Share the Love (But not the Gospel)

I commented on a blog today and received a reply about missionaries.

The lesson that the following family learned before going to the "mission field" was (my words) "share the love, but not the Gospel".

What a difference from Jesus' disciples!
Luke 9:2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

And the early Christians!
Acts 8:4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.

I would submit that a Christian is to serve God, serve the body of Christ, but preach the Gospel to the lost to the lost.

In short, This family was put into the mission field. The father's job is flying planes, delivering medical supplies to a closed country. The family received training in what is and is not appropriate about their "mission". The children that their mission is to interact with other children in a way that reflects the heart of Christ for a people who do not know Him... They weren't called into the mission field to preach but to serve.

My habit (gets me into trouble a lot - with other Christians) is to go to the Bible.

The word "serve" is used 279 times in the NIV. Serve God, serve in the army, serve as a priest are the majority. The people of God are condemned when the serve other gods. In other places the NIV speaks of the people of God serving other people of God. In still other places, the people of God are punished by being taken into captivity to serve other countries.

In the New Testament, the word "serve" is used often:

Romans 1:9
God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son...

Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.

Romans 12:7
If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; (note: this does not tell us to go and serve, but not share the Gospel)

Ephesians 6:7
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, (note: this is instruction to slaves serving their master's)

Philippians 2:22
But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.

Preaching, on the other hand...
Jonah 1:2
"Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me."

Matthew 4:17
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Mark 6:12
They went out and preached that people should repent.

There are many more, I'd suggest that you visit

This is in the context of blogs belonging to Mormons. There are some that say that we are only "stopping to visit", or sharing, or any number of things - but not preaching the Gospel.

I cannot find anywhere that the Bible tells us to "visit", but not preach the Gospel.

But, that's just me looking in the Bible...

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4 thoughts on “Share the Love (But not the Gospel)

  1. First of all I want to say thank you. Thank you, thank you for going to the Scriptures. More of us need to do this and we wouldn't be in the state we are in today.

    Secondly, I need to say that I have not been privy to your particular discussion, however, I know of some of the issue from Marla's blog and from see the "share the love" stuff on other blogs.

    Thirdly, I would also submit that Biblically the word "serve" is linked to worship. If you read the Exodus account God continually tells Pharoah to let His people to go why? so that they may worship/serve Him. Those words are used interchangbly because they are basically the same word. In the context in which you are using it here it is also appropriate because when Jesus summed up the Law He said, "Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor as yourself." We show our love for God by our interactions with our neighbors. These two commandments have to be the filter for the rest of Scripture. Now, lest those who disagree use this for an arguement in their favor...we cannot love our neighbor without loving God. We have to hold up the Truth of the Word to truly love our neighbor. Sometimes that means rebuke and correction and being separate from the world.

    Sorry for the long comment. Your post encouraged me. Keep on keeping on. Hold on to Truth.

  2. Thanks for dropping in, Sheena!

    I'm learning - and this whole thing has convicted me of making really sure of the blogs I routinely visit.


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