Lifestyle Evangelism Refuted

By Dr. Curtis Hutson


II. Lifestyle Evangelism Refuted by the Saviour

   If anyone was ever able to lead a soul to salvation by His lifestyle, it would have certainly been the Lord Jesus Christ. He was righteousness personified. He was perfection in a human body. He never sinned.
   The Bible says in Hebrews 4:16, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." When Pilate turned Him over to the angry mob, He said, "I find no fault in him" (John 19:6). The Bible states in II Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin ... "
   Though Jesus was perfect, there is no account in the Scripture where anyone was ever saved by observing His lifestyle. Jesus was the greatest personal soul winner who ever lived. In John chapter 4 He went by the well of Samaria while His disciples went to town to buy meat. In the words of Scripture, "he must needs go through Samaria" (vs. 4). Those familiar with the Bible know that He went to this well to create an opportunity to tell a fallen woman about the living water.
   One needs only to read this passage to see that Jesus confronted the woman. He even confronted her with her sin, saying that she had had five husbands and the man with whom she was living was not her husband. He went on to say in verse l0, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink: thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." There is no way to read lifestyle evangelism into the story of the wonderful conversion of the woman at the well.
   In the conversion of Zacchaeus recorded in Luke 19, Jesus said unto Zacchaeus in verse 5, " ... make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house." That's confrontational evangelism.
   In the case of Matthew, Jesus said, "Follow me." And the Bible says, "And he arose and followed him" (Mark 2:14). That's confrontational evangelism.
   We do not know of one single case in all the Bible where anyone was ever saved by observing the lifestyle of Jesus. And even if that were the case, that would not be an argument for lifestyle evangelism because Jesus Christ was God in human flesh. He was perfection personified, and no human being can ever attain to that lifestyle.
   In praying for future generations who would be saved, Jesus said in John 17:20, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." Jesus knew that all who would believe on Christ, would do so because of a verbal message. That is why He prayed for those who would believe on Him THROUGH THE WORD of other Christians, not through the lifestyle of other Christians.

End of Chapter Two


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