Relearning who God is: How God’s description of himself upends our expectations

"Who is God? If we could pick only one passage from the Old Testament to answer that question, it would be hard to improve upon Exodus 34. God is revealing himself to Moses, causing his glory to pass by Moses, whom God has put in a cleft in the rock (33:22)." - WORLD

1520 reads

There are 46 Comments

Mark_Smith's picture

From the article: "Yes, our sins will be passed down to our children and grandchildren. But God’s goodness will be passed down in a way that inexorably swallows up all our sins. His mercies travel down a thousand generations, far eclipsing the third or fourth generation."

One of the problems with modern Evangelicalism is the lack of clarification about who the people are who experience the "goodness" the Scripture is talking to here. Almost always, Evangelicals seem to teach the goodness and love of God extends unequivocally to everyone. Every person. But there are categories of God's love and goodness. If you are not a Christian, you are outside of the goodness of God. Period. It is sad to see how little many care about this important fact. They talk to their audience, whether in a sermon, Sunday School, small group, or blog, and act like God loves them, all is good, and the goodness of God is flowing their way.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Ironically, you're finding fault with the author's generalization by ... making a generalizaiton

Almost always, Evangelicals seem to teach the goodness and love of God extends unequivocally to everyone. Every person. 

It's not clear to me what you mean by that... but I haven't observed a particularly strong emphasis on this point, and I do a lot of observing.

I can't speak for the author as to what he meant, but a bit more context may help some readers.

But God is not a softie. He is the one perfectly fair person in the universe. God is not mocked; we reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7). Sin and guilt pass down from generation to generation. We see this all around us in the world. But notice what God says. His covenant love flows down to a thousand generations; but he visits generational sins to the third or fourth generation. Do you see the difference? Yes, our sins will be passed down to our children and grandchildren. But God’s goodness will be passed down in a way that inexorably swallows up all our sins. His mercies travel down a thousand generations, far eclipsing the third or fourth generation.

Interestingly, though, God's goodness and love does extend to "everyoneEvery person."

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Mt 5:44–45)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16)

 

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Mark_Smith's picture

What I mean is what I have seen in many places. Many churches teach "God loves everyone." Many evangelism programs focus on "God's love" as the reason the person should accept Jesus. Very little emphasis is made on the person's sinful condition or need for salvation. If you have not seen this you need to get out more. Children are taught "God's love" more than they are taught mankind's perilous situation in need of a savior.

When it comes to LGBTQ, the motivation to accept them is "God loves everyone."

When it comes to accepting illegal immigration, the motivation is "God loves everyone."

What is happening is the specific is being supplanted by the general. Does God love everyone? In one sense. But that is not the defining issue. Man's problem is not a lack of God's love, it is his/her sin. That sin has made it so that they are separated from God.

Does God love the sinner? As you quoted, yes, in a sense. He sends the rain and food and warmth. But a person only loved this way by God is still separated from God...

But the love of God referred to most often in Scripture is towards the family of God, the elect, not the "world" in general. But all too often we imply this love applies to everyone when it is restricted to the elect. 

The OP talks about God's love to a 1000 generations being greater than the sin that extends to 3 or 4 generations. Yes, with the caveat that you are SAVED. If not, you and your descendants are in trouble. We need to more carefully make this distinction.

G. N. Barkman's picture

You will be hard pressed to find examples of evangelistic encounters or sermons in the New Testament where the evangelist tells his audience that God loves him (or them).  But that is often the most emphasized part of modern evangelistic declarations.  Why this glaring difference?  We need to pay more attention to the evangelistic messages of Christ, Peter, Paul, and others.

G. N. Barkman

TylerR's picture

Editor

While it is good to pay attention to the evangelistic sermons of the apostles, remember to account for the fact that, many times (not all the time), they were talking to Old Covenant members who already had a background to understand part of the story.

