Gospel Paradigms – #2


Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from the Scripture

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Joshua 2.1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there…4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them…8 Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof 9 and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. 11 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. 12 Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign 13 that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” 14 And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the LORD gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”

Sometimes, we encounter the most unlikely people as having some real knowledge of the the way things really are in the Kingdom.

Rahab is such an example.

A pagan. And certainly unaware of God’s dealings with Israel in terms of the vast revelation given to the Jews through Moses thus far. A prostitute to boot. Not exactly one we would assume to be thinking much about eternal verities and God’s working in the affairs of men. And we would be dead wrong. She was one pretty informed lady. Not only had the news traveled to Jericho about God’s deliverance of the Jews, she, believed it. She believed it was God at work. She had no doubt that what she had heard noised abroad was true. So true, she was ready to commit treason. So true, she would seek “salvation” for her family too.

Rahab was sinful with a capital S. Immoral by virtue of profession and lifestyle. Uninitiated. Part of a culture and a society about to be vanquished by God’s decree of condemnation and destruction. But possessed of a heart ready to believe. God had been secretly preparing this woman. This woman of ill-repute, about to be drafted into the nation of Israel, and then set to take her place in the bloodline of Christ Himself.

That street-walker you shielded your eyes from yesterday when you drove through the not-so-nice part of town. Or maybe her Pimp. Perhaps her little illegitimate daughter. Maybe the wino she’ll sip a bottle with later tonight, or the junkie she’ll get high with to escape the emptiness, pain and humiliation after her next customer hits and robs her. Just maybe, any one of these could have a heart being wrought upon right now by that same Holy Spirit. They are ready to believe. They are just waiting for the spies to show up and tell them the Kingdom is about to dawn. To warn them. They don’t even know that yet. But they are so ready.

Here then is a different Gospel paradigm. A different, but very Biblical way of being an evangelist. Being a spy. Seeing yourself as one carrying the news of the coming destruction. Ready to assure those who will believe – that in trusting Christ, they will escape the destruction about to rain down on them. Whispering in the dark that the God who delivered you, is willing to receive all who will forsake the rot of this present age, turn traitor to this world and its values – and live for the Kingdom to come. A spy sent out with the seal of God. Sent out to survey the land and how the overthrow might be accomplished. A spy, plotting the complete vanquishing of all the inhabitants of Jericho hold dear. One living in the reality that your God has promised you, you will inherit the earth. A spy with pity. And compassion. A spy who takes (like their Lord) no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33.11) A spy, with glorious, stupendous, amazing good news. You don’t have to die. No one has to die. Surrender to our God now, and you will live. Not just now – but eternally.

There’s an approach to evangelism that doesn’t get used much.

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