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Author Topic: The fearless evangelist  (Read 1023 times)

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Billy Evmur

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The fearless evangelist
« on: April 09, 2020, 09:32:41 am »

I would hate you to think I was always the fearless evangelist, once I was walking across Kensington Gore Hyde Park in the wee small hours heading toward my flat in Hammersmith when looking down Exhibition road I saw a man who was the most drunk person still walking I have ever seen, he was reeling from one side of the pavement to the other, a perfect zigzag, then he would stop and lurch forward headlong. He was in a right old state.

God said "go and speak to him about Me."

I set off at once and soon was hard on his heels, but the nearer I got I could see him more clearly and he was HUGE, well over 6ft tall and built like an outhouse. I drew abreast with him but instead of speaking to him I bottled and sped past him up the next side turning and leaning against the railings watching him go by I begged God to forgive such cowardice and prayed for his soul.

God said "Go and speak to that man about Me."

Now when you fail to obey God you do not always get a second chance so I set off again and soon caught up with him and once more drew alongside, but I bottled again and instead of speaking to him sped on by dashing up the next side road.

"Oh Lord please send somebody more brave....." but He said "go and speak to him"

I set off a bit more circumspectly this time, by now he had turned into the Old Cromwell Rd and I followed him [he of course was totally oblivious to all this]

I drew alongside and passed him but this time I turned and stepped in front of him and held up my hand like a policeman. I proferred a tract to him and said "I would like you to read this, it's about Jesus"

He stood swaying to and fro blinking owlishly at me, his mouth fell open.

I said "Jesus has totally transformed my life and He can do the same for you if you will believe in Him [I think I gabbled a bit] He still does miracles today as He always did but now He works from inside us, if we will receive Him into our heart He sets up His kingdom within us and He will bring new and good people into your life, people who will help you."

He snatched the tract from me and mumbled "I'll read it tomorrow morning." but as he tried to pass me I stepped in front of him again. He was such a sweet natured guy, a Canadian. A real gentle giant. He almost screamed "I promise, I promise, I will read it tomorrow, I am much too drunk tonight" I pointed to the prayer on the tract and promised him it would change his life forever if he was sincere and let him go.

Some weeks later I was at meeting in Kensington Temple and the Pastor held up a letter he had received telling about how this Canadian soldier on his last day in England had been unceremoniously been dumped by his English girlfriend and how he had been on his way back to the barracks rip roaring drunk intent on getting his gun and blowing his brains out, and he'd have done it but a man from your church stopped him in the street and told him about Jesus and he got saved instead. The letter was from Canada.

His mother who had been praying for him and was Catholic got saved too.

God is great.   
« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 09:52:12 am by Billy Evmur »
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patrick jane

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 11:15:32 pm »
Amazing Billy. God is amazing. Ha, you were scared shitless !!!
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2020, 12:13:18 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/april-web-only/coronavirus-pandemic-pentecostal-prayer-love-revival.html






Coronavirus Calls for Revival of Real Pentecostalism








Despite errors, Spirit-filled theology can show us how to respond to the pandemic.


It’s not exactly a secret: Many Pentecostals have responded to the current pandemic in ways that are both bizarre and troubling. These responses have overshadowed the sanity and generosity of many faithful, Spirit-filled Christians and reinforced the idea that Pentecostal theology is cheap and silly.

This is unfortunate because Pentecostalism has many gifts to give. At its best, it is mystical and prophetic and teaches us to live deeply prayerful lives. Pentecostal theology teaches us that ministry must begin and end in prayer. It teaches us we must hold high expectations for God to work in the world, along with a deep sense of personal and communal responsibility. It teaches us not to fear the new or idolize the familiar, and that the divine power of Pentecost is the love revealed in the Cross. These are all truths the church needs in this current crisis.

Pray like jazz


If you know anything about Pentecostalism, you know about the prayer. Harvard theologian Harvey Cox compared it to jazz because of its playful extemporization and collaborative enthusiasm. Pentecostals believe this improvisation is a way of keeping rhythm with the Holy Spirit. This is why our prayers often have the spirit of an old-time revival tent—open on all sides and thrown up anywhere, anytime, as God leads. Pentecostal prayer, at its heart, is about radical openness to God, and it is marked by a readiness to be surprised and to be changed.

