Inviting the Lost to Church

by John Yoder on May 14, 2014

Over the past few weeks, I have encouraged you to invite the lost to church in order to hear the preaching of the gospel.  This was one of the applications from Mark 2:1-12, where Jesus exercised His authority to forgive sins in the context of “speaking the word to them” (i.e. “preaching the gospel of God” (1:14-15)).  And it was one of the inferences drawn from Mark 2:13-17 where Levi invited his friends to meet Jesus and hear His words.  So inviting unbelievers to the worship of the church is part of our responsibility to promote the gospel.

This is further explained by Pastor Tom Chantry in a series of blog posts from 2009.  In the first, he answers the question of responsibility for evangelism by pointing out that “churches made up of committed believers are called to bear witness to Christ in the world.”  Then, over the next three posts, he shows how the church is to witness.  He begins with worship, the main corporate function of the church, and writes, “True worship is oriented on God, but is a blessing to believers and unbelievers alike.”  After this, he describes how the worship service is a blessing to unbelievers through the preaching of the gospel from Rom. 10:13-15.

Finally, Pastor Chantry concludes, “Individual Christians should be prepared to speak of the grace of Christ. They should adorn it with godly lives. They should give their friends and family a reason, both in their character and in their witness, to investigate the gospel further. But they should also be willing and ready to invite the lost to church. That is the right place to investigate the glorious news of Jesus Christ. Will the lost be offended by the imperfections of the church? Perhaps they will, but that is no reason to fail to bring them to the place where the gospel of Christ is proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit…By all means invite the lost to church. Make them welcome there. That is where they need to be.”

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