Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Evangelism Redefined

a homeless man sitting in the street
enduring the cold and extreme summer heat
he heard the Gospel, thought his life was once whole
but his salvation was not complete - purity was never his goal

being homeless is not a sin
but he also smoked and drank
and prostitutes were the distraction
that kept his paycheck from the bank

he'd met an evangelist
on the corner one day
who preached the love of God
said Jesus was the only way

he'll come into your life
and freely cleanse you from sin
all the poverty and pain
you'll never feel again

all that you've endured, he said
was only for a season
the Father was pulling you toward Himself
all for a divine reason

wealth is stored up for the saints
now your prosperity is near
just repeat this little prayer
and your life will change right here

so the man visited the evangelist's church
and was treated so well at the start
he became a mascot for the entire congregation
but there was no change in his heart

you see, we're all about God's business
the members began to proclaim
come one, come all into the house of the Lord
just come as you are, in Jesus' name

as the man visited week after week
he gave offerings with expectation
you see, he'd been told it would help him to prosper
and seal his soul's salvation

for two weeks members fed him meals
loaned him suits and fine clothes
but when his offering didn't increase
their attitudes began to fold

a new trophy was brought to church
and the old man put to shame
the new trophy had a fine job
and gave thousands in Jesus' name

so one day after service
the pastor requested a chance to speak
after all we've done for you, he said
still God you will not seek

but I don't know what to do, said the man
I want to draw closer to God
loaned suits, a hot meal and a quick little prayer
seems to be all I ever got

at the beginning, I was treated so kind
I admit my flesh was pleased
but no one here ever taught me
the importance of staying on my knees

they said to me "come as you are"
never mentioned any of my sins
in fact, preacher, you must know
they looked over my faults with a grin

they told me all about grace and love
they said I didn't even have to change
said I could do and have all I wanted
so long as it's in Jesus' name

how dare you blame the saints of God
you're nothing more than an infidel
we gave you what you needed, but you failed
you're the one who has chosen hell

no place to stay, no job and no home
you don't pay any tithes and you're all alone
you're no longer wanted in this church of mine
you've really disgraced our church this time

so just that quickly, he was back in the streets
his clothes are still torn, he has nothing to eat
and now his dispair is worse than before
he's bitter toward the Church, and God he trusts no more

when you see this man on the corner
don't blame him for being so cold
this time, just tell him the truth
by the Holy Spirit, be bold

don't promise that all his troubles
will instantly be washed away
don't feed him lies and false hope
don't give him a formula to pray

explain to him that hell is real
and there's only one way of escape
accept the work of Christ on the cross
and enter through the straight gate

instead of promoting your ministry and church
teach him to seek the Father
show him how to search the Word
by which his faith will stretch further

and should he visit your church congregation
make him part of the fellowship
don't make him a trophy or mascot of hope
and don't judge him because of his hardship

but show him the love of Christ
and how to grow in God
be sincere and teach him truth
that amongst saints, he won't feel odd

don't tell him "come as you are"
but teach holiness, purity of heart
only then, o Body of Christ
can you say you have done your part

what we must always remember
evangelize as the disciples saw
yes God is gracious and merciful
but mercy comes because of the Law

whom He chastises He loves
yes, God will take care of His own
but He's also a just judge
and will punish from His holy throne

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