The Warning Signs We Need to See

A lack of evangelism is always a big deal that always leads to an even bigger problem.

Before you read another word, you’ve got to get this: A lack of evangelism is always a big deal that always leads to an even bigger problem! Therefore, we should heed these warnings from the Lord and move forward toward faithfulness.

A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that the U.S. warning-label system is not accomplishing what it needs to accomplish. The researchers concluded that the label system doesn’t do a good job of distinguishing between small risks and large risks. Thus, it becomes easy for the warning labels to cry “wolf” and, as a result, the people that ignore the smaller risks are more likely to ignore the larger risks. That’s dangerous, because sometimes what may seem like a little problem or a trivial warning is actually something much more significant than we may believe. 

When it comes to a lack of evangelism, we tend to disregard it as a real problem most of the time. We miss opportunities to share Christ and then we justify our disobedience with thoughts like, “Someone else will share with them someday,” or “The timing just wasn’t right.” Some may even try to use their theology as an excuse for their disobedience in sharing Christ. Once again, these are all excuses we make that emphasize our underlying belief that my lack of personal evangelism really isn’t that big of a deal. Before you read another word, you’ve got to get this: A lack of evangelism is always a big deal that always leads to an even bigger problem! Therefore, we should heed these warnings from the Lord and move forward toward faithfulness.

The person who continues driving their car when their check engine light comes on does so at their own peril. They may not be able to hear or feel that something is wrong, but under the hood, there is a whole lot going wrong. The instruction manual to most cars actually warns the driver to discontinue driving once the check engine light turns on. Unfortunately, when it does, we usually just keep on driving. In much the same way, many believers today complain that their church isn’t working or growing, and yet, these same people continue to ignore the clear commands in the Bible that tell us we are called by God to fulfill the Great Commission today and share the hope of Jesus with the lost world around us.

We are to equip new disciples, not only to walk with Christ but also to personally share Christ themselves, taking on their place in the mission.

Jordan & Ernest Easley in The Warning Sings We Need to See

Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” He was very clear in His commission to the church. He told us we are to tell everyone in the world about Him, and then we are to baptize those who are saved. He then gave us the responsibility of teaching them God’s word so that they too can do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12), which means we are to equip new disciples, not only to walk with Christ but also to personally share Christ themselves, taking on their place in the mission. 

What happens when disciples of Jesus fail to share Jesus? This one simple truth has been consistent since the book of Acts: Churches break down when they disregard God’s instructions. Today, we see thousands of churches closing their doors every single year. Right now, we’re seeing fewer and fewer people making decisions for Christ and following through with believer’s baptism and active church membership. We are living in a world where Christians are looking more and more like the culture around us. These are the real symptoms we’re dealing with. So the question is: What are we supposed to do?

David Jeremiah said, “If we have left something or someone, the first step is to remember where we started.” If the church would get back to the basics and simply do what Jesus commanded us to do, I believe we would see a harvest that only He could bring.

Excerpted with permission from Resuscitating Evangelism by Jordan & Earnest Easley. Copyright 2020, B&H Publishing Group.

Ernest Easley is the teaching pastor over evangelism at First Baptist Church in Cleveland, Tennessee. He served as a lead pastor for over thirty-one years and as a professor of evangelism for three years at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Ernest is the author of Through the Valleys. He and his wife, Julie, have three children and seven grandchildren.

Jordan Easley is the teaching pastor and campus director at Long Hollow Baptist in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Previously, Jordan was the teaching pastor for the Access service at Second Baptist Houston in Texas. Jordan has also served at Prestonwood Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in Atlanta with Dr. Charles Stanley. Jordan and his wife have two children.

Is evangelism dead? Here’s the good news: evangelism is the means by which Jesus promised to build his church, and Jesus will make good on his promises. In Resuscitating Evangelism, father-son duo Jordan and Ernest Easley—both pastors and evangelists—share a biblical strategy for obeying Jesus and bringing new life to evangelism. As we bring new life to evangelism, we’ll see God bring new life to the lost all around us.