A person with a primary confrontational style of evangelism experiences something coming up inside of them and that something will quickly come out their mouth. They can’t seem to help it. It is a boldness that boils up from their spirit. It’s their power. The confrontational evangelism style is the boldest of all the styles.

The Power of Confrontational Evangelism

Power of Confrontational Evangelism

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The Power of Confrontational Evangelism

Scriptures: Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-14, Acts 2:20, Acts
2:40, Acts 2:32-33, Acts 2:38-39, Acts 2:41

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus gave a two-part commission of “reaching” and “making.” The Lord said to First go and reach people. The Greek word translated “nations” will figure into today’s lesson. The Greek word translated “nations” is ethnos (Strong’s #1486). We get our English word “ethnic” from ethnos. It means the different groups of humanity. In one nation there would be many ethnic groups. In our cities and region there are many ethnic groups. The Lord’s commission is not to have white churches or black churches or only American nationals or only Spanish nationals. His church is to be far greater than that. The Lord said to First go and reach every group and every type of person and get them into the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

1484 ethnos {Ethe-nos}

(1) a multitude associated or living together

(2.) the human family

(3) a tribe, nation, people group

Jesus said after we have First reached people that we should “make” devoted followers by teaching them all the things he taught. It is from this that we declare our mission statement.Life Gate Church, reaching people and making them devoted followers of Jesus Christ.” We have emphasized the “making” part at Life Gate more than the “reaching” part. We are in the process of balancing that. So, our title is “First Things First.”

Evangelism Styles – Before we look at today’s Biblical example of confrontational evangelism, I want first to refresh us on the different evangelism styles.

1. Intellectual Style (Paul at Athens)

2. Confrontational Style (Peter – Day of Pentecost)

3. Relational Style (Levi – Luke 5)

4. Invitational Style (Woman at well)

5. Serving Style (Tabitha)

6. Testimonial Style (Man born blind)

7. Prayer Style (Cornelius)

Which style is the most important? No one style is more important than another. They are each equally important.

We have discussed two of these styles. We have talked about the Relational style and Prayer style. I want to tell you a story about what happened at our Thanksgiving feast this past Thursday. I knew that I was going to see my nephew for whom I have been praying. I prayed Thursday morning and asked the Lord to help me in that situation. He did and I had an opportunity to talk to my nephew. Lance was able to spend some time with him also. I got to talk to my niece about going to church. So, it was a good seed sowing day. But the neatest thing happened. Judy had me make a video of The Statue of Liberty presentation that Terry sang on Veterans Day. It included the pictures of our two brothers-in-law, Judy’s dad, and my uncle. Judy knew the video would touch our Thanksgiving Day group. As you know, it also included the crucifixion scene from the Jesus movie. Judy played the video three times. Three times all those people had the cross preached to them. They were captivated by the pictures, then wham! There was the cross. I share that story with you to encourage you to put some thought in your holiday parties. Do like Matthew (Levi). Use the opportunity to get people to Jesus.

If a person has the Holy Spirit, that person will move in at least one of those styles comfortably and with power. Here is the verse.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

A person who has experienced the Holy Spirit has been given power to witness for Jesus. Sometimes we don’t think we have any power. We do if we have the Holy Ghost.

Power – dunamisI am certain that you know the Greek word translated “power” in Acts 1:8 is dunamis (Strong’s #1411). Here are the Strong’s number, annunciation, and definition.

power– 1411 dunamis {doo’-nam-is}

(1) strength power, ability

(1.a) inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth

The Holy Spirit brings an inherent power into our lives that resides within. Every place I go I take that power with me. The primary purpose of that power is to witness for Jesus. I simply must make the decision to use the power to witness. I find it happens far more regularly when I pray and plan it to happen on purpose.

CONFRONTATIONAL STYLE – BIBLICAL EXAMPLE PETER ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST

Today we are going to look at the Confrontational evangelism style. Knocking on doors and telling complete strangers that unless they receive Jesus, they are going to hell is uncomfortable for the majority of us. However, there are people that do this and love doing it. It is their power given by the Holy Spirit. Actually, they don’t understand why the rest of us don’t do it.