There are not too many evangelistic calls to straight-up Gentile pagans in the New Testament. God "is" love; it's a metaphysical reality that defines who He is. In this age where Christians have no common point of contact with unbelievers to understand the concept of "God," I see no problem with explaining his character by including references to "love" as the most properly basic thing about Him. Of course, as Mark says, it's not the only thing.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

dgszweda's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

You will be hard pressed to find examples of evangelistic encounters or sermons in the New Testament where the evangelist tells his audience that God loves him (or them).  But that is often the most emphasized part of modern evangelistic declarations.  Why this glaring difference?  We need to pay more attention to the evangelistic messages of Christ, Peter, Paul, and others.

Explicit maybe not as strongly, but implicitely yes.   John 15:13 is one of the key foundations for the evangelistic message.  We are no longer strangers, but son's and daughters, and what would He withhold from His own children?  When you accept Christ, your life will be a challenge, but God will care and protect us and offers us hope that we are protected.  For He protects those that He loves.  We transition from one who is accursed to one who is loved.

TylerR's picture

Editor

In our theology class at church last week, we began the topic of the doctrine of man. The "book" answer about why God created us is "for His glory." The Westminster and Heidelberg catechisms flesh that out by explaining God also created us to enjoy Him forever - Yahweh is the source of our fulfillment and happiness. We only find true purpose when we're in relationship with Him.

I suggest the controlling center of God's plan, the synopsis of the bible's storyline, is that God desires a community in relationship with Him, in the the perfect world as He originally made it to be. Those of us influenced by a more classical theology proper will naturally shy away from any hint that God "needs" us, or that we "complete" Him. I understand. Yet, I think we're missing something rather big if we deny that God chose to want a relationship with us He didn't need (cf. Hosea 1-3), and has spent all of human history pursuing that relationship by saving His people from all over the world. In other words, God created us so we'd glorify Him and enjoy Him forever ... and so He could enjoy us, too. 

Why did He do this? Love.

I'll leave these excellent comments by Emil Brunner as food for thought, as he reflects on what the imago dei is:

God, who wills to glorify Himself and to impart Himself, wills man to be a creature who responds to His call of love with a grateful, responsive love. God wills to possess man as a free being. God wills a creature which is not only, like other creatures, a mere object of His will, as if it were a reflector of His glory as Creator. He desires from us an active and spontaneous response in our ‘reflecting;’ He who creates through the Word, who as Spirit creates in freedom, wills to have a ‘reflex’ which is more than a ‘reflex,’ which is an answer to His word, a free spiritual act, a correspondence to His speaking. Only thus can His love really impart itself as love. For love can only impart itself where it is received in love. Hence the heart of the creaturely existence of man is freedom, selfhood, to be an ‘I,” a person. Only an ‘I’ can answer a ‘Thou,’ only a Self which is self-determining can freely answer God. An automaton does not respond; an animal in contradistinction from an automaton may indeed re-act, but it cannot re-spond. It is not capable of speech, of free self-determination, it cannot stand at a distance from itself, and is therefore not re-sponsible.

The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption, in Dogmatics, vol. 2, trans. Olive Wyon [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1952], pp. 55-56.

Here is Barth, also on the imago dei:

Neither heaven nor earth, water nor land, nor living creatures from plants upward to land animals, are in a ‘Thou’ relationship to one another as an ‘I,’ not can they stand in an ‘I-Thou’ relationship to one another, nor can they enter into such a relationship. According to the first creation saga, however, man as such exists in this relationship from the very outset … He willed the existence of a being which in all its non-deity and therefore its differentiation can be a real partner; which is capable of action and responsibility in relation to Him; to which His own divine form is not alien; which is a creaturely repetition, as a copy and imitation, can be a bearer of this form of life.

Church Dogmatics, 3.1 [reprint; London: T&T Clark, 2004], pp. 184-185.

So, in conclusion, I think it's very good to stress God's love to unbelievers.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

TylerR wrote:

So, in conclusion, I think it's very good to stress God's love to unbelievers.

