Evangelism is the PURPOSE of most religious groups in the world. The Christian faith surely should be actively involved in reaching God’s lost sheep with the gospel of grace. But the methods employed most of the time are not necessarily good or effective. What does Scripture say? This brief thought is just to jar our minds and get us thinking as we look to the future of this topic. We can either trust God’s word or we can’t. That is the simple truth of evangelism.
My Buddy is not Evangelism!
As we’ve seen already, the Scripture is the source of Life through Jesus Christ, so, in order to share this powerful truth with others some have been taught they need to “work” into a friendship Spiritual things. If your everyday life is not expounding the truth of Christ there is something very wrong; you are either out of fellowship with the local assembly, your pastor doesn’t teach you rightly, or you could be unregenerate!
“You got a friend in me…. NOT if I am not teaching TRUTH.”
You have the words of Eternal Life!
The truth of the gospel and its POWER is found in the Scripture. It will feel as though the remainder of this week is redundant, but it is intentional in order to drive home the reality that the word is life and from the Word, we are taught!
“Half truth is no Truth, like being half dead.”
All Talents are for the Church!
Mutual benefit, encouragement, upbuilding etc. is the purpose of all the gifts that the Lord has given us. We are not our own, but we have been bought with a price. In our current culture, the trends toward evangelism have spiraled out of biblical norms. We have independent teachers and self-gloried preachers who feel they are called to “do what the church is not” and thus they feel justified in their disobedience. One sure measure of a healthy congregation is that the elders who teach are equipping, by the Word of God, the saints under their care in order to do the work of the ministry. Including evangelism. Are you READY?
“And I’m proud to be an……”
00Over the last year, I have been inundated with numerous calls per day from unknown numbers, local number, toll-free numbers and even numbers I know only to find a telemarketer on the other end trying to either sell me something or trick me into thinking I had to hear their pitch. The list of ‘blocked’ numbers has grown to over 150 and quite honestly, I have become quite frustrated with the constant intrusion. Due to the fact that I receive a ton of calls every day that are legitimate when you add the garbage calls, it makes a phone a hated tool and sometimes it causes me to miss good conversations. For 2018, it has been a different story.
I have started answering every call that comes to my phone when appropriate without fail. And in an effort to do all things without complaining and have joy while doing everything for the glory of God, I have found that answering every call as an opportunity to share the gospel is the best way to handle what otherwise is a means to frustration and sin.
In my entire life I have been inundated with ideals, philosophies, strategies, theories, plans, events, and efforts to engage the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If I were to frame and paste every “certification” in evangelism techniques I have it would cover a good 1000 square feet of wall for sure. While I don’t want to sound crass or ungrateful for many who serve the Lord in an effort to reach people with the gospel, I have to maintain a strict understanding of what scripture teaches and how God alone gives life to unbelievers in spite of the style and engagement of human beings. In my brief two decades in ministry I have discerned several reasons why people do not share their faith.
They are not in the faith
According to scripture, MOST people among the fellowship of local congregations are NOT in Christ. They enjoy the life of church, but not the giver of life. Jesus says that many are going through the broad way and few will find and enter the narrow gate. He says that He is the door to Heaven, not the ways or words of man. So, for a large majority of people, they don’t share the faith because they don’t have it to share. No one can give what they do not possess.
They are ill equipped by methods and memorization
Being ill equipped is either one of two things: First, it is not being taught anything about sharing the faith, living the faith or the like and second, it is being taught that sharing the faith is a method, system, strategy etc. that completely disregards the commands and practice of God’s word. When people learn to throw a ball, they don’t need lessons and strategies dealing with their finger placement, rotation of spin, muscle retention in the fingertips, or the methods of measuring the arch, friction, or force of the ball moving through the air. They just need to pick it up and throw it to someone. Scripture teaches that sharing the faith is done in only TWO ways. Through the teaching of God’s Word either through preaching or daily living. Matthew 28:19-21 teaches that all Christians are to just simply teach others to obey Christ through the Scriptures. There is nothing more to it. I guess the question should then look to the first point, do those who profess Christ even know what He has certainly said they will be and do in the first place?
