We need to rethink how we do evangelism today. America is not at the same spiritual level as in the 1950’s-70. Today we are successful if we move a person from not believing that you can know God at all, to beginning to comprehend that maybe God can be known, and maybe we can have an ongoing relationship with Him.

Let me explain, if someone is a negative six (doesn’t believe in God or a negative four (Aware of a Deity out there somewhere), (See Spiritual Journey Scale chapter 13 in “Breaking the Evangelism Code:
Evangelism Today”, p134) we are successful because the person has made a shift in understanding how they can be in a personal relationship with God. The relationship is one of Creator and creation.

Depending where the person is on their spiritual journey, as we explain the Gospel to a lost person, the person may move from a negative five, three, to a negative one (aware of breaking God’s law/rules). If the person moves from a negative six to a negative three or one, then you are successful in the evangelization process. The person is on their way to moving in thought and spirituality toward knowing God and coming to faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ mandate for His church is to go make disciples, i.e. evangelize lost people, whether home or abroad. Today America is seeing a new kind of growth, by transfer populations, (people are migrating to our cities). So our efforts should be two fold, (1) continue to evangelize the stereotypical Americans, Angelo, Black, Hispanic descendants; this includes the second, third and preceding generations. (2) Begin to evangelize those immigrants who are looking to connect and fit into our culture. The longer immigrants are in the United States the more separation there is between their religious roots.

I have personally have witnessed to foreign born peoples who were making a great effort to become American. This included them searching in the Bible seeking who is God from a Christian perspective. And yes, I have led some of these friendly seekers to faith in Jesus Christ.

Some Christians say that lost people are not as open to hearing the Gospel. I say some people are doing it all wrong. Maybe they had one bad experience and they lump all the evangelism methods and approaches into one pile and label them as “Do Not Work!” Maybe their church has a bad reputation in the community. It is a good thing that Jesus didn’t have this wrong mindset when He faced opposition and persecution. He had the absolute right to bail and leave earth and the redemption of sinful mankind when the people tried to kill on several occasions before His crucifixion.

Thanks to God, and the Lord Jesus, He was here in spite of all the evil words, actions and ultimately death on a cross. Now we can experience God’s love, forgiveness, and redemption because of His commitment. He set the example for His disciples. Ten of Jesus disciples were executed for proclaiming the Gospel, excluding Judas the betrayer, and John. Imagine if Paul had stopped his missionary evangelistic efforts, just because he was stoned at Lystra! Paul would not have taken the Gospel to Rome.

We see in Jesus preaching to Jews and Gentiles and especially in Pauls’ ministry to the Gentiles, the Gospel was a new way, Gods’ way to understand God, and to find Him. The fact that The Creator, The Divine Power responsible for all that exists, would take on human form and step into human history to make Himself simply known to mankind is almost difficult to comprehend for some.

Proclaiming the Gospel is about educating people who do not know about Jesus, or have little understanding of Jesus or the wrong information about Him. The Divine Mandate by Jesus Christ to His followers is to take the Gospel to the all peoples. I sometimes refer to “Making Disciples” as “Discipleship Evangelism.”  As we explain the Gospel to lost people we are making disciples. They just don’t know it yet. We move them by the Biblical knowledge we share with them, praying and waiting for the time when God’s Spirit permeates their minds and souls, and they finally come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

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