5 Great Quotes on Evangelism From: “Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God”


When discussing evangelism within the doors of evangelical church, there two people always present. The first is passion, who has a desire to see the world transformed by saving grace. The second is fear, who sees that passion’s efforts are failing miserably. Together they hunt about the pews trying to find someone or something to affix the blame. And after a few hours of coffee and conversation, these two friends decide to blame the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.

It is at this moment that J.I. Packer enters into the conversation with his great little book, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, showing that evangelism is first and foremost a work of God. It’s a wonderful essay that is worthy of the read. Take a look at the quotes below and then make plans to grab your copy!


“If you are a Christian, you pray; and the recognition of God’s sovereignty is the basis of your prayers. In prayer, you ask for things and give thanks for things. Why? Because you recognize that God is the author and the source of all the good that you have had already, and all the good that you hope for in the future.” –p.15

“And if we forget that only God can give faith, we shall start to think that the making of converts depends, in the last analysis not on God, but on us, and that the decisive factor is the way in which we evangelize. And this line of thought, consistently followed through will lead us far astray.” – p. 32

“In the Bible, divine sovereignty and human responsibility are not enemies. They are not uneasy neighbors; they are not in an endless state of cold war with each other. They are friends, and they work together.” – p.40.


“The things that God is pleased to keep to himself (the number and identity of the elect, for instance, and when and how he purposes to convert whom) have no bearing on any man’s duty. They are not relevant in any way for interpreting any part of God’s law.” – p.95

“It [evangelism] is a work in which quick results are not promised; it is a work, therefore, in which the non-appearance of quick results is no sign of failure; but it is a work in which we cannot hope for success unless we are prepared to persevere with people.” – p.117


Why Fuller House Is Failing Christians

fuller house blogD.J. Tanner is back! Actually according to the first episode of Fuller House, she is back twice over. It turns out that Stephanie Tanner is a not only the world’s coolest aunt but also an up and coming D.J. whose stage name is D.J. Tanner. This revelation working in tandem with a few low cut dresses and dialogue that mentions Boobs, the Karma Sutra, and homosexual marriage has Christians all turned around. What was once a platform for good family values has now descended into the cultural abyss of unrestrained worldliness. Or at least that is what Christians are writing in their reviews of the show. What happened to those good old Tanner values?

What Happened?

Not a lot; and, yet everything. In short, the Tanner values grew up with the culture. In the 80’s and 90’s, America was beginning to embrace the sexual revelation. Divorce was just becoming common place. Homosexuality had begun to infiltrate everyday culture.  Sex outside of marriage and cohabitation remained on the fringes of late twentieth century morality.

Today’s culture has progressed well beyond those 90’s limitations. Homosexual marriage is legal, almost 50% of American adults are single, and an ever growing number of babies are born out of wedlock. Fuller House is simply taking place on a new cultural stage. All those famous Tanner hugs now occur in a world where conversations about homosexuality, the karma Sutra, and sex outside of marriage have become normative. The show reflects the culture once again.

I think Fuller House has disturbed many Christians because it shows just how much our world has changed over the last 30 years. The show dashed the evangelical world’s last hope for a new Leave It To Beaver sitcom. The age of the moral majority has faded into the past. In short, Fuller House has revealed that Christians no longer even get to set the stage for conservative, family values. After all the new D.J. Tanner clearly did more than D.J. at all of those parties. Fuller House has the pulled back the curtain on good o’l fashion American values and revealed a society driven by self-actualization via sexuality. Understandably, Christians hoping to finally have a wholesome show that reflected their conservative values were disappointed.

fuller houseBut despite their disappointment, Christians are still watching. Fuller House still has all the hugs, the loyalty infused dialogue, and cheesy dance moves that families love. Even those Christians complaining are looking forward to a better second season. As one fan wrote, “I’m hoping season 2 is more family friendly.”  Such expectations reveal that the convictions that drive some Christens to complain do not drive same Christians to actions. Netflix knows this. As Candace Cameron Bure said in response to the criticism, “it’s been proven that any press is good press. — even with the overwhelming amount of negative reviews, the show landed a Season 2 renewal less than a week after its launch.”

How Do We Respond?

So how do we respond to the cultural shift taking place in Fuller House? How do we respond to the show in a real and meaningful way?

First, we need to move away from the panic buttons. We shouldn’t complain that our sinful world is sinful. After all, Satan is the ruler of this world.

Second, we don’t have to retreat. We need to avoid the temptation to start forming monastic communities built around Fire Proof movie nights.

Third, we need to engage the world with love and truth, realizing that the media world and that most of our neighbors don’t share our values. To love this lost and dying world, we must love people where they are (not where we want them to be). We must seek to reach the people we can influence. Once our neighbors embrace Christ then and then only can, we start moving them to a Christian worldview. Then and then only can we be surprised when they dress and talk like the world. If we try to reach people by jamming 1990’s morality down their throats, we will become more annoying than Kimmy Gibbler.

