Evangelism: Real Evidence of Faith

You know who I respect?  I respect the Christians who are actually evangelistic.  Sure, it can be incredibly annoying, obnoxious, and arrogant to talk to others like they’re lost sinner doomed to hell, but at least an evangelistic Christian will risk rejection in order to “save me”.  Because if the Bible is really true, and all of us unbelievers are going to hell for eternity, then a true believer will do everything possible to save as many people possible.

Some of the writers of the Bible teach that ALL people who are not Christians are going to hell to be tormented forever and ever.  An oft quoted verse in the Bible is Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  According to this verse, all people, with no stated exception (though some Christians like to make exceptions for infants, children, and the mentally handicap), have sinned against God.  As a result of our sin, we’re all going to die, for Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death”.  In Christian theology sin explains why all people, including infants and children occasionally, die because all have sinned.  We’ve grown accustomed to death so that doesn’t seem so bad, but it gets worse.

According to Christian doctrines, death doesn’t really mean death as in no longer existing.  You actually continue to exist after you die in a place called hell.  You see, Yahweh is pretty ticked off about sin and he’s not going to let us off the hook that easily.  He keeps you alive for eternity to torment you because of your sin.  In fact, according to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, Yahweh is sending his son Jesus “with his mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord…”

Although we’re mere worms in his sight (Psalm 22:6, Isaiah 41:14, 66:24), Yahweh is pretty offended that Adam and Even didn’t obey him in the Garden of Eden and we haven’t obeyed his book ever since Moses allegedly wrote Genesis to tell us about it.   So Yahweh has prepared a special place for rebellious angels and sinners called hell.

The word or concept of hell is never mentioned in Yahweh’s warning to Adam and Eve about eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Hell is not even mentioned in the book of Genesis, the Law of Moses, or the whole Old Testament.  But when Jesus came along, he allegedly warned that people who didn’t obey him would be told on Judgment Day, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:44).  The “eternal fire” allegedly referenced by Jesus is hell.  We’re even warned in Mark 9:47, “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.”

One disturbing warning about hell is found in a story that’s called The Rich Man and Lazarus.  We don’t know what sin the rich man committed; maybe he was selfish and greedy.  Regardless, the rich man went to Hades.[1]  Jesus told his audience about this rich man’s terrible condition, “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham[2] far away and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’” (Luke 16:23-24).  Back when I was a Bible believing child, this story used to literally scare the hell out of me.  The idea of being tormented in fire for eternity scares many Christians into staying in church, and it kept me in fear, too.  These fear tactics are as old as religion, but they work to help keep the faithful, faithful.[3]

Being “lost” according to Christians isn’t just an inconvenience or a discomfort.  It’s a terrible biblical doctrine of the worse kind of pain and suffering imaginable.  I wouldn’t wish hell on my worst enemies, yet this is what Yahweh has prepared for his disobedient children according to the Bible.  So what implications should Christian doctrine have on evangelism?

If I really believed the doctrine of eternal hell for unbelievers, then I would be trying to persuade every one I know, even strangers, to be rescued from the eternal flame of Yahweh.  You’ll notice, however, just as I did while I was in the ministry, that most “Christians” never try to persuade any one to get saved.  Instead, they have worship services where a preacher offers an ambiguous invitation to any one and no one in particular.  Most Christians at best only invite one of these eternally damned sinners to a church service or church social event.

If you are a Christian and you’re still reading, then I want to test your belief.  Consider all the houses that are within one mile from where you live.  If you live in town or in a neighborhood, then there are probably a hundred or more homes within a mile from your home.  Now, according to the Bible, which you say you believe, every person that does not believe what you believe is a lost, eternally damned, sinner.  Your Bible tells you to take the gospel to the whole world.[4]  So you have an obligation to all those eternally damned sinners within a mile from your home.  How many of those people have you shared the saving gospel with?  What about your immediate neighbors, have you shared the gospel with them?  By sharing the gospel, I don’t mean inviting them to a worship service to hear a sermon on who knows what.  Neither do I mean inviting them to a church social event.  I mean share the terrible news that Yahweh, who is love, has condemned them as lost sinners to eternal torment in a lake of fire.  And the only way they can be saved from Yahweh’s eternal verdict of hell fire, is to believe and obey what the Bible teaches about Jesus and salvation, plus they’ll need to start attending church every week and giving their money to the church, too, to help other sinners who’ve also been eternally damned by Yahweh….who is love.  So have you shared the gospel with them all?  Have you even personally shared the gospel with the neighbors who are right next to you?  Do you plan on doing it soon?  Probably not.

If your neighbor’s house was on fire, would you find the time and motivation to save them?  If Christians really believe that their lost neighbor’s eternal souls will one day be on fire, then why do so few Christians find the time and motivation to stop what they’re doing immediately and rescue them from Yahweh’s angry judgment?  If you haven’t shared the gospel with everyone within a mile radius of your house, then you’re either an unbeliever or a calloused cold hearted snake who doesn’t even care that all those poor souls are in danger of eternal torment in fire.  So which one are you?  I’m not cold-hearted, which must mean that I don’t believe my neighbors are going to hell for eternity.

