if you've read any of my posts before, you probably remember JURGEN MOLTMANN. he's a german theologian who has helped me to love and understand theology. you may remember that i got a chance to MEET HIM and hear him in person this past fall. i just finished reading his book JESUS CHRIST FOR TODAY'S WORLD, and the final couple paragraphs blew me away. i love this guy. so i wanted to share...
"evangelism is an invitation, nothing more than that and nothing less. it is not instruction, and not an attempt at conversion either. it is a plea: 'be reconciled with God!' the people who consciously or unconsciously witness to the gospel, and the people who are commissioned to proclaim it, have no authority except the authority of this plea. it is the authority of the pleading Christ, who carries our sins on the cross and with his outstretched arms invites us: 'come, for all is now ready.' the pleading Christ doesn't force us, and he doesn't threaten 'unless you decide today you'll go to hell.' the pleading Christ begs for his invitation to be accepted. he appeals to the people invited, but the appeal is based on their freedom. in Christ, God reconciled the world with himself, so be reconciled with God! reconciliation is possible. so here too we are told: God is going to create everything anew, so seize the opportunities. they are there already, in yourself and close to yourself. peace is possible. justice is possible. liberation is possible.
"God has made the impossible possible, and we are invited to seize our possibilities for living. participate in the renewal of society and nature! we want to invite people in all civilizations to the new creation of all things. we don't want to expand the sphere of influence of the church...the kingdom of God isn't there for the sake of the church. the church is there for the sake of the kingdom. so ... all the church's own concerns and interests must be subordinated to Jesus' concern for God's kingdom. the church's concern is not the church. it is more than that. the church has to do with God and his future for all men and women. it has to do with the new creation of all things for eternal life."