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People are Going to Hell




In the Text-Driven Soul-Winner series, the Great Commission has been discussed, the nature of evangelism being like the game of chess has been demonstrated, and to complete this series, an exhortation to be burdened for the lost will be given. To state it plainly: People are going to hell, and we should have a problem with that.


No Other Way to Know

In Romans 10, the Apostle Paul writes, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?" Paul asks a rhetorical question to the reader: how can people believe in and call upon the name of the Lord whom they do not know? The reader obviously answers, "They can't." To avoid delving into the complex theology of inclusivism, I will state it simply: Those who don't hear the gospel go to hell. Those who die without hearing the gospel are dead in their sins and will spend an eternity in hell. I plead with you to personalize this truth. The barista you see at your local coffee shop, the mechanic changing your oil, your children's schoolteacher, and the neighbor you wave to as you get your mail will go to hell if the truth of the gospel does not confront them. The fire of hell heats their feet with every step they take. The evangelized are hopeless without a text-driven soul-winner.


No Other Method of Evangelism

Paul follows the first two questions with a third, writing, "And how shall they hear without a preacher?" The word "preacher" is a verbal noun and describes a person's actions. "Preacher," in this context, is not an office or even a role but an action, and therefore encompasses everyone who participates in the action. Paul does not target the pastors of the Roman church but includes the entire body as responsible for this action. Paul writes that those who have not heard cannot hear without someone preaching. The action is to herald or proclaim; it's to cry out. Paul implies that the gospel is the content of the preaching. Paul is explicitly clear: the preaching of the gospel is necessary for any to be saved. There is no method of evangelism where someone can look at the trees and know that Christ made atonement on their behalf. The beauty of the rocks cannot instruct the sinner that he is a sinner in need of grace. The lilies of the field cannot exhort the sinner to repent and believe. A culture built on Christian ethics cannot persuade the sinner to salvation. The Christian's good works will not confront someone with the gospel. No other manner of evangelism exists outside of written, signed, or spoken words. Lost people populate areas where Christianity has had a foothold for over a thousand years and yet have not heard of Jesus. The lost are going to hell because they cannot call upon the One whom they have not heard, and they have not heard because no one has preached Jesus to them. The Text-Driven Soul-Winner must speak.


No Other Desire

The Apostle Peter, in 2 Peter 3, writes, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." The Lord has a two-sided desire concerning the lost. He desires that none would perish and that all come to repentance. In evangelism, the Lord desires that not a single person would die and go to hell. He also wants every single person to receive salvation and avoid the coming day of wrath. This great desire is the reason for the Lord's patience. The Lord has not sent His Son back because He's allowing time for the saints to evangelize the lost. The Text-Driven Soul-Winner must desire the salvation of the lost as the Lord does.


No Other Responsible

In his farewell address to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20, Paul says, "Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God." Paul uses imagery found in Ezekiel 3 and 33. In both Ezekiel 3 and 33, God warns the prophet Ezekiel that if he fails to proclaim to the wicked that they must repent, God will hold Ezekiel and every other watchman responsible for the blood of the wicked. Paul says that because he has been a faithful watchman and declared the whole purpose of God to those he's encountered, he is innocent of the blood of all men. The inverse, then, is also true. God will hold responsible those who fail to proclaim the whole purpose of God to everyone they encounter. There will be a day when the saints will stand before Christ at the Bema seat judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10), and Christ will point out to each saint those in hell because he failed to evangelize. The Text-Driven Soul-Winner must evangelize or be held responsible for not.


Conclusion

In the first article discussing "Chess, Not Checkers," we discuss the problems found with most evangelism methods, but we did not mention the worst problem: Christians will take class after class and never evangelize. To be frank, if you've read this series or listened to the accompanying podcast series and gained knowledge of evangelism but have not made an effort to evangelize, that is a problem. Beloved, far too often, we mime to an audience blind, expecting them to see good works that they cannot comprehend because of their lostness. We shut our mouths with no concern for the lost. We're far too polite to say it, but every time we pass on the chance to evangelize, we curse someone to hell in our hearts. We have the words of life on the tip of our tongues, but we cage it behind a prison of teeth. Our silence breeds death. There is no excuse. People are going to hell, and God's only plan to save them is through the preaching of the gospel by His saints. We could write a million more articles on effective methods of evangelism. We could record endless hours of podcasts on evangelism. Still, the only thing that will lead us to evangelize is an intense burden for the lost. You're responsible for sharing the gospel with every man, woman, boy, and girl. People are going to hell, and we should have a problem with that. Do you?




Written by Klayton Carson



The "Text-Driven Soul-Winner" series is also on the Text-Driven Podcast. You can listen to the Text-Driven Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or at www.textdriven.org/podcasts. New episodes release every Monday, just in time for your morning commute.




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