It has been said regarding evangelism that there are many ways to share the gospel with the lost. “There is no single way to evangelize,” many will claim. In one sense this is true, but statements like this need some qualification. On their own, they could easily be interpreted as supporting a very libertarian, “whatever works” attitude toward evangelism. The risk with this is that we might make the mistake of thinking that even methods of outreach that don’t mention the gospel message at all count as evangelism.

That would be a tragic error, though. Nothing can be known about God unless he first reveals it to us. If God chose to never disclose any truth about himself, we would be totally in the dark about him. We would not have the slightest inkling about God, what he expects of us, how we are to be saved, and more. Therefore, revelation is absolutely vital and indispensable for saving faith. It follows, then, that saving faith must be a response to divine revelation, and revelation only.

If the above is true, and if it is also true that the gospel is a divinely revealed message, then that message about Christ is non-negotiable. That means that activities that do not communicate the gospel, such as inviting unsaved people over for dinner or living out a pious life before the world, though fine in and of themselves, do not constitute evangelism because they lack revelation. If my life were a paragon of morality and all my nonChristian associates stood in awe of my holiness, and I had the most vibrant, compelling testimony to share with the unbelieving world, yet I never communicated the gospel verbally to them, they would not know what to believe in to be saved. That would be outreach without a message from God, which is no outreach at all.

Although it is true that there isn’t just one way to evangelize, it is also true that there is a single common denominator to all genuine evangelism: the revelation of God, specifically, the gospel message. Evangelism is the proclamation of God’s revelation about Christ, the only way of salvation. To omit the message, then, is to omit the very thing that makes evangelism what it is.

The church has been given the responsibility to make disciples of all the nations. We are not given the option to hold back the gospel message in favor of some other activity. Mankind’s desperate need for revelation simply does not allow for that, so whatever means we use, we must be sure to begin with the gospel message and continue teaching it. Revelation, by its very definition and nature, must be predominant, central, and of first priority.

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