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10/9/97 Luis Palau urges seminarians: Be ‘priests of Jesus Christ’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Evangelism, the Word of God and the name of Jesus are to be taken seriously, international evangelist Luis Palau told Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary students during an Oct. 8 chapel service.
Speaking on the first day of his four-day Greater Kansas City Campaign, Palau called listeners at the Kansas City, Mo., campus to regain the view of evangelism held by the Apostle Paul, as described in Romans 15:14-22. Directing listeners to Romans 15:16, Palau noted how Paul viewed evangelism as a priestly duty. The lives of ministers today, he said, should reflect this high calling
“We are not movie stars, we are not clowns, we’re not circus operators,” Palau said. “We are priests of Jesus Christ.”
Of the strength that such a perspective brings to his own ministry, the evangelist said, “Many of the times when I’m preaching and raising my arms, I say to myself, ‘You’re doing priestly work.’ I’m proclaiming John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 15, but it isn’t just passing on a few basic truths. I am lifting up Jesus Christ, I am a priest of God. I’m not just shouting slogans, I’m not just trying to get numbers to come forward. I am a priest, lifting up the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.”
America today desperately needs authoritative preaching of Scripture, Palau said. He attributed the lack of vitality in churches in Europe to a failure to honor the Word of God, in contrast with Psalm 138:2.
“If you have a low view of Scripture, you will loose your authority,” Palau said. “If you have a low view of Scripture, you will see very little fruit. If you have a low view of Scripture, you simply lose the joy and lose the power. And there are thousands of clergy who have given up the calling because somewhere along the line they accepted a low view of the Word of God.
“If you accept in your heart, even secretly, that the Word of God isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, you lose your power,” Palau said. “You might as well go sell insurance or something else.”
Christians must not be ashamed of Jesus, even if it may offend those of other faiths, Palau said, commending Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney, for example, for not being ashamed of Jesus Christ in spite of opposition.
“There are people today who are telling you, ‘Roll on the floor, stand on your head, but zip it up about Jesus Christ,'” Palau said.
America today needs desperately needs Christians who will proclaim Jesus Christ, he said, citing a mass movement of spiritual seekers, evidenced, for example, by the popularity of psychic networks.
“There is a search going on in America, but there are forces that are trying to shut us up,” Palau said. “We who are of Jesus Christ must not be ashamed of him.”
Palau encouraged his Midwestern audience to attend and pray for the Oct. 8-12 crusade at the Kansas City Municipal Auditorium. He cited Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21 for unity among Christians as a call to work together to proclaim the power of Christ across the city. He also noted Paul’s description of his ministry in Romans 15:18-19, where the apostle said he had ministered across a vast region stretching from Jerusalem to modern-day Yugoslavia, leading people to obey Christ.
“We are to have broad vision,” Palau told the seminarians. “One has to minister locally, as most of you will in the pastorate. But you never need to have a very tiny vision. The plan of God is that we have a broad vision.”

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  • Clinton Wolf