Archives For evangelism

I started this blog several years ago in order to use twenty-first century tools to tell a first-century story, the Good News of Jesus Christ. Anytime I find other Christians doing the same thing, I want to support, encourage, and promote their efforts. Today I want to tell you about an non-profit organization, comprised of members of the Lord’s church, who are combing the power of God’s word with the power of video in order to create “an incredible evangelistic tool.”

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Some people think the goal of evangelism is simply to grow a congregation; as long as pews are filling up, they believe the goal of evangelism is being achieved. For others, it’s all about baptisms; as long as people are being baptized, the goal of evangelism is being achieved. Don’t get me wrong, baptisms and “church growth” are certainly good things, but these could absolutely be in vain if we do not understand the primary goal of evangelism.

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Is it just me or do things seem to be getting worse? Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, nudity, profanity, drugs, and booze are everywhere. What do we do about it?

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Recently, a brother in Christ sent me a YouTube video of magician, comedian, and atheist, Penn Jillette. Jillette is pretty well-known for his foul mouth and advocacy of atheism. However, the video was (surprisingly) a very humbling lesson on evangelism (link to Penn Jillette video)

penn-jillette

In the video, Jillette talks about a time that a man gave him a Bible after one of his shows. It is with the utmost respect that Jillette talks of how this man was kind and complimentary. The man looked Jillette in the eyes and handed him a copy of the New Testament. Although the encounter did not change Jillette’s mind about the existence of God, it prompted him to make some rather profound points about evangelism.

His most profound statement was this, “How much do you have to HATE somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

Wow! Did you hear that?! An atheist saying Christians must truly “hate” unbelievers if we are unwilling to share the gospel with them! The excuse we use for not evangelizing, “Well, it would make it socially awkward,” he finds ridiculous. He said, if he believed a truck was going to hit you, but you didn’t believe his warning, there would come a certain point where he would “tackle” you. Forget socially awkward! If someone is going to die, do whatever you can to get them out of danger!

Jillette even admits, warning someone about the danger of hell is “even more important” than warning someone about being hit by a truck. The implication is, if you would TACKLE someone to keep them from being hit by a truck, why wouldn’t you at least risk social embarrassment to warn others about hell?

Here are the lessons I took away from Jillette’s message:

1. I cannot say I love someone if I will not share with them the truth about eternity.

2. I have to care more about their soul, than whether or not the conversation is “socially awkward.”

3. I must be genuinely kind, look people in the eyes, and tell them the truth.

This video reminded me of Romans 10:14-15 (ESV), “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

Several times this week I have been asked, “Will those who have never heard about Jesus go to hell?” Certainly neither you nor I are in charge of who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. However, I believe we can look at the Word and determine the answer to this very chilling question.

Tribal Man

In order to determine the answer to this question we must realize several truths:

1) All have sinned (Romans 3:23). Whether a man has heard about Jesus or not, he has committed sin. There are people in the world who are kind, sincere, and even religious. However, there is not a single person walking the face of the earth who is “good” (Mark 10:18). Every person living has sinned and is need of the good news of Christ Jesus.

2) It is only “in Christ Jesus” that redemption is possible (Romans 3:24). If salvation were possible outside of Christ, He died for nothing (Galatians 2:21). Why would Jesus command His followers to spread the good news of salvation to ALL mankind (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16) if there were people who did not need to hear it? Everyone needs Christ and the spiritual blessings that come from being “in” Him (Ephesians 1:3).

3) Faith is necessary to be pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6). If one must hear the word of Christ in order to have faith (Romans 10:17) and he must have faith in order to be pleasing to God, then he cannot be pleasing to God unless he has heard the word of Christ. Undoubtedly there are many kind and wonderful people throughout the world, some of whom may have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, no amount of kindness can earn them a place in the kingdom of God, for it is only “by grace through faith” that man can be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9).

4) People can find the truth if they will search for it (Acts 17:27). Paul told those in Athens that God has “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope thatthey might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

It would be comforting to think that those living in remote places, who have never heard the gospel, were not responsible for obeying it. It would be nice to think that evangelism was not that important because God will have mercy on them who have never heard the gospel. However, Paul says that Christ will return “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

There may have been a time when God “winked” at ignorance “but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30, KJV). Our job, to take the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15) is of the utmost importance because it is only him who “believes and is baptized” who will be saved (Mark 16:16).

Let us take our responsibilities seriously and go and teach the lost!