The confrontational style is the style that most of us think of when we think of evangelism. It has its place and the remainder of us need to utilize this style more often, but it is no more important than the other styles. It’s been said that the person that operates in this confrontational style has the gift of the evangelist. That is not an accurate statement. A true evangelist, such as Philip (Act 21:8), will utilize every style situationally. Philip could be confrontational (Act 8:5-7), but he could also be intellectual (Act 8:30). He could be relational (Act 8:13; 21:8), but he could also be invitational (Act 8:12). A person with a high evangelistic gifting will operate in all styles. As with Jesus, the situation determines the style. We become all things to all men (1Co 9:22).

Today we are looking at the confrontational style. I will need to develop this a little.

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

Acts 2:2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Acts 2:3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation [ethnos] under heaven.

Acts 2:6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

Acts 2:7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?

Acts 2:8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?

Acts 2:9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

Acts 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome

Acts 2:11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs – we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

Acts 2:12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Jesus told his disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. Jesus had to tell them to go to Jerusalem. That was not where they wanted to be. The disciples of Jesus were not welcomed in Jerusalem. The religious system hated them. It had arrested, beaten, and crucified Jesus. It was a wicked cesspool of religious vipers (Mat. 23:33). According to the book of Revelation, Jerusalem was spiritually Sodom where the Lord was crucified (Rev. 11:8). Nonetheless, in the middle of that cesspool, Jesus would send his Holy Spirit.

The disciples did go to Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost as “tongues of fire” (Act 2:3) which “separated” and “came to rest” on each disciple. Don’t miss this part. Each disciple received their piece of tongue or their very own power. They received their very own gift mix which included their very own evangelism style.

The first thing they did after receiving the Holy Spirit was to go into the streets of downtown Jerusalem and began reaching people. Each one began witnessing to different ethnic groups there in wicked downtown Jerusalem. Many different ethnic groups were in Jerusalem for the feast. The Holy Spirit gave each disciple the power to relate to every person present in a way that person could understand. It is important that we are different. I will not witness like you witness or to whom you witness. You will not witness the way I witness or to whom I witness. However, we are each equally affective as we use our piece of tongue (power).

We are not told what every disciple had to say as they witnessed to people for Jesus. We are told what Peter said and Peter was confrontational in his witness.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

BOLDNESS – Peter “standing up . . . ” “lifted up his voice A person with a primary confrontational style of evangelism experiences something coming up inside of them and that something will quickly come out their mouth. They can’t seem to help it. It is a boldness that boils up from their spirit. It’s their power. The confrontational evangelism style is the boldest of all the styles.

I don’t know if you know anyone with a primary confrontational style of evangelism, but they are bold people when it comes to Jesus. I have known a few people that were like this. One of the boldest was a man named Herb Cole. I will never forget the first thing Herb said to me when I met him. As we were introduced and he was shaking my hand, Herb said, “I know you are a preacher, but do you know Jesus?” Initially I thought he was joking, but he was not joking. He didn’t know me and did not care what I thought about him. The attitude of the confrontational evangelist is, “Let’s just cut to the chase and win someone for Jesus. We can become friends later.”

URGENCY – Peter said, “hearken to my words.”You better listen to me!” There was an urgency in what Peter was about to say. This style of evangelism senses the urgency of salvation seemingly to a greater extent than other styles. It is because of this sense of urgency that those with this evangelism style will ask the waitress at a restaurant if they know Jesus. They don’t have a problem offending someone when that urgency climbs up inside of them.

There were several occasions when Herb and I would be somewhere eating or doing something. It never failed. He would always find someone to ask if they knew Jesus. I remember talking to Herb Cole about this. He told me that after he came to Jesus that he became angry with church people. He said they did not pursue him aggressively. Herb said, “They were going to let me go to hell.”

JUDGMENT – Peter told about the awaiting judgment coming upon those who rejected Christ. The great and glorious day of the Lord would come upon that generation (Mat 23:36, 38; 24:34). Unless a person studies this out, the “great and glorious day of the Lord” sounds good. Actually it meant “lights out” for Judaism and temple worship.

