Sin in its Concentrated Essence

That is sin in its concentrated essence; yet because it is natural it appears to be good.  It is only when in the gospel the soul is brought before the face of the Most Holy One without the protective shield of ignorance that the frightful incongruity is brought home to the conscience.  In the language of evangelism the man who is thus confronted by the fiery presence of Almighty God is said to be under conviction.

– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 25

“Changing the World” May Be a Mere Excuse

Changing the world can be a way of actually avoiding the opportunities we have every day, right where God has placed us, to glorify and enjoy him to enrich the lives of others.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 14-15

Can You Truthfully Say “My answer is yes, now where do you want me to go?”

Jesus wants followers who will say yes to him before they even know the request.  A follower of Jesus says, “My answer is yes, now where do you want me to go?”
Jesus may point to Burma, or he may point to across the street.

– Idleman, Kyle; Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus; Zondervan; copyright 2011; Grand Rapids, MI; Kindle Edition; page 188

Charles Spurgeon on Evangelism

Someone asked Charles Spurgeon once if he thought people who had never heard about Jesus could be saved.  His response was something like, “I don’t believe they can be, but the better question is “How could those of us who have known Jesus and failed to take Him to those who have not heard possibly be saved?” 

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 158

We Are Not Telling Them to Transform Their Lives or Adopt a Self-Help Program…

We are not telling them (neighbors, coworkers, etc.) to transform their lives or to adopt a self-help program.  We are not even holding up our own experience as the big news that should move them to accept Christ.  They should not believe what we are reporting simply because they see that it puts a smile on our face or a spring in our step.  We are just announcing the headline: “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  The news speaks for itself!

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 124

We are in Serious Trouble in the Church

Simply put, we’re in serious trouble in the church. It isn’t because we are sinners or because we don’t know enough, pray enough, or read the Bible enough. Our problem isn’t about being more faithful or not living a supernatural life of victory. Our problem isn’t going to be fixed with more programs, better methods of evangelism and stewardship, or discipline. Our problem isn’t spiritual formation or that we are not missional.

Our problem is that we have taken the best news ever given to the world, run it through a “religious grid” and made something unpalatable out of it. In short we’ve taken the good news and made it bad news. Ad if you listen carefully, you can hear old Slew Foot (that would be the devil) laughing.

– Brown, Steve; Three Free Sins: God’s Not Mad At You; Howard Books; New York, copyright 2012; Kindle Edition; Location 332

Now That’s Evangelism

And insofar as I do “deal with it” (allow him to love me by accepting his gift of forgiveness – free sins), something strange happens to my attitude toward them.  I find myself (despite myself) loving the other sinners, robbers and scoundrels who need love as much as I do.  And when I let it show in places where one doesn’t expect a Christian to show up, its called evangelism.

– Brown, Steve; Three Free Sins: God’s Not Mad At YouHoward Books;  New York, copyright 2012; Kindle Edition; Location 2391

A Softer Form of Legalism

Whether expressed in the more radical politics of the right, the goal of evangelism, discipleship, and corporate church life became a softer version of legalism – a constant stream of exhortation to follow the example of Jesus while assuming familiarity with the gospel of Jesus. More recently, the Emergent Church movement, if anything, intensifies the call to discipleship while in some cases even modifying the gospel. Although the politics, vocabulary, style, and ambiance might suggest otherwise,it represents the same emphasis that many of us recall from conservative evangelical upbringing: Do more. Be a leader,not a follower. Accomplish great things for God. Discipleship, not doctrine.

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 108

Leadership says Much About Purpose

If Christianity is about public truth delivered through an external Word, then ministry and evangelism require educated leaders who can expound and apply that truth for the benefit of those under their care.  By contrast, if Christianity is reduced to personal experience, then its leadership will consist of the most successful entrepreneurs and managers of extraordinary staged events.

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 51