On the surface it may seem a strange statement: how can one spread the good news of Jesus Christ dying for the sins of the world wrong? Well, obviously you could start sprouting heresy and that would be a problem but let’s say that what you’re saying is theologically correct then is it still possible to be going about things the wrong way?
My answer would be yes and sadly I would have to go further and say that the church today, as a general rule, has lost the plot when it comes to spreading the gospel. I realized this the other year at the CU carol service after I regretted bringing my non-Christian friend along because while what he heard was technically speaking completely true he didn’t hear what he needed to hear because the speaker didn’t tell him what he should have told him. My friend heard a lot about Jesus and how he died for us and how much Jesus loved him and how much Jesus wanted him to be saved which is all good and right and true and also entirely useless.
My friend currently thinks he does not need to be saved because his family religion and general good works will save him. This, I imagine, puts him into a similar situation to a lot of people today. So telling him about how much Jesus loved him only served to reinforce his self-righteousness. What my friend needed to hear because he is unwilling to admit it is how much of a wretched, miserable, filthy, vile, corrupted sinner he is standing before a perfect holy God. He needed to be told of Hell, judgement and the dangers of not repenting, he needed to be told that his desperate need was for Jesus.
This example serves well to illustrate the failure of a lot of modern evangelism:
To give some context for this question I’m going to graduate in nine months and I have no idea where I’ll be afterwards. And I find it hard to hope in a ‘good’ future and though I might ask myself: well, what’s the worst that could happen? the problem is that my active imagination is very good at telling me a dozen different scenarios each as ‘worst’ as the next one. For example, when it comes to graduating and getting a job then one potential outcome is unemployment, applying everywhere and getting nowhere and ending up in some job in retail. And it’s no use telling me that it might not happen because I know that it might.
And you can’t tell me either: God is in control of everything, he loves you, it will not happen because again that’s a lie. Sure, the first two statements are true but trying telling a Christian who has suffered the death of a loved one that the worst will not happen.
It’s like the command: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God will go with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1v9) This is one of my all-time favourite bible verses yet, as I found out the hard way, it doesn’t promise success.