The Apostle Paul rejoiced even when evil men preached the gospel—when they did so “insincerely, hoping to add affliction to my bonds” (see 1 Philippians 1:15-18). This is because the quality is in the seed, and not in the seed’s sower. However, evangelists who tell people to just ask Jesus into their heart because He will make things better are not preaching the gospel. The “gospel” is the good news that Jesus suffered and died on the cross and rose again on the third day. He did this to save us from the wrath of God’s Law and from a very real Hell. But such hard biblical truths don’t go down too well in a blasphemous and sin-loving world. So they leave out the essentials of sin, righteousness and judgment. They water down the medicine to make it palatable, but in doing so they remove from it its curative properties.
There are no words to describe the tragedy of this error. Not only has such misguided evangelism filled America with bitter “backsliders,” but it has also packed the Church (in pew and in pulpit) with false converts. Many of our pulpiteers have become nothing more than motivational speakers, rather than Sons of Thunder who boldly preach the righteousness of God. Feeble preachers have reproduced after their own kind, created a feeble Church, and this has destroyed our ability to be salt and light. Instead of being a moral lighthouse for the nation, we have become irrelevant in the eyes of the world. Our nation is rotten to the core with sin, and it has found itself in gross darkness with no light, and I believe it all traces itself back to the unbiblical and insipid “give your heart to Jesus” message (I have expounded this with statistical evidence in a book entitled, God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life—which can be freely downloaded.
May God help us to bring the Church back to biblical evangelism and raise up a generation of faithful men and women who will fear God enough to say with the Apostle Paul, “Wherefore knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”