Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ten Mistakes of Modern Evangelism

When I was conducting my research on the Great and second Great Awakenings, I was shocked by the vast dissimilarity of the preaching in those days compared with the preaching of our day. I read the sermons of Jonathan Edwards and his contemporaries of the 18th century and then I studied the sermons of Asahel Nettleton and his contemporaries of the 19th century and I noticed that God seemed to be pleased to bless the messages that were preached in those centuries with tremendous outpourings of his grace and revival and spiritual awakening and I look around today and all I see is deadness everywhere in the churches and it’s tied directly to our preaching of our day.

There’s been a sad declension in the great doctrines of the Bible and evangelism in our day. We want to see God move in revival like he’s done in former times but the problem is, we aren’t willing to preach the same messages that former men of revival preached. Part of this may be due to the fact that we’re living in a day of great spiritual declension that knows little about vital Christianity. These are the days of the lukewarm church and, unfortunately, much of the preaching is lukewarm as well. It’s neither hot nor cold, it’s just room temperature because the pastor doesn’t want to turn the temperature up in the room and upset any of his hearers. We invite a lot of people to walk an aisle and repeat a prayer but there is little evidence of true conversion in the churches in our day.

The problem with much of the evangelism is that we present a Jesus to people who aren’t interested in him because they feel they just don’t need him. Everyone needs Christ but their eyes are blinded and they are dead in sin. Old time preachers knew how to use the Word of God to awaken sinners to their lost estate and ruined condition. After a sinner was awakened and convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, then the remedy for sin was applied in the person of Jesus Christ. But today we offer the remedy to people who just don’t realize they are sick and in need of it. We must realize that a sinner needs to be awakened before he can be converted.

But sadly, much of the preaching done today is shallow and shallow preaching leads to shallow conversions and shallow conversions lead to shallow congregations and shallow congregations leave the devil alone, leave the lost astray and lead the nation into moral bankruptcy so the end result of shallow preaching is a long line of people going straight to hell.

I don’t blame the White House for the problems of our hour. I don’t blame the courthouse for the problems of our day. Rather, I place the blame on the pulpits of our land that have conformed to the pagan society that they were meant to reach and instead of preaching to the lost a pure Gospel of the Son of God, the pulpits water down the Gospel so it can be more easily swallowed and we have swallowed this diluted Gospel which lacks true spiritual nourishment and we are sunk.

This message is a call for the pulpits of the land to return to the old paths of preaching the great doctrines of the Bible whereby men are awakened to their sins and alarmed about their lost and ruined condition before a just and holy God. My message today is entitled “Ten Mistakes of Modern Evangelism.” I will first list them and then elaborate upon each of them as we proceed.

1. Modern evangelism has shrunken God down to our size.
2. We have taken salvation out of the hands of God and placed it in the hands of men.
3. We fail to preach the Gospel in its purity and proper order in preaching the doctrines of ruin and redemption and repentance and regeneration.
4. There is a failure to show man his duty of repentance.
5. Modern evangelism has failed to preach the utter strictness and severity of the law of God.
6. We have failed to proclaim that man first has to be lost before he can be saved; a man needs to be awakened to see his need of Christ before the remedy can be applied.
7. Modern evangelism makes false converts by mistaking a physical act like walking an aisle and repeating a prayer as true conversion.
8. We have failed to warn sinners to flee from hell and describe hell and its terrors.
9. We have failed to preach up the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
10. Modern evangelism has miserably failed in its portrayal of what the Christian life is to a new believer; we paint it as all red roses and honey blossoms and neglect to inform our hearers about the demands of discipleship in following a crucified Savior.

Each of these ten mentioned items is of immense importance to the salvation of a soul.

Read the full message by E.A. Johnston here or listen below.

No comments:

Post a Comment