In Defense of Evangelism, Conversion, Proselytizing and Missions!

It’s about time someone comes to the defense of the most despised terms in the world today.

To tell someone about Jesus and lead them to know and follow Jesus as Savior and Lord is one of the most important things you can ever do in life. To lead someone to salvation is to have God give him or her new life, eternal life. The result is them missing hell and the horror of separation from God for eternity. This should be a cause for celebration and joy and praise. However in our world today this is viewed by most of the news organizations, humanitarian organizations, aid agencies, government bodies and even religious groups as one of the greatest crimes on earth!

The follower of Jesus really loves and cares for the whole being.
A public that is being led by blind leaders of the blind is attacking people who help others to know Jesus and to be saved.

On one hand we promote people being converted. Converted to favoring democracy rather than communism. We want people to convert from eating too much fatty food to a more healthy diet. We want nations under dictators to convert to democracy. All political parties are trying to convert people to follow their policies. On and on I could go.

Those same people who want you to change and follow their ideas do not want you to help others to know Jesus and follow Him; they see no hypocrisy in this. The popular notion is that we are to care for the sick, the dying, the diseased and the homeless. We are to go to the war -torn lands and poverty stricken places and meet the needs of the people. We are to seek to cure the AIDS problem but give no Godly teaching. However one must leave the ‘Gospel’ at home. Care for the needy but don’t try to convert anyone. You give money but don’t give the Truth or the Way or the Life of Jesus. How foreign this is to the true Christian mission of caring for the whole person, body, mind and soul. This is love.

Many “Christian’ aid and mission groups go to all lengths to keep from witnessing for Jesus in many nations. Any mention of Jesus is banned. No gospel material is allowed. No songs about Jesus or for some, even no Bibles allowed. This is the mission policy. You combine this with the opposition of many nations governments to evangelism and you are attacked from the front and behind as you seek to witness openly for Jesus. You want to know how much of your money goes directly to the needy and is not lost in overhead expenses.

I ask you another question. Is that mission aid group you support also sharing Jesus? Do they evangelize? Do they witness for Jesus in word as well as deed? We need both a helping hand and witnessing lips. Because the Bible says “How shall they hear without a preacher’.

At the very inception of the message of salvation in Jesus, we have the apostle Simon Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost and saying; “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
” Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:36,38)

The message of the early church apostles was for people to be saved. First they went in every city to the synagogue and preached to the Jews. Remember all these apostles were Jewish. Then they went to the ‘pagan’ gentiles. They called for people to believe in and follow Jesus and be baptized. Conversion and evangelism and missions were the heart of the early church.
Jesus said that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)

This was the heart of Jesus that the world has the gospel preached to them and that they make disciples and baptize them.

To witness is to love. God expressed this love in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’

Jesus also said “If you love me you will keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15 in the Holy Bible)
The witness for Jesus does not condemn anyone. The world is condemned already. We come with good news, love, hope and salvation.
Jesus said:
“ He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’
(John 3:18-19 in the Holy Bible)

Should you have a problem with this, you have a problem with Jesus, not the person today that proclaims this message.

Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
” Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 in the Holy Bible)

And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every person.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned’.
(Mark 16:15-16 in the Holy Bible)
And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
(Mark 16:15,16,20 in the Holy Bible)
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’.
(Luke 24:45,47 in the Holy Bible)
Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8 in the Holy Bible)

Now I may not agree with every way that some people use to evangelize but that does not mean that evangelizing is wrong. We are to seek to be the best witness possible.

Now some of you may say how can you be so exclusive?

Let me remind you that no religion has ever been more exclusive than the Jewish belief. Without getting into a big Bible study let it simply be said. When the children of Israel came into the Promised Land they were to kill all men, women and children because they did not believe in Jehovah God. They got into trouble with God when idols of other Gods were found in peoples homes. The first of the Ten Commandments forbid any other God. The penalty was stoning to death. Elijah the prophet killed 300 prophets of Baal because they were of another religion. Over and over in the Old Testament the Jews were commanded to tear down the High Places, which were for the worship of other Gods. Solomon was judged by God because he began to worship the gods of his wives. On and on I could go through book after book of the Old Testament about how exclusive the truth that the Jews had was.

Now when Jesus came and was proven to be the Messiah, the Son of God and Savior of the world. He commanded His followers to proclaim His message and salvation to all the world. Present day followers of Jesus should not be condemned for doing what Jesus asked for us to do. His first converts were among the Jews. On the day of Pentecost 3,000 Jews were converted and baptized. That was how the church began.

As the Jewish religion was exclusive so was Islam. The basic belief of Islam is that Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet. The early followers of Mohammed went forth preaching and conquering nation after nation. The very heart of Islam is that it is exclusive and has the truth. The same is with the Jewish religion and also the same can be said of the followers of Jesus and many other religions. Each claims to have the truth and the way. But remember Jesus said that He was (and is) the Way, the Truth and added that He was also the Life. He claimed all for Himself.

