Do the Work of an Evangelist

Article by Dr. Steve Lawson:

In his final letter, Paul charges Timothy, his son in the faith, to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5). By these words, the aged Apostle establishes the timeless standard for pastoral ministry, not only for young Timothy but for all pastors in every generation and in every place.

With Apostolic authority, this imperative command comes with binding force. All pastors must do the work of an evangelist. They must earnestly proclaim the gospel message, urging people to trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. So, where should this pastoral evangelism begin?

First, every pastor must preach the gospel to himself. Before any pastor can call others to repent, he must believe in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy, saying, “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you” (1 Tim. 4:16). That is, every preacher must examine his own soul first. The success of one’s evangelism is, first and foremost, dependent upon his right standing in grace. Continue reading

What About Those Who Have Never Heard?

Article: R. C. Sproul: Are Those Who Have Never Heard of Christ Going to Hell? (original source here)

That’s one of the most emotionally laden questions that a Christian can ever be asked. Nothing is more terrifying or more awful to contemplate than that any human being would go to hell. On the surface, when we ask a question like that, what’s lurking there is, “How could God ever possibly send some person to hell who never even had the opportunity to hear of the Savior? It just doesn’t seem right.”

I would say the most important section of Scripture to study with respect to that question is the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. The point of the book of Romans is to declare the Good News—the marvelous story of redemption that God has provided for humanity in Christ, the riches and the glory of God’s grace, the extent to which God has gone to redeem us. But when Paul introduces the gospel, he begins in the first chapter by declaring that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven and this manifestation of God’s anger is directed against a human race that has become ungodly and unrighteous. So the reason for God’s anger is anger against evil. God’s not angry with innocent people; He’s angry with guilty people. The specific point for which they are charged with evil is in the rejection of God’s self-disclosure.

Paul labors the point that from the very first day of creation and through the creation, God has plainly manifested His eternal power and being and character to every human being on this planet. In other words, every human being knows that there is a God and that He is accountable to God. Yet every human being disobeys God. Why does Paul start his exposition of the gospel at that point? What he’s trying to do, and what he develops in the book of Romans, is this: Christ is sent into a world that is already on the way to hell. Christ is sent into the world that is lost, that is guilty of rejecting the Father whom they do know. Continue reading

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?