Cheap Evangelism

Discussion in 'Evangelism' started by Greg B, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. A post like this might already exist but I am eager to hear other people's thoughts on this matter.

    Cheap evangelism.
    That might not be the best phrase but you'll see what I am after.

    It amazes me how much the Church has cheapened the call to make disciples through unbiblical methods. You are probably aware of this, but the sinners prayer, asking Jesus into your heart, or accepting Jesus into your life, is no where in the Bible. It is a cheap, two minute elevator pitch that allows church leaders to get numbers without ever sacrificing their time to have a relationship and actually disciple people. The whole "ok now you just need to join a small group" is insufficient and (in my experience) are mostly filled with compromising people who struggle to read 1 chapter of the Bible in a week.

    When church leaders proclaim that "200 people stepped forward last week and gave their lives to Christ" how do they know those people are actually following Christ? Because a person full of sin and rebellion said so? Who is deceiving who here?? Agh, so much to say but I will move on.

    Power evangelism. What is this? "2 million people gave their lives in (country name) today." "300,000 people gave their lives in (country name)." I once heard an interview of a foreign church leader who said that if all of the numbers Western missionaries were claiming for converts in his country were true then the entire population has given their lives to Christ 4 times already.

    Let me end this with what I think would be the equivalent if Jesus made disciples the way most churches do today: Jesus walks up to Peter and says to him "Hey I just want you to know that I love you, and I am going to die for your sins, and life is going to be awesome. Keep fishing though, and maybe I'll see you around."

    Ok so that was more on the humorous side but I hope you see my point. Jesus told Peter "Follow me." He didn't ask him to pray. He didn't wait for the lights to go down and the right music to come on. He told him to walk with Him, live with Him, have an actual relationship with Him so that Jesus could have the time to teach Peter the true way to life.

    We must do the same with others :)
    Serene58, Big Moose, Complete and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  2. Amen Greg,
    We seem to have lost the concept of discipleship and ensuring that new believers grow to maturity in the faith to the point where they reliably hear from God and no longer need instruction and teaching. God has been revealing to me truths about these natters from the tabernacle of Moses and of David. Therein is growth in the spirit laid out in a practical form. As you say it is all about relationship. Deep and abiding, intimate relationship with God; out of which flows the love to maintain relationship with our fellow human beings. There is too much which is taken too lightly in the western church. We need the presence of the Father in our services, but He is too often blocked out by our traditions. Amen brother and Amen.
    Love and peace

    Complete, Greg B and Abdicate says Amen and like this.
  3. Amen!! "1, 2, 3, Pray after me" is the biggest tool of the devil to create stillborns. Imagine if the 10 virgins were a reality and only 50% of the confessed "church" is really taken! We are called into the Lord by adoption, but it doesn't mean the same thing as we use it in English. Adoption is a status. A child doesn't understand, a son does. Adoption denotes maturity not adding someone to the family. Adoption is the acceptance of His way, "the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba Father", Rom 8:15. We adopt God's plan, His way and become real disciple, not a stillborn.
    Greg B likes this.
  4. yep, accept Christ now go out into the world young man and do like.
    Churches, seem to me to be a pastor with a board, a budget, a bunch of people getting spoon fed self help or prosperity sermons
    it just seems to me to be far away from the ideals of following Jesus. I think.
    Greg B likes this.
  5. Amen! Sinner's prayer is something that I would never recommend to anyone. I have been battling with altar call. because I am not sure if that is really effective. I firmly believe Holy Spirit has to work in a person's hear to bring change first. It is not that a person simply hears something nice and changes his opinion about God. Sinner's prayer and altar call sort of does that. I would like preachers and pastors at the end of service call out people who were moved by the Word and want to surrender their lives. And probably assist them with the kind of prayer. But stop there and leave it between the person and God. Not ask them to come forward or do anything. Let it be between the person and God. That is what I like.
    Abdicate and Greg B say Amen and like this.
  6. So I am someone who enjoys math and about a month ago I played with some numbers with regards to evangelism/discipleship. Consider the following scenarios:

    Let's say at church A there are 30 members who are very skilled with "evangelism." In one year each of these members get 1,000 people to "ask Jesus into their heart." So, after one year there will be 30,000 people who have "said yes to Christ." This goes on for 30 years, culminating in 900,000 people who have "accepted Jesus in their lives."

