March 2014

Evangelism Isn’t Popular

*In this article, Pastor Greg Laurie talks about how evangelism isn’t popular today.

A popular trend in the Church today is to not share your faith.

USA Today had an article about a man who described himself as a “recovering evangelist.” He said that he used to engage in what he called “bait-and-switch” methods. In other words, he would engage a person with the purpose of bringing the gospel to them, but now he has changed his approach.
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Instead, he advocates “All bait, no switch, and he thinks others should, as well.” He advocates promotion by non-promotion, evangelism by attraction, goodwill mongering, or simply letting one’s life speak for itself.”

He suggests that we just “live the life,” and let the “spiritual chips fall where they will.”

The Cure for Cancer?

OK, let’s use an analogy to play out that scenario.

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The Cure for Condemnation

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We’ve all been there. We get amped up and excited about our faith. We want to rise up and make an impact for Christ and His kingdom. But as we rise up, we often get knocked down. We fall and face plant in our sin. We recognize the sin, and we repent and realize that Jesus died for it, but what should we do about all of the guilt, regret, and shame that comes with it?

Because of sin, many Christians feel condemned. They think they’re no longer worthy to pray, read the Bible, or go to church. They think their sin is too bad for God to forgive. They think that God doesn’t love them anymore and that they’re going to hell. But, although that might describe the way we feel, it doesn’t describe what’s true. Here’s the fact:

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

The Cross is the Cure

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross we are no longer condemned for our sin. Why? Because Jesus was condemned for our sin. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus lived the life that we could not live and died the death that we deserved—and triumphantly rose again, defeating sin and death. He took the punishment for our sin; because of His perfect life, He makes us righteous because we are “in Christ Jesus.” He removed our guilt and sin and replaced it with grace and salvation. Paul says it this way, “By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). There’s no condemnation because there’s justification—we are set free from the eternal penalty of sin and the enslaving power of sin.

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What Would Jesus Say?

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Evangelism can be complicated. What do you say? How do you say it? Although answers vary for each situation and conversation, there is a simple principle we can keep in mind when sharing our faith: speak about Jesus, and speak like Jesus.

Jesus should be the subject of our speech and His mission should be our message.

Speak About Jesus

We need to keep the main thing, the main thing. We can engage in small talk, answer objections, build bridges, and even joke around, but if we don’t get around to talking about Jesus, then we aren’t going anywhere in our evangelism. The gospel message is communicated through our words, so we need to speak about Jesus.

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12).

In Acts 3-4, Peter and John healed a lame man and it caused problems with the religious leaders, but it also gave Peter an opportunity to speak publicly. The people wondered how the man was healed and Peter got right to the point—he spoke about Jesus. The religious leaders arrested him and had him appear before a council where he did the exact same thing—He shared how Jesus is the only source for salvation.
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Evangelism is about sharing a message, but the message is about a person. The aim of evangelism is to speak about Jesus, which is why repentance is turning from sin and turning to Jesus and trusting in the “gospel of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:12). Don’t get distracted. Keep the main thing the main thing—speak about Jesussumo suits for sale!

When God presents you with an opportunity to speak about God or Christianity, what will you do? Will you avoid it and not speak at all? Will you change the subject? Or, like Peter, will you talk about how Jesus is the Savior?

Speak Like Jesus

Not only do we need to speak about Jesus, we also need to speak like Jesus. Imagine if Jesus was evangelizing. What would He say? Thankfully, we don’t need a WWJS bracelet because the Gospels tell us what He said. So, in regards to evangelism, what would Jesus say?

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