Newletter June 2019

 

The Facts.  There are around 19,000 residents of Crawford County, Illinois.  To minister to those 19k people, there are 66 churches in our county,       including our own.  Assuming the average church is around 75 people (and I might argue that in our county, it’s much lower), that means that there are 4,950 people who attend church any given week.  Now, there are certainly people who attend our services that are not genuine Christians, and there most certainly are some Christians who for various reasons are not active in a church.  But using those numbers, let’s assume that there are 4,950 Christians in Crawford County, Illinois.  That’s something to praise God for!   The Problem.  There are 14,000+ people who are unchurched and very likely unsaved in our county.  14,000 souls who will one day face the just God who will fairly condemn them to hell,  14,000 individuals, many of who are very good people, who don’t understand that goodness cannot save them from their own sin.  14,000 humans who were made in the image of God and are created to know their Creator.  Even if our church could lead three people to Christ each week (imagine multiple baptisms every single week!), it would take almost 90 years to reach just our county.  And let’s face it, 156 baptisms a year is unrealistic based on our current model of out reach.   The Commission.  The following is not a meaningless exercise.  Look up and read Matthew 28:18-20.  I know, you might have it memorized, but open your Bible and actually read the words.  Ask these questions:

  1. What specifically does Jesus say to do? 

     (hint:  there’s more than one thing)

  1. What promise does Jesus give me for encouragement?
  2. Does this apply specifically to me?
  3. How am I doing at obeying this?

  It’s important that you ask the questions.  And it’s important that you       answer them.  It’s easy to read the Bible, agree with what it says, and not apply it.  Do the exercise again, but read it out loud and answer the questions out loud.  Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of what you’re reading.  How are you doing?   The Hope.  There is a tried and true plan in Scripture to reach the lost world.  It’s not a program or a book study—it’s the Gospel.  The simple  Gospel is enough to reach 14,000 people in our county.  The simple Gospel lead 3,000 people to Christ in one day (Acts 2:41).  The simple Gospel has shut down an entire Hindu temple in a village in India because everyone has accepted Christ.  The simple Gospel was able to save a 10 year old boy, call him into ministry as a teenager, and eventually make him the pastor of First Baptist Church.  The simple Gospel saved your soul.   The Resource.  There is no magic resource to lead people to Christ.  It really is the simple Gospel.  But there is a resource to help you share that simple Gospel with as many people as possible.  And I want to share it with you.  We will be teaching and repeating this     simple resources in the coming months.  We’ll start for the first time on Wednesday, June 19.  But don’t wait until then—pray about how you can share the simple gospel with one of the 14, 000 people in our county who need to hear it.  And make it a priority to obey the commission in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples.  


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