I’m concerned about your ministry. You publicly defend the public resurrection and public kingship of Jesus by appealing to public Scriptures and public evidences. You even have the audacity to say that Jesus rose bodily from the dead and that he is rightful king over everything and everyone! That’s arrogant, bigoted, harsh, intolerant, and unbiblical—hardly what one would expect from a follower of Jesus.
Don’t you understand that only God can convert people? No-one comes to know Jesus through arguments: you can’t argue or preach someone into the kingdom of God! Yes, I know that Paul said that “we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” [2 Cor. 10.5] but he didn’t really mean that. Faith is the opposite of reason.
It is possible, mind you, to emotionally manipulate people into the kingdom of God. All you need to do, Apollos, is share your personal testimony, repeat over and over how Jesus has made you happier, and be really nice to other people. Remember, people don’t care about reason any more—we live in a postbronze age.
So don’t waste your time by presenting good reasons for thinking that Jesus is the Christ, calling people to repentance and faith in him, refuting those who raise arguments and speculations against the knowledge of God, and praying that God will open the eyes and heal the minds of your hearers.
Instead, just talk about how you know that Jesus is the Christ personally in your heart, and invite your hearers to consider including Jesus in their own stories.
a Concerned Believer.
Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.
Originally posted on my blog.