ST. CHARLES – The challenge was clear. Jeremy Muniz, president of the Missouri Baptist Convention, chair of the Executive Board and senior pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, shared the need for more evangelism.
“God is moving in hearts for evangelism,” he said. “We may be mediocre, but God is not. Look at the common fishermen God used to turn the world upside down. The Spirit of God must fall on us from on high.”
Muniz used the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) to demonstrate how Jesus brought men to him.
“Everything has an expiration date,” Muniz said, “but, not a soul. A soul will continue to live with or apart from Him. The most crucial work is Kingdom work. It is the most important of all.”
“God invites us to be in the process,” he added. “God is reaching and pursuing. I must be faithful to my part of the pursuit.”
Muniz addressed typical excuses for the lack of evangelism. “It doesn’t matter how wicked or backward the people are,” he said, “the first century was a wicked place. God can break walls down.”
“Zacchaeus was a restless soul,” he continued, “He was short, rich and corrupt. He didn’t look like the obvious choice for a believer, but Jesus looked past the sin and made him new. We need to quit looking on the outside.”
Muniz also pointed out the grumblers who objected to Jesus going with Zacchaeus. “Grumblers don’t accomplish anything,” he said. “Jesus was brokenhearted about the grumblers, and they missed a chance to know God. If we focus on the sins of others, we miss the opportunity to hear Jesus.”
“People need to see the love and joy of Jesus flowing through you,” Muniz said. “We need to take time to listen to people and not make assumptions. Jesus is inviting us to be part of the pursuit.”
Muniz cautioned that we need to be alert and ready when sharing the gospel. “To see God work,” he said, “we need to be ready for spiritual warfare. If we push against the enemy, he will push back. But, that’s why we have each other and our power from God.
“Jesus invited Zacchaeus into a relationship with Him. We need to look at the redeemer of souls and be part of the process by leaning into the redeemer of souls. We need to abide in Christ to bear fruit. To honor God, we must be involved in evangelism.”
Quoting Charles Bridges, Muniz told messengers that believers should be greedy for souls. “Burgess said, ‘We need to be laborers in the Lord’s vineyard, not loiterers.’”
“There can be another great revival in our land,” Muniz said. “Jesus can do it because Jesus saves.”