Evangelism or Demonic Entertainment?

Posted: December 14, 2021 in Uncategorized

When my wife finished her second year of Bible School, we discussed selling everything to travel and share the gospel as evangelists. Traveling the world and living out of only suitcases, before the age of twelve, I toured the majority of the U.S and Australia as an entertainer with the Texas Boys Choir. Also, during my childhood, I spent nearly three years on the mission field in Papua New Guinea. So needless to say, traveling was in my blood at a young age. The excitement of a new town or city was addicting. Our travels in entertainment led us to staying overnight at some of the richest hotels in Sydney, near the opera house, and missions brought us to some of the poorest villages in Papua New Guinea.

The idea that we could travel the world and be welcomed by strangers to share the gospel was so intoxicating, it had to be God right? That was our belief at the time. Why would we stay around our local community when the Bible says, “Go into all the world….” I mean those are Jesus’ words and we want to obedient, right? Let’s take a look at the words of Jesus to a man who possibly just received the greatest miracle of all time from Jesus. The man who was set free from demon possession…..

Mark 5:18-20 ESV18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

“Hang on Jesus, are you sure you want this guy going home? That’s where he got into this mess!” Was Jesus really saying, “don’t follow the signs and wonders with me to another land”, even though this guy would be the best billboard for miracles out of all the traveling disciples? Instead Jesus tells him to proclaim in his hometown the works of the Lord. “But……I thought there was no honor for prophets in their hometown?” Why would Jesus ask him to do something without honor? Maybe Jesus knew that the only honor the man needed was from His heavenly Father. What if the once demon possessed man had become a traveling evangelist with Jesus and then the honor of strangers would have been His source of identity? What if Jesus knew that traveling and loving strangers was easier than loving your neighbor and home town family. Religious spirits do not want us to be known relationally and stir up to desire honor from strangers to feel loved but Jesus desires us to be known and be content in every situation with His love, especially our home.

Over the next ten years of our marriage, the Lord began to unravel His heart not just for us but the people He entrusted us with. “Wait a minute, Jesus didn’t have a home and he traveled wherever the Holy Spirit led Him”. This is a true statement, but don’t forget that He spent three years discipling the same twelve men to do greater things than him. Evangelism without compassion and relationship can be demonic entertainment. The Apostle Paul also followed the three year approach of Jesus by building up disciples within the church relationally. Jesus was so known by His disciples relationally, He called them friends. When we have to leave our community to find contentment or leave discipleship that God entrusted us with, it may not be Jesus asking us to get in the boat. It may be our disobedience of desiring honor from strangers and our addiction to entertainment but calling it evangelism.

Comments
  1. ggause says:

    Good point! We are all called to evangelize our family, neighbors, and friends first!

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