Evangelization today in a nutshell!
Evangelization today is some kind diluted by humanistic concepts (liberal concepts), which have nothing to do with the Bible.
Postmodern Christians will usually dismiss the precepts of the Bible on how to evangelize with the following excuse: “Hey! This is the 21st century, another culture, and this means that we cannot evangelize the way Jesus told us to do 2000 years ago!”.
This kind of statement implicates 4 Things:
1) We assume to know our generation better than Jesus Christ (God) does and this makes our Lord a poor, uninformed and
omniscience deity in heaven! I don't know about you, but something is wrong with this kind of thinking among believers.
Hey! Think about this—creation cannot be better than the Creator of this universe and this includes how we handle the Gospel today.
2) A major part of what the Bible has to say about why and how we should evangelize, is for many believers today—
obsolete (archaic, not useful anymore), irrelevant or annoying and this involves 3 issues we must consider:
1. Our word, our knowledge supersedes God and His Word, the Bible.
2. God foreknew that His Word and instructions would one day be considered antic, old fashioned, religious, not cool,
He didn't take precautions for this, so it must be irrelevant in His eyes!
3. If this postmodern culture sees the Bible as an old book, obsolete, irrelevant and ever annoying, then what are we to do with the Bible or do we need an erasable Bible for the purpose of erasing what we don’t like inside?
3) The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus was only for a moment in time and for today’s generation we must create new
forms of evangelization with new cool words that will not offend anybody.
4) This leads to questioning the Word of God and relying on our ingenuity (our own super mind) that sharing the Gospel is
obsolete, because God gave His only Son as a sacrifice for all human kind, for all generations with the post modern
motto “Love wins” which is a universalistic concept*!
* Universalism is the believe, that God already saved everybody on earth from generation to generation through
Christ, meaning there is no hell and our sin is just creating hell on earth. Also it is the believe, that all religions or
believe systems lead to God no matter what. So there is no point to evangelize, just do good on earth, enjoy life
(party) and embrace other beliefs which are different from yours.
Serious issues require serious answers!
Of course some would applaud this and some would say, this is too far fetched, meaning it cannot be that bad.
But if we want it or not, these issues mentioned above are in the mind of many believers today and in churches, where this is preached directly or indirectly from the pulpit.
If we believe in the Word of God from Revelation to Genesis and if we believe to never compromise the Bible, then these issues are serious because the Great Commission is not a light thing to decide if relevant today or not, or if we should change it's format, or adapt the Gospel to our new culture which is to compromise the very core value of what Christ gave into our hands (the Great Commission and more) as His disciples and ambassadors on earth while Jesus Christ is in heaven.
We must use our common sense here and consider seriously, what God has to say about His Word, His motive, His will, His plan before we commit ourselves to some humanistic concepts, wondering, if we should share the Gospel today and how to evangelize in this generation without compromising the very Word of God, the Bible.
The purpose of "Be Light & Salt" is about the Great Commission, is about “going”, “being send” into our world and if ever into another country as missionary.
“Be Light & Salt” is about helping and motivating you to “go preach and share” the Good News in effective ways without compromising the Word of God.
“Be Light & Salt” is also about how to affirm the new believer as he or she accepts Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior and how to confirm the faith through the water baptism (with celebration and joy) which the new believer accepted to take.
“Be the Light & Salt” is also about teaching you some more about evangelization, signs following and how to disciple new believers until Christ’s second coming in Israel, Jerusalem for His millennium reign on earth.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen."
Of course we are not all humanistic (Liberal) believers or universalists!
I began this topic with the concern, that the church is going more and more for humanistic/liberal ways of evangelizing or that we do not need to evangelize at all, because of the love of God who won all humanity to Himself past, present and future through Christ 2000 years ago (Universalism).
Of course not every believer is in for those two concepts (humanistic/liberal form of evangelization or universalism).
Praise God for some believers, who are for the Great Commission, believing to be the will of God and the concept, Jesus Christ gave to His church for the purpose of reaching the lost all over the world.
