Some evangelism efforts can be characterized by this quote: "We offer day care, church services, Christian education and various ministries for church members and the local community. We teach people about God's love and try to involve new visitors and members in church activities. We want this to be a comfortable church for people of all religious backgrounds and experiences. Some of our members are active in ministries outside the church and we have an evangelism committee. We want more direct evangelism of non-believers and hope to attract new visitors to the church, but seem to lack volunteers willing to actively evangelize the lost or bring them to church."
There are many ways to approach church and the lost, but only one Way to approach God (Jn 14:6). True evangelism must lovingly confront sin, call for repentance and lead the lost to the Savior. Disproportionate emphasis on persuading the lost that God loves them in spite of their sin, convinces many that God loves them and their sin. God's love is a wonderful, essential truth, but people are not lost because they do not believe God loves them. They are lost because they see no reason to repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. One cannot know Christ as Savior, unless one first knows themselves as a sinner. Only the lost sinner needs a Savior. A sincere belief in one loving God, heaven, or that Jesus Christ was a great teacher, prophet or even the son of God will not offend ... or save anyone.
Jesus was not persecuted and crucified because he loved the lost, but because he confronted sin and the need for repentance. Trying to ease the lost into God's kingdom through religion, without confronting sin, attempts to pacify, rather than evangelize. The crucified Christ confirms the terrible reality and consequence of sin and the need of the lost for a Savior ( Jn 12:32). That truth can be neutralized when sin, repentance and hell are ignored or treated like a hellfire and brimstone parody. Jesus did not confront sin in an offensive, in-your-face manner, but he did love the lost enough to tell them that sin is deadly. When programs, good feelings and human effort are lifted higher than the crucified Christ, confusion and sin tolerance prevail (I Cor 15:17, 2 Cor 3:13-14).
"Absolute Confusion," the appropriate title of a recent Barna Survey, reveals a great Spiritual confusion in America today. 90-percent of those surveyed, believe there is one God and expect to go to heaven (Jas 2:19). Only half of those have repented of sin and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. 84-percent claim religion is important in their life and 89-percent pray to God. Only 27-percent attended church in the prior six months (except for weddings or funerals). This confusion is apparently unhampered by a church on almost every corner in America. Much of it, in fact, probably arises from efforts to keep sinners in church or teach them to behave like Christians, without confronting their sin.
First century 'Judiazers' taught that one must first adopt Jewish ritual and doctrine, before one could become a Christian (Act 15:1-5, Gal 6:12-13). The unwillingness to directly confront sin, sends a similar message today: that church attendance and religion are the path to God. The true church of Christ remains on earth to evangelize the lost and teach other believers to evangelize the lost (Eph 5:23-32, Mat 28:18-20, 2 Tim 4:5). The world and the lost are confused about sin, Christ and Salvation today, because many believers and churches have lost sight of their mission. True evangelism lovingly confronts sin, calls for repentance and leads the lost to Jesus Christ. (#72)