Friday, 14 March 2014
This is the most common form of evangelism and a response to the Great Commission 'Here the focus is declaring, announcing and explaining the gospel in a way people can UNDERSTAND’.
The focus is on the verbal communication of the gospel- God is God who speaks- revealed in Jesus the WORD of God.
The good news declared interprets the 'presence' lived. Some view this mode as the only way for evangelism to be done. This is principally a contribution of the reformed tradition based strongly on Scripture.
Jesus had first of all declared "The time has come, The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
In the Lukan form of the Great Commission Jesus sent his disciples out to preach repentance and forgiveness to all nations (Luke 24.47)
It is clear that Christian Presence is not enough as Paul strongly stated to the Roman Church. (See Rom. 10:14,17) And what is that message. Again we can look at the definition of Lausanne that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gift of the Spirit to all who repent and believe.
There are at least three distinguishing marks of effective proclamation
I remember hearing of a certain Christian lived in a small Cul-de- sac who never really had any social intercourse with his neighbours. But being 'a good Bible believing Christian' he brought in an evangelist to preach the gospel for him. He did this by setting up outdoor P.A. equipment in his garden and then letting the preacher loose to preach a ‘Hell fire ‘ sermon. When he had finished preaching he packed up his P.A. equipment and left. The Christian who brought in the evangelist felt that his work had been done as he still never felt constrained to build up any sort of relationship with his neighbours.
It would seem that this sort of proclamation evangelism was neither credible, authentic or sensitive. It more than likely think that he was from some other planet, he did not genuinely care for them as he had never spoken to them before and the way he did it was most insensitive.
In proclaiming the gospel there is also a fine balance between faithfully preaching the unchanging message of the New Testament and interpreting it afresh in the different contexts that it finds itself.