There is nothing I would rather do than preach Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2). I have done this from pulpits, but I do it more often on my doorstep and in coffee houses. I recently read J.I. Packer’s Evangelism and Sovereignty of God. In his book, he deals with the antinomy of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. He then tackles the issue of evangelism in light of this antinomy. By the way, antinomy is when two apparent contradictions dwell together in the same realm. Packer argues that evangelism is not impacted by antinomy of sovereignty and responsibility.
Evangelism is the communication of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The evangel is the message. The evangelist is the messenger. Evangelism is a process with component parts. The method of delivery comes in by teaching the message to someone who wishes to listen. Unfortunately, Packer states that friendship must be established before evangelism can take place. He hedges by saying that this can take place quickly, which leaves the door open for various methods of delivery by the evangelist. Clearly, George Whitefield did not establish friends with the thousands of people who flocked to hear him, in both England and the American colonies. We must argue that an audience is required, regardless of size, and they may not always be eager listeners.
Evangelists must be ready in season and out of season because they cannot control the size and temper of a group. Packer concludes that delivery must be a faithful explanation and application of the Gospel message. For too long, Americans have loved entertainers, posing as preachers, in big event venues. The success of the show is based on numbers, not the faithfulness of the messenger, delivering the true message of the grace leading to faith. These events are filled with much fluff and a often diluted message.
Time is a problem in evangelism. In crusade evangelism, we might have a big name crusader evangelist. He might have an hour to proclaim the excellencies of Christ, but this is an anomaly. In field evangelism (see Acts 17:17), an evangelistic preacher may only have between one and five minutes to capture and keep the attention of a marketplace crowd. It is integral for the crowd to receive as comprehensive a version of the Christian Gospel as possible.
A person or group of people pose another problem because of unknown levels of Gospel knowledge. For an evangelist to teach one on one, he can ask questions of his conversation partner. In a crowd, this is impossible. Therefore, I have created a simple outline, almost a checklist of component parts to my preaching an evangelistic Gospel message. It is simple, yet comprehensive to tell the whole story. It is an outline, so it is up to the evangelist to determine how much filler he can add based on allowable time. Take a look…
A. God created the heavens and the earth.
B. Man (Adam) was the pinnacle of God’s creation, and he was granted dominion over the earth.
A. Satan tempted man into unbelief.
B. Man sinned, lost dominion, died spiritually, and then physically.
III. Problem: Sin
A. Sin separates us from a Holy God — No access — Enemies of God — Kingdom of Darkness
B. Sin enslaves us and is killing each one of us.
C. Sin => Death => Judgment => Wrath/Punishment => Hell => Lake of Fire…forever
IV. Problem: Wrong Self-Assessment
A. Satan blinds and deceives man — convincing him that he is a good person.
B. Man also thinks his good works merit God’s favor.
V. Problem: Man-Made Religion
A. Man turns his good works into religious sacrifices.
B. All religions make adherents work for God’s approval.
VI. Solution: Salvation God’s Way
A. God the Father has decreed salvation for His chosen people both Jews and Gentiles.
B. Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost, to save His people.
C. Holy Spirit regenerates some men, causing them to be born again, making them alive in Christ
VII. Supernatural Conception
A. Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit
B. Why was this necessary? To avoid the inherited sin of Adam
VIII. Supernatural Birth
A. Fulfillment of the prophecies: where? when? how? who? what?
B. Witnesses: shepherds via angels; magi via the star in the sky
IX. Perfect Sinless Life of Christ
A. Law exposes sins; but Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Law of Moses/Law of God
B. God said, “This is my Son…I am pleased.” Jesus said, “I always do the will of my Father.”
X. Jesus is Our Merciful and Great High Priest
A. Role/Function of priest: access to God — mediation — intercession — sacrifice
B. Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice — once for all — our substitute
XI. Jesus is the Lamb of God — Sacrificial Death of Christ
A. Unblemished/Sinless = Holy and Acceptable to God (atonement)
B. Crucifixion: death; tree; blood shed; propitiation; canceled debt; forgiveness of sins
XII. Burial of Jesus Christ
A. Body of Christ: pierced; witness of Roman soldier; government approval; anointed body;
B. 3 days — fulfillment of prophecy
XIII. Resurrection of Jesus Christ
A. Raised body and soul; glorified body; approval of God
B. 40 days of ministry — people worshipped Him — Glory of God
XIV. Ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven
A. Ascension to the throne of God — promise of Christ’s 2nd advent
B. Pentecost — Holy Spirit sent — Ingathering
XV. Session: Position — Power — Program
A. Position: center of the throne — right hand of majesty
B. Power: All authority in heaven and earth belong to the Lord Jesus Christ
C. Program: Preach the Gospel of the kingdom to all nations…then, the end.
XVI. 2nd Advent of Jesus Christ
A. Trouble/Tribulation — Full # of Gentiles enter the kingdom — Day of the Lord
B. Jesus/Angels/Saints come to gather and separate unto judgment/salvation
XVII. Judgment of God
A. Jesus is Judge of the living and dead — Judgment Seat of Christ — All must give an account
B. Separation: wicked to hell (justice) and righteous to heaven (mercy)
A. Wicked: appointed once to die — then the judgment — hell — lake of fire — eternal death
B. Righteous: die — no condemnation — go to be with Christ — heaven (new creation) — eternal life
XIX. What to do?
A. Trust Christ for your salvation from sin, death, judgment, and eternal punishment
B. Repent of your sins and believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth, and hold fast your confidence
XX. Will you be baptized?
A. Baptism follows your credible profession of faith
B. Meaning: inauguration of your entry into God’s covenant of grace and identification with Christ as a public witness
C. Start New Christian Life
4. Lord’s Supper/Communion
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 20, 2020