How are we to Identify and Evangelize the Heathens?
There has been a lot of commentary on the death of John Chau at the hand of foreign tribesmen while he was attempting to “evangelize them.” It is a mistake to comment on people and circumstances that we have no ultimate knowledge about. The will of God concerning the lives of each person is different and unknown to even the persons they involve. To comment then on this man’s life and death is folly.
We can, however, comment on the basic ideas and necessities of others to emulate the actions of others.
So, how are we to identify and evangelize the heathens?
Well, you’ve got to start by knowing how to identify the heathens. All you need to do is a simple word search for the word “heathen” in the Bible, and it becomes clear that the heathen are:
1. Those that do not know about God.
2. Those that do not know God’s commandments.
3. Those that do not follow God’s commandments.
4. Those that reject God’s commandments in favor of their own.
Read Psalm 2.
You do not have to go to remote places on planet earth to find heathens; they live right next door. You see them every single day at home, work, at the store, and when you take your children to theme parks. The idea that the heathens are running around in remote places on earth wearing loins cloths, living in make-shift houses made from leaves and twigs, killing wild rabbits with sharp sticks is not true. Well, there are heathens potentially doing this in some place on earth, but heathens are also working at the bank, wearing a suit, driving a Lexus, and living in a house three times the size of yours.
Once we understand how to identify the heathen, then we can know that you do not have to scour the surface of planet earth looking for loin-clothed foreigners to find those that are without the knowledge of God, His Word, and His commandments.
Once you can identify who the heathen is that the Bible speaks of, then you have to know how we are to evangelize the heathen.
According to the Bible, we are to:
1. Go into the World and Teach all nations whatsoever Christ has commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20)
2. Call all men to repentance and obedience to God. (Acts 17:3-31)
3. Use the scripture to teach doctrine, reprove and correct behavior, for the purpose of promoting Good Works among those that believe. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The VAST MAJORITY of evangelization takes place on the local level over long periods of time and only the small minority of evangelization takes place in new and unreached areas.
What people misunderstand is that the gospel message and call to repentance is just the beginning of evangelization, not the end product.
The gospel message is akin to a shepherd walking out onto a field full of sheep and goats from various flocks. The shepherd stands to one side and then calls out for His sheep to come out and follow Him. His sheep then separate themselves from the other flocks, and they come to the shepherd. The shepherd then takes them home and cares for them.
The gospel message is not discipleship; it is a weeding out process, a process whereby the people of God are identified. Once identified, the people of God are then cared for, educated, and cultivated so that they can bring forth good works and become salt and light in this world.
What about those that reject God? What happens to them? These are left alone. They are not given discipleship, they on an individual level are left to themselves just as they desire.
What then does all of this mean then concerning John Chau, and what does it mean for others?
In the case of John Chau, none know if his actions were indeed the will of God for his life or not. If it was, then His Lord will say unto him “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” If not, then His Lord will judge him for his foolishness.
One thing is certain, and that is that Christians ARE CALLED to preach the gospel message throughout the world. Those that preach the gospel of repentance must also be ready to establish Christian communities among the people and areas these people are teaching. These Christian communities are called ”churches,” a term often neglected and certainly misunderstood.
Evangelization is not a youth camping trip; evangelization is serious work that requires long-term dedicated individuals. Those that think preaching and evangelizing is easy work do not correctly understand what they are doing and would be better off just taking a vacation to the remote places on the planet to get their kicks and not try to “evangelize” when that is not the reason they desire to travel the globe in the first place.
To sum up, the modern idea of missions, mission trips, and evangelization is not Biblical and is in practice pietistic, something that should be discouraged by the Christian community.
True evangelism is a long-term local community service that entails regular, if not daily, instruction in God’s Word, coupled with reproof and correction, with the intention of cultivating Godly character and conduct in those being instructed.
Those wishing to get involved with Christian evangelism and to see what true Christian evangelism looks like in a local community, look no further than the local Christian school.
No one needs to scour the globe looking for heathens in need of God’s Word and evangelism. There are new heathens in need of evangelization being born in America every year. They are called children.
Interested in getting involved in Christian education? Learn more about how you can start your own local Christian school visit: www.gcsapprenticeship.com