But even the proponents of the Great Commission are often evangelizing in a problematic way, which is also a concern to my heart that I want to address.
3 common forms (ways) of sharing the Gospel today!
So, lets analyze in this topic 3 evangelistic forms/ways for the purpose of reaching the heart of the unbelievers for Christ which are common today among the believers - Deeds, Tracts & Mouth.
Then the question in this topic is “Should we use deeds or tracts/books or our mouth or the combination of all 3 for the purpose of reaching the unbelievers properly in this generation?”.
Which brings me to another question “Which one of those 3 evangelic forms has the priority most of the time over the others in the Word of God?”.
Deed, tract or our mouth are all beneficial for sharing the Gospel - but…!
It is clear that doing deeds, using our mouth and giving tracts/books are all beneficial for the Gospel.
Actually tracts or booklets are working perfectly (when people can read) in some parts of the world like Africa for example.
Books can work anywhere in the world (where people can read) but for most people today, especially in busy countries, it is costing too much time and energy to read a book which somebody gave you to read but it wasn't your own personal choice.
To help people in need (to do deeds) is a very noble thing to do, like helping the poor, to heal and take care of the sick, care for people without proclaiming the Gospel first (or not at all because love is the number one rule today).
And being vocal, using your mouth for the Gospel is a Biblical virtue and an art we must master.
But which of them do you think is prioritized today in most churches in Europe, USA and in Canada or which one is the most popular in this generation?
Well “Just do the deeds and don’t share the Gospel until you are asked!” or “Do the deeds and let your light shine!” or "We will fight poverty!!!” is the revolution of our days, the number one priority in most of our churches today.
Actually to do deeds has become a global agenda which involves many religions, ministries, churches and governments together.
Then, to give tracts, booklets or books (CD/DVD) comes second place, because Christians are too afraid or too insecure (not confident enough) to share the Gospel personally with an unbeliever.
So, what’s in third place and is not really recommended to use today?
Of course, you got it, it is about sharing the Gospel with your mouth, by actually using words!
Too risky, too provocative, too...!
In our day and age, sharing the Gospel with our mouth is considered - too risky, too provocative, too offensive, too excessive, too many rejections “It don’t work!” and of course it is too religious/too fundamentalist.
This is not a joke or an exaggeration but a reality today in our Christian world/culture.
Strangely enough, the concept of prioritizing deeds and tracts with the advice "Use your mouth only if necessary!” as to share the Gospel of Christ, is the trend of our cultural Christianity today, when the Word of God, especially the Great Commission of Christ, emphasizes the vocalization (mouth) of the Gospel.
Actually to prioritize a vocal Gospel is underlined by the Bible by a sense of urgency and not a request or an option “Use your mouth only if necessary!” or “If somebody asks you why you help people in need then bring the Gospel to them with only 4 words—Because Jesus loves you”.
Why an urgency?
Well, have you ever heard
this one word "Hell" before?
But of course, when you say or write this kind of thing then all the excuses, bad experiences and criticisms are exploding in your face or you are viciously commented on the website/blog like a tsunami with the label “Fundamentalist”.
Cool down and please think!
I know that some of you are already upset and ready to let me have it because “Who is he to judge?”.
Hey, cool your jets and don’t throw your spiritual stinky eggs yet, before you read what I have to tell you below.
The following are some thoughts I would love you to consider or think about, before you start flooding me with some critical eggnog:
If the Bible is right about prioritizing a vocalized Gospel or let’s say if sharing the Gospel first with our mouth is 80% of the time a priority according to Jesus Christ’s ministry and according to the New Covenant letters, then this means, that only 20% is given to deeds as a priority before opening the mouth for the Gospel and lets include in this 20% the tracts/books which there are no indications or examples in the Bible about sharing the Gospel with tracts/books, but common sense says that it is OK (I am all for it) to use those tools.