This openness in prayer leads Pentecostals to be improvisational in other ministries as well. When we are faithful to our calling, we are ready to abandon familiar ways of doing ministry and make ourselves at home in the company of those we are called to serve.

We consider the church neither a means to an end nor an end in itself. Therefore, we are ready to forget familiar ways of speaking and to learn new languages, both literally and figuratively, because we expect to hear God speak in ways we never could have anticipated. This is what it really means to “speak in tongues.”

It is always hard to know what to say in times of pain and loss. But when we are faithful to the wisdom we have received, we know that what we say to others must be shaped first of all by what we say to God on others’ behalf. Faithful ministry, in other words, always begins and ends in intercessory prayer.

Even as we try to give good answers to the many difficult theological questions arising at this time, we should never forget that if those answers are to be helpful, they must be rooted in prayer. This is not polite, self-assured prayer, but raw, unsparing prayer, prayer that laments and protests, demands and interrogates, begs and invokes—prayer that is radically and confidently open to God in front of others and to others in front of God.

I believe the church needs this kind of openness in the midst of this crisis. We need a “holy boldness,” one that has nothing to do with living as if we are protected from harm, claiming secret knowledge about God’s will or asserting power over disasters and sicknesses, but has everything to do with following the Spirit into the darkness, coming alongside those who are suffering, and being Christ to them.

Love like God
Pentecostalism, at its best, is deeply communal and missional. It knows that love for God cannot be separated from love for neighbor and that prayer cannot be separated from action. As theologian Lucy Peppiatt recently observed, Pentecostals not only believe strongly in God’s involvement in every aspect of life but also believe—just as strongly—in the call for God’s people to participate in what God is doing in the world.

In spite of what some might think, this is a constant theme in Pentecostal theology. Daniel Castelo, professor of theology at Seattle Pacific University, argues, for example, that Pentecostal spirituality is a form of mysticism. This is not a mysticism of withdrawal, but of mediation and intermediation. In her recent book, The Spirit and the Common Good, Daniela Augustine, professor of theology at the University of Birmingham, makes the same point: “The Spirit uplifts the Christified human life as the visible means of invisible grace. … Indeed, the healing of the entire cosmos starts from within hallowed, Spirit-saturated humanity.”

All that to say, Pentecostal ministries are moved by this twofold desire: to commune deeply with God and to see everyone and everything else drawn into the same communion. This mysticism is a source of renewal for the church.

Dale Coulter, professor of historical theology at Regent University, has shown how something like that has happened before, in the aftermath of the black death in the Middle Ages. He argues that in this pandemic, once again, “pastors and priests need to become spiritual directors, guiding their flocks as they turn within and find the crucified God.”

Pentecostal theology teaches us to long for the age when all God’s people will be prophets. But we do not think of prophecy as a form of magic. We believe true prophecy is not so much about predicting the future as it is about seeing how God helps us to care for our neighbors in ways they most desperately need.

True prophecy gives us insight into what has happened and is happening, what is truly right and truly wrong in the world, and thus enables us to see into and call forth a better, more faithful future.

Coming into communion with Christ’s passion in prayer, we will find ourselves moved with compassion for others into action. The same Spirit who leads us to turn within, mystically, toward the crucified Christ, will lead us to turn out, prophetically, toward those for whom Christ offered and offers himself. Following the Spirit, we will enter the darkness instead of denying it, trusting that the light of God is already breaking forth from its depths. This is what it means to be prophetic, speaking life into dry bones.

Bless the poor
As a Pentecostal, and a Pentecostal theologian, I feel the need to be honest about our failures, past and present. I know there are hard questions to ask about the integrity and effects of our teachings and practices. And I know this is not a time for nostalgia or idealism.

But I am convinced that it is a time to return to the faithful ways that led to the rise of Pentecostal spirituality and theology in the first place. We need to retune ourselves to the God who tell us it is a commandment—not a compromise—to love our neighbors as ourselves, especially when those neighbors are not like us.

