Must you call for a decision in evangelism?
The Bible tells us that God the Father, Jesus and Paul call for decisions. So should we.
- In Acts 17:30 Paul says that now God “commands all people everywhere to repent” because he is going to judge the world in righteousness. God himself calls people to turn from their sin and trust in Christ.
- Jesus calls us to make a decision in Mark 1:15 when he tells us to “repent and believe in the gospel.”
- In 2 Cor. 5:20 Paul writes, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
So when we share the good news with others we must call them to make a decision—a decision to repent of their sins and trust in Christ for salvation. We must tell people that unless they make a committed decision to believe in and follow Jesus Christ, they will be eternally condemned.
It would be unwise, however, to pressure people into making a decision. Jesus urged his hearers to “count the cost” of following him (Luke 14:25-33), which may take time. Also, in our hypersensitive age it may be wise to assure people that we in no way intend to force our views upon them. We understand that they themselves have to decide whether or not they will trust in Christ for salvation. We can point men to the fountain of living water (John 7:37-38), but we can’t make them drink.
Still, we must not only present the good news about what Jesus Christ has done: we must plead with people about what they must do in order to be saved.