Frank Turk on Biblical Evangelism

At Grace Family Bible Church’s (Tulsa, OK) 2012 Discernment Conference, Frank Turk of PyroManiacs discussed how to do Biblical evangelism.

Simply put, don’t do more or less than what the Bible says to do, and you’ll be fine. Here is how Peter and the early church did it:

Acts 2:22-47
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus,[d] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him,

“‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ 29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[e] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

In Matthew, we see that even after Christ’s death, His followers doubted. And we can have that same problem. But Christ’s solution to that doubt is plain.

Matthew 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What we are supposed to do is not by our own authority but by Christ. We start with His authority and then we go.

Evangelism is not a call to a one time event. Merely getting people to somehow volunteer or just agree with us is not where the Kingdom is. We are ambassadors that must seek to reconcile people with God.

It is too little to plea for them to reconcile.
It is too little to call out their sin.
It is too little to simply say, “God loves you!”

But when we look at Peter’s evangelism in Acts 2, we see that he wasn’t trying to persuade them. Instead, he boldly told them to repent, be baptized, and be saved from their crooked generation. The point of Peter’s evangelism wasn’t to pass out “Jesus Tickets” to be saved but rather to get people convicted of sin and aware of Jesus’ authority over them.

And people were added to the Church.

Peter’s goal was to make disciples and not persuade converts.

I think one of the things that very often is missing in our evangelism and I’m guilty of this I think too often, is a failure to really love the individual that we’ve led to Christ to the point where we feel this tremendous responsibility. Paul loved his spiritual children. I believe he wanted to go back just because he loved them and he loved their fellowship and he wanted to see if they were growing.
-John MacArthur

Many types of evangelism fall short. True evangelism is going to get people convicted of sin and grateful to God.

Also, getting someone converted without connecting them to a body of Christians is spiritual malpractice. We can’t expect someone who knows nothing about Jesus or the Bible to do self-service.

True disciples spent time together. And they didn’t just goof off; they made God the most important thing. Sharing their belongings among themselves is bigger than an intellectual idea that you are a member of a club. It paints a picture of worship that is greater than the temple. It is worship in spirit and in truth. The cross and its power were made to be the center of their lives.

Devote your lives to those you evangelize. Be faithful to that calling.