Yes, but you have to explain God's love, and not let them use their definition of love. Also, I have met tons of Christians who use "love" loosely. 

If you really want to open a can of worms add in "who did Jesus die for, everyone or the elect only." That is "love" as well.

 

Mark_Smith's picture

Quoting Brunner and Barth... watch our brother.

G. N. Barkman's picture

So to disprove my assertion that NT evangelists did not usually proclaim God's love in their sermons or personal evangelistic conversations, you quote Scripture spoken to believers, not unbelievers.  Hmmm.  Or, you quote Systematic Theology texts, which also have nothing to do with how the NT evangelists proclaimed the gospel to sinners.  Or, you employ a line of logic which says its OK to do this because, after all, God is love.  No one here disputes that wonderful truth, least of all me.  Or you assume that the reason the love of God was not proclaimed is because Jewish audiences already knew this and presumably didn't need to be informed.  Yet they also knew that they were sinners, but that didn't keep NT evangelists from stating it again.  Furthermore, we have enough examples of evangelizing Gentiles to recognize that God's love was not considered an important truth to proclaim to them. 

Sacred cows can be very difficult to slay.

G. N. Barkman

TylerR's picture

Editor

I have no sacred cows! I completely understand the need to not present a Jell-O God to the world. I was not trying to refute anything or save any sacred cow; I was just providing some context to explain why I believe we shouldn't fall into the opposite ditch of just presenting a God of wrath and justice ... while forgetting love was what motivated Him to bother with His elect in the first place (cf. Ps. 8, Hos 1-3).

As for the warnings regarding Brunner and Barth, I wager that (like Carl Henry) they're quoted more than they're read or understood. I've read a great deal of Brunner and a modest amount of Barth. I wager most evangelicals know Barth and Brunner are "bad," but have little idea why and have read little to nothing of their writings.

For what it's worth, Brunner's eschatology is Jell-O because he has a very low view of scripture. There are some areas where he's brilliant, and others where I fear he was on drugs. Barth's doctrine of scripture was much more robust.

P.S. I love quoting Pannenberg, Moltmann, Barth, Brunner and Bloesch in my DMin papers, because it sometimes makes the professors visibly uncomfortable. It's always the little things that make life worth living!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

G. N. Barkman's picture

My goal is to stay squarely in the middle of the road mapped out for us in Scripture.  If Jesus and the Apostles did not proclaim the love of God to sinners, there must be a reason.  I hardly think we will land in the opposite ditch if we endeavor to present the gospel as they did.  Do you?

G. N. Barkman

TylerR's picture

Editor

You wrote this:

If Jesus and the Apostles did not proclaim the love of God to sinners, there must be a reason.

Really? Come, now ...

I don't want to be dismissive, but this line of argument is not profitable to me. It reminds me of Zane Hodges saying "repentance" isn't necessary, because the Gospel of John doesn't have it. I will leave this discussion, now. I fear we will just end up talking past one another.

Suffice it to say I feel we can sometimes become imbalanced on the side of wrath and justice. Brunner's doctrine of God, in particular, has challenged my own conception of how to frame the Gospel without degenerating into Jell-O. Moltmann, too. Those are major red flags to some of you, and I understand.

God bless.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry's picture

Moderator

To Tyler and Greg,

To Tyler,

Why did He do this? Love.

Isn't "glory" the right answer here based on Ephesians 1? I am not saying love is not a part of it, but glory certainly is. And the idea that God enjoys us? I would be interested to read some more on that based on Scripture.

To Greg,

If Jesus and the Apostles did not proclaim the love of God to sinners, there must be a reason.

I wonder what you make of John 3:16 which is in the conversation with Nicodemus who most would consider to be an unbeliever. Romans 5 puts love before salvation ("while we were still enemies") as does Eph 5 (Christ loved her and gave himself for her). So I wonder if omitting love from discussions with unbelievers accurately presents the gospel. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Have I misread this thread? Are some actually trying to deny that God loves sinners? This is central to the gospel.

