SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : God-Centered and Man-Centered Evangelism

Print Thread (PDF)

PosterThread









 God-Centered and Man-Centered Evangelism

God-centered evangelism tells men to repent for the glory of God. It tells men to repent because God is worthy of their affection and love. It tells men that unless they repent they will perish. However, God-centered evangelism teaches men that repentance is not only their duty... it is a conquering Grace of God that is given freely and graciously by God upon His elect when the gospel is preached. He does not force it on them. He graciously and mercifully removes the stony heart and gives them a new heart so that they will "do" what they otherwise would not and could not "do" with a stony heart. God-centered evangelism directs the sinners hope to God's ability rather than their ability (which is hopeless apart from Conquering Grace)

"And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." (Eze 11:19-20)

Man-centered evangelism has this scripture all backwards. Man-centered evangelism says, "They must walk in My statutes, and keep Mine ordinances, and do them: That I may give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

(Note to the reader: The verse is not the same. The means of salvation is placed on man's work rather than God's conquering Grace and regeneration.)

Man-centered evangelism says, "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through us that loved Him."

God centered evangelism says, "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Rom 8:37)

Please allow me to put you in soon remembrance that God-centered evangelism teaches men that repentance is not only their duty... it is a conquering Grace of God that is given freely and graciously by God upon His elect when the gospel is preached.

"...if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" (2Timothy 2:25) "...for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:31) "...Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18) "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." (Act 3:26) "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;" (Php 1:29)

Man-centered evangelism won't preach on these scriptures. Because man-centered evangelism fears it will take away from the duty of man. However man-centered evangelism's real problem is rooted in the motivation to repent.

Man-centered evangelism repents so that he may escape hell. (selfishness and self-preservation) God-centered evangelism repents to glorify and worship God. (godliness and self-denial) There is nothing selfish about not wanting to go to hell. But, it is selfishness if that is where your motivation to repent comes from. Rather, one should repent because they abhor all their sin and their entire old nature.

This holy hatred for sin, comes when we see what it did to to the precious Lamb of God. We didn't just tell a lie, a fib, stole a couple things, and disobeyed our parents. WE CRUCIFIED THE PRECIOUS LAMB OF GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, SOUL, STRENGTH, AND MIND. God's centered evangelism puts a major emphasis on this in gospel preaching concerning the sinfulness of Man.

"...ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you." (John 8:37) "Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified." (Mat 27:22-23) "But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him." (Luk 23:21) "Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him." (Mar 15:14) "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:" (Act 2:23) "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Act 2:36) "And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" (Act 9:4) "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." (Zec 12:10) "Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1Co 2:8)

God-centered evangelism teaches that the death and bloodshed of our Lord Jesus actually accomplished and purchased eternal redemption for God's people. God-centered evangelism will preach scriptures like Isaiah 53. God-centered evangelism teaches that the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

(Isaiah 53:8-11) "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. {9} And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. {10} Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. {11} He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."

Man-centered evangelism speaks little of this. Man-centered evangelism teaches that Jesus died on the cross for you, so that you could have a chance at asking for forgiveness and saving yourself from hell by trying to make yourself worthy of God's everlasting mercy.

God-centered evangelism teaches that God saves you:
1. From Himself (His everlasting Wrath)
"Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver." (Psa 50:22)

2. For Himself (His everlasting Mercy)
"In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer." (Isa 54:8)

3. By Himself (His everlasting redemption obtained by His own blood.) "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Heb 9:12) "Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." (Isa 1:9)

Man-centered evangelism tells men to repent so that they can escape hell. It tells men that "you must repent in order for God to save you from Hell." The error of man centered evangelism is not only in doctrine, but in motivation. Man centered evangelism is primarily motivated by a horror that men are going to hell. This horror is not wrong. However, it should not be the primary horror.

God centered evangelism is motivated by a horror that men are crucifying Jesus with their hearts and not giving God the love and adoration that He is worthy of.

Have you seen someone weep over a dead body? You might find that most people have done this. Have you seen someone weep over a dead and sinful heart? I read about it all throughout the bible and in historic revivals. It is a manifestation of the holy grief and sorrow of God graciously breathing in a human soul when someone weeps over a dead and sinful heart.

Herein lies the difference in the tears of Man-centered evangelism and God-centered evangelism. The souls in hell are weeping because they're burning in hell eternally. But, there are no souls in hell weeping because they burn with lust and remain in their sins against a beautiful-holy God. (Otherwise they would worship Him while they are in hell and God's wrath would cease.)

Man-centered evangelism weeps over souls because they will be punished forever if they die in their sins. Man-centered evangelism would never preach scriptures like Psalm 58:9-11. Man-centered evangelism does not view hell as a necessary and commendable place for the wicked. "Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth." (Psa 58:9-11)

God-centered evangelism weeps for souls because they will be in bondage to an evil heart forever. They will forever be cursing and hating God. (If they die in their sins.) Let us weep now. Now is the time to weep. "But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD's flock is carried away captive." (Jer 13:17) "Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law." (Psa 119:53)"Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law." (Psa 119:136) "I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word." (Psa 119:158)

God bless you! -Abraham

Edit addition: Spell check and punctuation

 2007/8/24 2:57
awakenwithin
Member



Joined: 2007/1/31
Posts: 985
AZ

 Re: God-Centered and Man-Centered Evangelism

Quote:
This holy hatred for sin, comes when we see what it did to to the precious Lamb of God. We didn't just tell a lie, a fib, stole a couple things, and disobeyed our parents. WE CRUCIFIED THE PRECIOUS LAMB OF GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, SOUL, STRENGTH, AND MIND. God's centered evangelism puts a major emphasis on this in gospel preaching concerning the sinfulness of Man.




amen


_________________
charlene

 2007/8/24 3:24Profile
awakenwithin
Member



Joined: 2007/1/31
Posts: 985
AZ

 Re:

If we think the way God does then we hate sin more?


_________________
charlene

 2007/10/20 21:30Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Brother Abe,

Have you ever heard Jesus speak to you?

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2007/10/22 2:37Profile
theopenlife
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re:

Quote:
God-centered evangelism weeps for souls because they will be in bondage to an evil heart forever.



Abe, you greatly blessed me with that one line in answering so many questions.

Thanks for this helpful article.

 2007/10/22 3:10Profile
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re: God-Centered and Man-Centered Evangelism

Quote:

Abe_Juliot wrote:
God centered evangelism is motivated by a horror that men are crucifying Jesus with their hearts and not giving God the love and adoration that He is worthy of.



but isent this motivation based also on a false foundation because does not calvinism teach they can not love or adore him unless he already has chosen them to do so? and if we know they can never do this then why go and evangelize them at all? and as always if some of the [i]teachings [/i]calvinism is true...then there is no need for evangelism, God will save his people even if no one ever evangelizes or not. Or prays one single prayer... And if I am one of the chosen one i never have to read my bible or ever go to a meeting or really do anything, God has elected me.... now this is carnal thinking at the highest level, but this is what calvinism looks to me, I do think some sides of calvinism is needed in todays worldly church, but at same time so many things is to me unscriptual.

but....the thing that has been on my heart lately from both participating and reading all about this subject, is i see no life flowing out from these discussions, I do not see Christ in them, no fruit.... just discussions, proving I am right you are wrong, my heart does not burn! I continually see this in my own heart and need to check myself and ask God to keep me in the love of God.

Is it just me who feels these calvinism vs everything else is fruitless? I have spent great length reading talking discussing this, and i am not one single bit closer to the Lord, my life is not more Holy...

some time ago I had a discussion with a dear brother, we were walking up and down and just sharing our hearts and how God moved in our life's, and we spoke about many things, but what i noticed how we spoke and when we later separated i noticed how close i was to God, we spoke so much lovely and heavenly things, and I felt his precance so strongly...

and I have not seen that in some of these discussion that have been participating on lately ...

just some thoughts

Christian


_________________
CHRISTIAN

 2007/10/22 3:38Profile
intrcssr83
Member



Joined: 2005/10/28
Posts: 246
Logan City, Queensland, Australia

 Re:

Quote:
but isent this motivation based also on a false foundation because does not calvinism teach they can not love or adore him unless he already has chosen them to do so? and if we know they can never do this then why go and evangelize them at all? and as always if some of the teachings calvinism is true...then there is no need for evangelism, God will save his people even if no one ever evangelizes or not. Or prays one single prayer... And if I am one of the chosen one i never have to read my bible or ever go to a meeting or really do anything, God has elected me.... now this is carnal thinking at the highest level, but this is what calvinism looks to me, I do think some sides of calvinism is needed in todays worldly church, but at same time so many things is to me unscriptual.