Then, what is going on today with Biblical instructions and examples of evangelism in the Word of God when everything is turned upside down - first deeds, then tracts/books and if necessary or when it is possible then use your mouth for sharing the Gospel?
Is the Bible for you just a view on things and your own opinion or the opinion of others are more valuable than what the Word teaches about how to share the Gospel in this generation?
Who are we to re-prioritize, what our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ already prioritized for us to do in His last instructions before He went to heaven–to go share the Gospel first and then the deeds will follow (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-20, Acts 1:8) ?
Who are we to believe & say that His creation knows better than the Creator himself about how to reach any generation for the Gospel?
Who are we to think that God changed His tactic today, when the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever in Hebrews 13:8 ?
I cannot stress enough that these considerations are very important for all of us IF we are saved by the blood of the Lamb, KNOWING what it is to be a disciple of Christ and IF we consider the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, to be the unique and uncompromising Word of God.
According to the Word of God
the fate of the unbelievers is in
the hands of Biblical Christians,
which means, that we better be
right about how to prioritize
the Gospel for Christ!
A true story to help you prioritize!
Well, I could tell you story after story about how unpopular it has become, to share the Gospel with your mouth. But let me share one true story, hoping you will find out, which method would have been the most effective one.
If there are places on earth, where the environment is very hostile to Christians sharing the Gospel, India is one of those places and if there is a place where believers in Christ are sharing the Gospel each day because of the full understanding of what Christ did for humanity, then it is also India.
Because of this hostility in India you would think, that to give an evangelistic tract or building up friendship for the purpose of meeting the needs of the people before you can share the Gospel is very wise and the best way to reach the heart of the Hindu people.
But let’s see if the following story can help us see, what kind of evangelistic method would have been the best to be used or what would have been the priority, the urgency in this case—deed, tract or the mouth for sharing the Gospel.
The story “A fatal and unbelievable pilgrimage”
I heard this tragic story from a famous missionary (K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel For Asia at gfa.org).
He told about a Hindu man who went with his two sons on a pilgrimage to a holy mountain in India, because he needed forgiveness of his sins.
From the start of his pilgrimage this Hindu man, with his two sons following, laid down on the road, stretched out his arm and at the length of his arm he placed a little rock.
Then he got up, stepped towards this little rock and picked it up.
As crazy as sounds, he went on like this until he reached the holy mountain, to seek forgiveness of his sins.
What is more tragic is, what happened to his two sons in this story.
As the father went on to this holy mountain to seek forgiveness of his sins, one of his sons was hit by a car and died on the side of the road.
The father continued his pilgrimage to the holy mountain because of his great need to be forgiven, his pilgrimage was more important to him than the sudden death of his son on the side of the road.
Well, when the father finally arrived at the holy mountain, he said to his other son “Turn around!” and he killed him as the final sacrifice for his sins.
Wow, this story still hits me right to the heart !
A total shock for a missionary!
A Christian missionary saw the pilgrimage of this father as he passed by him and his two sons earlier that day.
Then, later that day, he heard what happened and was horrified about this tragic end of this insane pilgrimage.
Later he told another missionary with a very distressed tone of voice “I could have stopped this madness with the Good News of Christ for the forgiveness of his sins!”.
Tragic, unbelievable but a true story!
I will stop right here, because I want you to think/reflect on this story before we enter into the second part of this teaching with these 3 questions:
. Is this a touching story that grabs your mind or just another story, tragic but not worth to think about?
. In your opinion, which method would have been the best to reach the heart of this man for Christ as you see him passing
right in front of you, beginning his pilgrimage?
. How many people passed right in front of our eyes and you, we (including me) have done nothing to reach them with the
Please think hard
for the sake of the Cross
(Gospel) and lost!
End of part 1
For a neat copy then go to "Downloads"
and press on the PDF button for a download
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in Be Light & Salt
In part 2 I will analyze the tragic story of Part 1
forming a logical conclusion about the proper use
of tracts, deeds and/or mouth.