Evangelism Essentials

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Gotquestions.org recently published two excellent articles that reiterate some essential basics for evangelism and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

First, biblical evangelism should proclaim the good news of the Gospel, the Holiness of God, and salvation through Christ alone:

“What is the biblical method of evangelism?”

When trying to decide how to share Christ with someone, the starting point should be the same as that of John the Baptist and Jesus Himself. Matthew 3:2 tells us that John began his ministry with the words “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Repentance refers to a “change of mind,” which implies sorrow for past offences (2 Corinthians 7:10), a deep sense of the evil of sin as committed against God (Psalm 51:4), and a conscious decision to turn from sin to God. The first words Jesus spoke when He began His public ministry were identical to John’s (Matthew 4:17). (read more)

Next, we should be careful when engaging Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, and other cult’s – particularly because of the cunning nature of their deception (and the fact that you’ll likely not change their minds):

“Should we allow false teachers into our home?”

The short letter of 2 John is written in part to warn believers against the influence of false teachers. John identifies them as those “who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” and describes them as deceivers and antichrists (2 John 7). He goes on to prohibit receiving them into our homes or wishing them well. The question is whether this prohibition refers to those who knock on our doors today, such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Are we to deny members of these sects access to our homes?

[…] The Holy Spirit testifies to the true nature of Christ, while Satan and his demonic host deny that true nature. That is why John identifies anyone who denies the deity of Christ—which both the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses do—as deceivers and antichrists.

What should be our response, then, when cultists come knocking at the door? John, writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives a clear answer: we are not to receive them into our homes. (read more)

Of course, the Lord wills whom He will save – and who will accept the message of His Son and salvation through Him alone. We should not be afraid to approach others and engage in productive dialogue with non-believers. At the same time, we must understand that not everyone will embrace the message, so the Lord’s will be done.

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12 Responses to “Evangelism Essentials”


  1. 1 N'Catina August 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for this spot, IST. Since being on furlough for the last six months, I am home during the day where I have encountered JW’s perusing my neighborhood with their damnable heretical literature. My door is always open, but I have reached the point of simply telling these people that I am not interested and simply walk away.

    I agree that God’s sovereignty allows for even the most rabid anti-christ to convert & come to the saving truth of the Messiah, but I simply do not waste my time in entertaining people that generally have no interest in hearing the truth.

  2. 2 pierced August 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Many years ago, before I knew any better, I entertained Mormons in my home (fulfiling their two year missonary requirement)introduced to me by a former high school classmate. The former classmate had changed completely over the years (for the better) and seemed to be transformed, almost glowing with fervor, because of his conversion to the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon).

    Of course, the intent was to covert my husband and me (who were brought up in christian churches, baptized, but weren’t living the lifestyle, nor had a personal relationship with Christ yet). We listened to their spiel, accepted their bible (The Book of Mormom) and after a whole afternoon and early evening with them, were told that if what we had been told were true, the Holy Spirit would speak the truth of their message to our hearts.

    Neither me or my husband felt a thing. Trying to be the “perfect hostess” and not wanting to offend, I said nothing. But to my husband’s credit, he admitted he didn’t feel anything. They tried to prod us along for a while longer – but we didn’t budge. We sensed their disappointment, as we called it an evening.

    A week later, I ran into the two missionaries and they acted as though they didn’t know me – although I had fed them, listened to their witness and basically spent five or six hours with them in my home. I knew then, they really didn’t care about me or my husband and were only interested in filling a “quota”. I tossed The Book of Mormon into the trash.

    At the time, we didn’t know that the Jesus of their bible, was a different one. But, thank God, we were conversant enough with the Holy Bible, to know something wasn’t adding up.

    Flash forward more than 23 years later – my husband and I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; our faith has been tested and is rock solid. When the cults come calling today – I simply inform them that I am a Christian and that I am not interested in their materials and wish them Godspeed.

  3. 4 Mercedes August 25, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I am about to get involved in a college ministry on my campus through the church I attend. This is my first time doing anything like this. Well, I remember that Paul said he became weak to gain the weak and such. The leader of our group told us that we should strive to like hip and stuff so that we can gain the youth and be able to relate to them.

    I am a college student and sometimes I just don’t care what I like because its hot and I have to walk everywhere. My question is do I have to become something to gain something? I mean, I understand that we must relate to people I don’t want to become who I am not. I am not flashy or fashion-forward. It is scriptural to do something like that?

    • 5 speaking truth August 25, 2009 at 12:54 pm

      Mercedes,

      Let me first applaud you for getting involved w/campus ministry. The college campus has become the literal front line in regards to apostasy today. Between Gnosticism, Atheism, and all other cults, TRUE Christianity has become a dirty word on college campuses. If your leader specifically told you to be”hip” to gain attention, then I would correct him/her and pray for them. The problem with “marketing Jesus” (commonly referred to as being “seeker-sensitive”), is that once you hook someone with “entertainment” and other pop culture tools – you can’t sustain their attention with sober teaching and preaching, so you have to keep them entertained or you’ll loose them – and they’ll return to the world even more jaded than when you found them.

