A guy with a baseball cap
Personal Evangelism has no replacement
I shared all of that to say this: There is no substitute for one on one or direct personal evangelism. This man had a Christian background yet, it became apparent in the conversation that he had not made genuine response to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and had not actually trusted in Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life. He had Bible engagement, church attendance, and interactions with his Christian family, yet he didn’t have an accurate knowledge of the gospel! My fear is that in America and the West in general we’ve substituted church attendance and going through Christian motions for actual evangelism that makes the gospel clear and challenges a person to trust in Jesus Christ. A person can go to a church with the best teaching that’s winning the lost to Jesus Christ through its sermons, but this is still no substitute for personal evangelism. Someone can grow up in the most godly, devout Christian family learning the practice of prayer and how to read the Bible, but this is also not a substitute for this person being challenged to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was never God’s intention to have the learning of spiritual disciplines, church attendance, and christian relationships to replace a clear hearing of the gospel. God has a unique and vital place for it.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says, ” And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ”
In the verses above God has given “evangelists” to the church to equip and build up the church. The evangelist helps train the church in effective ways to share the gospel, and also shares the gospel himself. God’s intention for the evangelist and the church is be people who engage in personal one to one evangelism as well as other methods of evangelism. Simply trusting a Christian environment or Christian relationships to get the evangelistic job done is not an option. It will fall short without a clear presentation of the gospel as we saw in the example with the young man above.