Guest Blogger: Clayton King
I am an evangelist. I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ for the explicit purpose of seeing people make a decision of repentance from sin. There is nothing else I want to do, and honestly, nothing else I can do. Many times when people hear the words “evangelist” or “evangelism” it turns them off because of the cultural stereotypes associated with those words. Big haired preachers on TV taking loads of cash from old women, or rehearsed, memorized gimmicks that begin with questions like, “If you died today…”
But it has been my experience that the gospel still works. For anyone (and, I might add, EVERYONE. I would like to go on the record, theologically speaking, and say that it is possible for anyone to be saved if they repent and believe, because I believe that God loves the whole world).
At Liberty University a few weeks ago, over 150 students stood to their feet, without music or singing, with the lights on, and were saved during a morning chapel service. In Oklahoma, an 82 year old woman was saved during a Sunday morning worship service. In Statesville, NC, over 200 adults and students were saved during a 3 night youth outreach, everyone of them standing publicly, on the spot, with all eyes open, to begin a relationship with Jesus. At the Shoutfest Music Festival in Myrtle Beach, hundreds of people responded to the gospel, and Jeremy Camp, the headlining musician for the event said. “I have never seen anything like this! Look at all these people giving their hearts to Jesus!”
Let me be clear. It is not me, or my presentation, or my personality, or my experience that God blesses. It is never the delivery, the jokes, the promotion, or the person preaching that makes a difference. It is prayer and the gospel. When God’s people pray for souls to be saved, He saves them. When the gospel is clearly proclaimed, He saves them.
Someone asked me recently, when I shared with them how many people had come to faith over the past several months, why I thought so many people were converting to faith in Jesus. Other than prayer and the gospel, I honestly believe that we live in a culture where very few people have actually heard the gospel. Maybe they have been exposed to the religion of Christianity, but fewer and fewer people, in my opinion, have experienced the grace of God in the gospel. That is why I believe so many people in our generation are being saved. When the simple gospel is proclaimed in a relevant and Biblical way, The Holy Spirit calls people to salvation.
We assume that everyone, especially in the South, is a believer. That may be the most deadly assumption we ever make. Just in the past 8 weeks, I have seen Jesus save over 1,400 people all over the United States. Many of them, dare I say most of them, had been exposed to Christianity in one form or the other, whether church services, Christian concerts, or a retreat as a teenager. But no matter how much Christianity we expose people to, without the gospel being central and paramount (that Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead for our salvation, and that we must choose to believe in Him an repent of our sins), then all we do is innoculate them Jesus by giving them a false hope that by exposure to Christian stuff, they somehow get Jesus through osmosis.
We do not get salvation that way. We must come face to face with our lostness and His grace, choosing to believe that He is the only hope for us, and trusting Him wholeheartedly. It is so simple that a child can understand it, but so deep that theologians still drown in it’s waters. But I will keep preaching it until I draw my last breath, assuming nothing except that the gospel must be proclaimed.