      One of the most misunderstood passages in the bible is Paul’s declaration of his rights as an Apostle (where we find the famous “I become all to win all” discussion in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23). One must read I Corinthians 9 in full for the context of Paul’s declaration. The bottom line is that Paul taught the Gospel message from the cultural perspective of the hearers so that they would understand him. He didn’t become “all things” (e.g a gangster rapper to appeal to gangster rappers, a homosexual to appeal to homosexuals, etc.). Paul stayed true to the Gospel message so as not to dilute the power of God’s Word (see an excellent article by Let Us Reason for a full dissertation).

      The bottom line is that you should pray to God for empathy for those whom you speak with. Pray that He gives you wisdom and discernment – and the words to say (or the strength to stay silent and just listen). Don’t worry about trying to look like and fit in with those whom He sends you to. The truth of the matter is that if He sends you to speak with someone, then (in His sovereign will) He has already softened or hardened the heart of the hearer. Your evangelism is just another piece of God’s ultimate puzzle.

      I will certainly keep you in prayer as you enter the mission field.

      • 6 mercedes August 25, 2009 at 2:48 pm

        Thank you so much for your prayers and kindness. I will go back and read 1 Corinthians 9 to get the understanding but the handling on that passage always confuse me. It is saying like Jesus HAD to become an adultery to relate to an adultery or something. I know the college campus is truly a battlefield. I have hindu, Muslim, and atheist friends and campus and I just don’t know how to even approach them with Jesus. Well, I figured I just live my life according to His word and work from there.

  4. 7 Mercedes August 28, 2009 at 11:53 am

    This is kinda of irrelevant but here goes. This morning I referred my friend to your website in the library. The first article she read was the Kenneth Copeland. She stopped reading and was like “I can’t read this website. I grew up with the Copelands my whole life. It is nothing wrong with prosperity.” However, I asked her if there are poor Christians in Kenya, are they bless? Her premise was prosperity means different things to different people and people voluntary give gifts to Copeland and it is nothing wrong with that.

    There is more but too many. I knew this girl for like 6 years and she is a liberal Christian. She is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. I was like “What the mess!” It is startling but it looks like there needs to be some evangelizing in the church. Her excuses was always worldly, never from the bible. Help me Jesus! It just seems like I need to just talk to her more and just point to His words.

    • 8 speaking truth August 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm

      Well, Mercedes, if your friend is a “liberal” Christian (i.e she is not committed to her faith because her “belief” in gay marriage, abortion, and other sins are diametrically opposed to God’s Word) then my website – or any other vessell of truth – would do nothing but make her upset. I would recommend you direct her to the bible, but she chooses to ignore God’s Word.

      Just continue to pray that the Lord’s will be done – and know that His will may include eternall seperation from Him for some of our friends and family if they continue to reject His truth.

      • 9 Mercedes August 29, 2009 at 9:12 am

        It is harsh truth indeed. The bible did say they will turn away from sound doctrine. Her expression at that article was funny and sad at the same time. Some people will defend preachers more than Jesus himself.

  5. 10 Job August 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Do you go door to door? Or to street corners and hand out tracts? I myself need to get more involved in personal evangelism.

    • 11 speaking truth August 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm

      Job,

      I don’t evangelize door to door or hand out tracks, primarily because I find it a bit mechanical in delivery. Also, most people aren’t engaged when you begin the “evangelical interview” from their front porch or while handing them a piece of paper (“do you know Christ as your Savior? If you were to die today,…”). I know I was never swayed by a “sales pitch”.

      My job takes me to many different geographic locations across the country, and in front of people from all walks of life on a regular basis. My prayer to God was that He would send me to whom He determined was ready to hear of Him – and that He would give me strength and the words to say. Also, He has sent a few young people my way whom I’m walking with right now (going through many challenges of faith).

      So, I guess I’m more of a strategic evangelist, having multiple layered conversations (as well as displaying the fruit of the my walk with Christ) as opposed to a “carpet bomber” evangelist-type.

      Of course, Christ can use me anyway He deems necessary, so don’t be surprised if you see me standing on top of a soap box in near the Underground here in Atlanta one day 🙂

  6. 12 hiscrivener August 30, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Street corner evangelism is for the very strong in faith. It removes all the boundaries, the safety guards. It’s you, them and God.

    I’ve always thought, “Anyone can lead an altar call at a megachurch. Give me a band that is groovin’, a hot message and the movement of the spirit and you would think I was T.D. Jakes.” The merit of a Christian is the one-on-one ministry. Be a success there, and you got something.

    Nice post, brother. Peace.


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