ARE YOU A BIBLICAL or HUMANISTIC EVANGELIST?
Take A Sobering Evangelism Quiz?
Imagine yourself in public, beholding a line of people as far as the eye could see, blind-folded, and aimlessly falling into a pit of fire: men, women, and children alike all plunging to their demise without resistance. You can smell the burning flesh. You can hear the tortured screams of those who are perishing in the flames. What would be the most loving response?
1. Ignore them, it’s none of your business?
2. Deny their fate and instead appreciate the diverse manner in which they all have become blind-folded?
3. Pray for them?
4. Give them a bottle of water and a snack bar?
5. Invite them to a meeting of ex-blindfolded folks?
6. Hold a rock concert with an entrance fee and sing a few veiled references to the dangers of being blind-folded?
7. Lift up your voice with passion, conviction, and urgency warning them to take off their blind-fold and avoid their impending doom?
If you chose number 7 you are using common sense. It is the most loving, logical, and appropriate action under the circumstances. Likewise, those who truly believe God's Word will practice Biblical evangelism. God commands us to go into all the world and to preach to everyone (Mk 16:15). Sinners everywhere perish in their iniquity. Love demands that we warn the wicked to turn from their sin and humbly flee to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and deliverance. Hence, those who attack men who preach to sinners with passion, conviction, and urgency do so because they really do not believe in hell.
"Mine eye affecteth mine heart..." -Lamentations 3:51
What would we do with "John the Baptist," God's burly desert Evangelist, chosen to unveil the Lamb of God to a lost and sin-sick world? I fear the modern church would be more than a little unsettled with his "crude and insensitive" ways. I can almost see them, grim-faced and burdened, standing in line to offer counsel, reproof, and much needed lessons on the most up-to-date evangelistic etiquette. Oh, how we need to remember...
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8-9
No doubt, if most Christians today were asked to sum up the gospel in five words or less they would reply without hesitation, "Jesus loves you". No real Christian will deny the fact of God's love expressed to mankind through the person of Jesus Christ. However, Jesus Himself, nor the Apostles ever uttered these words as they preached the gospel. A close examination of the N.T. will reveal that the true gospel message/method is much different than our current "much improved and inoffensive version". Jesus was indeed motivated by love but He only speaks of God's love for humanity in six verses of the four Gospels. In contrast, Jesus warned of hell, judgment, condemnation, and wrath in 163 verses in the same four Gospels.
The Book of Acts (which records more public proclamation of the gospel than any other book in the Bible with the exception of the gospels) never mentions the love of God. Not in one public sermon by either Paul, Peter, Philip, or Stephen did they ever mention God's love. However, they mentioned the fear of God six times and repentance several times. Let me ask you: Are we wiser than Jesus and the Apostles? Are our methods Scriptural? Whose gospel is out of balance? May we learn that it is more important for us to be 'motivated' by love than to speak of love. The Bible says in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
"...if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." -Ezekiel 33:6
"And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, ‘If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.’" -Luke 19:41-42
“When criticized for his evangelistic methods, D.L. Moody responded, "I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”
“Oh! people say, you must be very careful, very judicious. You must not thrust religion down people’s throats. Then, I say, you will never get it down. What! Am I to wait till an unconverted, godless man wants to be saved before I try and save him? He will never want to be saved till the death-rattle is in his throat. What! Am I to let my unconverted friends and acquaintances drift down quietly to damnation, and never tell them about their souls, until they say, ‘If you please, I want you to preach to me?’ Is this anything like the spirit of early Christianity?” -Catherine Booth
We agree with the words of the great British Field Marshal, Bernard Montgomery when he was asked, "How do you interpret the great commission?", he replied with these words, "You do not interpret the great commission, you obey it".