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— (Eph 2:4–5)

8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Ro 5:8)

4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Ro 2:4)

9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 Jn 4:9–10)

Of course God's love for His own is different. The relationship is completely different. But there is precisely zero salvation for anyone if God does not first love the sinner who is dead in trespasses and sins and not at all interested in redemption.

There can't really even be grace, in any meaningful sense, without God loving the unlovable first. What could grace possibly be in that scenario? Unmerited favor is an expression of love.

So...  take away the love of God for sinners and you have taken away the gospel.

(It doesn't follow, though, that if you declare the love of God you have declared the gospel. There is more to gospel than love. But there is not less!)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Larry, the John 3 passage may be the one notable exception to an otherwise consistent evangelistic approach.  On the other hand, it may not be the words of Jesus at all, as many solid commentaries recognize. (In spite of the decision of red letter editions.)  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son..." sounds more like the words of the Apostle John than of Christ.  Notice the use of the third person.

Aaron, I am not questioning that love was the motive for salvation.  It was.  The Scriptures are clear.  But that is a different issue than the question of how NT evangelists preached the gospel to sinners.  You don't find Jesus or the Apostles explaining God's motive in evangelism.  It is revealed to saints.

G. N. Barkman

Larry's picture

Moderator

Larry, the John 3 passage may be the one notable exception to an otherwise consistent evangelistic approach.

Just a slight pushing back: Do you think we have enough evidence to determine what the "consistent evangelistic approach" was? Out of 70ish years of early church evangelism in the NT writing era, the evidence we have could be read in less than 30 minutes or so (generously speaking). 

Second, "otherwise" is a big word. If we have one example of it, then it is evidence inspired by the Spirit. And one is as good as the rest of them. 

IMO, I think we should be cautious with these types of arguments. I am not sure they are as convincing as some think. 

G. N. Barkman's picture

Some of you would make good pedo-baptists.  We don't need direct Biblical evidence to baptize infants, but can make inferences from OT circumcision and NT household baptisms.

Does God love sinners?  Yes!  Was love His motive for saving sinners?  Yes.  Is the love of God a significant NT doctrine?  Yes.  Does God want Christians to understand the greatness of His love?  Yes.  Is God's love for sinners a necessary component of the gospel that ought to be proclaimed to sinners?  No.  If it were, we wouldn't have so much trouble finding examples of NT evangelists declaring God's love when addressing the unconverted.

G. N. Barkman

RajeshG's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Is God's love for sinners a necessary component of the gospel that ought to be proclaimed to sinners?  No.  If it were, we wouldn't have so much trouble finding examples of NT evangelists declaring God's love when addressing the unconverted.

Although it is not an explicit statement of the love of God for sinners, Paul and Barnabas did say the following in an evangelistic message that did communicate the goodness of God to sinners:

Acts 14:15-17

15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Some of you would make good pedo-baptists.  We don't need direct Biblical evidence to baptize infants, but can make inferences from OT circumcision and NT household baptisms.

Was this directed at me? If so, can you explain how this is relevant to anything I have said? 

I have pointed to what seems an a pretty clear biblical example of using love in a gospel presentation. No inference needed. Even if it's not the words of Jesus it is an evangelistic presentation by John (cf. John 20:31). So even if that is the only one, it is one, and I think once is enough with Scripture. I have also said that we don't have a lot of evidence otherwise. That was my question: Do you think we have enough evidence to know what the "consistent evangelistic approach" was? Out of 70ish years of early church evangelism in the NT writing era, the evidence we have could be read in less than 30 minutes or so (generously speaking). 

Second, it's clearly not a violation of a biblical command or pattern while infant baptism is a violation of that.

So I am not clear on your point here. With baptism, we have explicit commands and examples of both the meaning and practice of baptism. So how is this comment connected to what I said?

