Causing People to Think Again

Preach the Gospel with Boldness!I'm often grieved with the attitude of people on the streets toward God, eternity, heaven, and hell. So many people live out their lives in a little "personal bubble" and simply do not want to be bothered with anything they don't deem important or relevant to their lives. Handing them a tract or trying to strike up a conversation with them is offensive because one has popped their little bubble and ruined their perfect little world.

What can we do cause the peoples of this world to stop and think again about what really matters (eternity and salvation)? Martyn Lloyd-Jones had something to say about that:

Does it grieve you my friends, that the name of God is being taken in vain and desecrated? Does it grieve you that we are living in a godless age? ... But, we are living in such an age and the main reason we should be praying about revival is that we are anxious to see God's name vindicated and His glory manifested. We should be anxious to see something happening that will arrest the nations, all the peoples, and cause them to stop and to think again.

A.W. Pink stated very clearly what that "something" is that we can be doing that will cause people to stop and think again:

It is true that many are praying for worldwide revival. But it would be more timely, and more scriptural, for prayer to be made to the Lord of the harvest, that He would raise up and thrust forth laborers who would fearlessly and faithfully preach those truths which are calculated to bring about a revival.

I believe Christians today need to seriously consider the biblical mandate and method of open-air preaching. Many lost people will reject a gospel tract; many will refuse to enter into a conversation about sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. We are living in a godless age and if we are anxious to see revival (new life among the lost! new life in our churches!), then we need to do that which will arrest the nations and cause them to think on eternity. And there is only one thing that will accomplish that goal: The preaching of the gospel.

We need to stop asking ourselves, "Is open-air preaching effective." And we need to start obeying Scripture so that God might be glorified... and the people arrested and caused to think again!

I would encourage you to revisit the preaching on the biblical means and goals of evangelism. I would also ask of those who are reading this, that they would pray for our church, that we would be bold in proclaiming Christ (Eph 6.18-20) and that God would provide for the ministry to which He has called us (Php 4.19).

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God...  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. [1Cor 1.17-18, 21-23]

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. [Rom 10.13-17]

And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. [Php 1.14-18]

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. [Acts 20.20-21]

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words... [Prov 1.20-21]

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets... Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. [Luke 6.22-23, 26]

And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. [Ezek 2.3-7]

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