Evangelism Parable: A Devotion
This post was written by long-time Religion & Faith writer Barrett Loehrer. All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.
What if there was a fire in your building, but you knew there was someone still in their room, unaware of the fire that was slowly surrounding them? Likely your priority would be to notify the person, urging them to leave the building in order to avoid the flames. Would you gently knock, then sit and watch TV with this person and get friendly with them before casually mentioning the fire consuming the house? Of course not, as this is a matter of life and death. Why, then, are we so sneaky about the fire of God’s judgement, being embarrassed to mention it as though our Master didn’t warn us about it (Matthew 10:28; 13:50; 25:41; 25:46, Mark 9:43, Luke 16:26, John 15:6)? After all, “our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).”
Another Question: If a drunk person fell unconscious onto the train tracks and you knew it was only a matter of time before the train was coming, how far would you go to wake them? If you could not lift them out yourself, likely you would shout as loud and as long as you could out of desperation. Only someone who is cruel and selfish would try to silence you. If they had any heart, they too would shout to wake this person facing impending destruction. The Scriptures say the wrath of God is coming (Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6) and that it rests on those who will not obey the Son of God (John 3:36). The wrath of God is no joke, and there are no brakes or alternate routes for the freight train which is God’s perfect justice and holiness. Only the Lord Jesus can save (John 3:18; 14:6, Acts 4:12, Hebrews 5:9).
Now imagine you are on an airplane that is going down and will eventually crash. All passengers are advised to jump from the plane if they would have any chance of survival. If everyone had a parachute right under their seat, it would take an unloving and selfish person not to tell everyone where the parachutes are (Acts 17:27). You would have to tell them where the parachute was, but also plead with them to put it on. Knowing where the parachute is, but not putting it on, is like believing in the Lord Jesus with your mind, but not truly trusting yourself to Him (James 2:19). Then, someone would have to both put their parachute on, fastening it tight, and jump from the plane. Putting the parachute on but not jumping from the plane is like saying you trust in the Lord without repenting of the sins which put Him on the cross. Conversely, jumping from the plane without fastening your parachute is like turning from your sins but not trusting in Christ for salvation, hoping you can somehow save yourself. Plead with those around you to put on their parachute, trusting the Lord Jesus Christ, and jump from the plane, which is the perishing world with its desires (1 John 2:17).
Finally, imagine a doctor treating a patient with an illness they will eventually succumb to. The doctor ought to present this news gently, as it will likely be painful, but not presenting it would be wholly unloving. If the doctor knew the cause and the cure of this sickness, this doctor would be most cruel to withhold this information from their patient. Yet, we know the Great Physician. The One who, by His life, death, and resurrection, holds the cure to sin and death. We know people’s biggest problem: “For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a).” We also know the cure to this ailment: “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23b).”
We are to share the truth of the Gospel in love, gentleness, and respect (Ephesians 4:15, 1 Peter 3:15), but this necessitates sharing this truth in the first place. Sometimes being kind to people is abused as an excuse not to share the Gospel with them. Since we love them, we don’t want to share this truth for fear of pushing them away, making them feel uncomfortable, or offending them. However, sharing the Gospel is the most kind and loving thing you could possibly do, even if it brings offense. We need to share these amazing truths with those we love and trust the Holy Spirit for a work of conversion leading to repentance and faith.
I plead with you to step out in faith and prayer this summer along with your church, seeking opportunities to share the Gospel with your family, a close friend, or even a stranger. “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (Matthew 9:36-38).’”