Mark_Smith's picture

As your quotes Aaron highlight, God's love for sinners means Jesus came and died for sins. That is what God's love for sinners means.

I am pointing out a lot of people think "God loves me" means "God accepts me" and "wants the best for me", etc.,  even if I am not a believer.

I also submit that God loves believers in a way that He does not love unbelievers.

G. N. Barkman's picture

I am NOT saying that God does not love sinners, nor that He didn't love us prior to saving us.  (And hence his love bestowed upon unbelievers.)  I am dealing with the "how" of evangelistic presentations only.  That was the point of Mark's comment that prompted my first post in this thread.  I had to wrestle with this question many years ago.  I grew up under the rather typical evangelistic approach that laid great emphasis upon telling sinners about God's great love for them.  There are some famous anecdotes about D. L. Moody re-directing his evangelistic approach to a major emphasis upon God's love for sinners, and subsequently seeing much better results, etc.

Then I decided to do a personal study of how Christ and the Apostles preached to sinners.  I studied every personal evangelistic encounter in the NT, plus every recorded evangelistic sermon to an audience.  Surprise!  It is virtually impossible to find an example of Christ, the Apostles, or anyone else proclaiming God's love to unbelievers.  That is not how they evangelized.  Ignore this information if you think you have a better plan, but I believe we best please our Master by paying attention to the inspired record.

G. N. Barkman

RajeshG's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

I am NOT saying that God does not love sinners, nor that He didn't love us prior to saving us.  (And hence his love bestowed upon unbelievers.)  I am dealing with the "how" of evangelistic presentations only.  That was the point of Mark's comment that prompted my first post in this thread.  I had to wrestle with this question many years ago.  I grew up under the rather typical evangelistic approach that laid great emphasis upon telling sinners about God's great love for them.  There are some famous anecdotes about D. L. Moody re-directing his evangelistic approach to a major emphasis upon God's love for sinners, and subsequently seeing much better results, etc.

Then I decided to do a personal study of how Christ and the Apostles preached to sinners.  I studied every personal evangelistic encounter in the NT, plus every recorded evangelistic sermon to an audience.  Surprise!  It is virtually impossible to find an example of Christ, the Apostles, or anyone else proclaiming God's love to unbelievers.  That is not how they evangelized.  Ignore this information if you think you have a better plan, but I believe we best please our Master by paying attention to the inspired record.

Earlier in my Christian life, I repeatedly studied all the evangelistic accounts in Scripture for more than a decade. Although I concur with your understanding for the most part, I think that John 3:16 is a clear example of where the Spirit does speak explicitly of the love of God as a part of what He intends to use to evangelize sinners who would read the entire gospel of John.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Aaron, I am not questioning that love was the motive for salvation.  It was.  The Scriptures are clear.  But that is a different issue than the question of how NT evangelists preached the gospel to sinners.

So, it's the truth, but we're not supposed to preach it?

I really think the debate is silly... or worse. The Great Commission is to make disciples, which involves teaching them the whole counsel of God. There isn't any truth we have to be leery of declaring. And we're not technicians engineering conversions.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Mark_Smith's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Aaron, I am not questioning that love was the motive for salvation.  It was.  The Scriptures are clear.  But that is a different issue than the question of how NT evangelists preached the gospel to sinners.

So, it's the truth, but we're not supposed to preach it?

I really think the debate is silly... or worse. The Great Commission is to make disciples, which involves teaching them the whole counsel of God. There isn't any truth we have to be leery of declaring. And we're not technicians engineering conversions.

I spent a good bit of yesterday reading a ton of Scripture related to this. I would say the Bible uses the terms mercy, compassion, and grace towards unbelievers. Almost always the referred to unbelievers eventually believe! It is the elect being referred to. Still, there are enough verses that refer to grace, mercy, and compassion towards people who mock God to hold onto it. This love is God withholding His wrath. It is also God's love that paid for sin.

