Presentation on theme: " Imposition Some people don’t practice evangelism because they feel they are imposing their beliefs on others. But when you understand what the Bible."— Presentation transcript:
Imposition Some people don’t practice evangelism because they feel they are imposing their beliefs on others. But when you understand what the Bible presents as evangelism, it’s really not a matter of imposing your beliefs. It’s important to understand that the message you are sharing is not merely an opinion but a fact.
Additionally, the truths of the gospel are not yours, in the sense that they uniquely pertain to you or your perspective or experience, or in the sense that you came up with them. When you evangelize, you are not merely saying, “This is how I like to think of God,” or “This is how I see it.” You’re presenting the Christian gospel. You didn’t invent it, you have no authority to alter, therefore you are not imposing anything. According to the Bible, evangelism is simply telling the good news. It’s not making sure that the other person responds to it correctly. The fruit from evangelism comes from God. (1 Cor. 3:5-7)
True biblical, Christian evangelism by its very nature involves no coercion but only proclamation and love. We are to present the free gospel to all; we cannot manipulate anyone to accept it. Biblical Christians know that we can’t coerce anyone into life.
Personal Testimony The truth of the Gospel, which someone once shared with us, is proven in our lives daily, and we should gladly testify of this. Such testimony can certainly contribute to evangelism. John 9:25-The blind man’s testimony It is the gospel that turns sharing a testimony into evangelism. Certainly a testimony of what we know God to have done in our lives may include the good news, but it also may not. Testimony is, of course, popular in our postmodern, that’s-good- for-you age. Who would object to your thinking you’ve gotten something good from Christ? But wait and see what happens when you try to move the conversation from what Jesus has done for you to the claims Jesus’ cross work makes on your unbelieving friend. That is when you discover that testimony is not necessarily evangelism.
Social Action and Public Involvement Of the many actions designed to improve society, some are wonderful (e.g. the abolition of slavery), and some are terrible (e.g. legalizing the killing of unborn children). But none of them, not even the best, are the gospel of Jesus Christ. Being involved in mercy ministries may help to commend the gospel, which is why Jesus taught, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) Peter wrote that unbelievers should “see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Pet. 2:12)
While such actions are good and should be carried out by Christians, they are not evangelism. They commend the gospel, but they share it with no one. To be evangelism, the gospel must be clearly communicated, whether in oral or written form. Evangelism is not persuading people to vote against certain measures, it is not declaring God’s political plan for nations, it is not recruiting for the church—it is a declaration of the gospel to individual men and women.
Apologetics Apologetics is answering questions and objections people may have about God or Christ, or about the Bible or the message of the gospel. We are instructed by Peter to be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have (1 Pet. 3:15). Answering questions and defending parts of the good news may often be a part of conversations Christian have with non-Christians, and while any of these things can easily lead into evangelism, they are not in and of themselves evangelism.
By far the greatest danger in apologetics is being distracted from the main message. Evangelism is not defending the virgin birth or a literal 6-day creation, or the historicity of the resurrection. Apologetics is defending the faith, answering the questions others have about Christianity. It is responding to the agenda that others set. Evangelism is following Christ’s agenda, the news about him. Evangelism is the positive act of telling the good news about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation through him.
The Results of Evangelism One of the most common and dangerous mistakes in evangelism is to misinterpret the results of evangelism—the conversion of unbelievers—for evangelism itself, which is the simple telling of the gospel message. Evangelism must not be confused with its fruit. According to the Bible, converting people is not in our power. Thus, evangelism may not be defined in terms of results but only in terms of faithfulness to the message preached. To evangelize does not mean to win converts but simply to announce the good news, irrespective of the results.
Making this error distorts well-meaning churches into pragmatic, results-oriented businesses. It also cripples individuals with a sense of failure, aversion, and guilt. Who can deny that much modern evangelism has become emotionally manipulative, seeking simply to cause a momentary decision of the sinner’s will, yet neglecting the biblical idea that conversion is the result of the supernatural, gracious act of God toward the sinner? When we are involved in a program in which evangelism is gauged by its immediately obvious effect, we undermine real evangelism and real churches.
The Christian call to evangelism is a call not simply to persuade people to make decisions but rather to proclaim to them the good news of salvation in Christ, to call them to repentance, and to give God the glory for conversion. We don’t fail in our evangelism if we faithfully tell the gospel to someone who is not converted; we fail only if we don’t faithfully tell the gospel at all. Evangelism itself isn’t converting people; it’s telling them that they need to be converted and telling them how they can be.