– John Calvin
Jesus never told the disciples that others will know you are His disciples by what they say or by their miracles but by their love for one another. Jesus said “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). He didn’t say, “If you raise people from the dead, they will know” or “If you can do great miracles” they will know. No, it is our love for one another that tells others we are Christ’s disciples. Talk is cheap but love in action is the real proof of our discipleship, so love is an evangelistic tool God uses to draw others to Himself.
The Apostle Peter reminds us all that “each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1st Pet 4:10), but if we don’t use this gift in serving others, people might not see Christ in us. The Apostle Paul adds that we “were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal 5:13). The greatest of all of those in the church is the greatest servant of all.
Another way to make the invisible kingdom visible to the lost is to pray that others might be saved. This is what Paul asked of the church at Rome in writing, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved” (Rom 10:1). Elsewhere, he desired that “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth” (2nd Tim 2:25), so “they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2nd Tim 2:26).
When we pray for those who are lost, we can preach the Word to them so that they might be saved. Only the Spirit of God can make dead men and women alive (Eph 2:1-2), and the children of the Devil who he has blinded (2nd Cor 4:3-4) into the children of God, so let us not be “ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16), so even though “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1st Cor 1:18).
We cannot save anyone because salvation is only from the Lord (Psalm 37:39), but we can make the invisible kingdom visible to the lost by our love for one another, by our serving one another, by our praying for one another (and the lost), and by our sharing of the gospel, because “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching” (Rom10:14)?