Preaching the Gospel with Words: Why There’s No Other Way

We marginalize evangelism when we say the good news is social action.

I’ve read many mission statements of churches and faith-based ministries during my four decades working with evangelist Luis Palau. Most of these statements declare that one of the reasons why the church or mission exists is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Yet we find ourselves now in a critical time for the Church in America and some parts of the world because some believe we can take the whole gospel to the whole world without the use of words. Romans 10:13-15 reminds us:

Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

One of the marks of a Christ-follower is that we want everyone to know “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This is the essence of our evangelistic message. It is a message centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Today’s evangelists have a vital role to play in calling the Church back to declaring with our words, and not just our deeds, this good news.

Recently, I’ve been impressed by how many times I have heard a church leader say, “I want people to know what I am for, not what I am against.” Why? Because we have a positive message that leads to changed lives and transformed communities. However, we have a tendency to get out of balance when it comes to lifting up Jesus in both word and deed.

We see it today in the number …

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