Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We Don't Sell The Gospel, We Proclaim It: Evangelism, Part the Second

Tommorrow we start Fair Ministry. We'll face paint children using the colors of the Wordless Book (gold, black, red, white, green) to bring them Law and Gospel. The problem of many types of what many call evangelism is the focus of "how it's done." There are really two ways that this is done.

The first is the salesman approach (in which we are basically "pedlars" of Christ and Fine Spirituality) where the pressure is all on us to make the sale. "This was my life before Christ. This was my life after Christ. You really need Christ as you'll get left behind otherwise and go to Hell. I'd really like to get you behind the seat of this Christianity thing, you can see it comes fully loaded. What would keep you from signing the dotted line today?" At first glance it might not seem as though this is what we are trying to do, until you get to the end and say something like "Are you ready to make a decision for Christ today?" Did you catch it that time?

The second is a news announcer approach. A news announcer doesn't sell anything. He reports (or proclaims) the news, in this case, the Good News by using both Law and Gospel. "We're born sinful, are dead to sin and the punishement for that sin is eternal separation from God's love, which is Hell. There is absolutely nothing we can in any way do anything to get rid of that sin or to eleviate the punishment for it. (Law) But God is gracious and provided a way that our sins could be forgiven through his Son, Christ, who willing took our place, shed his blood for the forgiveness of sins, died and rose again, that we might believe and be saved through Him alone that we might be His own and be with Him. (Gospel)" Who's the pressure on in this approach? The Word. (Romans 10:17) It gives us faith. With the news announcer approach, the question we ask then is not "Are you ready to make a decision for Christ today?" (John 1:12-13, see post: "The Candle Sheds Light on Decision") but instead "Do you believe?" (Acts 16:31)

In what is being called evangelism, you're job isn't to make a sale, it's to tell them the Good News of what Christ did for them. There is no pressure on you, for you can't give people faith. People can't give faith to themselves. But the Word through Christ can. Our question at the end should be "Do you believe?" After having heard the Gospel, the Word of God, they'll either believe or they won't. And when they say "yes", they can only say it because they had faith from having heard the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) So remember, we're news announcers, proclaimers of the Gospel, not salesman. Man cannot save man. Only the Good News of Christ for us, the power of God, can do that. (Romans 1:16)

Jesu Juva,
Sole Deo Gloria

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