The Evangelization of the Lost
The wonderful work and power of God is on display each and every time a sinner responds to the Gospel. We uphold the proclamation of a simple gospel. We teach, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10).” Everyone who confesses and turns to Christ will be received by Him (John 6:37), and everyone who is received by Him has been made into a new creation and will live a new and transformed life (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
We Have Been Left Here to Proclaim Christ
The Church is built on the truth of Christ, it is sanctified by the truth of Christ, and it is called to give a defense of the life transforming work of Christ and call all men to repent and believe the Gospel. Some may be particularly gifted to do the work of evangelism, but every Christian is commanded to share in this privilege (Matthew 28:18-20). This is why the Church has been left here on earth.
Jesus called us to make disciples. This isn’t “close the deal and pray the prayer” evangelism. This is life on life, patiently and faithfully sharing the truth and looking for and expecting evident life transformation (Romans 6:1-14). The very truth that we are to proclaim is also our motivation for witnessing. Jesus rules over all. He has authority over all, and this coming King is the only solution for the most urgent problem facing every human being who has ever lived (Acts 4:12, Philippians 2:9-11).
God Works through His Word to Save
The parable of the soils in the Gospel of Mark is about a sower casting seed into various types of soils, and it is meant to convey the truth about how people come in to the Kingdom of God. Entrance into the Kingdom hinges on a person’s ultimate response to the Gospel: do they value Christ more than the world? The evidence of a redeemed heart is the production of spiritual fruit and lasting faithfulness to Christ.
It is not in the persuasiveness and skill of the sower, his timing, or even anything in the person who hears. Belief in Christ is the work of God, not of man (John 6:28-29). This is why Jesus said to His disciples in Mark 4:11-12 that God had given them the gift of understanding the mystery of the Kingdom of God, while those outside the Kingdom get everything in parables. Everyone who comes to saving faith is first drawn by the Father (John 6:44), and they are kept secure in their faith by Christ (John 6:37). We will harvest, we just need to cast the seed faithfully and protect our crops from predators. The casting is ours, the results belong to God.
We are to Defend the Faith
“Apologia” is a Greek word that means “to give an answer”, or “to speak in defense of”. It is a vindication of the Christian faith against opposing philosophies, and we are commanded to make that defense (Jude 3). How are we to defend the faith? Christian apologetics is both a negative defense and a positive offensive effort, and it is an argument made squarely on biblical grounds, appealing to the authority of the Word of God. It is not the building of a foundation upon reason for faith to sit, but rather is building a witness to the truth of Christianity based on rational biblical thinking and reasoning. 1 Peter 3:15 adds that we must sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts before an adequate defense can be made. We must be living in obedient and loving relationship with Him so that He is truly Lord of our reason and intellect. Being fully prepared in our mind and heart, proclaiming our witness in an attitude of meekness and fear and with a good conscience (2 Timothy 2:24-26), knowing that the Lord stands with us (2 Timothy 4:16-17), we can defend the faith with confidence.
Be Clear, and be Prepared for Rejection
Like Paul on Mars Hill in Athens, we can use the natural desires of our hearers to raise questions about God, but our argument must pre-suppose the God of the Bible and every man’s accountability to Him. We must make an unapologetic defense of the one true God, even knowing that we may well be rejected. Because there is no middle ground with Christ and His Gospel, our presentation of Christ must be clear enough for someone to either accept or reject Him. Jesus does not disappoint; therefore we are careful to present Christ and His Gospel in their glorious fullness.
To sum it up simply: There are two religions in the world, the religion of Divine achievement and the religion of human achievement. We proclaim the work of God which saves man from his sin.