Should we model Jesus as an Evangelist?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    I heard a preacher making the argument that we should model Jesus' evangelism, which would result in people turning away not responding in droves and he used John 6 as his example.

    But, I wonder if he considered that evangelism wasn't Jesus' purpose in John 6 (as it was clearly Peter's in Acts 2)?

    In fact, isn't clear that Jesus was hiding the gospel in parables lest his hearer repent (Mk 4; Matt 13 etc)? Wasn't he instructing his followers to keep things quite until the right time? Wasn't it only after he was crucified by the Jews that he began to send his apostles to preach the gospel appeal to be reconciled? Wasn't only after Peter's dream and Paul's conversion and instruction to go to the Gentiles that this gospel was sent to all the world to "draw all men to himself?"

    Was Jesus ever meant to be a model for evangelism? What say you?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    As Jesus sent His disciples out, He gave them clear instructions as to what pattern to "follow". Matthew combines the early-ministry commission with others from later and lists them in Matthew 10:5-42 (after listing the 12).

    What He said and promised is not what we want to see/hear today. And surely a far cry from the easy-believism/decisionism sect floating around American churches.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

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    You mean the same group who is allowed to call Calvin a thug? Can you believe the level of ignorance? Honestly Bob, It has become a disgrace.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Absolutely.

    Jesus wasn't trying to get people to make decisions, He was calling disciples.

    Today's church would do well to follow His example. If God is truly calling someone to be a disciple, a church manifesting the message and ministry of Jesus will have people pressing to join the ministry.

    There will be no need for manipulation or sales methodologies.

    I'm not against extending invitations (and I'm not a five-point Calvinist, FWIW), but our Calvinist brothers and sisters are more on target with evangelism methods than many of our "free-will" brothers and sisters.
     
  5. freeatlast

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    I think we will all have a problem following what the Lord did. Honestly I have wished many times, more then wished even prayed, I could heal the sick, raise the dead, and do other miracles just to prove what I say, but as of this date nothing.
    I would say that if the gospel were preached correctly to the lost and the bible taught accurately in the church to the saved and obeyed I think that the lord would fill the church house.
     
  6. Robert Snow

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    To attack Calvin is not to attack Jesus Christ. They are not the same person, although some seem to have difficulty distinguishing between the two.
     
  7. quantumfaith

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    What exactly motivates you to make this statement? Seems to me, anyone who has a heart inclined first toward God, genuinely seeks to share that love, joy,confidence and redemption with others, irrespective of ones theology.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    How was it that Peter was so "successful" in his appeal recorded in Acts 2? These were the same people in Jesus audience...many of which cried "crucify him."

    Could it be that Jesus didn't want them to come to faith until AFTER the crucifixion? Could that be why He hid the gospel in parables and told the disciples to keep quite?

    Let me ask you this. If the doctrine of Total Depravity is true, and the gospel could not have possibly lead these people to be saved apart from a "effectual working" then why would He need to hide the gospel in parables "lest they repent" and send them a spirit of stupor? Wouldn't their depraved natures have kept them from repentance? Why blind a man born totally blinded?

    Could it be that the gospel is powerful enough to draw all men to God and he had to keep it a mystery until the right time?
     
  9. The Archangel

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    To attack a fellow believer (like you did Ann) is not to discredit Calvin. They are not the same person, although you seem to have great difficulty distinguishing between the two.

    The Archangel
     
  10. The Archangel

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    Quantum,

    I think what he is saying does not reflect on one's commitment to "do" evangelism.

    He is, I think rightly, addressing the issue that many of the free-will types do degenerate into wrong methods of evangelism--judging success by who "accepts" rather than judging success by faithfulness to share Christ, leaving the results to God.

    I've heard of many books that seek to teach the sharer to manipulate the sharee into a "decision." Often that "decision" is gotten through any means necessary and a person's faith is seen through the lens of that decision, not their individual discipleship.

    So, generally speaking, the more Calvinistic types are perfectly happy to share the Gospel plainly and simply--without trying to manipulate--leaving the results to God.

    The Archangel
     
  11. Robert Snow

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    For the last time, I did not attack Ann. I simply stated that here decision to embrace Calvinism was influenced by other things than just reading the bible. Check out some of her statements to see that this is true:

     
  12. glfredrick

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    I would say that Jesus is the reason FOR evangelism, and we evangelize because He commissioned us to do so. He wasn't exactly the "model" for evangelism, save that His message was always "The Kingdom of God is arrived, repent and believe..." which is our message as well.
     
  13. quantumfaith

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    I respect your position here, however, I think it is purely anecdotal.
     
  14. canadyjd

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    It is because Holy Spirit was come to effectually call those people, convict them of the truth and bring them to repentance.
    Are you saying Jesus was lying when He told men to repent and believe the gospel? Are you saying Jesus wasn't giving people a genuine invitation?

    Isn't that what you accuse the "Calvinists" of doing... that they aren't giving a genuine gospel invitation if they don't believe everyone who hears is able to respond to the gospel and come to faith in Christ.

