Book Review: Quotes from Evangelism by J. Mack Stiles


Quotes from Evangelism by J. Mack Stiles

Conversion isn’t merely a good feeling. It’s not just a change of mind. It’s not turning over a new leaf. These things may happen, but they can happen for reasons other than conversion. True conversion is unique. It’s born our of repentance and faith, and its fruit is a changed life. (37)

In a culture of evangelism, the goal is for everyone to share, pray, and take opportunities as they come. We can challenge people to come to faith, but there is no instructions in the New Testament for a sinner’s prayer. We trust God to bring sinners to repentance. Our job is to be faithful witnesses—together. (83)

We must deliver the message regardless of the discomfort produced, effort required, and shame endured. Ambassadors exist to deliver messages. So we shout out, “Be reconciled to God.” We may not feel like representatives of the kingdom of God, but that is what we are. It is how we are seen in the spiritual realms, and it’s an astounding truth. (101)

Defending the faith is a fine thing do, but it is easy to give apologetics for Christianity without explaining the gospel—and we cannot evangelize without the gospel. (18)

Much of our problem with evangelism is that we don't have a big enough view of the church. I believe that God loves the world and has a wonderful plan for evangelism: his church. (19)

We need to acknowledge that God is sovereign and can do as he wills to bring people to himself. There is no formula that dictates how God must work in evangelism. (23)

Most important, even though people come to Jesus through various means, the Bible never uses the results to guide or justify evangelistic practice. (24)

Evangelism is teaching the gospel with the aim to persuade. (26)

First, there is no evangelism without words. After all, Jesus is the Word, and the Word was with God (John 1:1). (29)

Not all of us can be preachers, but we can all teach the gospel as opportunity comes. (30)

Being able to teach the gospel benefits our spiritual lives as it makes sure we are living according to gospel themes. (30)

The gospel is the joyful message from God that leads us to salvation. (33)

Our aim springs from understanding that everyone we talk to is headed to one of two ends: eternal life or eternal punishment. So we don't just lay out gospel facts academically or haphazardly. We have an aim or direction in our gospel teaching. (35)

Paul says we persuade others to follow Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:11). I find the word persuade helpful, as it guards us from error: we persuade, but we do not manipulate; we persuade, but we are not the ones who bring about repentance or conversion. Of course, we long to see people converted because we understand that conversion is required for them to become Christians. But true conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. (36)

With apologies to G.K. Chesterton, it’s not that evangelism has been tried and found wanting, it’s that evangelism has been found difficult and untried. (42)

The fact is, most people come to faith through the influence of family members, small-group Bible studies, or a conversation with a friend after a church service: Christians intentionally talking about the gospel. (45)

To be compelled by love to share the gospel individually is a beautiful thing, but when it happens in community, it’s joyfully glorious. (48)

I yearn for a culture of evangelism in which we build one another up and remind one another to put aside worldly practices and techniques of evangelism, placing our full confidence in the power of the plain message of the gospel. (49)

The church should cultivate a culture of evangelism. The members are sent out from the church to do evangelism. (66)

Ina culture of evangelism, people who love Jesus work together as instruments in the grand symphony of God’s work. We don't always know what the next piece will be—the Holy Spirit orchestrates that. But if we are focused on him and his direction, we get to be a part of his work in people’s lives. (81)

I’ve found that as we live out the gospel, sharing the gospel is much more a part of our lives. However, living out the gospel is not the same as moral living. They look similar on the surface: perhaps that’s why even the apostle Peter could be confused. But trying to live a moral life is impossible. Living a gospel life is a gift from God. (89)

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