I think what we find within the early church, and especially in the teachings of the apostles and their representatives, was a primary focus upon JESUS (i.e., who He was and what He did for us). Today, on the other hand, as Charles Hodge once said, we assume people already know about Jesus, so our focus is on preaching and teaching church doctrine and practice. Our evangelistic effort is more focused on proving the “denominations” wrong in their traditional understanding, and “our group” right. It is not so much getting people into a relationship with HIM, but getting them into a relationship with US. But, this is nothing new. Even Jesus had to rebuke His own disciples for such exclusivistic thinking. John sought to hinder another disciple “because he does not follow along with US” (Luke 9:49; Mark 9:38). We are still in need of that gentle rebuke today from the Lord. It’s all about who is IN HIM, not who walks along WITH US.
— Al Maxey
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