I’ve been thinking a lot about evangelism and some of the techniques and styles used. This is a topic that crosses my mind a lot because I believe there is no one specific way to share Jesus with someone. We must be led of and prompted by the Holy Spirit.
The Lord showed me a picture of a hand with a tract carrying a condemning message being given to a young person. The tract was then opened and I saw the message it contained within. Simply put, the message informed the reader they were going to hell if they didn’t accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There was no message of the free gift of salvation, no explanation of why He loves us so much to desire us to live in eternity with Him, and no mention of God’s great plan of redemption and salvation for the world. The highlighted message was that the reader was going to hell.
This vision deeply saddens me as I know this to be true. Many times over the course of my teenage and young adult years I was handed tracts such as this, no explanation, no love from the person giving it out, just condemnation and a reinforcement of my hell-bound destination because I wouldn’t pray a prayer with them at that moment. From experience, I can assure you that this is the one sure-fire way to turn someone away from ever wanting anything to do with Christians or Christ. By focusing on hell as the destination, especially to people who view themselves as good people, we actually confuse things more for them.
Read through the book of Acts, everything the Church and Apostles did was in and with LOVE, and this added to the church daily. God is LOVE, and condemning evangelism tactics are not motivated by LOVE so much as by the need to “get people saved” and look effective in the eyes of others. In the Gospels themselves, Jesus did not condemn or threaten hell to any sinner he met. He simply revealed Himself to them and LOVED them. Tell me something, how open are you to someone who is always extremely critical and negative about your behavior, looks, personality, etc? You are not open to them, are you? Nor do you want anything to do with them. I can assure you, when we behave like this to unbelievers, they want nothing, and I mean, NOTHING to do with us.
Jesus came to redeem and reconcile. His message was one of hope, love and the Kingdom. He met folks where they were and because He loved them so completely, they left His presence forever changed. As His Body here on earth, are others leaving our presence forever changed? Do we love so unashamedly that others crave that desire to love others the same way?
There is a proper way and time to speak of hell to unbelievers, but it should not be the standard opening line for evangelistic efforts. His great love and great grace should be. How much love do you have for others? How much love are you willing to give others in the name of evangelism?
Beloved Church, it is time to do things differently- to no longer do them because the “church has always done it this way”, to stand up and fight for LOVE, to push through in LOVE, to do all in LOVE! Be motivated by LOVE!
People need LOVE more than anything. Be Christ’s vessel of LOVE to someone today.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:1-8a NKJV).