And while no one has to watch Fuller House, those Christian who do interact with the show need to learn from the family comedy. We need to realize that our culture has changed. Our neighbors have more in common with the world of Fuller House than Full House. Instead of fuming in anger,  we need to lovingly reach out to the people of today’s world. Change will not come via the message boards. Change will come via the kitchen table.

The Tanners are all grown up. Are we ready to engage their world…our neighbors?

Guarding Your Heart Isn’t Just A Romance Thing

When we think of guarding our hearts, we think of relationships.  We think of the guy Heart blogwho spends more time talking about himself than his date, the girl who leaves her date in the food court to hangout with her friends, or the dude who has his mom apologize to his girlfriend. We tell our friends and children to, “guard their hearts.” “Run from these losers!”  And while there is some truth to this sentiment, guarding our hearts goes well beyond the boyfriend girlfriend paradigm. It’s a way of life.

What Guarding Your Heart Really Means

 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 

What Solomon is taking about here is not your emotions. He is not talking about the happiness that comes from your first kiss, an over sized  teddy bear, or a ridiculously expensive dozen roses.  In Solomon’s day, people thought your stomach or your bowels (if you are a KJV only Bible kind of guy) where home to one’s emotions.  Instead of saying “He stole my heart,” the Hebrews would have said, “he stole my stomach.”

When Solomon mentions the heart, he is talking about your command and control center. Biblically speaking, the heart accumulates, stores, and process the information that determines your actions. Solomon is saying guard your heart; guard your thoughts; guard your will; guard your life. Solomon is foreshadowing the words of Jesus found in Luke 6:45:

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

The heart directs our life. What we put into our heart – what we think about, what we mediate on – determines how we act and speak. We buy our spouse roses because we think her beautiful, caring, and intelligent. We snap at our co-worker in anger because we think him incompetent, selfish, and annoying. Our kids complain because they think that the Disney Channel is better than obeying their parents.  Out of our hearts flow, “the springs of life.”

2 Ways To Guard Your Heart

So how do we guard our heart? How do we keep our heart pumping out fresh water?

First, we trust God. Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean
not to your own understanding.” When get angry, when we get upset, and when we complain, we stop trusting God. We are upset that God is not on board with our program. And, we sin to let him know that we know better. The solution to all this confusion is to trust God. And the only way to develop a trust in God is to spend time with him. We have to study his word and pray. To guard our hearts, we must fill them with the word of God. The child who knows that God wants her to obey her parents can resist the temptation to shout at her mom. Because the daughter trusts God’s word, she goes and cleans up her room without complaining, knowing that obedience is better than sitting in front of the T.V. If we fill our hearts with the Bible, we can walk by the Spirit and avoid anger, envy, and so much more (Gal. 5:16).  As the hymn says, “Trust and obey, /For there’s no other way/To be happy in Jesus,/But to trust and obey.”

Second, we stop trusting our heart. Is there anything more counter cultural? Pretty much disney-world-978134_1920.jpgevery Disney Movie ever made tells us to “Trust our Hearts.” And every Hallmark heroine solves life’s grand dilemma’s by “following her heart.” According to our culture, true love, goodness, and wisdom is said to be found within. But, the Bible says the opposite.

To guard our hearts, we must stop listening to them. In Proverbs 3:5, we are told “not to lean on our own understanding.” Proverbs 28:19 amps up the command stating, “He that trust in his own heart is a fool.” Why is God so against us following our hearts? Is he a romantic killjoy? No. God is a loving merciful, savior who understand you and me better than you and I understand you and me. God knows we are all sinners. He knows that our hearts are “deceitfully above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). He knows that to listen to our hearts is to listen to a liar. We wouldn’t ask a Bernie Madoff to oversee our investments. Why would we trust our heart to guide us to true love? Similarly,  we would not ask Bonnie and Clyde to watch our kids while we went out on a date. Why would we trust our heart to tell us how to treat our kids when they disobey us? Our hearts are not the beautiful things that Valentine’s Day cards are made of. They are muddy pits of despair. Don’t listen to them.

Instead of listening to our hearts, we need to preach to them. We need to daily remind our hearts of God’s grace, wisdom, and mercy. Instead of trusting our feelings and emotions, we need to inform them. We need to compare them to scripture. We must make them match up to God’s words. To guard our hearts well, we must daily fill our hearts with the things of God.

Does God care about who we date and marry? Most definitely! But guarding our heart is not just a dating principle. It’s a way a life. It’s something we have to do every day. We have to guard our hearts!

How are you guarding your heart?