Sadly, many Pentecostals have forgotten the wisdom of their own tradition. In its beginnings, Pentecostalism was a movement of the poor and for the poor. The poor always suffer worst in crises like the one facing us now, so Pentecostals found themselves at the center of the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918. A century later, Pentecostalism remains a movement of the poor in most parts of the world.

But in the US, much has changed. Many of us now work at a remove from the poor, both geographically and spiritually, and we are largely out of touch with the material and spiritual needs of those we are called to serve first. Now is the time to make that right. And that begins with a return to the deepest, truest convictions of our mothers and fathers in the faith.

At the revival on Azusa Street, at the very beginning of the Pentecostal movement, pastor William Seymour put it this way: “The Pentecostal power, when you sum it all up, is just more of God’s love. If it does not bring more love, it is simply a counterfeit. … Pentecost makes us love Jesus more and love our brothers more. It brings us all into one common family.”

Article continues below
I know there are more than a few counterfeits available today. I know there is much that Pentecostals have said that is ridiculous and much that they should have said but haven’t. But there is another Pentecostalism, a mystical and prophetic Pentecostalism, which is a gift of the Spirit. And like many of the Spirit’s gifts, it is offered just as we need it and in ways we never could have imagined. That is precisely the Pentecostalism this crisis calls for.
















Chris Green is a professor of theology at Southeastern University and a pastor at Sanctuary Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His most recent book is Surprised by God.

Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Billy Evmur

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2020, 03:52:32 am »
 :)
Have faith in God

patrick jane

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 09:51:44 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/charles-cotherman-think-christianly-study-centers.html






Amid the Stresses and Strains of Higher Education, Christian Study Centers Are Thriving












How a postwar evangelical movement to unite mind and heart spread to campuses across the country.


In the May 1972 issue of Christianity Today, Frank Nelsen, a history professor from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, proposed creating “evangelical living and learning centers for undergraduate students [to] be built on private property near large state universities.” These centers would provide students with space to pursue “an intellectually honest investigation of the Christian faith and its relation to secular disciplines.”

Nelsen suggested the idea—targeting a niche between campus ministries, local churches, and Christian liberal arts colleges—as a solution to what CT had identified a year earlier as the “Crisis in Christian Education.” The postwar boom in higher education was waning, and evangelicals were unprepared to respond. Rather than stick to an aging model, Nelsen asked: “Is there an educational alternative to the private college for evangelicals to consider in the light of current economic stresses and strains?”

The question is, unfortunately, as timely in May of 2020 as it was in May of 1972. Once again, universities—both public and private—are facing a tidal wave of new “economic stresses and strains.” And what of Nelsen’s proposal? In the almost-half-century since, “evangelical learning centers” have popped up on dozens of college campuses, from flagship public institutions such as the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin–Madison to elite private schools including Yale and Duke. The 30 or so individual centers have formed a national Consortium of Christian Study Centers, founded in 2008. While the details of Nelsen’s proposal never came to fruition (he suggested separate Christian dormitories and accredited coursework), the idea took on a life of its own.

The path from CT article to national consortium was anything but straightforward. Charles Cotherman’s new book, To Think Christianly, is the first comprehensive history of the Christian study center movement and its many roots in postwar evangelicalism. Focused on an influential, if small, class of educated evangelicals pursuing deeper cultural engagement with contemporary thought, To Think Christianly carefully reconstructs a vast web of intellectual networks and institutional struggles that most recent histories of postwar evangelicalism ignore, resisting the dominant narrative of evangelical cultural engagement since World War II.

Two New Frameworks
To Think Christianly may be the first time many readers encounter the institution of the Christian study center. Cotherman, it should be clear, is exclusively concerned with the genealogy of “evangelical learning centers.” In the 19th century, organizations like the YMCA and the Chautauqua movement fulfilled a similar role for lay Christians. Catholics have built a vast Newman Center network, and mainline Protestants founded centers like the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, Switzerland, in the late 1940s. Even Christian Science Reading Rooms resemble Christian study centers. Cotherman ignores this wider Christian history in favor of explaining contemporary evangelical study centers in particular. This may rankle some readers, but the choice also sharpens his focus on a distinct evangelical engagement with culture that remains understudied.

