No True Evangelism Without It

martyn-lloyd-jones2_12There is no true evangelism without the doctrine of sin, but I say that a gospel which merely says ‘Come to Jesus,’ and offers Him as a Friend, and offers a marvelous, new life, without convicting of sin, is not New Testament evangelism. The essence of evangelism is to start by preaching the law; and it is because the law has not been preached that we have had so much superficial evangelism. Go through the ministry of our Lord Himself and you cannot but get the impression that at times, far from pressing people to follow Him and to decide for Him, He put great obstacles in their way. He said in effect: ‘Do you realize what you are doing? Have you counted the cost? Do you realize where it may lead you? Do you know that it means denying yourself, taking up your cross daily and following Me?’ True evangelism, I say, because of this doctrine of sin, must always start by preaching the law. This means that we must explain that mankind is confronted by the holiness of God, by His demands, and also by the consequences of sin. It is the Son of God Himself who speaks about being cast into hell. If you do not like the doctrine of hell you are just disagreeing with Jesus Christ. He, the Son of God, believed in hell; and it is in His exposure of the true nature of sin that He teaches that sin ultimately lands men in hell. So evangelism must start with the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the demands of the law, the punishment meted out by the law and the eternal consequences of evil and wrongdoing. It is only the man who is brought to see his guilt in this way who flies to Christ for deliverance and redemption. Any belief in the Lord Jesus Christ which is not based on that is not a true belief in Him. You can have a psychological belief even in the Lord Jesus Christ; but a true belief sees in Him one who delivers us from the curse of the law. True evangelism starts like that, and obviously is primarily a call to repentance, ‘repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.’

D. MARTYN LLOYD-JONES, STUDIES IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, [GRAND RAPIDS: WM. B. EERDMAN’S PUBLISHING COMPANY: 1984], 207.

Letter to the Unsaved

lostsheepLetter to the Unsaved by Rev James Smith (1802-1862)

Dear unsaved friend, and then sign it — if you agree to it.

I am resolved to persevere in sin, and follow the maxims and customs of those around me — though it costs me the loss of my soul, and exposes me to everlasting damnation.

I am resolved to reject the Son of God — I will not embrace Him as my Saviour, or have Him reign over me. I am resolved that I will not accept the pardon which God presents to me in the gospel, though it cost Jesus His life to procure it — and I know I must eternally perish without it. I am determined not to submit to God’s way of salvation, and I consent to be lost forever! I have made up my mind, that I will never consent to receive a free salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ — I will not have it!

I am resolved . . .to reject God’s message, to dare His justice, to defy His power, to refuse His mercy, to brave His threatened wrath, and to harden myself against all His invitations, expostulations, exhortations, and promises!

I am resolved that I will not . . . bow to His authority, yield to His entreaties, believe on His Son, repent of my sins, love His name, or obey His precepts!

I am determined that there shall never be joy in Heaven among the angels of God — on account of my conversion.

I will never . . . desert the ranks of Satan, give up my sinful practices, ask for mercy at God’s hands, or take up my cross and follow Christ!

I am resolved . . . to keep on in my old wicked course, to persevere in my present sinful path, to associate with my carnal companions — and if it secures my eternal damnation — then let it do so!

I will not receive salvation on God’s terms, I will not stoop to be saved by grace alone, I will not take the yoke of Christ upon me, and engage to be His subject and servant — even though Heaven and all the glories of eternity would be secured by it.

If I cannot escape the wrath of God — but by faith, repentance, and holiness — why, I am determined go to Hell, for I am resolved not to yield to any such terms!

It is of no use for the preacher to spend His breath upon me! My mind is made up, I will be my own master, I will take my own course! No one has any right to interfere with me — for I shall injure no one but myself!

I have no objection to going to church, or to attending to some religious forms — but to give my heart to God, to be crucified to the present world, and to make God’s glory the end of life — will never do for me; therefore I gladly take the consequences.

If this is required of those who would be true Christians — then you must stop urging me — for I will not yield! You must stop all attempts to convert me, for my mind is made up! I have heard hundreds of sermons, I have read the Bible myself — but I have hardened myself against the whole, and I am not going to yield now!

Tell me no more of the Saviour’s love, tell me no more of the pleasures of holiness, tell me no more of the terrors of death, tell me no more of the dreadful judgment, tell me no more of the joys of Heaven, tell me no more of the agonies of Hell — for you will never induce me to yield myself unto God, and seek the salvation of my soul. For my mind is made up, and my daily conduct is enough to convince you of it, if anything would. I am resolved not to yield — let the consequences be what they may!

I will go on just as I have done! I will not be Christ’s servant! I will not be God’s child! I will obey only Satan! I will follow the course of this evil world! I will serve my lusts and pleasures!

In proof thereof, witness my signature, ____________.

Will you now sign your name? Will you now solemnly put your seal to this statement? Why are you so afraid?

Do not your actions speak louder than your words? Is not your daily practice stronger proof — than just putting your name to a statement once? If you do not say the above in words — yet if you do so in your actions — then where is the difference? Does not God read the language of your life? If you say it in your daily practice — then why not boldly take the pen and openly sign your name?

Soon the judgment shall be set, and the books shall be opened — and your criminality and folly shall be published before assembled worlds!

Well, will you sign the above? Why not? Is it true of you — or is it not?

6 Reasons Why We Should Evangelize

John Calvin’s 6 Reasons (from Joel Beeke):

There are many reasons why we must evangelize. John Calvin offers the following:

1. God commands us to do so. “We should remember that the gospel is preached not only by the command of Christ but at his urging and leading.”

2. We want to glorify God. True Christians yearn to extend God’s truth everywhere so that “God may be glorified.”

3. We want to please God. Calvin writes,” Calvin says. He adds, “It is our duty to proclaim the goodness of God to every nation.”

5. We have a duty to our fellow sinners. Our compassion should be intensified by knowing that “God cannot be sincerely called upon by others than those to whom, through the preaching of the gospel, his kindness and gentle dealings have become known.”

6. We are grateful to God. We owe it to God to strive for the salvation of others; if we do not, we are behaving in a contradictory manner. Calvin says, “Nothing could be more inconsistent concerning the nature of faith than that deadness which would lead a man to disregard his brethren, and to keep the light of knowledge… in his own breast.”

This excerpt is taken from Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism by Joel Beeke.