Evangelism Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Evangelism in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Genesis%2012%3A2-3">Genesis 12:2-3</a>, Abram made great so that he could be a blessing</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Psalm%2096%3A3">Psalm 96:3</a>, declare the marvelous works of God</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Matthew%2028%3A18-20">Matthew 28:18-20</a>, the great commission</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Mark%201%3A17">Mark 1:17</a>, Jesus calls his disciples</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Acts%201%3A8">Acts 1:8</a>, you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for God</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/Romans%2010%3A14-15">Romans 10:14-15</a>, &quot;How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="https://preachingandworship.org/search/%201%20Peter%203%3A14-16">1 Peter 3:14-16</a>, always be ready to make a defence from the hope that is in you</span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Evangelism</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Challenge of Evangelism</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Three observations highlight the challenge of this topic to a modern church:</span></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy">First, Jesus clearly commands evangelism (Mark 1:17, Matt. 28:18 - 20).</span></li><li><span class="body-copy">Second, the world clearly needs evangelism. About two-thirds of the world&#39;s 6.9 billion people in 2010 were non-Christian, -&quot;The Global Religious Landscape.&quot; Pew Research Center&#39;s Forum on Religion and Public Life, Washington, D.C. (December 2012).&nbsp; and two-thirds of the U.S.&#39;s 304 million people in 2008 did not know Jesus as a personal Savior. -&nbsp;(George Barna, 2008)</span></li><li><span class="body-copy">Third, even with those statistics, most churches struggle to effectively evangelize. Only 15 percent of the more than 320,000 churches in the U.S. are growing, and 85 percent of that growth is from church hopping.&nbsp;</span>(Dr. Charles Arn, Church Growth Inc.)</li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Evangelism and Divine Election</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Some streams of Calvinist theology struggle to reconcile a belief in divine predestination with a call for human proclamation. Such confusion about election leads to passivity with evangelism. A proper response observes that God has ordained both the ends and the means of salvation. Evangelism is the means God has ordained to achieve the salvific ends God has determined (Rom. 10:14 - 15; 1 Corinthians 3:6).</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Evangelism and Social Justice</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">For many today, social justice is seen as a more appropriate way to love our neighbor than evangelism. We would rather demonstrate our faith in just actions than proclaim it in potentially offensive words. That is especially true in a North American culture that lionizes humanistic philanthropy and demonizes exclusivist truth claims. A response to this objection observes that not just the Great Commission but also the Great Commandment calls us to give voice to the reason for the hope within us. We must show and tell. Theologian and author Ron Sider explained to Relevant that &quot;[W]ithout social works, evangelism appears to be all talk. But without sharing the hope and good news of the Gospel, ministry lacks the Holy Spirit&#39;s transformative power. Neither side of social justice ministry is complete without the other. `People are both spiritual and material beings,&#39; Sider says. `Addressing only half the problem only gives you half of the solution.&#39;&quot;</span>&nbsp;(</span><span class="body-copy-sm">Maggie Canty-Shafer, &quot;<em>Social Justice vs. Evangelism.</em>&quot; Relevant, July 6, 2011)</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Evangelism and Postmodernity</span></strong></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Postmodernity and pluralism have privatized faith. As George Barna observes: &quot;Given that more than eighty million adults contend that being on the receiving end of an evangelistic pitch is `annoying&#39; and knowing that several million born-again Christians refuse to describe themselves as born again for fear of becoming social outcasts, Christians and non-Christians alike opt for a nation in which people are free to practice their religion as long as it is done in secret (or quietly).&quot;&nbsp; <span class="body-copy-sm">(Barna, &quot;<em>Extraordinary Actions</em>,&quot; in <em>The Complete Evangelism Guidebook</em>, ed. Scott Dawson [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2008], 49).</span> Yet the gospel must be shared because it is historical (Acts 4:18 - 20) and exclusive (Acts 4:12). As a revealed religion centered on a historical event (the resurrection of Christ), Christian faith cannot be independently or rationally deduced. It must be shared and received in community.</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Evangelism and Eternity</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Part of our indifference to evangelism stems from an indifference to eternity. Over-realized eschatology on the left and right have dampened both our holy hunger for heaven as well as our healthy fear of hell. A proper response observes that to love like Jesus, we must warn like Jesus. John Piper says: &quot;[I]n order to grieve over the straying lambs, and in order to summon with tears the wild goats. . . I must feel the truth of hell &mdash; that it exists and is terrible and horrible beyond imaginings forever and ever. . . .When the heart no longer feels the truth of hell, the gospel passes from good news to just news.&quot;</span>&nbsp;<span class="body-copy-sm">(Piper, Brothers, <em>We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry</em>. [Nashville, Tenn.: B&amp;H Publishing Group, 2013], 133 - 134.)</span></span></p>