Sunday, January 2, 2022

Learning German? Watch This Video!

Ah, two of my favorite speakers. 

No one spoke the gospel with greater clarity than Billy Graham. I attended his Honolulu Crusade when I was 13 and sang in the choir. Wilfried Reuter, on the other hand, I got to know when I served in (West) Germany in the summer of 1978. He had just become the president of the German Bible Institute in Seeheim on the beautiful Bergstrasse ("die Bibleschule Bergstrasse"). There Becky and I lived for three months involved in evangelism and teaching. 

If you are teaching yourself German and need some practice, watching this video will not only help you with your German language skills (Herr Reuter's German is well-nigh impeccable) but will remind you that evangelism and mission have always been a priority of a faithful church. Today, the same Savior who preached through the apostles of Acts continues to preach through evangelists and the everyday witness of church members. It's a great mistake to take Acts 2:42 out of its context (as is so often done) and give the impression that the earliest believers were mainly interested in sitting at the feet of the apostles and enjoying fellowship with one another. Verses 37-41 correct this imbalance by showing that there can be no edification without evangelism. That's why my book Seven Marks of a New Testament Church begins with verse 37 and the evangelistic preaching of Peter on the Day of Pentecost, thus making the first mark of a New Testament church not expository preaching but evangelistic preaching. 

We need to return to this pattern today. A healthy church is always an evangelizing church. The evangelistic witness of the early church was as continuous as were their gatherings for mutual edification. Believers must therefore be taught to articulate the gospel. That's why I personally find it so helpful to watch videos like this one. Today we need more fidelity to Scripture and more fidelity to reaching the lost. We need both, not one or the other.