Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Why Evangelism makes sense from a Reformed Perspective

1. Evangelism is the activity of publishing, or announcing, the "evangel" or, the gospel ( i.e. the glad tidings of Jesus the Christ, crucified and risen).

2. God sent His only begotten Son to die for all those, and those only, whom He had given to Christ as His people, effectively to redeem them, by atoning for their sins.

3. The Reformed perspective holds that all men alike are, because the fall of Adam, dead in sin and slaves to a sinful nature, having wills that are not free to be able to choose Christ and salvation, but bound to be incapable of doing any else, except to reject the Christ presented in the gospel.

4. God now efficaciously calls, by the gospel and the Holy Spirit, into saving fellowship with Jesus, all those, and only those, whom He chose and redeemed. The Holy Spirit brings about a "new birth" in His elect when outwardly hearing the Gospel being preached. These elect will never be cast out. "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." John 6:37

In a simple outline:

a. God commands us to go into all the world and preach the Good News.
b. Jesus paid the penalty of all sin of all those the Father gave Him.
c. We can freely preach the Gospel because we know it is not of us, but of how the Spirit moves which will bring about conversion.
d. God will draw all His elect unto Himself out of every tribe, tongue and nation.

Evangelism is just another great example of the working of the Trinity. The Father elects, the Son redeems, the Spirit awakens. Thank you God, for the Work you do in our lives and of those whom you know!

22 comments:

chris said...

You talk about what happens behind the scenes of evangelism, but evangelism itself makes sense from any orthodox Christian viewpoint.

Rand said...

Matthew 13:3-23.

The parable of the sower.

If you want a PERFECT picture of how evangelism and calvinism work hand-in-hand, this parable sets it forth.

Every Friday night, I go out to sow (evangelize). I throw seed (the Gospel) all over. Some of it lands in all manner of ground (the hearts of men). There is absolutely no control over the ground (the hearts of men)... that's God's work. The Lord commands us to sow (preach), so I sow (preach).

A sower is not the one who causes seed to grow. The same is true of preachers. Once the Gospel has been preached, the work is the Lord's.

All this is good academics. Sadly though, all manner of Christians (Calvinists and Arminians) are woefully lacking in evangelism. I pray the Lord of the harves will soon send forth more labourers in the field...

Later,

Puritan Belief said...

Very well put Rand,

The Arminians are busy building Temples eg: trying to get more and more people to come and be part of their congregation where the latest lighting show and most eloquent preacher will surely convert them to come again next sunday.

Where as the calvanist are preaching for a man to come to Jesus. Yet where are these men of God?

I like your four points of evangalism. It is great to know that no matter how timid or bad at preaching when we preach it is the power of the Spirit of Jesus (Philippians 1:18-20) it is Him who saves the souls of even the most wayward of sinner.

Doug E. said...

So many people say that Calvanism is the death of evangelism, but it wasn't until I understood calvanism that I became serious about witnessing. I finally realized that God, through His Word, could change any heart, and it was no longer up to my wit, wisdom, or arguments to convince someone to beleive.

What a load that was off my back. Now I can proclaim the gospel boldly because I now know that it truely is the power of God unto salvation.

Doug

ajlin said...

Y'all should read Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer.

Daniel Mann said...

I was going to post something like this on my blog, but I won't now, I did not want you to think I had stolen your idea. I was going to title it " where are the "sovereign" evangelists?


The sad fact is most Arminians and Calvinists alike, do not evangelize, or they do so little of it. Most of us here in the West, don't give a rip, or at least it seems, about the lost perishing. We (most Christian) rather go to the movies than evangelize. We rather watch a movie like "King Kong" that uses our precious Lord's name in vain, I am told eight times. The very sin's Christ came to lay down His life for, we are willing to watch acted out on the big silver screen. No wonder our passions fail us, in all areas of our lives including soul winning.

"In proportion as a Church is Holy, in that proportion will it's testimony for Christ be powerful."-Charles Spurgeon

There is good guilt/grief and bad guilt/grief. Or good sorrow and bad sorrow.(2 Corinthians 7-11)
Godly sorrow leads to repentance.
Perhaps we should feel guilty and sorrow for our lethargy and indifference toward NOT evangelizing a lost perishing world. Love will find a way. Indifference will find an excuse. God grant us repentance. Paul pronounced a curse (woe) upon his own head, if he did not preach the Good News. ..."Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!(1 cor 9:16b)

Of course we should evangelize for many other reasons as well. God commissions us to (Matthew 28:18-20). Because we fear God,"...knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others..." (2 Cor 5:11). For the love of Christ compels us (2 Cor 5:14).

What a joy and privledge and shear delight, it is to be a soul winner. "...he that winneth souls is wise."-Pro. 11:30.

"To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in this world. And with every soul you bring to Jesus Christ, you seem to get a new heaven here upon earth."-Charles Spurgeon

Yor one business in life is to lead men to believe in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Every other thing should be made subservient to this one objective.- Charles Spurgeon

Soul winning is the chief business of the Christian- Charles Spurgeon

May God grant us legs on our talking about evangelizing, and GO DO IT.