So why don’t more Christians try to save any one from Yahweh’s hell?  I’ll give you two reasons that lead to the ultimate reason.  Most people think the reason is because they don’t know how to lead the lost to Jesus and they need more education.  This reason is asinine.  Churches frequently have evangelistic classes and seminars because they think lack of knowledge is the reason.[5]  If you know what you did to be saved and why you did it, then you know what to tell others to do to be saved.  So lack of knowledge is an excuse that makes people feel comfortably disobedient to Yahweh.

The first reason that people don’t share the gospel with their eternally damned neighbors is fear.  They are afraid to share the gospel with their neighbors.  But why are they afraid?  They’re afraid that their beliefs will be rejected, so they will feel rejected, which leads to the second reason people don’t share the terrible news of hell and salvation by Jesus:  shame.  People are afraid of being ashamed.  They realize that there is inadequate evidence of what they believe.  They can’t prove to their neighbors anything about the gospel.  They know the story will sound ridiculous to most people that hear it, which is why so many people don’t believe it.  They are rightly afraid that they will be rejected by good reasoning people.  And they are ashamed because the gospel is absurd.  But the real reason people don’t share the gospel, which is why they’re also afraid and ashamed to share the gospel, is because of doubt.  You see, fear comes from doubt.  When we doubt our future, our health, our survival, the safety of ourselves or loved ones, we become afraid.  Confidence, the opposite of shame, comes from security and certainty.  If people really believed the gospel, then they would not be afraid or ashamed to share it.  So what do they do to hide this fact?  They probably suppress the thoughts and the doubts as I did for so long.

What most Christians do to remove the personal responsibility to share the gospel with everyone they know on a regular basis is pay someone else to do it.  It blows my mind how so many Christians will pay a preacher (the evangelist) or a missionary to go overseas and tell the heathens about Jesus, but they personally won’t ring a doorbell to share the gospel.   Oh, maybe they went door knocking on a couple occasions to invite people to their revival or gospel meeting, but they never go door to door trying to persuade people to study Yahweh’s word with them.  So they give money to “missions” for someone else to do it.  This way it makes them feel evangelistic while avoiding the responsibility of doing it themselves, while giving preachers a good paying job!

Also hysterical are the so-called “mission trips” that church members take.  In Bible College I was required to do a mission trip every semester so I’ve been on quiet a few.  I had an all expense paid trip to the Caribbean and and two trips to Asia in the name of world missions.  What often happens is that people will sign up to go to some foreign country, preferably a safe country, to pass out flyers, build church buildings, attend a gospel meeting, or help with vacation Bible schools for a week (earth shattering work!).  It really makes us feel like we’re “going into all the world” to preach the gospel like Jesus commanded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16).  One really feels like a hard core Christian when going on these things.  The absurdity of it, however, is that many of the people who go on these mission trips haven’t even personally shared the gospel with everyone in their neighborhood.  Some people will travel hundreds or thousands of miles to help share the gospel in foreign nations, when they haven’t even walked down their street to share the gospel at home.  Maybe that’s because it’s better to appear foolish in a foreign land, then at home?  The “missions” always seem to conveniently include a fun day or two to go sightseeing, the real incentive and only reward for going.  How telling of unbelief is it that many Christians will go on foreign mission trips, when they won’t even tell all the people on their own street that they’re going to hell and need Jesus to save them!

I’m throwing down the gauntlet.  I’m drawing a line in the sand.  If you really do believe the Bible, that unbelievers are all damned by Yahweh to eternal pain and torment in the lake of fire unless they believe and obey what the Bible says about Jesus, then please prove me wrong and make a personal effort to share the gospel with them.  You owe it to Yahweh and Jesus.  You owe it to the people you believe are damned to hell. Again, don’t just invite them to a church service; you personally tell them about the terrible danger they are in and how they can be saved.  I’m betting you won’t do it because deep down you don’t believe it just like me.  Don’t feel bad, just change your actions or change your beliefs.

 

 

[1] Hades is the Greek word for the realm of the dead. In the King James Version of the Bible it is typically translated as “hell”.

[2] Apparently you can see and talk to Abraham from hell!

[3] Fear and guilt are manipulative tools frequently used by adult Christians on children in Bible camp.  It’s quiet nauseating once you realize, acknowledge, and confess that the Bible has many absurdities.

[4] Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16

[5] Another absurd thing to consider is the evangelist seminars that are held.  Most Christians have spent more hours in studying and talking about evangelism than they ever actually do evangelism.  This way they feel sort of like they’ve done evangelism, even though they’re really doing nothing profitable for themselves or their churches.

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