We didn't make it out to Mill this past weekend. Tom was moving, Marcus was out of town and I went to Luis Palau's CityFest.
Alan and Ronnie were still planning on going out, so I hope they reached a lot of people with tracts and one 2 ones.
CityFest was fun, but I wouldn't really call it an "evangelism" outreach. I did not hear a clear Gospel message in it. I heard some of the watered down, sugar coated stuff, which was mixed in with some good stuff at the same time.
The classic misuse of Rev 3:20, as "Jesus knocking on the door to your heart" which is not the case at all. In context, that verse is talking about the church in Laodicea - you know the one, the lukewarm church that Jesus had nothing good to say about. Nowhere does it say anything about Jesus coming into your heart.
We also heard that Jesus is your friend, but I really have a problem with that. I know that Scripture says that Jesus lays down His life for His friends (John 15:13), but I could never consider Him a friend. He's so much more than that, as Creator, Sustainer and Savior. He's not like some buddy that you can punch in the arm and joke with, He is the Lord and Judge of the universe, all-knowing, all-powerful, and I find it almost blasphemous to say that He is just a friend.
We heard about the "wonderful" plan that God has for us, and how much better our lives will be on this earth when we accept Him. There's so much wrong with this. First, define "wonderful." God's plan for you might not seem so wonderful to us in this life. Where was Paul's wonderful plan? He was beaten, jailed, shipwrecked and eventually killed for his faith. All the apostles faced martyrdom for their belief. Does this make sense? We are not promised health and proserity in this life, but are promised persecution, trials and tribulation. Jesus said that if the world hated Him, it will hate us as well (John 15:18-20).
So, why would anyone ever want to sign up for that? I guess that's why the modern gospel changes from the Biblical message. What happens then, when someone comes to Jesus for a better life, but instead, they get the promised trial and tribulation? They would feel angry and deceived, and probably reject Christianity completely, since they felt lied to.
Could you preach to the persecuted Christians in Pakistan that God has a wonderful, prosperous plan for our lives? The real Gospel is not about your prosperity in this life, but about submitting to the Lord in obedience based on the gratitude that He saved us from the wrath that we deserve. It's not about rewards in this life, but in the next. That is the true Gospel.
We did hear that none of us are found good, that all have sinned, but nothing to make that sin personal for people to really understand it.
Luis Palau is a good Christian speaker and I enjoy listening to him. Over all, we had a good time, I just cannot call it evangelism. In order to be Biblical evangelism, we must witness the way that Jesus did, the way that Paul did, the way that James and Peter and John and Jude did. There's a book out there that explains this, you can check it out for free online
or buy the book here. I would highly recommend reading it.
Basically, Biblical evangelism is always Law to the proud, grace to the humble. We first must determine if a person is proud or humble. An easy way to do this is simply to ask if someone would consider themselves to be a good person or not. Most will say that they do (per Prov 20:6), even though the Bible clearly teaches that there are none found good (Psalm 14:3, Psalm 53:2-3, Romans 3:10-12)
Many people consider themselves good because they are comparing themselves to other people. We tend to overlook our own faults, but see them more clearly in others. But if we are held to God's moral standard of the Ten Commandments (which most people cannot even name), we find that we fall short. Perfection is required (Matt 5:48) and we know that no one is perfect, but that's still not good enough. We must make it personal. If we've ever lied, stolen, lusted or blasphemed, we've broken 4 of the Ten Commandments right there. When people are made aware of their own specific sin, they can begin to understand the need for a Savior. We need to repent, turn away from our sins, forsake them, and then trust in Jesus Christ alone for the payment of the punishment that we all deserve.
This is what was lacking in the message that I heard, and this is what makes a whole lot of false converts in the Church with no change in their lives, no difference from what they were before, how could they be considered a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)?