Sermon Quotes: "A Masterclass in Evangelism"

“We have lost the art of Christian persuasion and we must recover it.  Evangelism is alive and well in the rapidly growing churches of the Global South, where the challenge is to recover an ardor for discipleship and a discernment of the modern world to match the zeal for evangelism. But in the advanced modern world, which is both pluralistic and post-Christian, our urgent need is for the recovery of persuasion in order to address the issues of the hour. Some branches of the Western church have effectively abandoned evangelism, for various reasons, and others speak as if Christian truths and beliefs are always and readily available to everyone, whatever the state of their listeners’ hearts and whatever the character of their audiences’ worldview and culture. Others again have come to rely on formulaic, cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism as if all who hear them are the same…How can we speak for our Lord in a manner that does justice to the wonder of who God is, to the profundity of the good news he has entrusted to us, to the wily stubbornness of the human heart and mind, as well as to the wide ranging challenges of today’s world and the mind-boggling prospects of tomorrow’s? In short, how can we as followers of Jesus be as truly persuasive as we desire to be?” Os Guinness

“This illustrates theological continuity and mission solidarity.” Jeff Purswell

“For the first time in Acts, Paul and Barnabas encounter outright heathenism and adapt their preaching accordingly.” David Peterson

“When someone sits down to talk with me, I should convey to him (even if I do not express it in words) the attitude that he and I are both sinners. And immediately, when I communicate this perception, a door swings open for dialogue. Nothing will help you as much in meeting people, no matter how far out they are or how caught they are in modern awfulness, than for them to perceive in you the attitude ‘we are both sinners.’ This does not mean that we minimize sin, but we can still exhibit that we understand him because we stand in the same place. We can say ‘us’ rather than just ‘you.’ Each of us does not need to look beyond himself to know that men and women are sinners.” Francis Schaeffer

“The very brief speech-summary differs considerably from the earlier sermons in Acts delivered to Jews (or God-fearers) who already believe in Yahweh and needed to be told about the coming of Jesus as the Messiah. With a pagan audience it was necessary to begin a stage further back with the proclamation of the one true God…Luke’s account of the preaching at Lystra is confined to this aspect of the message…Luke’s purpose here is to supplement his earlier accounts of the apostolic preaching by showing what more was said when pagan Gentiles were being addressed.” I. Howard Marshal

“What we have here is not evangelism in the normal NT sense of proclaiming Christ and his saving work. However, it is a biblical foundation for evangelism in a culture where fundamental presuppositions about God and nature and the meaning of human existence need to be challenged…Evangelists and preachers in many contexts today have much to learn from this approach, using the evidence of God’s common grace in the sustaining fruitfulness of nature and the pleasures of everyday life as a basis for communication. For people who are far removed from the Bible and its way of looking at things, this may be the only starting point for an appeal to acknowledge ‘the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.’” David Peterson

“We have no liberty to edit the heart of the good news of Jesus Christ. Nor is there ever a need to do so. But we have to begin where people are, to find a point of contact with them. Wherever we begin, however, we shall end with Jesus Christ, who is himself the good news…” John Stott

“A stoning was a horrible, bloody thing! As the rocks crashed against Paul’s skull, I wonder if his mind flashed back to Stephen’s execution, in which he had participated. Soon there he lay-a blood-spattered, broken frame beneath the rubble of Lystra. As he lay there, the disciples stood around deciding what to do with his body. Tears streaming down their faces. ‘What a pity-he was in the prime of his ministry. If only he could have lived longer.’ Suddenly Paul popped one eye open, then the other…’He got up and went back into the city.’ Paul, caked with blood and dirt, must have been quite a spectacle.” Kent Hughes