guilt and evangelismIn his article, “Unresolved Guilt in the Church,” Dan Eubanks wrote, “Unresolved guilt can also come from the failure to preach Christ crucified as the payment for our sins.”

As I glanced through the article this line caught my eye, and I misunderstood what he said.

First, what he means is that when from the pulpit Christ crucified is not preached as the payment for sin, and we think that merit for our works is the basis of salvation, we will feel guilt that will forever be unresolved. He’s spot on, and I amen that. This is a needed article.

In my glancing, I took the sentence to mean this, in a nutshell: When a Christian fails to preach Christ he might feel guilty.

And well he should! That guilt will be unresolved until he repents and starts evangelizing. We have many, many disciples who have this guilt, whether or not they feel it, hanging above their heads, for it is a failure to obey the direct commandment of the Lord.

Now Dan wasn’t talking about evangelism. He was talking about our understanding of and response to the free gift of salvation in Christ. We need more of this teaching, and I heartily recommend Dan’s article. (You might want to subscribe to the GA as well.) His point is so valid, among other good ones, that “most congregations do not provide the opportunity or atmosphere for” confession.

It may well be, however, that the two are related. Merit-based works and guilt can immobilize a person. He may tell himself that he must wait until he is better, more spiritual, more dedicated, more obedient, before he begins to evangelize.

The one who knows he is forgiven through the blood of Jesus will get out there, in the midst of a messy life, still in the throes of temptation, still in the process of growth and understanding, and do what he can to share the message.

In both the case of unresolved guilt from a works-based righteousness and the failure to preach Christ crucified, let us repent when needed, confess our lack of understanding or action, and depend upon the salvation of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to rejoice and move forward for the progress of the gospel.

What do you think?

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