Daniel Mann said...

Hey Rand I go out and evangelize on Fridays nights as well. One of few Calvinistic people I know that has a deep passion for the loss, is my friend Wayne, and he is originally from Canada.

Joshua Ritchie said...

I've always wondered if those "Christians" who do not evangelize are even saved themselves. It's hard to believe that someone who's been saved could keep quiet about such a thing.

I believe Spurgeon said something along these lines: "Have you no compassion for the lost (or desire to evanglize), then you are not saved yourself."....or something like that. I'd have to dig up the exact quote.

Reformed Centurion said...

Nice picture at the top of your blog. :)

Reformed Centurion said...

Hey the comment is posted as soon as you submit it. Nice

Reformed Centurion said...

Hey the UT Longhorns won the Rose Bowl tonight.

Daniel Mann said...

"If you have no wish for others to be saved, than you are not saved yourself, you can be sure of that.-Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Joshua ritchie: that's funny I was going to put that quote in above as well, and thought"... well I have already quoted Spurgeon alot, and it is pretty strong language" good stuff never the less.

Ever read Spurgeon's "my lectures to my students"?

I recommend Christians to read Spurgeon everyday. He helps me to remain cross-o-centric. He provokes me to also love the lost more. So easy for my love for the lost to wax cold.

Carson Allen said...

The following is from the online theology school at www.carm.org Mat Slick's ministry

Theology in sneakers
The goal of our learning is two-fold. First, we learn so that we might accurately know the things that God has revealed to us. Second, we learn so that we can take what we know and apply it in our lives and the lives of others. This means teaching people about Jesus. To this end, your theology must "put on sneakers." That is, it must get used. You see, you are not saved for the purpose of being a trophy that God sets up on a shelf, all polished, and perfect that is only admired and rarely touched. Instead, you are to be used, sent, molded, shaped, corrected, etc., so that God might be glorified in your life and His will be accomplished. Think of a trophy and a pair of dirty old sneakers. Which looks better? The trophy. Which is used more? The sneakers. God did not save you so that he could make a trophy out of view and set you on a shelf all perfect and proper, isolated from the world, untouched, and unblemished. think of yourself more along the lines of a pair of sneakers that is lead through mud puddles, various sorts of crud, etc. Sneakers get used. Trophies don't. Which do you want to be? I hope a pair of sneakers that sent out into the mud, the crud, and moved along different paths in life as you help others find Jesus.
Application
Not only is evangelism a requirement of following Jesus, it is a lifestyle attitude. This does not mean that every moment you must be speaking of Christ. But it does mean that you desire to be used of God in whatever way He has equipped you. We must help others find Christ because eternity is a long time to be wrong.
-------------------
Fred Hawkins the great soul-winner was saved at 48, yet none could be with him for a minute before he would inquire about his soul.
One day, Hawkins was invited to a countyseat town in Missouri for a meeting. Arriving early, he strolled near a bus station and decided to make a little survey. At the town’s busiest corner, he asked people: “How does a fellow get to heaven?” He stopped 29 people and only 7 answered correctly. They had all grown up, were all white, and most had attended church regularly. And in that very spot could be seen the spires of 5 churches.

Rand said...

"Hey Rand I go out and evangelize on Fridays nights as well. One of few Calvinistic people I know that has a deep passion for the loss, is my friend Wayne, and he is originally from Canada.

Praise God for your work Daniel, as well as your friend Wayne's. Keep it up! Consistency is extremely important. The Great Commission is NOT: "give it a shot, if it doesn't seem to work, you can quit!"

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)

Joshua Ritchie said...

Daniel,
Thanks for the correct quote. I was on my way to look it up.

T.B. Vick said...

As Spurgeon once said (and I am paraphrasing him a bit):

"It would be so much easier if people had the word "elect" written across their forehead, but since they don't I present the gospel and let God do all the work."

Julianne said...

Chris: What do you mean by "any orthodox Christian viewpoint?"

ajlin said...

daniel mann:
somehow I think that some people who have commented on this blog before would object to your excellent Spurgeon quote

Julianne said...

Rand,

I LOVE that verse. Thanks for reminding me about it.

Adam Cummings said...

Hey Julianne, sorry for all the comments Antonio 's been harping on about Jeremy, myself, and... you. I can assure you they're not true (as you probably figured out), and I highly encourage you to ignore Antonio, period. It's the best cure for pests around. See you...

Matador190 said...

One time I pinched my finger in the door, and it hurt.

Julianne said...

Adam,

I haven't noticed any...I find that if I don't give Antonio the pleasure of getting comments from me that he gets bored coming here and spewing the same old stuff. He seeks self-glorification, not the truth. He would rather be thought of as an "independent thinker" than a biblical man of God. For this, I am sorry. I can only respond with how I perceive him and his actions. May God judge his heart.

Matador,

You've only done it one time?