Tennyson urges believers: 'Have patience'
by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) – "I'm not ready for my Savior to come back yet," Al Tennyson, president of Awaken International Ministries, said. "There are still people who need to know Him."
Tennyson urged students in Truett-McConnell College's January 24 chapel service to dig deep and change their perspective on evangelism. "We gather and talk about how bad the world is, yet we don't reach out to them."
"What's wrong with us?" he asked.
Preaching from 2 Peter 3.1-10, Tennyson likened the apostle to the average believer. "Peter stuck his foot in his mouth many times, yet he would be faithful to step out of the boat in the middle of a storm."
"He made plenty of mistakes but at the same time he modeled great faith," Tennyson noted. "Man, I can relate to Peter."
Proclaiming the goodness of the Gospel, Tennyson encouraged the importance of a proper understanding of it: "The Gospel is for imperfect people who are in need of a perfect and forgiving God!"
"We have to evangelize and spend time with lost people," Tennyson stated. "That's how we allow ourselves to have an attitude of grace because we are cognizant of what He's rescued us from."
Tennyson challenged believers to remember the grace of God as he referenced the ever-present evil in the world as seen in shootings and murders of unborn children.
Despite these things, "there are lost people who still need to come to repentance," he said. "The ones who say 'Jesus, come now,' are selfish believers."
Our flesh cries out for justice, Tennyson alluded. "'You don't think God sees these things happening in the world, just as we do?' He does."
"He doesn't react with His wrath because He is good," Tennyson said. "He says, 'You're not Me; you don't understand My goodness.'"
"Please Lord; keep being merciful in spite of us. Keep showing Yourself in spite of us, so the world can see your goodness," he claimed.
Tennyson then noted the Christians interaction with the lost: "When's the last time you invited a neighbor or classmate over for fellowship and shared the Gospel with them?" he asked.
We need to change our perspective, Tennyson suggested.
"The earth was created for His pleasure but we were created for Him," he said. "This should change our view of the lost."
As we build relationships with unbelievers, our attitude should be this: "He died on the cross for your sins and I have no other choice but to show you His love and grace. You are His greatest creation."
"We have to be intentional," Tennyson stated. "Don't wait for them to come to church; take church to them."
Tennyson made his purpose clear and his message clearer: "I'm here to tell you that God hasn't poured out His wrath yet because He is patient. It's the goodness of the Lord that leads to repentance"
Remembering His mercy, Tennyson noted God's patience for both believer and unbeliever. "God is merciful to us."
"We have to ask the Lord for His heart, not our selfish heart. We need to see people through His lens."
Noting 2 Peter 3.9, The Lord does not delay His promises, as some may understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance, Tennyson urged believers to practice the same patience.
"Let's keep praying that our God would not come back yet; that He would prolong His wrath and give us a heart for His heart."
"There are still those who are lost and in need of a Savior," he said.
Emily Grooms is a Truett-McConnell senior English major and a freelance writer for the college.