    Not bad, but now consider Church B.

    Let's say at Church B there is 1 member who is skilled at disciple making. In one year this member will disciple 1 person. But here is the catch - during that year the disciple is taught how to pray, read the Bible, live righteously, etc. and he/she then makes 1 disciple the next year, each disciple making a disciple. So in one year you have 2 disciples, in 2 years 4 disciples, in 3 years 16 disciples, and so on. This goes on for 30 years, culminating in over a billion people who actually know Christ- from 1 person making 1 disciple.

    There is a reason why Christ modeled discipleship the way he did. The short cut, just get a person to say yes version of evangelism is ineffective compared to investing and teaching that person what Christ taught His disciples, and going out and making disciples themselves is included in those teachings.

    This is now my vision: to find someone to invest in each year. Continually pray for this and sacrifice my own time for the sake of the gospel. It is not about quickly sharing your faith and hoping that person says yes to what you believe. Feel confident in the fact that from a small seed can grow a large tree (Matthew 12:43), you are suppose to take your time and nurture it :)
    autumn oddity and Abdicate say Amen and like this.
  7. Hello there, @Greg B,

    I was saved by just such an evangelistic campaign. At the age of 12 years. I walked out in a cloud of emotion and fear, having seen my need of a Saviour, and having been introduced to the knowledge that God had provided a Saviour, in the person of His Beloved Son, who died in my place. Taking my penalty upon Himself.

    I did not fully understand what had happened that day, but God did, and He has saved me and kept me.

    What matters is that Christ is preached. Whatever tbe motive. The Holy Spirit is able to save to the uttermost, all who come to him, regardless of the weakness of the messenger, or the lack of discipling skills.

    I agree with what you say about this form of evangelism, but God's Word is not bound by such unfortunate endeavours. He is able to overrule, regardless of the vessel, honorable or dishonourable.

    May His Name be praised!

    In Christ Jesus
    autumn oddity, Blessed4JC and Greg B says Amen and like this.
  8. #8 CCW95A, Mar 28, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
    Brother, no one slowly becomes "born again" or a christian. The new birth happens in an instant the moment any one believes and confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. Becoming sanctified which means to make holy, would be like making a disciple which is a process that takes a life time, and then some. (AKA) Also known as spiritual growth.
    autumn oddity and Greg B say Amen and like this.
  9. How do people get saved? Do we just tell them to be good, and try and stop doing bad things, or do we have them do what the scriptures tells them to do through prayer?

    Rom 10:9.. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
    Rom 10:10.. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
    Serene58, autumn oddity, Blessed4JC and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  10. Awesome, I was waiting for others to counter my discussion :)

    So to Complete's point, I myself am also a product of this sort of evangelism. When I was 13 years old someone asked me to pray the sinner's prayer with them and I said with my mouth that Jesus is the Lord of my life. However, I did not surrender my life to God's kingdom and his righteousness until I was 26 years old, when someone discipled me. It was only after this I can honestly say that God gave me a new heart. During those 13 years between these points in my life I continued to live in sin. I truly believe if something fatal happened to me during this time I would not be entering the kingdom of heaven.

    Hebrews 10:26-29 (ESV) - For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace.

    There are many people that I talk to that will tell me with their mouths that Jesus is the Lord of their lives. They too said the sinner's prayer. However, these same people are sleeping with their girlfriends/boyfriends, get drunk every weekend, and curse like sailors every hour. Because of the previous verse, this frightens me.

    My friend I believe these verses with all of my heart, but a confession does not equal saying a statement. A confession is a declaration of truth. Just because someone says with their mouth that Jesus is the Lord of their life does not mean it is truth.

    Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV) - Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my father. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

    In other words, Jesus is saying anyone who lives as if God never gave them a law to follow will not enter the kingdom of heaven, no matter how loud they shout He is Lord.

    I too believe that being born again is an instant in one's life, not a process which is sanctification. But I do not believe that someone is born again just because someone says Jesus is the Lord of their life. What I do believe is this: when a person makes a decision to surrender their lives to righteousness, to deny themselves, denounce all that they have, and take up their cross, then they will truly confess that Jesus is the Lord of their life, and Christ will say they are worthy to be his disciple (mostly from Luke 14:25-32).

    I honestly never heard of things like this until someone discipled me. When I tell these verses to the others mentioned above they say they have never heard of them. All they know is they just had to repeat a prayer after someone.
    autumn oddity likes this.
  11. The problem is, it has been made into some kind of formula. This is leading many people incorrectly. Confession should come from their heart. That is why I think such prayers should be between the person and God. A public confession is needed. It should come in the form of Baptism. Instead of teaching a person a simple prayer, we should only teach the need of savior and redeemer. Once the Good News is shared, the person should open up their heart and confess to God
    Greg B likes this.
  12. #12 CCW95A, Mar 28, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
    You are right, just because someone says something that does not make it true for them, which is why the scripture says, "...For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God..." (Romans 10:10) . As the Bible says "no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Ghost." (1 Cor 12:3)
    This does not mean no one can say Jesus is Lord. It means no one can say it, and believe it except by the Holy Ghost. It takes faith to get saved because we are saved by grace through faith. Faith only comes after you hear the Word of God. The Holy Spirit moves upon those who have faith to believe for salvation even though their physical mind might disagree, which is why we are to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and do not lean upon our own understanding (mind). Believing is always done with the heart, not the mind.
    autumn oddity, Blessed4JC and Greg B says Amen and like this.
  13. My wife thought your comment was the best.
    autumn oddity, Blessed4JC and Greg B says Amen and like this.
  14. So I was so caught up in making my own point (yes I know, us men need to be better at this:)) that I failed to mention some of the beauty that Complete has brought to light.

    THIS is what I would love to see more of. A person coming to the realization that they need a Savior and knowing Christ died in their place as a substitute so God could condemn sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3).

    Unfortunately, what I have seen a lot of in evangelism does not look like this. I see more altar calls and acts of evangelism without ever once trying to arise any conviction in a person. The message delivered focuses more on how following Christ will improve your life and make you a better person. The sinner's prayer comes off as more of a formality than anything else. I would hear these messages and be very inspired, but I can't say that my self was getting lesser and God was getting greater.

    This is truth. Christ being preached is what is most important and nothing can bound the Spirit from accomplishing God's will. And I find this is where there is a hinge point in my thinking...

    Warning: this might be a little off topic, but it does serve a purpose for my discussion.

    For fun I will just say this, though this throws a wrench into my whole argument, but the doctrine of election already tells us that those who are to be saved will be saved. There is nothing I or anyone can do to remove or add to the number of names in the Lamb's Book of Life. All I can say is this (currently my favorite verse):

    2 Timothy 2:10 (ESV) - Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    Paul was bound in chains. The gospel is not bound by anything. Paul knew this and still did everything within his power to let people know what Christ has done. He did whatever he could to tell people something they were already predestined to hear. Why?? Why go through such sacrifice if the elect are going to be saved anyway?

