By Price Harris, Shreveport Music Evangelist
One of my friends asked me about both the new “Descriptor” we have now adopted for our convention and also about the debate regarding Calvinism. These are some of my thoughts on both issues.
First of all, as we put this new “Descriptor” in our mission statements and out there for the world to see, let’s be what we say we are. Let’s arm ourselves to tell the story and make “the main thing” in reality the main thing.
As I travel to churches throughout our convention, I am finding more emphasis on style and convenience than in “telling the old, old story.” I pray we will get back to building a personal prayer list of friends and acquaintances who need the Lord, and to a dedicated time of personal evangelism in our schedules.
Regarding the issue of “Calvinism,” I have no problem with the fact that God knows who is to be saved – He just hasn’t told me who they are. Regardless of our theology, let’s be obedient to the commission that is in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and then repeated in Acts 1:8.
I’m more concerned that sometimes I am a “practical Calvinist.” I believe everyone can be saved, but so many times I do not practically make evangelism a priority in my personal prayer time. And I don’t always share the gospel as I go.
Let me invite you to read the following challenge by Dr. Sumner Wemp who served on the staff of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., for many years. Even in his later years Dr. Wemp continues to ring the bell for personal soul-winning.
“‘The harvest is plenteous,’ Matthew 9:37. ‘Preach the gospel to every creature (person),’ Mark 16:15. God said so. Let it start with you and me, become a laborer, a sower, a harvester.
“Pray like Isaiah and say, ‘Here am I send me.’ Sow the seed. Give the gospel. At the very least give them a real gospel-filled tract so they have a chance to be saved and go to heaven instead of hell.
“I gave a lady a tract. She read it, went to bed, got up and read it again. She did this four times and then prayed to receive the Lord Jesus and got really saved. What joy! She said she could hardly wait to call me and tell me she was now saved.
“Don’t forget the Lord Jesus said it and the Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to write it. You and I don’t dare to ignore this command to get the gospel to every person.
“There is a world out there headed to hell and so very few who are giving them the gospel and a chance to go to heaven instead of hell. Do you? Please get good gospel-filled tracts [in order] to graciously give to people who wait on you, come to your door, or [give to them] in their store.
“Fields are white unto harvest. Let us reason together. Don’t fuss and fume at the way the world, with the backing of Satan, is going hog wild to secularize our country and shove God out. They are doing a whale of a job and succeeding at a tremendous rate.
“We have the answer. There are 50 million “born again” Christians in America, the polls show. If each one just won one soul, this year, we would have 100 million born again Christians.
“Then if next year each one won one, we would have 200 million. That would change our country dramatically.
“Can you win one? Is the harvest plenteous? God said it is. There is no excuse why every born again believer cannot win at least one soul unless that believer does not obey God to preach the gospel to every person! Make sense?
“When each of us has to give an account for every deed done in the body, we will wish someone had put the pressure on us to witness a lot more. Make sense?
“Preach the gospel to every creature (person),” Mark 16:15. ‘I pray that . . . [God] may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,’ (Ephesians 3:16).’”