By: Patricia Charlton
Archaeologists sweep and scrape the sands of time from embedded fossils hoping to discover the missing link between mankind and primates. Every bone fragment or grain of sand is shifted and no detail goes unnoticed. With determination, archaeologists search for the missing link all to no avail. What is that missing link proving their faulty theory about evolution? Only a fossilized remains of a half-human and half-primate solves their problem. Archaeologists seek and demand physical proof.
Just as the archaeologist demand proof of their theory, I leaned back in my office chair pondering the solution to my spiritual thesis. If God is powerful, what is missing from our modern day church? Why is the divorce rate higher in the church than the unsaved society? Why are the unchurched still unreached by our programs and our Sunday morning sermonettes? Why do the church young people nolonger believe in absolute truth? According to worldly standards - at our disposal are all the tools to accomplish our spiritual task. Where is our missing link?
If I begin my search in the third world countries, I catch a glimpse of God power. The Holy Spirit is moving with freedom and power never seen or heard in North America. With little resources, our brothers and sisters in Christ conquer kingdoms and reach their unsaved friends and relatives. The church of Jesus Christ is alive, prospering, and winning souls in large volumes everywhere except North America. I agree with the comments that we have large churches in North America. But, the majority of that growth involves transfers from other churches or children born into church families. If statistics were recorded regarding the number of denominations that consistently win souls to Christ, we should hang our heads in shame. The modern church is only reaching less than one percent of our North American society. Where is our missing link?
North American Christianity understands that flashy, entertaining programs will somehow draw the unchurch to Jesus Christ. Is it working for us? We use dinner theatre, movies, puppet shows, and rock concerts to accomplish the task of going into our world for Jesus Christ. But where is our fruit proving the power of Christ? Show me the souls won by these methods. In the rest of Christianity, they understand the power in one resource.
What is that resource that conquers kingdoms? "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4: 12) Scripture discriminates between our thoughts and ours hearts intentions from the mind and heart of Christ. This is the first step to pointing a soul to Jesus Christ.
Any biblical scholar understands powerful tools. Especially the power from this tool: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (II Timothy 3: 16) Most modern day circumstances fall under the influence of this scripture. Is scripture enough to draw people to Jesus Christ? Several modern day churches use the answer to this question as an excuse to try other methods - like dinner theatre and concerts. They trust worldly wisdom over God's word. If you must use a method to increase your church attendance try this: "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." (II Timothy 4: 2) Our third world brothers and sisters understand this method. It is all they have at their disposal. They also understand this warning about the human heart: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers and they will turn their ears away from the truth." (II Timothy 4: 3, 4)
The main key element used by our third world brothers and sisters to win souls to Jesus Christ is faith. If that is one method, how do you get biblical faith? The answer to this question only produces more intriguing questions. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10: 14) There it is again, that missing link. Preaching scripture under the influence of the Holy Spirit places a person under the influence of this: "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10: 17) If you desire to influence souls for God's kingdom, then preach the word of God.
When was the last time you read or memorized scripture? Our bothers and sisters in other countries devour scripture. For some, they only have one page to memorize. Their spiritual life and death depends on memorizing and copying that one page and passing it on to the next person. Some pastors only have one Bible for several churches. Yet the church flourishes with new life. On my bookshelf are a least three Bibles. At my fingertips is my answer to every situation. Our missing link is scripture. Don't be like a worldly archaeologist and continually search for a faulty missing link to modern day methods of evangelism. Take your dusty Bible of your bookshelf and go digging for your missing link.
Copyright  2007 Patricia Charlton
Devotional writer for EzraWeb and a contributing columnist for Crossmap, Patricia shares her experiences with the power of God to make anyone more than a conqueror. Her passion is Jesus and her venue is writing. Contact Patricia: MastersPen@faithwriters.net
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