Evangelism

A Time to Be Silent: When to Refrain from Sharing the Gospel

Reposted from It Is Written.

One of the marks of a Christian is a desire to share the good news of the life-transforming gospel with others. In the words of the apostles, “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). But what if a friend, fellow worker, schoolmate, or family member asks us to desist? Does there come a time when we should refrain from speaking to a person about Jesus and Christianity? 

Thanks, But No Thanks

A few years ago, I sent John Piper’s booklet The Passion of Christ: Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die to several close friends and relatives. To my knowledge, most of them were not Christians. I had already shared the gospel with some. With others I had not–at least not in a more comprehensive way. I wanted to be able to face Jesus on Judgment Day with the knowledge that I had attempted to share the gospel with those who were close to me.

Disappointingly, one couple replied with a letter and some materials that made it clear they rejected Christianity, affirmed materialistic evolution, and wished me to relinquish my attempts at trying to convert them. They were polite. But they were also resolute. They didn’t believe in God, and they preferred that I give up any attempt in persuading them otherwise.

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Reaching Cultural Christianity With the Gospel

"Many people I have baptized were former Cultural Christians who could not answer these types of questions. In their frustration, they began to realize something really was dissonant. The Christian faith they claimed to have held had little to do with anything the Bible said, outside of trying to be a good neighbor." - Challies

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The Terrorist Who Came in from the Cold (Part 2)

This is a serialized adaptation of my Easter sermon in article form. This isn’t a traditional Easter message. Instead of simply presenting the resurrection, I challenge visitors to think about the bankruptcy of their secular worldviews, as compared to the Christian faith and message. This appeal culminates in a brief explanation of the resurrection, its place in the Christian story, and an appeal to “come in from the cold” (so to speak) and join God’s family.1  

We finished the first installment by asking you to consider the kind of evidence you rely on in everyday life. You don’t require absolute certainty and exhaustive knowledge for everything in your life. For example, you don’t know precisely how your phone works, but you know it does work, and that’s good enough for you to trust it. There is plenty of this kind of evidence for the Christian faith and message; more specifically, for the Christian way of looking at and interpreting reality. There’s more evidence for the Christian worldview than any alternative.

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The Terrorist Who Came in from the Cold (Part 1)

This is a serialized adaptation of my forthcoming Easter sermon in article form. This isn’t a traditional Easter message. Instead of simply presenting the resurrection, I challenge visitors to think about the bankruptcy of their secular worldviews, as compared to the Christian faith and message. This appeal culminates in a brief explanation of the resurrection, its place in the Christian story, and an appeal to “come in from the cold” (so to speak) and join God’s family.1  

When Jesus commands people to “repent and believe the Gospel,” what does He mean by that? What does it mean to “believe?” What does it mean to “have faith?”

Bad distortions

There are many distortions of what “faith” and “belief” are, in a Christian context. One is that “faith” is just blind faith opposed to evidence, even if it exists! Another is that “faith” is a “leap in the dark” based on no evidence at all, like one the learned Professor Henry Jones was obligated to take to save his father’s life. There are others, but these are the two I want to focus on, because they’re the most common.

Where do these wrong ideas of “faith” or “belief” come from? Some are pushed by Christians, in a well-meaning but terribly wrong way. Others are pushed by secular humanist evangelists, like Richard Dawkins. Whoever is pushing them, these distortions have nothing to do with what the Scriptures say “faith” or “belief” is, which is trust and allegiance based on evidence.

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