Boomsday and Evangelism in Knoxville, Tennessee
September 6, 2010
A number of us went down to open air preach, pass out bible tracts/bibles, and engage in one on one discussion with people.
There were a lot of people….estimated according to reports up to 400,000. I estimate I was able to pass out about 300 tracts and about 5 bibles.
A group of Johnson Bible College Students engaged us on the evangelism methods.(passing out tracts, open air preaching, carrying signs with bible verses.) One of our men asked them what is wrong in the methodology. Apparently following in the tradition of open air preaching and interacting on spiritual matters in a public area like the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples in the Book of Acts is not correct according to the JBC students.
I will note that we never yelled or were hateful towards any of our hearers. We read the scriptures out loud and did a little expounding on the text.
The JBC students told us what were doing is not effective and was turning people away from the Gospel.
We had more negative reaction from other Christians than we did from non-Christians.
The mindset of many Christian towards Evangelism is just inviting people to church or doing good works to people to hopes of non believers coming to the Lord. Yet, the Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus is to “Go in all the world and preach the Gospel to every person.” Going in the world means going where there is people. Boomsday is one place where we saw people. Going into to all the world doesn’t mean “Build a church and the non believer will come”(If I may borrow from the movie “Field of Dreams”).
If people come only come to the Lord solely on the basis of the idea that the church does nice things for me, then what will happen when the person is in need or greed and the church does not meet a that particular need? The church will have become nothing more than a “Welfare Program” meeting only physical needs.
The main focus of believers to present an unbeliever the greatest need, a spiritual need. That main spiritual need is Jesus Christ.
Cults and government programs offer help to people in order to win their trust and loyalty. The devil comes as an angel of light to deceive people. In the last days, the Devil will come in the embodiment of the Anti-Christ as one who will win people’s trust by claiming to solve people’s problems. So other non-Christian groups and people can do “nice things” for people, which means Christians can only proclaim something that in not offered by the world . God gives only the believer the ability by his Spirit to share the Jesus of the Bible.
Evangelism means getting outside the walls of the church and telling the lost about their need for Jesus. This is done under the power of the Holy Spirit, who will tell us what to say via the Word of God. John the Baptist, Jesus, the Disciples preached “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, put your faith in God(Jesus). By seeing this done multiple times throughout scriptures, God is showing believers the example to follow in Evangelizing the lost.
Yet, many want to follow church traditions and societal rules rather than following the Word of God. In our society we are being taught not to offend people and everyone needs to not confront other beliefs because we live in a country that gives people the freedom to choose their path.
Yet, are we not proclaiming the Love of Christ by telling someone if they continue on the path they are walking will lead them to their eternal death?
In the Old Testament, God tells the reader that if a watchman on the walls of a city sees an enemy approaching and did not blow the trumpet to the people to warn of impending dangers, God will hold that man accountable for the bloodshed. Yet, the blood will not be on the watchman if he sounds the alarm and people refuse to heed the alarm.
I agree with the Bible we are to do all things in love. Yet, in biblical love we will have to proclaim what the Word of God says even if makes people uncomfortable. Yes, we do not have to be mean in our approach. Yet, if we are truly led and empowered by the Spirit of God we will not go wrong. The message will go out in the way the Lord intended, even if it rattles some feathers of individuals. Yes people have a choice, yet by not proclaiming publically God’s Word we are denying the person a choice they may not get. You may be the one God sent to share of Faith and Repentance to a person. It may be in the context of a public venue like Boomsday in Knoxville, TN or on a street corner passing out tracts, sitting next to someone on the bus, wherever you are currently located. God intentionally places us in every avenues of our life to shine and reflect Jesus to a lost and dying world. The Great Commission is a command, not a suggestion from Jesus.