    I believe the answer to this is the root for all of Paul's zeal. It is because he is guaranteed that people will be saved when he preaches. Those who are called according to God's purpose will hear the gospel and surrender their lives to it. He had confidence in what he is preaching because of this. But Paul delivered the full message of the gospel. If it was about the sinner's prayer Paul's letters would have been much shorter.
    autumn oddity and Complete say Amen and like this.
  15. its easy to get off topic,
    I think global evangelism in all its many and varied forms is doing a good job,
    I think if your heart is ready to believe then the word of God will find you even in a boring sermon or street theatre or a leaflet.
    Discipleship can be inferred as a work of the Church, but I think not,
    Christians/ namely the apostles, were disciples of Christ UNTIL the coming of the Holy Spirit,
    then discipleship authority passed to Him,
    He became in a sense Christ to us, our Helper, our Guide, our teacher [if we listen, that is what the real training is about]
    of course in the church we have pastors, helpers, teachers, evangelist, healers, prophets etc but these people are not our FOCUS in a sense of being a disciple,
    the focus must always be for YOU and me to have a personal relationship with God that is daily, real and active.
    Humans in the church are mid wives to our birth, and we in turn become midwives.
    As Paul says one is of paul and one of peter, one sows another waters.
    In NO sense can we be disciples under the Holy Spirit outside the order of the Church as lone wolves.
    Christians who say "i don't have to go to church to be a Christian" are completely wrong, in error and in danger of serious corrective action by God upon their person, read letters to the churches in revelations..
    Greg B likes this.
  16. I am always amused and bewildered by the use of the words "the Church" on this and other forums. THE Church is going to be raptured!!!
    THE Church is not defending righteousness... THE Church is doing this or that.
    There ain't no such creature. The broad spectrum of faiths that collectively is referred to as Christianity is not THE Church.

    The Church is limited exclusively to the Body of Christ-
    Confession of faith in Christ Jesus as one's Lord and Saviour -
    Water baptism by full immersion (at an age of understanding) in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    Receiving the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit with the Bible evidence of speaking in tongues.

    If you are not conforming in doctrine and practice to the Gospels, the Book of Acts and the Epistles then you are not in THE Church.
    Jesus knew way back in his time - that people would over the centuries develop a plethora of Christian faiths, doctrines, churches, sects,
    cults and social action movements - that He declared the Bible evidence that would clearly indicate the one true gospel from the
    multitude of counterfeits:
    Mark 16:
    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.
    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick,
    and they shall recover.

    And since the Reformation started in earnest by Martin Luther (filled with the Holy Spirit and praying in a new tongue as promised) there
    has been Holy Spirit revival consistent with these signs following and proving the Book of Acts and the Epistles.

    Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
    9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
    Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

    Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him,
    We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
    3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
    4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him
    which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
    5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
    7 And all the men were about twelve.

    And this is still happening today. People are being born new by believing the original gospel preached by Jesus and the Apostles.
    Full immersion baptism. Being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues.
    Miracles. Healings. Divine protection. Blessings and provision. The lame walk. The blind see. The deaf hear.
    The same Church as it was in the beginning. And yet only a tiny fraction of the world's Christian population.
    Most Churches today cannot even be bothered to baptize converts, despite this being a Commandment from God to do.

    John 4:23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:
    for the Father seeks such to worship him.
    24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    And the Spirit of truth is the Holy Spirit - the Comforter:
    Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also
    was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
    Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

    Just as Moses was instructed to build the Tabernacle in accordance with the exact instructions given unto him - so we also likewise
    are instructed to obey the exact instructions concerning the creation of new tabernacles for the New Testament:
    1Corinthians 3:
    16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
    17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
    18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
    19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness.
    20 And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
  17. The Lord God knew before he even created the world who the people would be who once hearing the Gospel would believe it for salvation. We do not benefit from knowing this, because we do not know who these people are. The Gospel must be proclaimed to all men so that they (the elect) can decide if they will choose life or death. All of the God's "elect" must choose life of their own free will before they can experience the new birth. It just so happens the Lord already knows who they are, but we don't.
    autumn oddity, Waggles and Greg B says Amen and like this.

  18. Hello Greg,

    This a wonderful piece, I think it is a great Idea of discipleship making, it is always thing to concentrate on one person at a time in other to transform him or her to the best of his knowledge about Jesus. Greg I want to partner with you in ministry. we have a great opportunity here and I believe you will be of great interest. please let me know if you are interested.
  19. Sure brother :)

    Feel free to send me a message on this site and I would be happy to talk more with you.
  20. Prayer is our life breath. Communion with our creator through prayer and worship is central to our life in Christ.

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