There are numerous theories involving the best way to evangelize the lost. How do we know the best and most effective and most biblical method of evangelism? The best way is to go to the source: Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus laid out the best method of biblical evangelism as He evangelized those He met while on earth.
When Jesus evangelized the lost, He began with the statement "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). Repentance of sin is the very first step in biblical evangelism. Those who would come to Christ must first understand that repentance from sin is required. This means explaining the realities of the inherent sinful nature of mankind, the holiness of God, the existence of heaven and hell, and the only means to escape the punishment of sin—faith in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. While many Christians begin their evangelistic efforts with God's love, that is only half the story. The message of God's love is lost on unbelievers unless they first come to grips with sin, judgment, and punishment.
There is no doubt that God is a loving God. But He is also a holy and righteous God who hates sin. Therefore, our sin separates us from Him. Because He is holy, God is "a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day" (Psalm 7:11). A crucial element of true biblical evangelism is the understanding of the holiness of God. Isaiah caught a glimpse of God's holiness in his vision of angelic beings around God's throne praising God's holiness (Isaiah 6:3). When we understand just how holy God is, we can begin to understand His hatred of sin and His holy wrath against sinners.
The unsaved person must accept the fact that he stands in the direct line of fire of the wrath of a holy and just God. Hebrews 10:31 warns, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." There is nothing any man can do to appease God's wrath, nothing of value he can offer to God to mitigate his sin. No amount of good works or good deeds can bridge the gap that separates a holy God from a sinner. Every good work that man thinks he can do is as "polluted garments" in God's sight (Isaiah 64:6). No amount of good living will make us acceptable in God's eyes because the standard is holiness, which no one can achieve and without which no one will see God (Hebrews 12:14).
Once the unbeliever accepts the realities of his sin and the holiness of God, he is ready for the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What no one can do to save himself, Christ accomplished on the cross. By His death, Jesus exchanged His righteous, holy nature for our sinful one, making us completely new creations with a new nature that replaces the old sin nature (2 Corinthians 5:17–21). Here is where God's love comes into play. Because of His great love and mercy—not because we deserve or earn it—God provided the only acceptable sacrifice for our sin (Ephesians 2:1–10). Only those whose natures have been changed can escape the wrath of God and experience His love and grace. If we believe these things, we will live eternally with Him in the joy of heaven. If we do not, our eternal destiny is hell.
This is the truth, from the Bible. If we are to truly evangelize people according to the Bible, we have to tell them the whole truth, even if some react badly to it. And some people will. But others will be relieved and grateful. As Paul said, "For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life" (2 Corinthians 2:15–16).
Copyright 2011-2023 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved.