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Evangelism Quotes

  

Evangelism is such an important part of Christianity, yet it is probably the most neglected and avoided aspect of following Christ. Here are some amazing quotes on the subject:

“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.” – Charles Spurgeon

“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” – Charles Spurgeon

“God save us from living in comfort while sinners are sinking into hell!” – Charles Spurgeon

“Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus.” – Elton Trueblood

“You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most…It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.” – John Wesley

“I’d rather have people hate me with the knowledge that I tried to save them.” – Keith Green

“Preach abroad….It is the cooping yourselves up in rooms that has dampened the work of God, which never was and never will be carried out to any purpose without going into the highways and hedges and compelling men and women to come in.” – Jonathan Edwards

“Make it an object of constant study, and of daily reflection and prayer, to learn how to deal with sinners so as to promote their conversion.” – Charles G. Finney

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” – Leonard Ravenhill

The attitude of the average Christian today is relax and be raptured. But He is coming… and when God gets angry you’ve no idea what it is. Like a thousand volcanoes exploding. He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world and the poor blind world doesn’t know much about it and the poor blind church doesn’t think much about it now.” – Leonard Ravenhill

“It is not our business to make the message acceptable, but to make it available. We are not to see that they like it, but that they get it.” – Dr. Vance Havner

“How shall I feel at the judgment, if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full review, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride.” – Dr. W. E. Sangster

“Oh my friends, we are loaded with countless church activities, while the real work of the church, that of evangelizing and winning the lost, is almost entirely neglected.” – Oswald J. Smith

Brothers and sisters, we cannot sit comfortably in our homes and churches and be uninvolved in the mission of our Lord, the very thing he left us to do while he was gone!

  • Which quote stands out to you the most? Why?
  • What do these quotes cause you to think about?
  • What stops us from preaching the gospel?
  • What can we do to change this?

12 Responses to “Evangelism Quotes”

  1. on 06 Sep 2008 at 8:13 pmPatty

    I think that getting to know people and develop a good relationship with them, will be helpful in how they will receive the message. If they see that we are “human” not perfect if they see we are consistent in being kind and demonstrate Godly traits, if they see that we are genuine then when the door opens to speak then we may have a better chance of the word of the Kingdom doing what it alone can do. Consistency and patience are keys but also we need to be believable and keep our selves absorbed with pleasing God and of our mission.

  2. on 07 Sep 2008 at 4:49 pmSean

    Patty,

    What you said really resonates with a lecture I recently listened to by Covenant Theological Seminary professor, Jerram Barrs, from his course, Apologetics & Outreach. In it he emphasized the fact that everyone who “gets saved” do so after a long journey with many different people doing their parts and that the typical time it takes for someone to actually make the decision in the USA is 2 to 4 years. I thought what he said was definitely worth listening to.

    click here to listen to it

  3. on 08 Sep 2008 at 8:41 amTim

    I’m not sure that I completely agree with this (I do agree with posts #1 and #2).

    My question is: what about discipleship? This is at least equal with evangelism, in my view.

    I think that there are many Christians out there that can be effective in discipling other Christians, yet modern evangelicalism tells them that they must evangelize. So, they sit in their pews thinking that they are failures because they have not lead anyone to Christ, or talked to anyone about Christ, in the past week.

    If we honestly look at our churches today, I think that we would conclude that there is a lack of solid, Biblical discipleship. People who have already accepted Christ do not understand the fundamental truths about the Bible, how to live them out, the importance of true religion as James defines it, etc.

  4. on 08 Sep 2008 at 9:37 amBrian

    I’m reminded of the verse from 1 Corinthians: “I [Paul] planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” or as the KJV puts it: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”

    The process can be so varied that it would seem impossible to come up with any one way of seeing the process. As we live our lives (which includes going out for the exclusive purpose of “preaching the Gospel”) we speak to people about our God and His plan of salvation and restoration and the need for repentance and faith in/upon Jesus the Messiah. Sometimes the response can be like that on the day of Pentecost — Men and brethren, what shall we do? — although personally this has been very rare. But we just keep planting or spreading the seed. Maybe it’s the guy that owns the Pizza shop and each time we pick up the pizza, we get to say a little bit until one day the door really opens and the person is ready to believe, or maybe that day never comes. Maybe we speak, and the conversation seems to lead nowhere, and yet a year down the road, we see that person again and they are ready to listen. In many ways, I think Sean’s comment ends up being what happen many times. It can be different people over a period of time — this it why it’s important for s to remember that it’s not our job to get someone to believe, it’s our job to live Godly lives and speak the truth. In many ways this fits with the idea of discipleship as well. Once a person believes, the process doesn’t really change. We continue to make our lives available to people and challenge and help them to continue to grow and remain faithful to their Lord.

    A small comment on some of the original quotes. Although some of them were good, I found some of them to be off point. I’m thinking especially of the quote “If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” by Leonard Ravenhill. This is a real non sequitur. It’s so easy to sound spiritually mature by pointing out how screwed up and wishy washy most of “the Church” is but that’s sort of like shooting fish in a barrel. I’m not nearly as concerned about what most ministers preach today as I am that I am doing what I should do in the Church.

  5. on 08 Sep 2008 at 10:05 amJohnO

    The process can be so varied that it would seem impossible to come up with any one way of seeing the process.

    Reality is messy, life is messy, and people are messy, so yes, the process can be so varied, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a direction that it should generally go in…

    Tim,

    I think you are spot on in your discipleship comments…

    And as for Ravenhill, I take him at his word as he was a man who truly lived the Gospel.

  6. on 08 Sep 2008 at 10:13 amSean

    They way I think of it, is that the person I’m speaking to is at a certain point on his spiritual journey to faith in the gospel. It is my job to help them move closer…it may be only a step…or it may be ten steps. Sometimes, (quite rare) the person is poised to make the last step when I come along and God grants me the privilege of observing them make the last step into faith and repentance (which of course is merely the first step of following Jesus). It would be silly to expect that every time we talk to a stranger that they are already at the precipice of faith. We’d be arrogant and ungrateful to think that when we do come across someone who is “ready” that we did all the work and not realize those who have come before who prepared the ground, removed the rocks, tilled it, fertilized it, etc. so that we could plant the seed.

    The prof, in the lecture I referenced made the point that since our culture is so radically secular compared to past centuries, that we have a lot more work to do with someone. We cannot say “repent the kingdom of God is near” or “accept God’s forgiveness through his son’s death on the cross” or “Jesus is Messiah because of the resurrection” to someone because they have no concept of repent, kingdom, God, Messiah, cross, resurrection, or even their need for forgiveness. Most people I’ve spoken with have at best a caricatured view of spirituality that looks more like mythology than anything else. They believe in the heaven/hell dichotomy and that if they are generally decent to people and don’t commit one of the big three sins (murder, rape, child abuse) then they will float off to a disembodied heaven at death. These are the less secularized among us. I think the tendency is moving more towards scientific empiricism (I won’t believe it unless I see it or can put it in a tes tube) on the one hand and postmodernism (truth is relative, let’s have a spiritual experience) on the other. Either of these two views are much more difficult to work with than the heaven/hell thing.

  7. on 08 Sep 2008 at 10:16 amVictor

    Tim, your point about discipleship is important. It is not something that is always emphasized or practiced. I know in my own life I have dropped the ball at times with this important element of serving God and have had to realize that people need help! This is something we must do!

    But I was pondering another point you made as well. You spoke about how modern evangelicalism tells us that we should evangelize – don’t you think Jesus tells us that we should evangelize (or assumes that we would)? Many times I think that people focus on one thing that might be lacking and swing too far to one side – “this church doesn’t focus on evangelism, we must go out door to door every other day” meanwhile they are doing a good job taking care of the people who are new coming through their doors. Or you have another group doing well with discipleship and never goes and preaches the gospel – why can’t we do both? Why can’t we just obey Jesus in all of the areas he commands and not make excuses to cover where we are afraid and/or not obeying him currently.

    That is why I like these quotes so much, they really hit my heart right to realize the necessity of sharing the gospel.

  8. on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:06 amTim

    Victor,

    Yes, as is the case when you are trying to comment on a blog and do your real job, you tend to get sloppy.

    My only point is that discipleship is the other, often neglected, part of the great commission.

    I think also, that there is some evidence in Paul’s writing of a gift of evangelism. If it is a gift, then some people do not have it, correct? This means to me that there are other non-evangelistic gifts that should be exercised.

    -Regards-

  9. on 08 Sep 2008 at 12:09 pmVictor

    thanks for clarifying what you were saying. I think based on what Paul wrote, there are some who may be evangelists – lifetime devotees to the movement of the gospel from in various ways – but all followers of Jesus do evangelism shouldn’t they?

    I mean if the gospel is necessary for salvation (which Scripture surely indicates) then why wouldn’t it be a burden on all of the hearts of the followers of Jesus – knowing that without hearing it, believing it, and responding to it people are left in their sins and destined for destruction. That so often we have to use energy getting people to realize they should speak is an indication to me of a great deceptive work from the devil and perhaps a lack of a reception of the gospel by many people who would call themselves Christians. If you know the story – and you realize what it is all about – there should be a longing to share it with others. This does not negate that we might have fear to speak to other people – some who we know, some who we don’t – but the burden to speak SHOULD be there!

  10. on 09 Sep 2008 at 7:14 pmBrian

    “Preach abroad….It is the cooping yourselves up in rooms that has dampened the work of God, which never was and never will be carried out to any purpose without going into the highways and hedges and compelling men and women to come in.” – Jonathan Edwards

    I have a feeling that Edwards was not thinking about the internet with this quote [I think he was around a few years prior to the computer] but it seems to fit pretty well. I don’t think much real evangelism takes place in cyberspace. We need to be out there meeting people face to face.

    John,
    I understand what Ravenhill was saying. It just seemed a bit off to me. What do I do with the concept of Jesus not being crucified? To be way over technical, I don’t think we want ministers today to speak the exact same message the Jesus did. I don’t want to hear a minster say “I am the way, the truth and the life” or “I am the bread of life” etc. Obviously the point he was making is that ministers today water down the message and I certainly have no arguments with that.

    “Reality is messy, life is messy, and people are messy, so yes, the process can be so varied, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a direction that it should generally go in…”

    I didn’t mean that there is not one direction that things should go in but rather that there is not one way [method] to see [evaluate] the process. In other words I can’t just judge that since a certain witnessing situation didn’t go like The Way of The Master, it wasn’t a valid way of speading the seed.

  11. on 10 Sep 2008 at 8:25 amVictor

    Brian,
    I think the heart behind the Ravenhill quote is that Jesus preached about repentance, judgement, sin is bad, the Kingdom is coming, high cost of being his disciple, along with many other important things, but much is not being echoed today by those who are supposed to be continuing his mission – what he said and did upset the establishment – both the religious and potentially the political one too. He was not crucified because he was a nice guy who got in the way – he challenged the people who thought they were the people of God and said that he was the leader of a new kingdom movement, one which historically was understood to overthrow the ones that might have existed at the time of its coming.

    Also, your quote by Edwards was GREAT!

  12. on 10 Sep 2008 at 11:11 amBrian

    Victor

    I recognize I’m being a bit nit picky. I really do understand the point of the Ravenhill comment and I mentioned that I am in agreement with it. I was just trying to make the point that I was a bit uneasy with the hyperbolic nature of the statement in saying what would or would not be the cause the crucifixion. In our desire to “make a point” I think we do need to be careful in the type of language and the degree of hyperbole used.

  

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