Evangelical Christian study centers trace their roots to two progenitors: Francis Schaeffer’s L’Abri community in Switzerland and Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. While both were founded outside of the United States, they were deeply attuned to midcentury American evangelical concerns. Founded in 1955 in the Swiss Alps, L’Abri became a destination for travelers and wanderers to learn at the feet (or more often at the cassette tape) of ex-fundamentalist Francis Schaeffer. A one-time missionary, Schaeffer and his wife, Edith, recognized the growing appeal of hosting young travelers in their home. As Cotherman observes, L’Abri’s “home-based hospitality” of open-ended stays, communal work, and eating together made it “a working, living, studying, praying community before communal living became a countercultural standard.”

L’Abri’s “radical hospitality” helped to popularize Schaeffer’s novel conservative Protestant engagement with art, philosophy, and culture. By the late 1960s, Schaeffer was a best-selling author with speaking tours across the United States. Yet there were limitations. Especially as he became a leader in pro-life politics in the 1970s, he developed a guru-like aura among his followers. Rather than engage directly with other thought leaders, he maintained an insular circle of intellectual partners. While most historical accounts of Schaeffer linger on this later phase of political activism, Cotherman emphasizes how a generation of intellectually inclined evangelicals were inspired by Schaeffer’s earlier period at L’Abri.

If L’Abri’s hospitality modeled a new type of evangelical community, Regent College suggested a novel framework for evangelicals to pursue academic knowledge. Initiated by a circle of educated Plymouth Brethren in Vancouver, Regent started as a graduate school for lay Christians, eventually affiliating with the University of British Columbia. Regent’s founding in 1970 was shaped by its first principal, James M. Houston, a Scottish geographer who left Oxford for the job. Houston quickly assembled an impressive faculty, including J. I. Packer and W. Ward Gasque, which led to growing enrollment.

One of Houston’s early struggles was to maintain Regent’s focus on relational lay theological training and to resist developing Regent into a large seminary. As Cotherman puts it, Houston wanted education “to do away with the trappings of technocracy in favor of personal relations.” There were many benefits to this approach. With its mission to lay Christians, Regent was more welcoming to women (predominantly as students) in an era when it was almost impossible for women to enroll in evangelical seminaries. Regent encouraged women and men alike to become theological thinkers.

Why so much attention directed to this pair of institutions? In Cotherman’s telling, the twin legacies of L’Abri and Regent “helped sow an emphasis on hospitality and relationship” for the study centers that would follow. Moreover, the majority of later study center founders had some connection to L’Abri or Regent. These common evangelical roots were revealed through overlapping interpersonal networks and a shared intellectual agenda. The relationship of knowledge to faith—of “mind and heart”—was the umbrella under which each new generation could contemplate certain core questions: What role does Christian faith play in the pursuit of academic knowledge? What does it mean to have a faithful Christian presence in a modern university community? How should Christian thought form an engineer, a doctor, an architect?

Cotherman’s other examples—R. C. Sproul’s Ligonier Valley Study Center in Stahlstown, Pennsylvania, and New College Berkeley near the University of California (now affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union)—diverged from the early models. Ligonier eventually became a national cassette and video tape ministry that relocated to outside of Orlando, Florida. New College Berkeley nearly folded in its attempt to gain accreditation in the 1980s, deciding instead to embed itself in an existing network of seminaries and theological centers in the San Francisco Bay area. More closely linked to the contemporary Christian study center movement is the Center for Christian Study on the campus of the University of Virginia, which under the leadership of Andrew Trotter in the 1990s and 2000s developed the cooperative model between university and study center that now dominates the movement. (Trotter would become the first director of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers in 2009.)

Carrying the Torch
Cotherman’s story largely sidesteps the familiar culture-war and Christian-right themes that currently receive so much attention from journalists and historians. Study centers themselves are scattered across the political spectrum. Schaeffer played a crucial role in the Christian right until his death in 1984, while New College Berkeley’s roots are in the evangelical left of the 1970s.

