- Humanism is not just doing things without Jesus or His ethics, but...
The Apostle Paul states in the second book of Corinthians,
"For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one
died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should
no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their
behalf." (2 Cor 5:14-15).
To be effective in ministry outreach, Jesus wants us to be dependent on Him
totally in what to say and in what to do. This is accomplished first, through
getting all the objective facts; second, through taking it to Jesus in prayer
through worship and praise and through the use of our prayer language with
interpretation; third, through checking the answer with Godís Word; and
fourth, through checking it with the facts not given in Scripture but not in
contradiction to it.
Because Jesus is intimately knowledgeable about manís inner and outer
constitution at any given moment, therefore only He knows best how any problem
should be approached and handled. When we look to Jesus only as to what to do or
say, since as Paul has stated, the love of Jesus is what brings restraint in our
lives, we are assured that when we follow Jesusí specific instruction in
responding to a given situation that what we say or do will be received in love
and draw the personís attention to Jesus and not ourselves. The Apostle Paul
put it this way,
"And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And
my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in
demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the
wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (1 Cor 2:3-5).
"Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming
from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate, as
servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter
kills, but the Spirit creates-alive." (2 Cor 3:5-6).
Anything that we attempt out of our own reasoning, no matter how well
meaning, only leads to religious-strife, confusion, and condemnation. James, in
the book of James, tells us that this is because anything which originates from
the initiative of our soul not only will not solve the problem, but will in fact
involve demonic forces in our ministering: "This wisdom is not that
which comes down from above, but is earthly47, from the
(James 3:15). Only want is initiated from above, through the Holy Spirit through
our spirit first, will solve the problem and lead to life. This is because James
tells us that, "the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable,
gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without
hypocrisy" (James 3:17).
The Spirit creates-life because He is only acting out of the initiative of
Jesus in our lives. Because Jesus constrains us through his love, when we listen
to the individual dictates of the Holy Spirit to our lives in what we say or do,
whether we understand how what we are saying or doing is going to solve the
problem, we can be sure that it will and will be ministered in love and received
in love by the recipient. Why? Because Jesus does not make mistakes and because
He promises us in the Gospel of Matthew that He will not give us a snake, but
what we ask for in faith, believing, when we obey Him in our approach to Him.
"Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf,
will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a
snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to
those who ask Him!" (Matt 7:9-11).
In the very same chapter Jesus talks about two different kinds of gates. He
"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad
that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is
small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find
it." (Matt 7:13-14).
Jesus is the narrow gate. This is not just talking about salvation, it is
talking about anything that we do without Jesus.
There is a lot of talk about humanism. When we talk about humanism, we think
about people who try to build a world without Jesus and His ethics. HUMANISM
though, is not just doing things without Jesus or His ethics, but ANYTHING
THAT WE DO WITHOUT JESUSí INITIATIVE FIRST. Jesus continues in this same
chapter of Matthew,
"Not every one who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the
kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father, who is in heaven. Many
will say to Me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name,
and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?"
And then I will declare to them, ĎI never knew you; depart from me, you who
practice lawlessness.í" (Matt 7:21- 23).
When we preach in the name of Jesus and speak His Word, Jesus honors His Word
whether or not we are in his will at the moment of our speaking or acting. But
this does not please Jesus. What pleases Jesus is when we speak and act out of
His initiative and not our own.
The apostle Paul puts it another way in Romans. He states, "But he who
doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and
whatever is not from faith is sin." (Rom 14:24). (See also Is 30:1). Only
faith pleases God. When we put our trust in Jesus and Him alone and only act out
of His initiative in everything that we do and say, we are then living by faith.
But, Paul says, if we act presumptuously, that is sin. Only what comes out of
relationship with Jesus and Jesus dependence is pleasing to Jesus and will bring
about the change in our lives and the personís life we are ministering too
that Jesus desires.
Jesus said in another passage, ". . . Truly I say to you, unless you are
turned and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of God."
(Matt 18:3). Jesus says unless you become like a child in dependence on Him for
everything, you will not enter His kingdom. When what you are doing or saying is
out of Jesusí initiative, you are entering and living in the kingdom of God.
In the first section of this book titled, "Foundational
Concepts," we shared how Jesus teaches us clearly in His Word that we do
not need to wait for Him to prompt us to go out and share the love of Him with
others, but that we are to GO THEREFORE! (Matt 28:18-20). We are
to go therefore because all authority in Heaven and on earth are his. Therefore,
when we in faith step out in obedience to Him, He promises that He will be with
us, lead us, guide us and tell us what we are to say and do.
We discussed how Evangelism is explaining to a person what it
means to be a Christian and how to become one. If you are now going through this
Advanced School of Evangelism, I assume You already have this background, but it
is necessary to restate it so you understand what we mean by Jesusí dependence
in Evangelism and what we mean by acting out of His initiative only in
Evangelism. Jesusí dependence in Evangelism means when I go out, no matter how
much I know and have learned, I give all my knowledge and learning to him; and
that outside of the basic presentation of the Gospel, you only share more as the
Holy Spirit tells you and as he leads you according to the knowledge that you
have. Second, being Jesus dependent in Evangelism on the field refers to not
responding to peopleís opposition to the message through your own reasoning or
thoughts, but looking to Jesus as to what to say in response and then only
responding as He leads you to. The Apostle Paul states,
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war
according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the
flesh, but divinely powerful in order to destroy strongholds. We are subverting
computations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and
we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor
When a person speaks something out of his mouth, we do not
know whether it is coming from his head or heart, or whether it is true or a
lie. When it comes to Evangelism we want to reach the personís heart not just
his head. It is for this reason we need to look to Jesus as to how He wants us
to respond to comments made by those we are sharing with because only Jesus
knows what is in their hearts and whether what they are saying is coming from
their heart or their head and whether it is a legitimate question that needs an
honest answer according to Peterís command in 1 Peter 3:15, or whether it is
simply a diversionary tactic of the enemy to divert the conversation from the
personís personal need of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, in his book, the God who is
There, explains that effective evangelism is finding the center of tension
within the individual with whom we are sharing, and then showing him how Jesus
is truly the answer to that point of tension. He states,
"Therefore, the first consideration in our apologetics
for modern man, whether factory-hand or research student, is to find the place
where his tension exists. We will not always find it easy to do this. Many
people have never analyzed their own point of tension. Since the fall man is
separated from himself. Man is complicated and he tries to bury himself in
himself. Therefore, it will take time and it will cost something to discover
what the person we are speaking to often has not yet discovered for himself.
Down inside of himself man finds it easy to lie to himself. We, in love, looking
to the work of the Holy Spirit, must reach down into that person and try to find
where the point of tension is."15/125
I have spent the past 30 years doing street witnessing,
college campus Evangelism, seven years in Juvenile outreach and restoration, and
ten in humanist outreach specifically. What I am about to share is not a formula
for reaching out in these different areas, but rather an example of how as I
went to Jesus through worship and praise He helped me to find that point of
tension in the area of my Evangelistic pursuits to be most effective in my
I worked with Juvenile delinquents for five years before I
began learning the principles I am sharing in this concept. During that first
five years I was faithful but not very effective. When I began to learn the
principles shared here, I went to Jesus through worship and praise and began
seeking Him how I could best approach these boys in Evangelism.
Jesus began to show me how most of these boys ended up in
jail because their parents, for the most part, had no time for them, nor cared
for their needs emotionally or socially. They were hurting and angry at society
because of its lack of love and concern; and they were lashing out at society
out of frustration, confusion, and bitterness. Jesus showed me that I would
reach them with the message of the Gospel by reaching out to their social needs