One may not agree with the message of salvation in Jesus but please do not try to impose your beliefs on the witnessing followers of Jesus. We do not try to impose our beliefs only speak of them and seek to share what Jesus told us to talk about. These people want to impose on us their beliefs that forbid us to live our religion.

Many are blasting any person or group that gives humanitarian aid and also evangelizes in Jesus Name. Well, we care for the entire person.

Look at Jesus. He is your problem not our Christ centered aid agencies, evangelist and mission groups.
When Jesus twice fed the thousands He also taught and prayed and blessed the food. When Jesus healed He also forgave sins and taught. When Jesus had the poor come to Him He taught them and preached to them. He gave the Word of Life.
When we look at Jesus as we see Him in the Gospels, we see that He cared for all the needs of human life. Yet Jesus said “I have come to seek and to save those who are lost’. Luke 19:10

Jesus never claimed that His way would be popular, as a matter of fact Jesus said;
” Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
” Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13,14 in the Holy Bible)

In a world of freedom and free ideas let us witness forth in the Name of Jesus, His Life and Salvation. Let us not be intimidated by those who want to restrain us. We have faced these battles since Jesus ascended and sent forth the Holy Spirit to empower His followers to be His witnesses.

Just to add to what I am saying. I have by the grace and mercy of God carried a 12-foot cross in every nation on this earth and in almost every island group and territory 298 and over 36,000 miles on foot. This was done with a large wooden cross. Jesus did it.
In many lands I have been shunned and rejected by the local missions and preachers, fearful that I would cause problems as I carried the cross. So many are fearful of loosing their visas in the country. I am not judging them, just telling what I have faced. They can live the life of Jesus as they see fit. Just that there is pressure not to witness in so many places and this pressure is often more from the church than from the native people.

Just think what would happen should every tourist ‘Christian’ going to Israel seek to witness for Jesus like the early believers did. What if they tried to lead at least one to Jesus on each trip. Oh we want to go to Jerusalem and shout Hallelujah in the Upper Room and get baptized with the Holy Spirit but we don’t want to preach in the streets as the early believers did when they got filled with the Holy Spirit. Something is wrong. The early church heard Jesus say you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. It is time to start there again. I have carried the 12 foot cross through all that area 3 different times with no problems and saw many come to Jesus to be saved and become His followers.

Some say we should not go into the Moslem world with the gospel, however on the day of Pentecost not only were there people from Israel but also Libya, present day Turkey, Iraq, Egypt Iran, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The gospel went forth to all these places hundreds of years before Islam was founded. I have carried the cross in these and every nation. Sure we walk for peace and love and blessings but we also carry the cross to proclaim that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life, and that it is necessary to know Jesus as Savior in order to be saved.
Do not condemn me and other evangelists and missionaries and witnesses for preaching and teaching what Jesus told us to do.

I know this column will cause a stir but I have felt it time to speak forth.
When I am on secular talk shows, the host almost all the time wants to make me sound like some bigoted narrow-minded religious fanatic. Well I am simply a humble sinner saved by the mercy and grace of Jesus seeking to help others know God and find salvation in Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Luke 10:22 in the Holy Bible)
We want people to know the Father God and that comes through Jesus as Jesus said it in the message above.

Here is the question? Are people lost in sin and hopeless and without a savior?

Should you believe that it doesn’t matter what one believes in, just that they are sincere and have faith of some sort. Then you have a problem with Jesus and His followers.
Or should you believe that only salvation is through the Blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross as He died for our sins and was raised by the Father on the 3rd day and then ascended into heaven. Then you have no problem with evangelism.

One thing in closing is that the media and critics like to use the term ‘Proselytize’ to describe witnessing for Jesus. This good term is now used in a very derogatory way. It simply means to convert from one religion or opinion to another. A term that could well be used to get a person to wear Nike shoes or change from Pepsi to Coke.
I am blessed to be called an Evangelist seeking for people to convert to know and follow Jesus. I do go to the world with the message of Jesus proselytizing and doing the mission work of Jesus. I want all people everywhere to come to repentance and know Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. However my favorite term for myself is that I am a simple pilgrim follower of Jesus seeking to live in the power of the Holy Spirit for the Glory of God.

I want to close with these words of Jesus.
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
” Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
(Matthew 9:35-38 in the Holy Bible)

God bless all of you faithful followers of Jesus who weather the storm of words thrown at you as you seek to live out the great commission of Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person. Be of Good Cheer. Jesus is with you! Always! Glory. Now Go!
The world is open and hungry for Jesus. I know I have been in every nation. Fear not.
There are no walls! The nations are open! “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof’

Peace and blessings in Jesus Name,

Arthur and Denise Blessitt
Luke 18:1