The Heart of Evangelism

Does anyone have any objections to what I had to say? I would love to engage in a friendly discussion!

Jeremiah...........I read your blog and there is nothing there that I can add to.

You certainly covered the bases.

It read like a sermon, was that your intent???
Interesting post. I agree with you that evangelism is teaching people about Christ's death and resurrection, His great sacrifice. It's also great to see someone so passionate about reaching the lost for Christ. I do think, though, that there are some problems with your definition of evangelism.

I don't use the sinner's prayer in evangelism, but I am concerned by this comment of yours: "Evangelism is not confronting “Sinners” and telling them to repent."

That is problematic. First, repentance is an integral part of evangelism. In Luke 24:47, we are told, "...and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." You really can't tell people to repent unless you also talk to them about their sin. Otherwise what are they to repent of? What are they to turn from?

Regarding his own gospel ministry, Paul said, "I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus." (Acts 20:21)

Jesus said, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32) How can people respond to that call unless they know they are sinners, unless they are brought face to face with the reality of sin in their lives?

Yes, evangelism must arise out of deep love; that is why we must be sure to tell people everything they need to hear regarding the good news. Nobody can know a thing about God unless God reveals it to him or her. Without God's condescending to us to reveal truths about Himself to us, whether through creation or Scripture, we would be completely in the dark. We cannot come to any knowledge of God on our own. That is true also when it comes to the gospel. The details of the gospel have been revealed in the Bible, and if parts of that message are missing, people will not be able to understand salvation. So it is imperative that we communicate the gospel accurately and faithfully to the lost. Withholding part of that revelation from them would be neglecting to love them.

You also said that evangelism is love. Evangelism is borne out of love, but evangelism is not love itself. I think you might be confusing the two. Evangelism is a proclamation of the good news. The Greek word euangelizw means just that: a proclaiming/preaching of the good news. It should gush forth from a heart of love, yes, but it is an error to equate it with love. The reason I say that is because if we say that evangelism = love, we are a short step from saying that good deeds are evangelism (since good deeds arise out of love). When we get to that point, we start saying things like "evangelism is donating money to the poor" or "evangelism is going to the grocery store for my disabled neighbor" or the like. As wonderful and charitable as those things are, they are not evangelism. They may accompany evangelism, but they don't equal evangelism. The ideas in servant evangelism fall into that category. That view claims that evangelism can consist in good deeds alone without any message about God, Christ, sin, repentance, and faith. Not only is that not evangelism because it fails to proclaim the message of the gospel to others, but also it is not love because it amounts to withholding the necessary message of the gospel from those who desperately need to hear it.

Evangelism is the verbal proclamation of the good news about Christ. That is the biblical definition of it. As such, it is a message to be taught to others. It is not commitment, love, or anything else that we do. Yes, commitment and love should be evident in our evangelism, and they should drive it, for sure, but they are not the same as evangelism.