Quick Quote – Source – Jeff Hilles
A Biblical Christian worldview perspective – In 1 Cor. 9:22 Paul offers a broad range of evangelistic methods when he states that we need to “be all things to all people in order to save some”. It has at its core the understanding that there are many strategies in sharing the Good News.
Many years ago when commuting into Manhattan, I passed “evangelists” on the street yelling about repentance, Hell, and salvation. As an atheist at the time, I thought they were nuts, on many levels. Today I feel that the range of evangelism should even encompass what most unbelievers feel is nothing less than a mental illness.
On the other side of the extremes are those who profess “Lifestyle Evangelism” as the way to share God’s love. However, never transitioning to the gospel, they totally miss any eternal context, letting God’s offering of salvation be carried on the shoulders of others.
Somewhere there is a balance between street and lifestyle evangelism, and, the balance is not a point on a line, it is the reality that there is a range of methods that God intends for us, with our unique gifts, to employ.
Those who have read many of my posts, know my opinion on the critical importance of love vs. yelling about Hell from street corners, as relates to evangelism. However, it remains true that evangelism for each unbeliever can be nuanced and tailored to the individual.
Jonathan Edwards and his classic sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is a good example of one extreme of evangelism. As noted in the quote below, this sermon was not just preached to the saved as a wake-up call under sanctification (the saved growing in Christ). In any group of born-again believers, there will always be those who are actually still on the broad road that leads to eternal destruction. Additionally, there is clear evidence that many came to a personal relationship with Christ by way of a sermon focused primarily on the consequences to be experienced by those who do not know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. This is NOT to say that fear is a good approach to evangelism. But, it is an example, even today, that makes the point that there are many paths to sharing the Gospel, since as there are many ways God uses to draw humanity to Himself.
“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is a sermon that was preached by Jonathan Edwards on a few (likely three) occasions, but most famously on July 8, 1741, in Enfield, Connecticut. That day, God used Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God to produce powerful conviction and repentance among those who heard it, with many people coming to faith in Christ. It is the most famous sermon of the first Great Awakening and one of the most famous sermons in Christian history” (test of sermon here).
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