They are fearful due to a lack of power from God’s word
Fear intimidates many in the faith because they see all the magnificent oration and presentation skills of so many and their ability reason and engage in dialog and debate. They feel as if they would never be able to do these things and in a biblical sense, they should not do them. Paul says to the Corinthian church that he did not come in “eloquence of speech” or in wisdom but in “fear and much trembling” being nearly “unable to speak.” He says this because that was his ability, not what we think when we consider successful evangelism. When we put ANY ANY ANY ANY ANY ANY ANY stock in one’s ability to share the gospel, we have dismissed the cross of ALL ALL ALL ALL ALL ALL ALL ALL power. Read 1 Corinthians 1 for the proof.
They don’t have the word of God in their fellowship
I won’t claim that many people sit in ignorance of their own doing on this matter but I will say that for the most part they sit under talking but not teaching. Teaching requires something being learned and when all one gets from a so-called preacher is stories, examples, personal reflection, commentary or worse, life lessons, they are NOT getting any teaching from Scripture because it doesn’t teach these things. It doesn’t need these things. It doesn’t requires these things. If God’s word is preached as it is written, the the wisdom of man moves into the garbage and God’s wisdom who is Christ Jesus Shines clearly to empower HIS true church to teach others the same.
They think it requires a response by all who hear
Sadly, the efforts of sharing the faith in the last 100 or so years has been compacted to a few verses, a technique or two and then a request for a response to which men, beginning with Satan in the garden then to Charles Finney during the SGA, has gladly put their seal upon as the “right” response for the gospel “plan” or “presentation.” I will remain focused on this point but if you read more and listen more you will see I have very little tolerance for this “bewitched” practice of damnation that plagues the world today settling the hearts of many who believe they are born again when they are not. God’s word demands a response and the effect of teaching people to obey Christ and to believe in Christ and to repent of their desires to find JOY in Christ is either God saving them through the hearing of the gospel (Christ died for the ungodly for the judgement of sins) or hardening them through the idea of legalism or rejection of the truth. (Rom 1) We should not lead people through a process of saying or doing anything but rather engagement to be continually committed to the joy of Christ through the fellowship of the saints around the word and worship. (See Matthew 28 again if you need to.)
Share the faith, share the gospel, live the life of a child of God and stick to the word of God and watch God make disciples! μαθητεύω (For my Greek Loving Peeps… take a gander at that verb found in Matt 28:19)
In the end, many practices or lack there of regarding evangelism are a direct result of either not knowing or not trusting in the promises of God. Scripture teaches that all who see the Kingdom of Heaven and Enter it are “born of God” (John 3) and that only through hearing of the words of Christ will God create life in that hearing unto faith. (Rom 10:17) So, when the church begins to reduce God’s saving grace little more than being sincere like when you get married, make a new year’s resolution or commit to a job, then we have failed the cross most certainly and it’s no wonder why so many Christians just are not willing to engage in a losing, false converting game of cat and mouse.
Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
See this text. It brings with it decades if not near centuries of man-made manure of purveying a godless hope for the gain of self glory and head counting producing false celebration, false worship and false churches for the world to love and enjoy. Jesus says simply that sharing the faith in obedience to Him is on two things:
- As you “GO” – so we have to be in the world doing our daily things.
- “Make disciples” – this is what we think we’re doing by “committing” people to Christ or sharing the “process” of salvation when Jesus clearly explains it.
- Making disciples is bringing them into the flock of Christ evidenced by Baptism or inclusion into the local church. This would be those who desire to “know” and “learn” Christ who profess in their own understanding that they are born again by Him. (A whole new discussion)
- Making disciples is teaching them to observe (0bey) ALL His commands.
The result of real evangelism is that CHRIST IS WITH US ALL until the end of age. Amen.