Evangelism

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Last night a group of 20 people met in our home to talk about evangelism. This wasn’t just a talk-fest – we were considering the best strategy for our church to proclaim the gospel to people who didn’t know Jesus.

We came up with a few simple definitions of ‘evangelism’. The two that I liked are; evangelism is explaining the gospel to non-Christians in a language they can understand, and evangelism is introducing people to Jesus. Simple!

We discussed the idea that while the Bible teaches that some believers are given the spiritual gift of evangelism, this does not mean those who do not have this gift are given a ‘pass’. All believers are expected to be able to give a reason for the hope that is within. ()

To that end, we divided into couplets to practice explaining the gospel in 3 minutes. This was more challenging than many expected.  I came across this outline of the essential elements of the gospel message which I think is an excellent summary that would help any believer explain the good news about Jesus.

A summary of the Biblical Gospel

 1) GOD: Identifying there is one true God as God, Creator of all, Holy, righteous, sovereign and just, perfect in every way.

2) SIN: Evil exists due to the fall of man and affects all mankind and all of creation is cursed as  a result. All humanity by very nature and deed are fallen and corrupted in every way imaginable. Because of this sin, we have rebelled and are separated from being in a right relationship with our Creator and God.

3) LAW: There is a standard, a reality outside of ourselves that governs all of the created universe, which all mankind is morally accountable to. We will have to give an account of the lives that we now live according to the Law of God.

4) CONSEQUENCE OF SIN: The just punishment/penalty for the sin of mankind is the full righteous and holy wrath of God…DEATH. (both physical and spiritual).

5) NEED OF A SAVIOR: Upon a clear understanding of man’s sinful condition, as he stands before his creator, he/she is burdened by his/her need of a savior. The only hope that mankind can find is if God intervenes into mankind’s sinful condition and makes it possible for him/her to be made right before God and to enjoy a right relationship with this Holy God.

6) JESUS: The Good news, “The Gospel” is that God in His loving kindness did not leave sinful man in his depraved state, but sent His Son to become flesh and to walk among us, to live the life that all men live. But without the stain of SIN! He was the spotless sacrificial lamb that atoned for the sins of mankind. He conquered sin, death, Satan, and gave life to all those whom cry out to God, “Save me.”

7) LIFE OF REPENTANCE: True saving faith is validated by a life that produces the fruit of God’s grace. You might say this is the evidence that points to God’s redeeming work. This new life of repentance is a lifestyle of fighting temptation minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day and finding joy in the pursuit of Glorifying God in every aspect of life.

I am not suggesting that these seven points be merely memorise and parroted. However, they are very useful in helping present the gospel in a coherent way.

Devising a strategy for evangelism is a good thing. Too many churches never address the issue in any way. And remember, we normally don’t require any urging to talk of things concerning about which we are passionate. Most of us could go on  ad infinitum about our favorite sports team. Keep in mind that we are not trying to convince by clever argument or slick presentation. That results are up to God. Ours is to be faithful deliverers of the message.

So why not simply tell others, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”? (). There is nothing as effective as a personal testimony!

Social Media
Here is another contemporary way to share the gospel. This is a video discussing the use of social media to spread the message.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to draw the attention of readers to the, “What is the Gospel” page of this blog. This will take you to the “Two Ways to Live” presentation from Mathias Media. This is the best gospel presentation I’ve come across on the web.

15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

4 thoughts on “Evangelism

  1. Martin Pakula

    Thanks Don! It was a good night. There’s so much more we could do in evangelism.
    A couple of random thoughts.
    One thought I have been struggling with lately is evangelising ‘difficult’ people versus ‘easy’ people. Often my friends, family, workmates, neighbours, are ‘difficult’. Especially if they are Western they are taught to despise the gospel, although they don’t even know why. Yet I must still try and keep sharing the good news of Jesus with them. You never know, and many ‘difficult’ people do indeed become Christian (I’m sure I was one of them!).
    But there are also many ‘easy’ people. People from other countries, say China, Iran, and no doubt many others, seem to have an openness to the gospel that is not current in the West. They WANT to know the gospel. It seems so easy! I LOVE this type of evangelism (of course!).
    So I struggle. Should I get on with sharing the gospel with those who want to hear it, or keep struggling away with those who don’t seem to want to hear it? I suspect it’s a both/ and.
    Second thought. I like this gospel presentation. However I note that it is very slight on the resurrection. Two Ways to Live indeed gets this right. I think that I myself often leave it out. My gospel outline is more like the one you have given here. My logic looks at problem (sin) and solution (Jesus’ death on the cross). But in the book of Acts the apostles ALWAYS seem to speak about Jesus’ resurrection. I suspect that as evangelicals we have a good theology of the atonement, and a quite weak theology/ understanding of the resurrection.

  2. Don Post author

    Martin, with reference to evangelism, I’ve never given much thought to the idea of there being people who are easy or difficult. I suppose if doesn’t really matter. Our job is to witness regardless. As we heard the other night, we are fishermen, not hunters. It’s God’s job to land the catch.

    I like your emphasis on Christ’s resurrection. An important point that is glossed over on this outline.

    Our friend Murray Campbell wrote an excellent piece on the absolute importance of the resurrection over at his blog quoting .

    He starts his post with these words from one of the most influential thinkers from history. Who do you think he is talking about?

    “We won’t be raised from the dead
    Christian preaching is useless
    Christian faith is useless
    We are false witnesses about God
    Faith again is futile
    We remain in our sins
    Those who have already died are lost. No hope for them
    And Christians are to be pitied more than all people”

    Then there is this quote from C.H.Spurgeon.

    “Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die, I risk my whole eternity on the resurrection.”

  3. Martin Pakula

    Don’t keep me in suspense! Who is it? I can only guess at Paul the apostle (saying what would be the case if there is no resurrection of the dead).

  4. Don Post author

    You are a clever man, Martin Pakula. Of course, you could have obtained the answer by clicking on the link to Murray’s blog. It is in this sentence:

    “Our friend Murray Campbell wrote an excellent piece on the absolute importance of the resurrection over at his blog quoting.”

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