Pride causes us to care more about what our non-Christian friends think of us than what God will do to them in their sin.— Mark Dever
The most tempting Mark Dever quotes that will add value to your life
When a person becomes a Christian, he doesn’t just join a local church because it’s a good habit for growing in spiritual maturity. He joins a local church because it’s the expression of what Christ has made him—a member of the body of Christ.
Friend, the church finds its life as it listens to the Word of God.
It finds its purpose as it lives out and displays the Word of God. The church’s job is to listen and then to echo.
We do not fail in our evangelism if we faithfully tell the gospel to someone who is not subsequently converted; we fail only if we do not faithfully tell the gospel at all.
Christian proclamation might make the gospel audible, but Christians living together in local congregations make the gospel visible (see John 13:34-35). The church is the gospel made visible.
T]he church is not a place. It's not a building. It's not a preaching point. It's not a spiritual service provider. It's a people - the new covenant, blood-bought people of God. That's why Paul said, 'Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her' (Eph. 5:25). He didn't give himself up for a place, but for a people.
According to the New Testament, the church is primarily a body of people who profess and give evidence that they have been saved by God's grace alone, for His glory alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Worldliness in the church is a lot more pervasive than a lack of passion for evangelism. Nevertheless, one of the results of worldliness is a waning enthusiasm for evangelism.
The truly changed, truly converted, truly Christian heart can say with John Newton, “I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not what I hope to be. Yet I can truly say, I am not what I once was. By the grace of God, I am what I am.
Evangelism is not imposing anything on anyone; it is simply sharing the truth.
I love Iain Murray's definition of worldliness: towards the end of Evangelicalism Divided, he says that worldliness consists of loving idols and being at war with God. I think that's true in the lives of too many professing Christians today.
As long as quick numerical growth remains the primary indicator of church health, the truth will be compromised. Instead, churches must once again begin measuring success not in terms of numbers but in terms of fidelity to the Scriptures.
I recognize that not all of us may have the same abilities and talents in sharing the gospel. But I want to keep the heat on all of us for getting the good news out there.
Every believer should evangelize. I know some Christians think that evangelism is only for people with special gifts for it, but I don't believe the New Testament teaches that. While Paul does say that some believers have the call to be evangelists, all of us have the responsibility of evangelism.
The church is the gospel made visible.
Membership is the church's corporate endorsement of a person's salvation.
Forgetfulness of God's grace is one of the greatest tools in the enemy's war against our souls.
If you have no interest in actually committing yourself to an actual group of gospel-believing, Bible-teaching Christians, you might question whether you belong to the body of Christ at all!
We mustn't be content to just sit around pointing out the errors in others;
we actually need to be sharing the gospel and praying for people to be converted.
If you are not offending people, then you are not an evangelist.
If joy or urgency are missing from our presentation of the gospel, then our testimony to Christ will be missing that sort of fullness that we find in the New Testament.
By the grace of God I am what I am
If you say that the gospel lays a claim upon people, then you are invading their personal space, and they feel as though you have no right to be there. Now we don't even begin preaching the gospel until we get into their personal space and they feel the demands of God upon them.
An evangelist no more imposes his views on others than a pilot imposes his views on his passengers when he lands a plane on a runway. I bet the passengers are glad!
Prayer is the preview of God's action.
It's fine to deal with people's doubts and explain why they have good reasons to believe in Christ. But until we tell them the good news of Jesus Christ, we haven't done our job. They need a saviour that God has provided them in Christ. Once they know that, we can do as much apologetics as we need to.
I don't see a clerical class in the New Testament to which evangelism has been delegated. Preaching is not the only way to evangelize; it can happen in everyday conversations too. And you don't need a special gift to witness to the Lord in these situations.
Testimonies are great things about what the Lord has done for us, but no-one will be offended when you talk about what God has done for you. You need to be specific about sin, about Christ's death on the cross, about others' need for a saviour, and about their need to repent and trust in Christ.
We can't know at any given time how God will bless our faithful witness.
So the apparent numerical growth of the church is never a good guide to how faithful we have been in evangelism.
I don't mind talking about a football game - that's fine.
I don't want Christians to be unnatural. But I do want to hear them talking fully, freely and naturally of the things of the Lord in their own lives too.
Sadly, there are some fine Christian people who believe that the only way to advance the gospel is to pray for revival and nothing else. You don't know if they have any non-Christian friends or if they have ever shared the gospel with anybody in the last 30 years. It's depressing going to prayer meetings like that. I don't want to pray like that.
Our culture is becoming more hostile to the gospel.
This trend may be more established in Australia than in the USA, but it's now certainly the case that the postmodern mindset is dominant, particularly in the media. Therefore, when we start speaking in terms of certainties, we sound scary to other people.
I don't have any way to control the Spirit or create revival.
I pray that the Holy Spirit would move upon the church, but at the same time, I want to busy evangelizing. I am not one of those people who moan and pray for revival all the time, but do nothing.
The difference between apologetics and evangelism is that in apologetics, you are answering objections that the world raises, whereas in evangelism, you are bringing the message that Christ brought. So unbelievers tend to set the agenda in apologetics, and you set the agenda in evangelism.
People forget that there is a big difference between coercion and persuasion.
The idea that evangelism is coercive is nonsense.
Christians, like everyone else, are prone to be selfish and scared, and wanting others to think well of them. So, although we possess what one part of us knows is the greatest news in the world, we don't act as though it is. Consequently, we share the gospel less than we should.
The more you come to know the Bible - both in reading it extensively and also meditating on it deeply - the more integrated your understanding of all of life will be. And this means that there will be fewer steps between what you are doing at work and sharing your faith in Christ.
Suffering can serve us. Suffering tests our trust in God's promises. And we have a great interest in knowing the truth about our trust in Him.
Unfortunately, many of our churches calibrate their life to these nominal Christians. The predictable result is that you get fake, hypocritical churches that confuse the message of the gospel and make it hard for others who are trying to do genuine evangelism.
Evangelists have absolutely no desire to physically or emotionally coerce anyone. In a sense, we are like doctors: we have a duty to tell you the truth, care for you, argue with you (if that is useful), but we can't compel you to do anything.
Unbelief is like gravity, it's always pulling down on the authority of Scripture.
Evangelism is not simply looking at someone and saying, "Look, you have to become a Christian". Instead, an evangelist tells us the truth about who God is, and explains where we stand as a result of that. People can ignore us - indeed, they have every legal right to do so.
Keep going until you get good counsel that is persuasive for you that you should go elsewhere.
There are opportunities around. It takes time and motivation to take them.
There is simply so much reason to believe the good news of Jesus Christ in history, in Scripture, as well as in our own experience that it would take a leap of faith not to believe in the gospel.
I love people thinking about apologetics.
I just think that we have to be careful. We need to realize that we can argue about evolution or the existence of God or any number of things, but until we tell people the message of the cross, we have not evangelized them.
Too often preachers want to deal with people simply at the level of publicly accessible reason. We participate with them in their own epistemology. But this is not New Testament preaching. We have a message that is not from this world; it is from God. We don't know it by our own cleverness; we know it because God has revealed it.
Sometimes we have to wait a long time to see conversions.
Some believers are faithful in the way that they live, but at the end of the day, they will not share the gospel with as many people as someone else who has special gifts from God.
Actually, having a few questions of your own shouldn't prevent you from sharing the gospel with others. You can explain to them that while you still have a few unresolved questions yourself, you don't have enough faith to not believe.