The point, Aaron, is not what most people mean by love. If you go to the grocery store, find an unbeliever, and tell them "God loves you," and then ask them what that means, they will not give you the biblical definition. They will think you are affirming who they are as a person, an emotion. That is not what the Bible means by God's love. We need to be clear about that, because even a lot of people in the pews are very misled by the world's view of love. 

G. N. Barkman's picture

Exactly!  That's why we study the way Jesus and His apostles approached evangelism.  Nobody preaches every Bible truth in evangelistic encounters.  We choose those we believe are most helpful to evangelism.  But how do we make our choices?  Do we use our own wisdom, or do we seek guidance from the Scriptures?  

I am simply pointing out that the love of God for sinners, glorious as it is, was not declared in the NT in evangelistic encounters.  The one possible exception pointed out by both Larry and Rajesh is John 3:16.  Maybe, or maybe not.  But if so, we should observe that this is a general statement about God's love for the world, not a direct statement of God's love to the particular sinner.   If these are, in fact,the words of Jesus to Nicodemus, He didn't say, "Nicodemus, God loves you.  Please understand how greatly God loves You."  

This may sound silly to some, but why?  Is it silly to observe and be guided by the words of Scripture?

G. N. Barkman

Larry's picture

Moderator

I studied every personal evangelistic encounter in the NT, plus every recorded evangelistic sermon to an audience.

This is what I mentioned above, I would be interested in this list. My guess is that it is a pretty short list. I haven't compiled a list on this criteria so I would be interested to know what you have.

It is virtually impossible to find an example of Christ, the Apostles, or anyone else proclaiming God's love to unbelievers.

Again, John 3:16 seems pretty clear. So how many examples do we need before it is acceptable?

,,, I believe we best please our Master by paying attention to the inspired record.

I doubt anyone here disagrees with this.

Mark_Smith's picture

"God loved the world in this way, He gave His unique Son that all who believe in Him would have eternal life."-Mark Smith Translation

 

Yep, the love is expressed as offering salvation in Jesus Christ.

 

Once again, is this the typical definition of love? You have to teach this to your people. If you ask a person what does "God loves you" mean would they say "it is God offering me salvation in Jesus Christ"?

G. N. Barkman's picture

My study goes back four decades, so I don't have the complete list in front of me, nor do I have the time at the moment to reproduce it.  But off the top of my head, here are a few.  (If you would take the time to do a study, I think you will find the list a good deal longer than you imagine.)

1)   Nicodemus.  2)  The woman at the well.  3)  The rich young ruler.  4)  The Bread of Life Discourse.  5)  The Sermon on the Mount.  6)  Peter's sermon at Pentecost.  7)  Peter's sermon in the Temple.  8)  Paul's sermon at Lystra.  9)  Paul's sermon on Mars Hill.  10)  Paul and the Philippian Jailer.  

There are a good many more, but this should get us started.  Did any of these encounters include the evangelist telling the unbeliever that "God loves you."?

G. N. Barkman

RajeshG's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

My study goes back four decades, so I don't have the complete list in front of me, nor do I have the time at the moment to reproduce it.  But off the top of my head, here are a few.  (If you would take the time to do a study, I think you will find the list a good deal longer than you imagine.)

1)   Nicodemus.  2)  The woman at the well.  3)  The rich young ruler.  4)  The Bread of Life Discourse.  5)  The Sermon on the Mount.  6)  Peter's sermon at Pentecost.  7)  Peter's sermon in the Temple.  8)  Paul's sermon at Lystra.  9)  Paul's sermon on Mars Hill.  10)  Paul and the Philippian Jailer.  

There are a good many more, but this should get us started.  Did any of these encounters include the evangelist telling the unbeliever that "God loves you."?

Acts 2, 4, 5, 8, 13, 20, 24, 26, and 28 also either have evangelistic accounts or passages that have direct relevance to what we are to know or do concerning evangelism.

Pages