This diversity does not mean, however, that Cotherman overlooks the areas where Christian study centers overlapped with conservative evangelical politics. Many study centers pitched (and still pitch) themselves as a “shelter” and specialize in apologetics, creating Christian “bubbles” of students floating in secular campuses. The US Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which allowed universities to implement far more muscular anti-bias regulations, only hardened this posture. According to Cotherman, the decision aided a “reactionary and isolationist strain” that can work against stated missions of cooperative academic engagement. And while the study centers that followed in Regent’s path were substantially more accessible to women than evangelical seminaries, most often they have been founded and led by white men.

Cotherman’s narrative choice is refreshing, suggesting an alternate story of postwar evangelical cultural engagement that is challenging, insightful, and, at times, inspirational. Like all histories, this one is shaped by the questions asked of the past. The Consortium of Christian Study Centers has recently experienced remarkable growth, as more than half of its 30 member centers were founded after 2010. To Think Christianlyreflects this narrative of growth, tracking the movement’s shift from an “innovation” mindset to a “multiplication” mindset. It remains unclear if the movement will continue to grow, or what its broader influence on evangelical thought will be. Observers beyond Cotherman, including historians Mark Noll and Molly Worthen, have highlighted study centers as potential bright spots in an intellectual landscape darkened by the multiple crises afflicting evangelical intellectual life and higher education.

These cycles of educational crisis, voiced by Nelsen in 1972, are, admittedly, here to stay. “Crises are nothing new for the Christian colleges,” he observed, “their histories are replete with them.” Cotherman’s excellent book illustrates how there has been and will continue to be an evangelical impulse to care for the mind, body, and spirit of these university communities. Whatever crises lay on the horizon, we can expect a host of Christian study centers to build creatively on the foundations laid by previous generations, carrying the torch of evangelical cultural engagement with the same verve and resilience.























Daniel G. Hummel is an honorary research fellow in the history department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a staff member at Upper House, a Christian study center based there. He is the author of Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations (University of Pennsylvania).
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 10:00:33 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/may/how-fall-affected-evangelism.html







How the Fall Affected Evangelism









From the account of Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden, there are at least four reasons why believers may not be sharing the gospel


David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1).

Jesus responded to the Pharisees when they told him, “Teacher rebuke your disciples” by saying, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out” (Luke 19:10).

We learn something extremely important about creation in these two verses. We learn that creation, by its very nature, is an evangelist. The heavens “declare,” the expanse “proclaims,” and the rocks “cry out” in an act of praise to its Creator.

If creation is, by its nature, an evangelist, then it would only stand to reason that human beings—by their very nature—should be considered evangelists as well.

Humans were created in the image of God—meant to represent God’s presence (along with his rule and reign) on planet earth. Therefore, the heavens weren’t the only thing that was to declare God’s glory; the expanse wasn’t the only thing that was to proclaim the work of God’s hands; and the rocks weren’t the only thing to cry out in response to their Maker.

Humanity was the crown of God’s creation meant to exercise dominion over the created order, and thus to lead out in the universal declaration and proclamation of the King of the Cosmos.

Think about it—way before Israel or the church were brought into existence and were called to “declare God’s glory among the nations” (Ps. 96:2) or “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15), God created his image-bearers to be his evangelists.

Interestingly, the call of God’s people to declare God’s glory throughout the earth is something that creation, by its very nature does.

David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1). Jesus responded to the Pharisees, when they told him, “Teacher rebuke your disciples,” by saying, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out” (Luke 19:10).

Paul addressed the fact that God’s “eternal power and divine nature has been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made” (Rom. 1:20).

Creation seems, by both David and Paul’s account, to be batting .1000 when it comes to declaring God’s glory.

On the flip side, God’s people don’t bat .1000 when it comes to their responsibility and call to declare God’s glory and gospel to all the world.

Why is that? The short answer, temptation and sin. We know from the book of James, temptation and sin are two different—yet connected—things (James 1:13–15).

