Christianity Is an Evangelistic Way of Life

A helpful wake-up call for the new year:

There is a necessary place for religious pluralism in this fallen age because true Christianity can only spread without coercion. “My kingdom is not of this world . . . if it were my disciples would fight with the sword.” We must make room for other faiths to have free expression because faith in Christ cannot be forced. But there is no ultimate pluralism. No eternal pluralism—because God is God Almighty, and Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. There are no parallel gods and therefore no parallel faiths. There is one true God and one Lord, Jesus Christ. In the age to come all that have rejected the true God and his Son Jesus Christ will be judged by God and cast out of the kingdom (Matthew 8:12). “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:12).

Therefore Christianity has from the very beginning been an aggressively evangelistic way of life—for the sake of life, and love. Jesus commanded it as his parting passion for the church: “Go and make disciples.” He said just before he ascended into heaven, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8). The early disciples of the Lord had this word burning in their hearts, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). So they took up their cross and laid down their lives to be fruitful and multiply.

The result recorded in the book of Acts is amazing. . . .

From time to time in the life of the church there needs to be a wake up call to some simple and central and basic things. One of these is: Christianity is a converting religion. It is evangelistic. It is persuasive and expansive and missionary. It is not coercive. It does not use the sword, manipulation, or brainwashing. But it does proclaim, and persuade and plead and pray. And where this is not believed and practiced, Christianity ceases to be Christianity and starts to become another religion with another king who no longer says, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply.” When we lose a passion to see people won over to Jesus, we lose Jesus.

Christianity is a soul-winning, out-reaching, mind-persuading, heart-entreating, rescuing, missionary faith, or it is not true Christianity. We need to be reminded of this, because it is almost incredible how listless we can become while calling ourselves Christians. Little by little our whole orientation can become inward. We can go for months and years and not think about those who perish. We become so dull and spiritually callous that we don’t even ask if we believe in hell or lostness or the preciousness of Christ and the power of the cross and the freeness of the gospel and the command of Jesus. We just go about our in-house religious business like a medical clinic that sees fewer and fewer patients and has more and more staff meetings, until there is nothing left but a smooth running program for the doctors and nurses and their families. That is what happens to many churches.

– John Piper (emphasis added). Read more here.

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