Summary: This is a series about Jesus sending out the 72 followers to prepare the towns to hear from Jesus himself. In the same manner we can use the principles to reach a new generation and lay the ground work for Jesus to transform lives.
Series: Aggressive Evangelism
Get in Their Face
The entire world is convinced they have what they need to exist – and the people in our country seem to be convinced that somehow even if they die things will work out in the end if they have good intentions. The company Google has a motto; “Don’t be evil,” I think it is a good motto but their definition of evil and mine are quite a bit different and I guess I could just say, “Well they are a really big company with a lot of influence so I will just let them tell people what evil is.” That would be stupid because evil has a definition and has always tried to mask itself in something else. I have a responsibility to speak up and not back down when I know something is evil.
Not long ago President Obama in his attempt to energize his supporters said "I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face," Now his opponents took this as threat of violence or instigation, but the peaceful among his supporters took it as a call to be proactive in their politicking. If they wanted to convince people of their beliefs they would need to get right in front of those who were sitting on the fence and try to convince them to join their side.
Jesus Christ is much bigger and better than any political figure and his message of being the only son of God is much bigger priority than anything an organizer might say. From him is the message of eternal hope and earthly transformation – the real change agent is found through His ways and by his Holy Spirit. The God of heaven sent his first born to us, bringing that message to be face to face. He came to the world and delivered truth in human speech and human activity. He came to be right in front of our face.
The kingdom of God was not content to be pronounced from heaven, it was presented and illustrated on earth. And those who had been with Jesus during his ministry went to aggressively deliver the message too. I like the passage in Acts 5 after Peter and the apostles were told to stop preaching about Jesus and then were flogged, verse 41 says "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." Who preaches so boldly after being beaten for it? People who aggressively believe they have the words of life that must be told to the world.
Getting in someone’s face is not a positive term – it usually refers to someone confronting you and aggressively attempting to intimidate you into doing what they want. That behavior might work with some but generally speaking it isn’t the best way to tell people about Jesus.
I. The Aggressive Way.
A. What exactly does it mean to be aggressively evangelistic?
1. We have all seen Christians who think evangelism is about standing on a street corner with a sign or about confronting people in public with their sinfulness. No doubt it is important the people know that they are sinful and need a savior – but it is hard to reconcile that way with how Jesus did it.
*And churches like the Westboro Baptist group who likes to hold protest signs at soldier’s funerals and hold signs on street corners that say “God hates gay people,” those behaviors do not help either because while there might be a few people convicted to examine the Bible looking to see if what they say is true, a majority just tune them out. Because if that is what it means to be a Christian they don't want anything to do with it. Who would want to be part of an organization that seems interest calling people out than actually wanting them to repent and belong to God? Their way becomes blight to evangelism and even gives people an excuse not to listen as they say “Well they are Christians and look at the hate they spew.” Being judgmental is not a good way to evangelize.
2. Yet this is how some interpret being aggressive in their evangelism; and why many Christians decide they don’t want to be part of it or they aren’t equipped to do it. That view of aggressive evangelism is disliked by most Christians and hated by people who need to hear about Christ.