Salvation: Even More Power Than the Ballot
- Wednesday, August 04, 2004
America's simmering pot of politics is set to boil over. From now until election day, we'll hear a lot about "political power." And once again, according to a survey by the Barna Research Group, the "born again constituency" of American adults may emerge as a key voting block in the presidential election.
That power tempts evangelicals to trust in political answers to return America to biblical values. As followers of Jesus Christ, we should know better. America is in trouble because the great majority of its people have yet to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
I thank God for my friend Rep. Steve Largent and other Christians in Washington and for leaders like Dr. James Dobson who are using their freedom as Americans and their influence to uphold righteous standards for the nation, enact common sense policies, and awaken the people's conscience. But without a wave of conversions to Jesus Christ, nothing we do can restore a common commitment to biblical values. America has a heart disorder that only the Gospel can fix.
The top priority for the Church is to proclaim the Good News. Just before He ascended to heaven, Jesus called His followers "witnesses" (Luke 24:48) and sent us in His nameówith all the authority of heaven and earthóon a worldwide mission to make disciples (John 20:21, Matthew 28:18-20).
Want to experience real power? Share the Gospel as often as possible. In the book of Acts, awesome displays of God's power accompanied evangelism. When the Church was born on Pentecost, it kicked off with a massive evangelistic rally that added 3,000 people that day alone.
Acts 2 reveals two truths central to the evangelistic mission of the Church: God indwells His people, who are His instruments to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God is the Savior. It is His Son who died on the cross and His Holy Spirit who convicts of sin, but His plan to build His Church is to use each one of usóadults, youth, even childrenóto be witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Peter and his colleagues in Acts 2 were not highly educated. They were "unschooled, ordinary men" (Acts 4:13). And yet, in sharing the Gospel out of the abundance of their experience with Jesus Christ, they changed the world.
Not every Christian is gifted to be an evangelist, but every Christian is a witness to Jesus and to the Gospel. What's more, many people are practically begging us to tell them what the Lord has done for us.
Following an evangelistic women's luncheon, the wife of a diplomat thanked me for presenting the Gospel. "I've gone to mass almost every Sunday my whole life, but I never felt what happened here today," she said. "Often after mass I would stand outside the church and say to myself, But nothing happened...nothing happened. Today it happened."
Here was a God-fearing woman, searching for years to know God and now for the words to express the joy the moment she invited Christ into her life. She just needed to know how.
Many of the people where you work, many people in your neighborhood, want to know the living God. They're fed up with politics; they're hungry for God. You don't have to be a genius, highly gifted, or trained in theology to show them the way. Just be a witness. Give them the Gospel, "the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).
© Luis Palau
Visit Luis Palau online at www.palau.org/
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