • Lorna Clarke says:

    Awesome blog Julian

    We have really been stirred up since the DNA change conference in Carterton. The word received about doing it ‘Jesus way’ (fishing on the other side of the boat) which you have shared about in this blog has been like a wake up call, a powerful revelation. There are now many seeds being sown in Carterton. We look forward to a harvest and can see God making ready His Church to receive and disciple.

    We need to humble ourselves and confess as a church (I have personally) that ‘we have been doing things our way’ and turn once again; asking for forgiveness; surrendering to ‘the way of our Lord’.

    Then; let us watch and see what the Lord will do as we walk in obedience to Him.

    Great Blog Julian – sound teaching – huge encouragement.

  • admin says:

    You and your team are truly an inspiration Lorna down there in Carterton. Oh that others would follow your example! Keep up the great work. You are building a powerful team that the Lord is going to increasingly use for His glory!

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