    What about the ones who did respond with faith? Did Jesus want them to come to faith... but He didn't want those others to come to faith until after He was crucified? Why? Did coming to faith after the crucifixion make you more saved than if you came to faith before?
    Let me ask you this. If men have the ability to figure it out on their own, without any "effectual working", why did Jesus attribute Peter's profession of faith to be the result of a direct revelation of God the Father? Peter was standing in the presence of God, and yet, he couldn't understand the truth unless God the Father intervened.
    Your own argument undermines your stated beliefs. All your argument proves is that God chooses who will believe and when... and intervenes in the affairs of men to bring His plan to pass.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  15. glfredrick

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    Why do we have to go here in a discussion about Christ's evangelism methods? That Calvinists are sharing the gospel is evident. That many, if not most, of the world's most effective missionary efforts stemmed from people with Reformed theology is noted in the history of the church. That anything "man-centered" instead of "God-ordained" is doomed to failure is sure. So, let's major on what we know from the Word and let God be glorified.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    The OP has nothing to do with questioning Calvinism's intent toward evangelism. Read it again. It is about Jesus' purpose while here on earth and whether or not he was meant to be a model for evangelism considering that purpose.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I actually agree with you on this point. I do believe Calvinism's soteriology is mistaken obviously, but one thing it has offered is to counter balance the "easy believism" of the "seeker sensitive" movement. Pendulums swing too far one direction and then tend to react back the other. But just as Hypers don't correctly represent Calvinism, I think it should be noted that these groups don't correctly represent Arminianism either.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    Well, you have to read the "effectual" part into the text because it never actually says that, but nevertheless my point was that this didn't happen while Jesus was preaching because that wasn't his purpose.

    Actually, judicial hardening of the Jews in their rebellion wouldn't be lying or dis-ingenuine from my perspective for two reasons:

    1. They freely rebelled in the first place against God's "holding out his hands to them" (Rm 10:21) and he's desire to "gather them under his wings" (Mt 23:37). (When I say "free" I mean contra-causually free, meaning they could have willingly believed God's revelations but chose not to). This is different from the Calvinistic view because in your view they were never free to willingly believe God's revealed truth.

    2. Since they were rebellious by their own choosing (not God's casually determinative decree) the blinding process is not lying but simply not revealing of the truth so that they will remain in that self imposed state of rebellion. Like when a cop hides himself so the speeder keeps speeding, God simply hides the truth so the rebeller keeps rebelling. God, like the cop, does this for a greater good. (BTW, this is the objection Paul is answering in Rm 9, not the objection against Calvinism as is presumed...i.e. "why did God make me like this?" is the cry of a rebellious and hardened Jew, not a man born non-elect in the Calvinistic system.)

    Well, there were the apostles who were individually selected by God from Israel to be the messengers to the rest of the world, so yes Jesus did want them to come to faith. Others which appeared to believe eventually turned away (i.e. John 6) because it wasn't the right time for Christ to intrust himself to them:

    John 2:23 While Jesus was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in him as they saw the miracles he performed. 24 But Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew them all. 25 There was no need for anyone to tell him about them, because he himself knew what was in their hearts.

    So, while many express belief in Jesus they didn't receive the Holy Spirit until after the crucifixion, at which time Jesus is trusting himself to them and sealing them with the promise. Even the apostles, who were clearly chosen by God, didn't fully understand the mystery of the gospel until after the Holy Spirit came. Everything they did understand (like Peter's profession) was directly revealed to them by God, because they didn't have the Holy Spirit yet.


    I have to stop you there. I don't believe men can "figure it out on their own." Instead I believe the words of the gospel ARE wrought by the Holy Spirit, preserved by the Holy Spirit, and carried by messengers indwelled by the Holy Spirit which give us the ability to understand the mystery and the appeal to be reconciled to God. During most of the NT account people aren't even aware of this mystery because it is just being made known to them. How?

    1. Through an effectual inward working that is never clearly expounded upon in the text.

    OR

    2. Through the powerful Holy Spirit wrought gospel message of reconciliation which is taught about clearly and often.

    There is no reason to believe the powerful truth of the gospel's appeal is insufficient to allow men a free response. Find me the scripture which teaches this and I'll be the first to admit my error.

    Only if you don't understand true Arminian beliefs, which sound much more like Calvinistic ones than most realize today.
     
  19. glfredrick

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    With one notable exception... The doctrines of classical Arminianism wish to make God's actions dependent on the actions of humans, foreseen, and those same actions are reversible if said humans change their minds later.

    Sort of makes we humans the "authors" (though not "finishers") of our own salvation. That is not what the Word says... It says that God is the author and finisher of our faith and that we gain salvation by Christ, not by actions.

    So, while claiming that without God's grace, there is no hope of salvation (the true claim of classical Arminianism) there is still that pesky human element that makes God's grace some "substance" that we can somehow apprehend instead of it being, in fact, the person of Christ, Himself. Christ is the gift, not some "substance" that we can manipulate, give, receive, earn, add to, etc. Salvation in anything apart from Christ's imputed righteousness is a false gospel.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    I don't understand your point here. Could you provide specific quotes from "classical Arminians" which teach this and we will take a look at them together. You might be interpreting them with the same inaccuracies you bring to the scriptures.
     

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