Preaching the Covenant
Author: Andy Robbins
This past Sunday my older brother, Gary, visited Blessed Life Fellowship. Gary is 55, and has lived most of his life avoiding church and disliking most of what he has seen from Christianity American-style. His impression of Christianity all his life has been that God was a tight-fisted tyrant who only wanted to judge him and condemn him for his sins. And Gary ran from that god, as anyone would.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Gary at length about what God is really like, that God wants to bless him and give him hope and a good future (Jeremiah 29:11). Apparently he had never heard anything like that! And it excited him. Like many people, if there’s anything Gary needs right now it’s hope. Because of circumstances in his life that were brought about both by his own bad choices and also because of things outside his control, Gary has lived without much peace or fulfillment in his life for many years now. He was ready to hear about hope.
So he decided he would come to church to hear more. In the context of my sermon, I taught more on the Covenant and how we get to exchange ourselves for all that God has to offer. And then over lunch I asked him if he was ready to walk in covenant with God, and he instantly answered yes.
It’s amazing how easy evangelism can be sometimes when we teach people about the benefits of covenant.
Some may say that this is an illegitimate way to evangelize because it causes people to approach God for selfish reasons. But I must ask, how does anyone come to Christ? Don’t we call come for selfish reasons? We want to avoid hell and go to heaven — that’s the bottom line. Why is it any more selfish to come to God in order to receive the benefits that He is already offering?
The fact is, when I cornered Gary about counting the cost and let him know that following Christ often means persecution and self-denial, he was still on board. Why? Well, here’s his little brother who he’s known all his life explaining to him how God has radically changed my life. And he knows that first hand. He’s been there and watched me through the years when I was, in his words, “a sorry S.O.B.” And I was. But he has also seen a dramatic transformation take place before his eyes, and has stood by and watched as God caused my life to blossom, flourish, and prosper more than any of our other five siblings. He knew that only God could bring this about. And he wanted to be a part of it.
One of the reasons it’s so important for you and me to walk in covenant with God and learn how to tap into His covenant blessings is because of the other lives that it effects. People are looking for hope, and sometimes it’s hard to find it in the world these days. God wants to bless you in order to establish His covenant in the earth (Deut. 8:18), which partly means that He is going to use you to make HImself look good in the earth.
So you enjoying the covenant blessings of God will help people find God and enter the Kingdom! And that’s exactly what it’s done for my brother, Gary. Praise God!