A Conversation Between An
Evangelist And A Professing Christian
About “Wordless Evangelism”
The Bible proclaims to the sinner "repent or
perish". It also says that all who die lost will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Yet so many preachers and "evangelists" nowadays only talk about the
"love" of God.
Hey man, that’s because all that talk of judgment and wrath is way too harsh! Most people can’t handle a message like that. You
need to preach about the love of God otherwise you will turn people off!
But the Bible says I am to warn the lost to flee the wrath to come. And if
we preach about God's love, we should preach about His love of righteousness as
well as his hatred for sin.
Haven’t you ever heard the expression “Preach the Gospel and when necessary use
Saying “Preach the Gospel and when necessary use words” is like saying “Tell me
what the antidote is for the poison I just drank and if necessary speak clearly”. Preaching the gospel means we are to clearly and
boldly tell hell deserving sinners that God is angry with the wicked every day,
telling them to repent of their sins, and pointing them Christ and the cross.
Man, you can’t just go around telling people that. You need to earn “the right”
to preach that kind of stuff. You earn
the right by how you act and by what you do.
Isn’t that just a teaching of the modern church? Where in scripture does it say
we have to earn the right to speak biblical truth and to be an ambassador for
Christ? Scripture says we are to obey God and when God says go into all
the world and preach the Gospel, we are not to look for excuses why we cannot do
I don’t know about that, but my church taught me that you
need to give of yourself in service and show who you are by your speech,
humility, and actions. Once the lost see who you are and who you represent by
your actions and your life, then they will be willing to listen to what you have
to say. Otherwise you will simply anger them and negate any opportunity you may
have had in reaching them.
Sounds like you need to dust off your Bible.
Where does the Bible say I need to wait until sinners are willing to listen to
me to rebuke them concerning sin or to warn them about the judgment of God?
Should a cop wait until someone is willing to go to jail before arresting them?
Should a parent wait until a child is willing to be corrected before initiating
I don’t know but you will just be wasting your time and even casting pearls
before swine. You don’t want to do that do you?
Preaching the gospel serves many purposes. It may serve to convict a sinner or
to harden them as God sees fit. It can serve to convict a person who may be
listening on the sidelines. It should also serve to strengthen the faith of the
preacher as well as bring to mind any hypocrisy in the life of the one
preaching. From what I know of the Bible, we are to both preach the gospel AND
live Christ-like. We *can* do that simultaneously, even by how we
respond to mockers and abusers who wish to silence our preaching by intimidation
of various kinds. I have seen “angry” hearers settle down and be convicted in
the course of minutes or hours after they notice that their curses are not
responded to with the same.
Haven’t you ever heard about friendship evangelism and how important it is to
become someone’s friend first before talking to them about Christ?
A doctor does not wait until he develops a friendship with a patient to tell
them they are dying of cancer… so much more so with a soul headed for hell. Is
such a situation not all the more urgent? Who knows when a soul will slip into
eternity?.... Are we to say: “Oh, too bad the guy died. I was going to warn
him about hell and tell him about my blessed Redeemer but I hadn’t earned the
right to talk to him about those kinds of things yet, so we just talked about
the weather, sports, hobbies, cars and everything else the lost sinner wanted to
talk about.”? I believe Ezekiel 33:8 is adequate scriptural
ground for motivating me to preach the gospel, even before I have developed a
relationship with someone…
“When I say unto the
wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the
wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood
will I require at thine hand.”
But surely that doesn’t mean you need to witness or preach to everybody. Just
those people whom you feel “led” to talk to. And I don’t usually feel led to
talk to too many people about the Lord because I don’t feel I have the right to
impose my religion on them, especially if I have not yet “earned a hearing” with
The “right” to preach the gospel is not a right anyway… it is a command. We are
duty bound to our Savior by our blood-bought salvation to preach the gospel to
all whom God puts in our path (within reason of course), be they in our path for
one minute or for many years. We should all have the zeal and impatience and
love for God to share the gospel (or our testimony) of the woman at the well in
John chapter 4. And a paramedic doesn’t wait until he feels led to administer first
aid to an injured person. He does what his job requires him to do and he does
it as soon as he notices the need. If only more Christians would take
responsibility for loving the lost and doing whatever it takes to bring the
Gospel to them instead of coming up with reasons for doing it “later” or for
worrying about how other Christians could do it better. If we are truly saved
and truly honest with ourselves we will more than likely find ourselves being
convicted by the Holy Spirit for neglecting witnessing opportunities and staying
in our comfort zone more than being convicted for witnessing when we should not
I still think you should try to build a relationship with someone before you
talk to them about their soul. So many church evangelism programs teach that
formula for soul winning nowadays. It must be the most effective, right?
The bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, not
by the amount of quality time I spend building a relationship with the hearer.
God can convict a sinner in an instant, with just a word or two, if He so
Well just make sure that it is the Gospel that is the offense and not you. And
I’ll just sit on the sidelines and critique you if you don’t mind, that way I
can be sure that I am not a stumbling block to anyone who sincerely wants to
come to Christ.
You will be their biggest stumbling block if you never open your mouth… and you
may avoid being an offense to the sinner but you will end up being an offense to
Christ who said:
“whosoever shall deny me
before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew
Our silence concerning the preaching of the
Gospel is one of the most common ways we deny Christ. While it is certainly a good
idea to minister to the non-spiritual needs of others, that is not sharing the
Gospel. Sharing the Gospel must include words coming out of your mouth.
“If the trumpet give an uncertain
sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”
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