Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kingdom-focused worship and evangelism

Like embassies, our churches should be places where desperate citizens of this world can seek refuge and asylum.

In explaining the advantage of speaking God’s word in the language of the people and not in tongues, Paul writes that if “an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25). 

Here Paul speaks of the power of the spoken word to produce conversion. Notice, the progression: First, “an unbeliever” or one “uninformed” about kingdom things “comes in,” i.e. attends the symposium-style worship. 

Second, a Spirit-empowered utterance is given, which pricks his heart (“he is convinced and convicted by all he hears”). 

Third, his heart is laid open like a book (‘the secrets of his heart are revealed”).
Finally, he prostrates himself (“falling down on his face”) and worships God, declaring, “God is truly among you.”

What could be more dramatic and exciting than this? Is this how unbelievers who visit our churches on any given Sunday respond? Why not? Paul seems to expect things like this to happen in his kingdom-focused churches. When was the last time you saw a sinner on his face, crying out for forgiveness, raising holy hands to the Lord, having experienced a manifestation of God?

{For more on Kingdom-focused worship and evangelism read “Heaven on Earth.” Available in pb/Kindle].

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