We are back in John’s office for this week's podcast to start a new series. The next several weeks of the Behold Your God Podcast will focus on the subject of evangelism.
The practice of evangelism is not outside any Christian’s ability. In fact, it is commanded of us by our King. But that does not mean it is easy. We are sharing how rebellious, depraved people can be reconciled to the infinitely righteous and holy God. Each opportunity to evangelize should be both somber and joyous.
The biblical approach to evangelism is sharing the good news with two truths foremost in your mind: God’s holiness and justice, and the utter depravity and helplessness of man.
Love to Christ will drive us to evangelism because we understand it is our privilege to discuss His life and loveliness. Love to our neighbor will drive us to evangelism because we understand the eternal nature of the souls around us.
How do we hold these truths in each hand and give a presentation of the gospel that honors our King? What examples do we have in Scripture to study and learn from? What historical figures can we look to for application of the biblical principles we find? John and Matthew introduce many of these and will discuss them more in future episodes.
0:00-6:00 John and Matthew introduce define evangelism, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. It is guiding souls to Christ. Jesus has chosen to use His people to spread His good news to the lost world. He has not entrusted this to angels, but to us. It is an opportunity we should pursue with seriousness. In essence, evangelism involves two sets of conversations. The first is between the believer and God. The second is between the Christian and the lost person.
6:00-11:00 We are going to spend the next several episodes on this topic. John explains some of the many facets we will focus on and introduces an important resource we will use as a foundation for this series, A Cornish Revival: The Life and Times of Samuel Walker of Truro. Another resource is a collection of letters from Samuel Rutherford. Links to everything are under Show Notes.
11:00-13:00 Now that John and Matthew have laid out the plan for the next few episodes, they dive into the beginning of the series. Evangelism is so simple a baby Christian can do it. But it is also as complex as the human problem and as full as the infinite mercy, justice, and wisdom of God. This isn’t going to be “5 Steps to being a better evangelist.” But we will focus on biblical principles that will help us.
13:00-21:00 To begin being effective evangelists, we must grasp two truths. The first is the truth about who God is. God is King and Creator. He has certain rights and claims to make on man. Understanding that brings about a category shift in our minds.
21:00-25:00 The second is to understand who man is and what his deepest need is. To only focus on felt needs, surface-level pains of the deeper problem, is not loving. It can lead to using the Scriptures in a way that is not appropriate.
25:00-31:00 Being an effective evangelist means understanding where a person is. We know where we want them to be, but we must first understand where they are. How can you identify the spiritual surroundings of a soul to give them meaningful directions toward Christ?
31:00-33:00 John previously brought up three areas of guilt. Matthew explains how Jesus is the answer to each of them. He also brings up the active obedience of Christ. You can listen to a full episode on that topic here.
33:00-39:00 The heart of the problem is the heart of man. It is bent toward sin and rebellion against God. Theologians have named this pollution Total Depravity. John and Matthew discuss the truths of the doctrine and explain some common myths some have of it.
39:00 We must take time to listen to the person we are talking to. Examine the example of Jesus. He didn’t pick one truth and give it to everyone seeking Him. He also didn't throw all the truths of Scripture at one person, hoping something was effective. He gave particular truths to particular people in particular situations.
Last week Matthew and Teddy braved the frigid cold of Minneapolis, Minnesota to exhibit at the Bethlehem College and Seminary Conference. For this week’s Supporter Appreciation Episode, they take you behind the scenes of the conference, introduce you to some friends, and give you an extra surprise.
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Supporter Appreciation Episode Resources:
You can stream all the sessions from the Bethlehem College and Seminary Conference here.