Turn or Burn

“The Wrath of God is coming on all flesh. This world is going away! Baseball is going away!”

These were the words of a “turn or burn” street preacher I heard at a recent baseball game while in the United States.

As he went on, I literally had to walk away because tears were forming in my eyes.

wrath preacher

I was not upset baseball was going away.
I was so grieved at this man’s approach to evangelism.

I wonder how effective he is?

Does someone rush up to him and express a desire to repent?
Or does he elicit one of two responses: Laughter or Anger.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for evangelism.

I do believe in sin, judgment, and the wrath of God as expressed in Romans 1. God’s wrath is not a pleasant topic, yet it is in part of the character and nature of God.

What saddened me with this street preacher was his approach.

He was beating people over the head, attempting to scare them into the kingdom.

Now, I do believe God can use any method and any messenger, but I question the effectiveness of this approach.

My experience has been if you can have a real conversation with people, they know they are guilty and do not meet the standard of God.

A cup of coffee is often more effective than a bullhorn to touch on this truth.

The megaphone method is repulsive. It pushes people away. Even if someone was touched, would they rush over and repent in front of thousands of mockers? I actually wonder if they did, would the preacher stop to care for them. Or perhaps he would single them out, furthering their embarrassment.

I bless his boldness.

I see the grace of God as something that is attractive. When people see a revelation of their brokenness, grace is there to bring hope, freedom, and acceptance.

The world IS lost and dying!
People do need a revelation of the bad news.
But ultimately the gospel is good news. There was no good news being preached on those street corners.

Grace based evangelism does not have to lead to a sloppy agape or universalism.

It may in fact lead to the deep-seated needs of every heart.

A need to be accepted.
A knowledge of falling short, and the understanding Jesus measured up for us.
A desperate need for hope and security.

Grace is attractive. When we realize this it will give us the right kind of boldness in sharing our faith.


One response to “Turn or Burn”

  1. Gary Dimitris Avatar
    Gary Dimitris

    Brother Chris,
    I am in total agreement with you…while I have not be bless with the ability to quote scripture up to this point. Let me speak from “the heart.” And, with a prayer, let my words be words spoken by the Spirit of Truth. While the world, and all its people need to “repent,” it is not the so-called “sinner” who need to repent, but the “brood vipers” of the religious sect who need to repent…with all their religious rituals, puffed up knowledge…cliques, and so on. It is us, the shepherd'(s) of the flock who John the Baptist was referring to. Yes…we all need to repent, but true repentance comes through the very act of Christ…through and because of His death. True repentance is an “act” that carries on to the day of our own death. Yet, until that day…We, the people of God, the very body of Christ…should be acting out ever living moment serving God and His sheep. Because true repentance we bring the body of Christ to fruition every generation. I am getting bored with my own words. So, in the mysteries of Psalms 51…here lies the “rub”. Here is the truth of the “act of true repentance.” Peace Out…Gary