If you’re a parent, you know what it’s like to tell your kiddo to do something. For example, I may say to my son, “Jeremy, I’m going to run to the store, but I’m coming back. When I get back, I want you to have made your bed.”
Then when I get back I ask my son, “Did you make your bed?” His response may be something like, “No, Dad, but I picked up my toys.”
“Well, son, picking up your toys is a good thing, but I told you specifically that when I got back I wanted you to have—”
“—I know, Dad, but I drew this cool picture for you while you were gone.”
“That’s a really nice picture, but did you make your bed like I told you to?”
“Well, no, not exactly. I intended to, but I never got around to it…”
You get the picture. It’s not that the other things my child was doing were bad. But he didn’t do what I’d specifically asked him to take care of before I came back.
God’s Given Us a Job
Have you ever wondered if God looks at us the same way? After all, just before Jesus left, He very clearly told us as His followers to “go and make disciples.” He wants us spreading His message and making disciples RIGHT NOW!
How are we doing? And perhaps more to the point, how are you doing?
Do you feel the urgency of evangelism personally? Are you passing that urgency along to your teenagers? The Apostle Paul brings that urgency into focus for us in 2 Corinthians 5:10-11 when he says,
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others…
Urgency that Flows from Responsibility
There should be an urgency to our evangelism efforts that flows from responsibility: Jesus told us to. This kind of urgency often focuses on the consequences that will befall us and others when we fail to live out the call Jesus left for us. Consequences that are uncomfortable and unpopular to talk about in our day and age, but which Scripture unapologetically says will come due at the judgment seat of Christ (Acts 20:24-27). This kind of urgency embraces a view of God that emphasizes His holiness.
Urgency that Flows from Love
But there should also be an urgency to our evangelism efforts that flows from love. This urgency focuses on our relationship with God and with others. Our love for God and our compassion for the lost—both in light of the hell they’re going to and the hell they’re going through—should drive us to share Jesus’ Good News with everyone (Matthew 9:36). This kind of urgency embraces a view of God that emphasizes His love.
So which drives you more? The urgency that flows from responsibility or from love? Is one motivation better than the other? Think about your own preference. This might help you as you tackle this topic with your teens. So give it some thought. In the next energize we’ll be exploring what healthy urgency looks like.