Although God’s people have been redeemed and reconciled by the blood of Jesus, and have been indwelt with the Holy Spirit, God’s people still struggle with both temptation and sin. Thus, temptation and sin suppress and prohibit evangelism.

Using the account of humanity’s fall in the garden—where we clearly see how temptation and sin take our eyes and lives off God’s glory—I want to share four reasons why God’s people don’t evangelize.

You won’t evangelize if you’re skeptical of God.

Satan sought to plant seeds of doubt and skepticism in Eve’s view of God. He wanted her to think that God was holding out—that He wasn’t as generous or good as she might have thought.

The reality is, you won’t share what you are skeptical of, and you won’t declare what you doubt.

If believers are to exercise their evangelistic calling as God’s people—image-bearers who are redeemed and being restored in Christ—then they will have to trust in the graciousness, goodness, and generosity of God. That doesn’t mean they will fully understand everything in the world or that happens in and around their life.

Elisabeth Elliott once noted, “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”

You won’t evangelize if you’re seduced by sin.

James explains in his letter the process of temptation. He writes, “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown it gives birth to death” (James 1:14–15).

It wasn’t the serpent’s fault for luring Eve to the tree. He didn’t force her to come over. It wasn’t the serpent’s fault for twisting the truth Eve was supposed to know. But it was the serpent’s intention to plant seductive seeds that tempted Eve to rebel against God.

The reality is, Eve stayed way too long at the tree. She was captivated by the product of the tree. She should have fled the moment the serpent started questioning God’s words. But she didn’t.

She stayed and ate, and thus from her life and actions dethroned God. And what becomes your god, becomes your gospel. Why do you think Eve turned around and gave the fruit to Adam? You’ll share that which you hold dear.

Billy Sunday once stated, “Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.”

When it comes to temptation and evangelism, the more we are intoxicated to sin against God, the more difficult it will be to invite sinners to be redeemed by God.

You won’t evangelize if you live in shame.

In their sin, Adam and Eve sought shelter from God when they heard His footsteps. As a result of their sin, their faith and security in God quickly turned to fear and shame. And their fear and shame drove them into hiding.

Today I believe we live in a shame-based culture. The difference between a guilt culture and a shame culture is—a guilt culture is more about a person believing they have done badthings, whereas a shame culture is more about people feeling they are bad. But this new shame culture we live in is somewhat different than a traditional shame culture.

David Brooks, writing about this new shame culture, expresses how “everybody is perpetually insecure in a moral system based on inclusion and exclusion.” And in this new environmental system, “There are no permanent standards, just the shifting judgment of the crowd.”

What does this have to do with evangelism? In short, shame silences sharing.

For believers who already live in a shame culture—where people lie in wait ready to shame another—coupled with the shame they have in their struggle with sin (past or present), it’s no wonder many live in a prison of silence when it comes to sharing the Good News.

When people hide in their shame, it is difficult to share the good news of Jesus to the public.

You won’t evangelize if you experience relational strife.

God graciously draws Adam and Eve out of hiding. How they respond to His questions reveal the hurtfulness and hostility of their hearts. They each play the blame game.

Relational conflicts exert negative effects. When things aren’t going right in life, and the impulse is to blame others—to see “others” as the problem—relationships are bound to stay off track and fail to experience positive forward progress.

Relational strife keeps believers and churches from reaching sinners. I would argue that Jesus knew this, which is why He prayed, “May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me” (John 17:20–21).

Could relational strife be one of the many reasons why so many churches fail to reach their communities? I think so.

In closing, at the core, a lack of gospel evangelism is rooted in temptation and sin. However, the good news is that—through Jesus and the Spirit’s empowerment—skepticism, seduction, shame, and strife can subside so that the declaration of God’s glory and the proclamation of His salvific work in Christ may rise from the lips and lives of those who are his. And in doing so, God’s people in joining with creation becomes of symphony of declaring God’s glory and his gospel!


















Josh Laxton currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Billy Graham Center, Lausanne North American Coordinator at Wheaton College, and a co-host of the podcast Living in the Land of Oz. He has a Ph.D. in North American Missiology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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