Monday, March 12, 2007
The Source Of Hope
If you look closely at many of the stories associated with Christ's earthly ministry, it becomes clear that deliverance occurred in individuals only when the they were so desperate that they came to an end of themselves and were reduced to begging, if you will.Meanwhile, any decent 12-step recovery group starts this way:
We admitted we were powerless over....It's become a cliche hasn't it? Therefore it is easily dismissed, ignoring the fact that cliches become cliches because they contain so much truth.
This particular cliche forces upon us a very real, very serious question. If we endeavor to bring people to a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ, what role is played by helping them recognize their desparation? Also, precisely what desparation is it we seek to convince them of? After all, I am pretty desparate to get another superhero statue, but in the grand scheme of things, so what?
Reflecting, I think it is more than desparate, I think the word we really need is "hopeless." Genuine evangelism occurs not when someone comes to church because of some self-help motivation. No, genuine evangelism occurs when someone is so hopeless that the only hope left is Christ. Anything less is form without substance.
But why, if Christ is the only hope, is He also the last hope? "Well, gee John, such is the nature of sin." TOO EASY! Christ is the the last hope because we do such an awful job of demonstrating the hope He provides.
See here's the thing, if we do not want to do evangelism by telling people how hopeless they really are, then we better present them with a hope that outshines all other possible sources of hope. It's a dilemma isn't it? Either we drive them away in droves by telling them what jerks they are, or we have to take this whole gospel thing very seriously ourselves.
Otherwise we are left hopeless, and lukewarm.
Related Tags: sin, hope, gospel, Christ, desparation, 12 steps