In evangelism, there is always an emphasis on making sure the point gets across. Sometimes too much so. The point most often expressed is that one must make a decision right away or else they may be left behind or threatened by the idea of scorching flesh for eternity. But all that it essentially equates to is selling fire insurance. Turning from sin is presented, and often enough, the importance of it is emphasized properly, but then modern evangelism pushes for a decision and a soul “won” for which the “evangelist” can brag about later.
But this is not the gospel or evangelism. The original intent of preaching repentance remains intact, but the understanding of the power of regeneration and where it comes from is neglected. Placing emphasis on a decision through the means of a man denies the saving power of the full gospel. While man’s neglect does not hinder the Power of God unto Salvation, it does reinforce the already hard heart of a false convert and increases their self-righteousness.
This is not a proper approach, and I won’t critique it as so. I am stating the neglect in the matter of preaching the resurrection as well as the cross. Pick up most gospel tracts available and investigate the claim that the resurrection message is lacking.
- there is still a crucified body buried in a rich man’s tomb.
- there is no conquered death and promise of eternal rest for the believer.
- the entire purpose of preaching Christ crucified is futile.
Even in my personal efforts of evangelism, the preaching of our Lord’s resurrection is forgotten, when it should not be. A true understanding and grasp of the reality that is Christ’s resurrection and triumph over death would develop a rightful knowledge of who has the power to regenerate man. After facing the glory of the risen Christ one is only left with a perception that can only be had by faith from God. This perception is that Christ has the power to lay down His life and take it up again. The only alternative is plain, man has no power to give himself life. Eternal life can only be granted by the Lord, not by man’s decision.
The dilemma stems from doubt and true allegiance given to the feat that was accomplished at Calvary. Christ made mention of His own resurrection. Even in His mention were the twelve and other listeners often perplexed by its meaning. (Mat 17:22-23, Mat 20:18-19, Luk 9:22, Luk 18:32-33, Luk 24:46-47) But the Lord repeatedly reminded them that what He was doing on earth had a terrible end, that He would die. For all that they heard was just that, He was going to leave. When he arose on the third day in glorified form it was difficult for His own followers to immediately recognize Him. But when they did, they were overcome so much so that they risked their lives to go into the world and proclaim the gospel. Never falling short of emphasizing the resurrection.
Opponents of the resurrection often place physical, earthly restrictions upon its possibility. They forget that if there were a resurrection, it would be of supernatural means, and the origin of these means in fact would be God Himself. Who above all would be capable of resurrecting a body in any form?
So in thought there is only one logical conclusion to the approach of evangelism. Jesus Saves. That’s it, no dogmatic methods, no utilitarian approaches, and no need for bringing people to your Pastor for him to evangelize. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and if we indeed heed the truth of Scripture, we would do well to remember the resurrection, for it is evidence of the power of God in its purest form.