These are valid questions worth addressing. :-)

Let's start with obvious one: Why evangelise if, according to calvinism, God is 100% in control of men's salvation?

Simple answer:
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Because Jesus told us to.
16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20

Now here's the more complex answer:

While God may be the one behind salvation, how will he accomplish this, and what will it look like? Will the elect suddenly wake up one day and find that they've seemingly overnight become a believer?

Let's take a look at Romans 10:14-17
14But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Saving faith is produced in response to hearing the word of God. The Word of God has to be delivered via verbal medium (preachers). Preachers have to be sent.

So who sends the preacher? Answer: God himself. Evangelism is in of itself the means by which the elect are going to be called forth into their relationship with God through Christ.

Unfortunately, we can't do tables on the forum, but it would help greatly if we understood the difference between God's General Will and his Specific Will. I.e., within God's general will, we find the General Call: all men are called to repentance. Now, we affirm that not everyone will be saved; those without Christ will end up in Hell.

The determining factor lies within God's specific will wherein we find the calvinist view of election, plus the I of TULIP, Irresistable Grace, or in relevance to our topic, the Effectual Call. That is, the invisible work of the Holy Spirit in the area of regeneration preceding faith that leads the elect to being born again and hence able to respond to the gospel message.

Ergo, when it comes to evangelism, the church has been given Stewardship of the General Call. What actually causes people to respond however, is the Effectual Call. Hence, we should privelaged that God, while being sovereign, has given us the privelege of fulfilling a supernatural purpose through seemingly natural means.

So in our evangelism, how can we tell the elect from the reprobate? I personally believe we can't on the grounds that it's not for us to know (let me add that as a charismatic, I've come across the fair share of "Power Evangelism" and "Prophetic Witnessing" techniques that supposedly allow an evangelist to zone in on those who may be "open" along with what to say; I'll be honest in raising skepticism). Hence, the best thing we can do is to love, witness and pray as though anyone could be one of God's elect. At the same time, we shouldn't feel bad if we go out to evangelise and see no fruit despite faithfully sharing an uncomprimed message as it is the great sheperd who eventually draws his flock to himself. A witness encounter between us and one of the elect may have to be one of several exposures to the gospel God sets in place before they eventually "give in".

When we read what the likes of Luther, Calvin, Edwards and Spurgeon had to say about the relationship between God's wrath and His grace demonstrated in the cross, few of us would dare call them anti-evangelistic.
The same could be said of today's Reformed preachers. Who here would be comfortable with the idea of going to Grace Community Church and confronting John MacArthur with the charge of not caring about the lost? Or alternatively, John Piper? Joshua Harris? RC Sproul?

What I find troubling however, is that following the principals of Abe's post, the man-centred approachs seems to "play God" by treating the General Call and the Effectual Call as though they're one and the same. We see this demonstrated in a lot of man-centred evangelism's tactics such as "decisional regeneration", seeker-friendly preaching, easy-believism; tactics based upon coercion and manipulation. It's interesting to note that of the churchs that enforce the latter methods, none of them adhere to a calvinistic view of salvation (and those that do tend to have a rather twisted version of it.)

Ben


_________________
Benjamin Valentine

 2007/10/22 8:52Profile
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

Thank you dear brother for your post !

Quote:


Because Jesus told us to.



yes he did brother, but he did not say go and evangelise only the elect, he said "[i]make disciples of all nations[/i]. The Word of GOD also says 1Ti 2:4 [i]Who will have [b]all men to be saved[/b], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [/i]

it also says Act 17:30 [i] And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:[/i]

What I have a problem with is, why would Jesus say these things ,

Mat 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

when he know they cant anyway...?

Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

same here..

Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

once again....

Mar 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

again....

and here he was really wasting his time saying it twice!

Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Luk 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

and here again

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

....

Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

and here is another one...

Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

and this verse to me is a real key, because it seems to me that we have a [b]choice[/b] to repent or not, by our will.

Rev 2:16 Repent; [b]or else[/b] I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

can anyone say why God would say these things over and over again all through out scripture, these are just a little part of all scripture....why would God have it so when he know we cant anyway?

[b]my[/b] belief is it is God who does a work in us, but we can choose to accept him or resist him, he enables that choice in us and makes it possible, but still we have free will.....

:-) Gods peace to you brothers and sisters

Christian


_________________
CHRISTIAN

 2007/10/22 15:27Profile





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy