The Means for Reaching the Masses
September 13, 2017
We are always looking for good methods of how to deal with things, how to go forward for the Cause and the Kingdom and the Gospel of Jesus Christ: the Cause for Souls. We are always looking for good methods of how to deal with things, how to go forward for the Cause and the Kingdom and the Gospel of Jesus Christ: the Cause for Souls.
The definition of the word means is the way or method of doing something. How do we deal with it? It first appeared in the book of Exodus 34:7. It reads like this: “Keep- ing mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” The Old Testament said there is no means (no methods) by which you can clear the guilty.
Psalm 49:7 says: “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him. . . .”
Then we turn to the New Testament in the book of Matthew 12:31-32. Jesus speaking said: “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Matthew 20:28 (Jesus speaking): “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
In the Gospel of John, chapter 9, begining in verse 1 we read: “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”
And then down a little further, we read in verses 16-25: “Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”
You see, the unbeliever in Jesus or the unbeliever in whatever happened always questioned what means? How did this happen? If it happened on the sabbath it’s not possible! But Jesus has already said Himself: if you had an ox or a sheep fall into a ditch on the sabbath you should get him out! So it is alright to save lives on the sabbath.
You know the Apostle Paul was a Pharisee, and he persecuted believers. The churches and the believers–putting some to death, causing some to blaspheme, but after his conversion he saw things more the way Jesus saw them. As he wrote in the first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 9 beginning in verse 19 he said: “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” Paul did say I use some means, not any means but all means: whatever method, whatever approach.
In Exodus 34:7 the Hebrews word means was a fortification, a contrivance, a plot. In English means is something done by sources (in other words: by all means)!
You know, during the 70’s we began to use a lot of new methods to reach people. We reached them by visiting, by asking the ones who were already coming to go out and invite people to come and give them gifts for motivation. We would give the visitors gifts. If you brought in five visitors, then you would get a special gifts! And, oh, we got criticized! “You’re giving gifts–you’re bribing people to come!” No, no, no! We were using methods and means by which to reach people, to give them the Gospel, because the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Then we started using buses to go into the communities. “Oh, that’s a terrible thing,” they’d say. Then they criticized us for getting in other church’s territories. They weren’t reaching them, but they didn’t want us reaching them! We would drive the buses in there. We had to use different means: not only means to attract them and get them on the bus–we had to use different means in teaching them and giving them the Gospel.
Many of them came by themselves. Their parents didn’t go to church. Their parents didn’t know how to give them the plan of salvation. We would have chocolate milk for them when they got there or something else for breakfast, give them gifts, and gave them the Gospel! We had literally hundreds, and hundreds saved by using that method. The message was exactly the same. The methods were used differently.
Now, in our area, we have mixed congregations. We have different cultures and different races. The race is not a problem, but the cultures are different. That has always been true. When I was growing up, part of the time I was a country boy. When I was a country boy the city boys criticized me. Then, when I became a city boy, the city boys still criticized me because I talked like a country boy!
Anyway. There is always something you have to deal with. You have to deal with behavior. We need some people trained to know how to deal with behavior. Even the public schools are having problems with behavior because now you cannot use corporate punishment and you cannot do any harsh punishment for misbehaving or anything else. It is a sad time when you cannot stand for right, right behavior, right conversation, right speech, or even right modest attire. (Of course everyone has a different interpretation of what modesty is.) However, we have to use different methods, we have to use a different approach. BUT WE ARE AS BOUND TO GIVE THE GOSPEL TO THE NEWCOMERS, THE DIFFERENT RACES, THE DIFFERENT CULTURES, PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, DIFFERENT LANGUAGES AS WE EVER WERE. We are burdened. We are told. The responsibility is ours to give the Gospel to whomever we have the opportunity. Means, methods: the same old story, the same power, same God, same Saviour, same Holy Spirit–just approach it in a little different way. ALWAYS WITH LOVE!!! ALWAYS WITH TRUTH!!! ALWAYS WITH GRACE!!! May we take it seriously!!! He said go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. Now part of the world is coming to us in America.