Acts 2:20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

Acts 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

Judaism had rejected the prophesied and long awaited Messiah who is the son of God. They had crucified the Lord’s Christ (Act 2:22-23). They were in big trouble with God. The great tribulation (Mat 24:21, 34) and the end of the age (Mat 24:3) would come upon that corrupt generation and that wicked religious system. It would be destroyed (day of the Lord). It was soon to be “lights out” for the temple and those that supported it. For the record, that did happen in A.D. 70. The temple and Jerusalem was destroyed. The abomination of desolation took place (Mat 24:15). It was indeed “lights out” for temple worship.

This style of evangelism takes full advantage of the consequences awaiting those outside of Christ. In no uncertain terms, they inform those who will listen that judgment awaits all who reject Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how religious a person may be. They will use God’s judgment to motivate people into receiving salvation through Jesus, even preachers.

PERSON OF JESUS – The Lordship of Jesus is a vital part of the message for the confrontational evangelist.

Acts 2:32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.

Acts 2:33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Peter said that God raised Jesus from the dead (Act 2:24, 32). Peter told them that Jesus ascended to the throne. He is today seated at the right hand of God. The proof is the Holy Spirit which they can see and hear. Isn’t it interesting that we do not only see the effects of the Holy Spirit, but we also hear the presence of the Holy Spirit?

The fact is that only Jesus can save us. That is the bottom line of the confrontational evangelist. Peter had already said, ” . . . everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Act 2:21). Throughout Peter’s witness, he constantly referred again and again to Jesus as the only answer. The confrontational evangelist is emphatic on this point. Jesus is no alternative. It is Jesus or destruction. The reason that only Jesus can save is because Jesus is today Lord and Christ (Act 2:32-36). Peter’s theology was not about a “one day coming Lord and King.” Peter said that Jesus is Lord and Christ (King) today.

OPPORTUNITY

Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

It’s probably important that I point out that Peter was not offering them heaven when they died. Peter was offering them the opportunity to avoid annihilation for themselves and their families. Destruction was coming. They were not thinking about going to heaven when they asked, “What shall we do?” Coming to Jesus is more than going to heaven when we die. It is avoiding destruction for us and our families in this life. Jesus came to give us abundant life. Here is Peter’s equation for salvation. He said to repent. That means change their thinking about Jesus. Realize that he is the Christ. He said to be water baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. That is a public confession that Jesus was their Lord and King. Peter told them that after they had done that they would receive the Holy Spirit which would give them instructions for avoiding destruction. The Holy Spirit would lead them and guide them (Joh 16:3).

Peter moved quickly when he realized that these were ready to receive Jesus. Peter’s answer and plan were in place. This style of evangelism is waiting to hear one thing as they witness. That one thing is, “Tell me what to do to be saved.” Most other styles of evangelism desire the person to come to Jesus Christ, but they don’t really expecting it to happen like now. The confrontational style is expecting it and ready. They have the plan in place. They know exactly whom they will call if necessary or what they will do. Notice that Peter didn’t say, “I want to see each of you in church Sunday.”

RESULTS

Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

It was right then and right there “that day” that Peter made arrangements for those accepting Jesus to be baptized and get into the kingdom. They will kneel on the floor at a McDonald’s or in an airport with hundreds of people around. Then and there they will pray for a person to accept Jesus or get someone else to pray. It is urgent to them. Tomorrow or Sunday, may be too late. It doesn’t matter if it is the sidewalk of downtown Sodom or Jerusalem. They find a place to seal the deal. If necessary, they will call a preacher at 2:00 a.m. They don’t care if you are asleep. All that matters is the person’s soul. It’s urgent to the confrontational evangelist.

This style is necessary and achieves great results. We all need to utilize this style when the situation reveals itself. How many of us believe we have a high portion of confrontational evangelism skill? I want to pray for you.

Other Related Sermons:

Power of Praying Evangelism – sermon video audio notes

Baptism, a Picture of the Trinity – video audio notes Luke 3:3-22

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young