The Second Reformation

During this morning reading from R. Dwight Hill, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.

“The first Reformation put the Bible in the hands of laymen; the second reformation will place the ministry in the hands of laymen.” – John R. Stott

Ever wonder why we are so sluggish in reaching the world for Christ? If so, consider this:

A few years ago I was attending a conference of Christian leaders when a businessman stood up and asked, “How many of you came to Christ through a ‘full-time’ Christian worker?” Out of the 5,000 delegates, (98% of whom were “full-time” Christian workers) about 50 people stood up.

He then asked, “How many of you came to Christ through a layperson?” The rest stood up.

Historian K. S. Latourette observes that throughout the history of the church, whenever the Word of God was put into the hands of laymen, the Gospel tended to spread like a prairie fire. When, the Word of God remained in the hands of the clergy, evangelism ground to a near halt.

It is significant to note that Jesus’ primary approach to world evangelization was to selectively invest His life in 12 laymen for three years. When He had completed His task of discipling, He then commissioned them to go out and repeat the process. The command, of course, applies to all of us:

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you… “(Matthew 28:19-20a)

They obeyed, and that next generation of believers “turned the world upside down.” (Acts 17:6)

So, which method, do you think would prove more effective in impacting the world with the Gospel?

  1. Imagine 20 Billy Grahams daily reaching 20,000 people for Christ, or

(2) One layperson discipling another for a year, after which the two of them would split off and each disciple another, etc.

The answer: In 30 years the Graham method would reach 2.9 billion people with the Gospel, while the one-to-one approach would reach 8.5 billion.

QUESTION: So, tell me, are you, as a lay person taking Christ’s “Great Commission” seriously by investing your life in others with a view toward their salvation and/or spiritual maturity? If not, what explanation do you plan to give your Heavenly Father the day you face Him in eternity?

Determination

Many young people have to leave home either for study, or work, or military life. For many it is a challenging time in their life, many new pressures are building up on their shoulders. History offers an interesting example of a young man that was force away from home. His own country lost a war and the enemy tactic was to expatriate young promising people to the enemy territory. This young man name was Daniel. We can learn some important lessons on how to survive in anew surrounding. Like many of today cities Babylon was a very wicked place to live. We can read in the Bible that Daniel determine in his heart what not to do. Away from Daniel familiar network into a new one came with many new temptations. Here is how Daniel manages the situation. He “determine” not to compromise with he knew to be evil.

Some year ago I read the life story of R. G. LeTourneau. I was moved to make a few resolutions. The author A.W. Tozer summarized well my stand. “Tie up the loose ends of your life. Begin to tithe; institute family prayer; pay up your debts as far as possible and make some kind of frank arrangement with every creditor you cannot pay immediately; make restitution as far as you can; set aside time to pray and search the Scriptures; surrender wholly to the will of God. You will be surprised and delighted with the results.” Inspire by LeTourneau example, I decide to give God the ‘first place’ with my time and money. Reading God’s Word became a top priority each morning. I also realize that God did answer prayers. I avoided like pest going into debt. I can say that life was never the same since.

Like Daniel, LeTourneau’s life had a very positive testimony after taking a stand for God. LeTourneau was a known as “God’s businessman”. You could read more about LeTourneau. [1]