Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
I have done many years of door-to-door evangelism and even a session of street preaching. During that session, I was approached by mam claiming to be Jeremiah the prophet going to the churches of Winston-Salem casting out the Anti-Christ and a fellow that told me that even though I received Jesus as savior that unless I belonged to his church I was going to Hell because his preacher was like Noah being the only preacher of righteousness for this age.
Both of those folks were in severe error, but I was kind to them and tried to convince them of their error. I did rail on them or beat them with my bible or scripture placard. I fear that our street preacher of our day are presenting Jesus in the wrong way. They preach salvation with the thunder of Sinai, not the voice from the Cross who said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” While I appreciate their zeal, I would suggest a change in methodology.
One group of folks displayed a picture of a lady holding a large placard quoting Phil 2:10 that she was going to use at a place where an Atheist conference was being held. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure she is not just going to quietly stand there with it as a silent witness. While the atheist will be held accountable for that verse and whatever others may be on placards and shouted at them I seriously doubt any of them are going to come to Christ because of that protest or witness or whatever some might call that activity. I am sure the participants will go home feeling satisfied that they have done will of God, but I have to wonder if they did.
Many become atheists after a loved one they prayed for died and they blame God and call prayer useless. Often they come from ritual laden church that has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof so they do not understand God except from a theological or mental perspective. They become angry and bitter at the One they deny exists and vent that anger by attacking Christianity and exalting science falsely so-called.
They are not being intellectually hones though they worship intellect. To be an true atheist you would have to be able to be able to search every speck of the universe and know there are no more dimensions other than what we see. To do that, you would have to be deity and thus disprove your premise by your own existence. Therefore, to be intellectually honest you would have to call yourself agnostic because you don’t know if God exists.
Some just have not had enough evidence given to satisfy their questions and others know there is a God, but they want to control Him making themselves god and exalt themselves as satan did. This is why we must discern how to deal with an atheist because those who are truly agnostics just need information and to see the loving Jesus in us, not what we perceive of a an OT prophet Jesus. He comes to as Judge next time. This time He is Savior.
I am afraid many are rejecting our presentation of who Jesus more than Jesus Himself. Remember the prophets spoke more to Israel than to nations. John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles used the harsh words against the religious establishment, not the sinners.
I really wish we had recordings of sermons by Jesus and the Apostles. I think we might not hear what we hear in the streets or in the tenor of our written sermons today. We might hear some great passion and zeal for the truth presented in a more compassionate way unless we are listening to a discourse between the Pharisees and Sadducees. That might contain a good bit of sterner intonation.
I am not against street preaching. I agree people are going to Hell and cities and countries will be in deep trouble when Christ comes back, but the message today is come to the Jesus who wants to forgive your sins, love you and give you life more abundantly.
“Turn or burn” might work for some backslid Christians or people who had some biblical background as a child. Today, we have more Greeks than Jews. Most people do not have the background the folks on the day of Pentecost had. They are more like the folks Paul preached to on Mars Hill or those that said they did not even know there was a Holy Ghost. We have different fish in the pond. Choose your lures wisely. Maranatha!.