Evangelism. Sharing the Gospel. Hastening the coming of Christ. Fulfilling the Great Commission. As Christians, and specifically as Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we take this very seriously. I am in the middle of preaching a series of meetings meant to share Jesus through Bible prophecy. Last week I turned in the 2016 evangelism plans to the conference for each one of my churches. I read articles and emails and books that give the latest evangelistic strategies and the best ways to reach the community. I lay awake at night as ideas and strategies tumble through my mind (most of which don't sound nearly as good in the morning). And as I do all of this, that verse in Acts keeps popping into my head as if to mock me, the verse that says the apostles had turned the whole world upside down with their preaching (Acts 17:6). And then we have Paul's words saying that every creature under heaven had heard the gospel (Colossians 1:23). How did they do it?

Paul had an interesting experience when he visited Athens. He spoke from Mars Hill, quoted famous poets, and matched wit with wit. But the best response he got was an interest in hearing him again sometime. Just a little discouraged, Paul then made his way to Corinth, where he completely changed his strategy. Writing to them later, he said, "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:1, 2). I firmly believe that we need to be culturally relevant and do our best to connect with the world around us, but the cross of Jesus Christ will always be the only thing that will bring success in reaching people. If we forget the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus, it won't matter how many ideas we strategize or how many plans we implement, nothing will bring success.

Learning to know nothing but Jesus,

Pastor Sutherland

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