March 2019 Newsletter - "All Things to All Men" by The Harvesters
The Bible provides us with some fascinating examples of evangelism. Yeshua healed the sick and shared meals with sinners, yet he also corrected religious leaders in their own synagogues. He performed a miracle to feed a large crowd of people and then spoke to them parabolically, knowing that they would all leave, not understanding the teaching. What we can take from these few instances is that evangelism takes on many forms, depending upon the situation. The Apostle Paul said, “I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some.” What a beautiful glimpse into the mindset that we must possess to be effective in our ministry! The doctor must vary the treatment according to the patient’s particular needs. Let’s take a look at some cases cured by the expert physician.
1 Corinthians 9:19-22 tells us, essentially, that Paul would reach people at their level of understanding. To the Jews, he “became as a Jew” when he circumcised Timothy. This was the very same Apostle that said, “if you are circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.” There was also a particular occasion (Acts 21) where he shaved his head and purified himself according to the prescription contained within the letter of the Law. Again, remember that this is the man that rebuked Peter for turning back from what the Lord had shown him to the letter for fear of the Jews. We must perceive the vast wisdom that God showcased through Paul’s actions. Firstly, Peter had come to a level of revelation that he was now accountable to God for. Paul could see that his motivation for separating himself from Gentiles in the presence of the Jews was the fear of man, rather than God. Paul had to handle the Jews differently because of their immature spiritual understanding. The Torah was what they knew to be the revelation of God’s Truth given to the world. He had to come down to their level and show them that he was in agreement with that Truth, even though he knew that it was to be spiritually interpreted. This disarmed any initial objections to his doctrine and accusations of the Apostle being a lawless man. Also, this was a testimony to the Gentiles that the Law of Moses was still important.
Paul was the Apostle sent to the Gentiles and he shared with us his general attitude and methodology here in 1 Corinthians 9:
To those without (outside) law I became as one without law, not that I am without the law of God and lawless toward Him, but that I am [especially keeping] within and committed to the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law.
One such example of this ministry can be seen in Acts 17. Being questioned by the Athenians, he used their own worship of “The Unknown God” as the platform to launch his discourse regarding Yeshua, the God that they did not know yet. Paul was being accused of preaching another God (which he was), yet he chose to use something familiar to them in order to take them deeper.
This month’s short article comes with a challenge to the reader: take some time to learn about what other people believe and seek the Father specifically for wisdom in how to reach people with that belief. It is time for us all, as a Body, to become all things to all men. Proper physicians must not only understand the components of a healthy body, but we also need to know and recognize how disease works in order to treat it. The Early Church was expertly schooled in philosophy as well as other religions for the purpose of converting souls to the Truth. There is wisdom that Father wants to release to every one of us for reaching the harvest. May we all leave behind the gluttonous mentality that is only concerned with studying for our own salvation! Make your priority to seek the Father for what the other lost and dying souls need and trust Him to take care of your own. Here’s one final nugget for you to remember as you fulfil the spiritual law and see the blessing that Father pours out!
1 John 5:14-16
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (This is His will) If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin (false doctrine) which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life (revelation) for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.