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Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism:
Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2:
A Biblical Premise

Should Christians evangelize in public places?

In today’s relativistic society, why would anyone dare to speak to a stranger about Jesus Christ being the only way to heaven? Why would anyone in their right mind stand up before a group of strangers and call on them to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ, knowing that there is a high likelihood that some people will become hostile?
 
Because, Jesus is the only Savior, Lord, and King! Apart from the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, people have no hope at all. Whether the people are your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, or strangers, they need to hear the gospel. If we as Christians know it, then why would we NOT want to proclaim it, even to strangers?

Is it Biblical?

Street preaching and evangelism are not only important; they are necessary! These are God’s chosen means by which He has designated to build His kingdom.
 
Many Christians seem to be embarrassed or even ashamed to share the message of salvation with others, but this should not be the case.
 
Jesus says in Mark 8:38 that “whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
 
The point is that those who have been saved by Christ should not be ashamed of the One who has saved them. Nor should they be ashamed to tell others how they can be saved from the wrath of God.
 
Believers alone have been given the Word of Truth and the Holy Spirit. If we don’t get the message out, then who will?
 
Paul tells us in Romans 1:16 that he “is not ashamed of the gospel.” Think about it, Paul had every excuse to be ashamed of the gospel. He had lost everything: his heritage, his high standing among his people, his family and close friends. He suffered through persecution and imprisonment. He received beatings and was nearly stoned to death for preaching this message. And yet, after more than two decades of such rejection and abuse, he reassured the church at Rome that he still was not ashamed of the gospel, and desired to proclaim it even in Rome.1 

The power of God.

Why was Paul not ashamed of the gospel? He tells us “for [the gospel] is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” 2 
 
Jesus Christ had sent Paul to preach a message that He was going to use to bring about salvation among those who heard it. This information was not based on opinion, but the truth of God. It was not mere meaningless babble but a message that was given to Paul by God. This was a message empowered by God, as well.3 

Faith comes by hearing, which means somebody has to do the speaking!

Paul tells us in Romans 10:17 that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The hearing of the gospel is the means by which God calls His people to Himself; however, these words, the gospel, must be spoken by someone who knows the gospel. This is Paul’s point when he writes,
 
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?4 
 
The Greek word here for “preaching” is κηρύσσω (kērussō) and it means to preach, to proclaim as a herald, to announce openly and publicly, to noise abroad.
 
The Apostle Paul is clearly exhorting his readers to engage in public evangelism and open-air preaching.

Jesus also commands us to go and to shine.

Jesus says, “GO therefore and make disciples of all nations …”5
 
Making disciples is a command of God. It is what we are called to do. However, in order to make a disciple or student of Christ, words have to be communicated.
 
Who should proclaim such a message?
 
You! People are not saved by simply being around Christians who are gospel mutes. And the unsaved do not become disciples without learning about who Christ is and what He has done to provide salvation.
 
Jesus also tells all believers that, “you are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others…” 6 Don’t hide your Christianity by avoiding talking about it. That is the same thing as putting the light under the basket. Let the light of Christ shine forth. Open your mouth and let the gospel of Jesus Christ be proclaimed.

Final thoughts:

Let us not be ashamed of Jesus Christ! For we have been given a message from God Himself, which is the power of God for salvation to all who believe! Remember, in order to believe, they must first hear. How are they going to hear without someone preaching? They won’t.
 
Therefore, let us obey our Lord and go forth proclaiming the gospel, even to those that we do not know.
 
~ Jeff Patton
 
 

Footnotes:



Evangelism Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! — Part 1 

Evangelism Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! — Part 1 

Evangelism Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! — Part 1 

Evangelism

Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! Part 1

My name is Jeff Patton, and for the last four years, I have been involved in public/open-air evangelism. I have the tremendous privilege of being a part of a group of believers, who faithfully go into the public square of Denton, Texas to share the gospel of Jesus Christ every week. We have made a habit of being on the same corner, on the same day, at the same time, every week, for years now. Though the seasons change and the audience varies greatly, we strive to maintain a steady evangelistic voice on the Denton Square. We believe that Jesus gives us the mandate to go and make disciples. In doing so, preaching the gospel is the means by which people hear, believe, repent, and are brought into the kingdom of God.

This outreach that began with only a couple of men, has grown into quite a team. Men, women, and young people from my home church, The Church At Pecan Creek, and other like-minded churches, who come together every Saturday evening to do what we can to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

A Typical Evening of Evangelism:

A typical evening will consist of evangelism, usually consisting of: open-air preaching, open mic dialogue, scripture reading, an occasional song, passing out gospel tracts, and striking up spiritual conversations. Opportunities often arise to pray for people and to offer comfort and encouragement to hurting souls. We have seen many people affected by our efforts. Some have come to know Christ as their Savior and some other Christian passersby’s have been greatly encouraged toward personal evangelism as well. 

However, evangelism is not all roses. As we know from the Apostle Paul, the same gospel that saves some is the same gospel that caused others to want to imprison, stone, beat, and whip him. Though it usually does not get quite that hostile, we do bear the brunt of many people who hate God and those who represent Him.

“Keep your message in your church walls!”

A misguided, yet widely held belief, is that preaching is only for church and that people should keep their beliefs to themselves. Believe it or not, many of those who hold such a view profess to be Christians. It seems that many Christians and non-Christians have believed the old saying that, “Two things never to be talked about in polite company are politics and religion”. However that is not a verse in the Bible. 

Questions and objections that often arise to our evangelistic efforts:

      • Is street evangelism effective?
      • Have your efforts brought forth any success?
      • Are there not better ways to engage the lost?
      • People are offended. Instead of winning people to Christ, are you not turning them away from Him?

These all can be legitimate concerns. However, our conclusions to such questions must not rely on human reasoning, pragmatism, the opinions of others, or our own personal feelings and preferences.

Instead, we should be asking:

      • What does the Bible say about gospel proclamation?
      • Are there any examples of public evangelism taking place in Scripture?
      • Did Jesus and the Apostles only evangelize in private?
      • If open-air evangelism was practiced in Biblical times, then why would Christians believe that it should not be done today?

The purpose in future articles is to provide sound answers to these questions based on God’s word.

Earlier in my Christian life, I, like many, disagreed with public evangelism. But the more I studied the Word, the more my position was challenged. We must remember that the church is the body of Christ and made up of believers. Those who attend church on Sunday, supposedly, are already saved and are there to worship Jesus together with other believers. But what about those who are lost?

How will those outside the walls of church buildings get to hear the gospel if it is only proclaimed within the walls of a church building?

As God’s people, we are ambassadors for Christ. God makes His appeal to the lost world through us as we implore people on behalf of Christ to “be reconciled to God”(2 Cor. 5:20). 

Even though God has grown our evangelistic outreach by sending other believers to help, we, like Jesus, clearly see that “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2). Please join us in prayer for our evangelistic efforts, and pray that you would see the harvest and the need to proclaim the gospel to those who are around you as well.

If you would like to more information about our outreach or starting your own, please email us at: FindOutMore@TheChurchAtPecanCreek.com
~ Jeff Patton



 

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1811 Shady Oaks Blvd.
Suite 105
Denton, Texas 76205
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