Old Time Evangelism

John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”

The mandate Jesus gave was very clear, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”, and yet the manner of preaching has varied in many ways through the years.

In 1957, Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, went about developing a gospel tract in accordance with modern day teaching called the 4 Spiritual laws and his tract became so popular that it was distributed hundreds of millions of times throughout college campuses.

The tract speaks of 4 primary laws that determine the necessary steps toward salvation and the scripture to support them:

  1. God loves you and created you personally to know Him. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
  2. Man is sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love. The fact that all have sinned and the result of that sin was illustrated in Romans 3:23 and 6:232 Thess. 1:8,9 “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”
  3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience His love. John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:”

The tract went on to describe the importance of knowing Christ in your life, how to distinguish fact from feelings, and expanded on a type of prayer for salvation and what it means to now grow in Christ. A cute little acrostic designed to remind the reader of the importance of growth was laid out in simple form:

G Go to God in prayer daily (John 15:7).

R Read God’s Word daily (Acts 17:11) – begin with the Gospel of John.

O Obey God moment by moment (John 14:21).

W Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8).

T Trust God for every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7).

H Holy Spirit – Allow Him to control and empower your daily life and witness (Galatians 5:16,17; Acts 1:8).

Bill Bright is still considered one of the greatest evangelists the world has ever known. Besides Campus Crusade for Christ that has since expanded to 191 countries, he produced the Jesus film in 1979 that has been seen by 5.1 billion people in 225 countries. The film was translated into over 1400 languages and has proven to be very effective in communicating the gospel when people couldn’t read a gospel tract. Bright also authored more than 100 books and booklets as well as thousands of articles and pamphlets that have been distributed by the millions in most major languages.

Looking back on the life of Bill Bright, it is a reminder of what one man can accomplish when the passion of sharing the gospel is exemplified by a willingness to give your life in service in God’s Kingdom and the character do what it takes to get the job done.

Evangelism Today

We can’t all be Bill Brights but we can live out our lives faithfully where God has led us. The mandate to share the gospel was not exclusive to the disciples, all who have been transformed by the power of God have a purpose in being a light in this world of darkness. Today you can see the effects of one man’s faithfulness in trusting the Lord and being found faithful but the mandate doesn’t end there. Campus Crusade for Christ now goes by Cru and can be shared online or in person by whomever wants to carry on this legacy. You have been given tools to go into your part of the world and share the gospel as well, the question is are you willing?

Do you know what it takes to becoming an evangelist for Christ?

*To be an effective evangelist requires the Spirit of God in your heart as a result of your faith in Christ and a willingness to boldly go out and share the Word of God with others.

“Set goals so big that unless God helps you, you will be a miserable failure.”

Bill Bright

Evangelism is an expression of love, without it we are relegated to only making noise. 1 Corinthians 13:1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

The symphony of God’s praise is made manifest by His Spirit, through His people. Evangelism is a form of worship. By exalting the King through His Word and by our testimony, we lift Him up in worship and proclaim His faithfulness to a world that remains faithless.

I’ve talked quite a bit about the message of salvation and I’ve come to realize that the message is made manifest by God. The way we share the message is a product of God’s truth conjoined with our persona and then revealed through the direction of the Spirit. Many have a design or style of sharing the gospel that claims to be the most effective but I’ve found that one style doesn’t fit all. Personally, having graduated the Biblical School of Evangelism, I used the style of the program to illustrate God’s Truth, what I found is that some simply did not receive it. To others, the necessity of sharing the moral law in evangelism wasn’t necessary, they already felt condemned by their actions and knew they were sinners, I didn’t need to show them that again. Having grown up hearing about the 4 spiritual laws, I witnessed the effectiveness of this style and I’ve heard the testimony of those who came to Christ as a result.

Ray Comfort, who I admire greatly, has warned of the critical nature of how we share the gospel. If people approach Christ with a false expectation, they will be bitterly disappointed. The necessity for coming to Christ is made apparent through the Moral Law, recognizing God’s love in the midst of judgment for sin exalts Christ to the position He holds alone as Savior of the world.

So whether you continue Bill Brights style of evangelism, Ray Comfort’s method of law and grace, or the Romans road to salvation, the important thing is that your trying. When you try to share the gospel and do it in love, the Lord is honored and uses a willing heart such as yours.

Colossians 1:27 “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Love is the key. Whether you trip over your words, forget a passage, or get side tracked by a rabbit trail, the love you express cuts through the maze of indifference and reveals Christ in you. I’ll leave you with a quote by one of the greatest men I’ve ever seen. He along with others have set the stage, it’s up to us to finish it.

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